The Shaikh continued, “Yet despite the fact that I did not repay their transgressions and lies in kind, the treatise, as far as academic style was concerned, was a direct refutation of them. As such there may be some sternness and harshness in its manner in the opinion of some who make apparent their resentment of refuting the opposers and liars, wishing that they be left alone without being called to account about their ignorance and their accusations against innocent people, under the false impression that being silent about them is the tolerance mentioned in the Most High’s saying, “… and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.” [Furqaan 25:63]. And they forget, or they choose purposefully to forget, that such an approach is what aids such people in their continuance upon [their own] misguidance and their misguidance of others, and Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, “… but do not help one another in sin and transgression …” [al-Maa’idah 5:2].
Which sin and transgression is worse than accusing a Muslim of something which is not true about him rather something which is in total opposition to what he is upon?! Indeed if some of these who make apparent what we have mentioned were afflicted with enmity less than what was thrown at us, they would have rushed to refute, so it is as though they seem to say,
“Nay, let no-one behave ignorantly towards us!
For then we will behave ignorantly over and above
the level of the ignorant ones.”
Yet despite this I say: there is not much benefit in reprinting this book based upon its first edition; as such there are points that had to be removed along with a slight change in some forms of expression which would refine its style and suit its second edition without taking away from its academic value and its key research.
In the introduction to the first edition I had written that the subject of the book centres around two very important matters:
The first: the ruling concerning building mosques on top of graves.
The second: the ruling concerning praying in these mosques.
I chose to research these two topics since some people had delved into them without any knowledge, saying that which no scholar before them had uttered. Especially when most people have no knowledge of this matter whatsoever, being under a cover of heedlessness, ignorant of the truth, being supported in that by the silence of the scholars–except for the ones whom Allaah wills to speak out, and how few they are–being afraid of the masses or just wanting to pay lip service to them in order to preserve their honour and standing among them, pretending to have forgotten the saying of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, “Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers,” [Al-Baqarah 2:159] and his, صلى الله عليه وسلم, saying, “Whoever conceals knowledge will be bridled by Allaah with reins of fire on the Day of Resurrection.” [A hasan hadith, reported by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh, no. 296 and al-Haakim (1/102) and he declared it to be authentic and adh-Dhahabi agreed with him.]
The result of this silence and that ignorance was that many from the masses ended up committing that which Allaah, the Most High, forbade and the perpetrator of which He cursed, a mention of this will follow later–and if only the problem ended there! Rather some of them started to seek closeness to Allaah, the Most High, through that! So you will see lots of those who love good and are in charge of maintaining the mosques spending huge amounts of money to build a mosque for the sake of Allaah–but at the same time he prepares a grave inside it, stating in his will that he be buried in it after he passes away!
Another example I know of this, and maybe it will be the last, if Allaah so wills, is that mosque which is at the top of Baghdad Street at the western side in Damascus, known as, “The Mosque of the Donkey,”–the grave of the donkey is inside it. It had reached us that the Ministry of Religious Endowments had initially forbidden its burial in it, but we do not know the true reasons that came between it and the forbiddance it had wanted and so ‘a donkey’ was buried in it, indeed in the direction of prayer! So to Allaah we belong and to Him we shall return and His Aid is sought to rid us of these abominations and their like!
A few days ago a mufti from the Shaafi’ees passed away and his relatives wanted to have him buried in one of the old mosques in the eastern part of Damascus but the Ministry of Religious Endowments prevented them from doing so and thus he was not buried there. And we thank the Ministry of Religious Endowments for this praiseworthy stance and its eagerness to prevent burials inside the mosques, hoping from Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, that what leads them to prevent such things is a desire to seek the Pleasure of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and to follow His Legislation and that it is not due to political, social or other such considerations. [Also hoping that] this is a promising start from it on the road towards purifying the mosques from the innovations and detestable affairs that have swarmed them! Especially when the minister of Religious Endowments, his eminence Shaikh al-Baquri has made honourable stances in fighting against many of these detestable matters especially concerning building mosques over graves. In this regard he has some beneficial words which will be related in the appropriate place if Allaah, the Most High, wills.
That which is truly upsetting for every believer is that many mosques in Syria and other than it are not free from the presence of one grave or more, as though Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, ordered it and did not curse the ones who do such an act! How good an act it would be if, with wisdom, the Ministry tried to cleanse the mosques from such graves. I do not doubt that it is not from wisdom at all to shock general opinion whilst doing that, but rather that before everything else it has to make known the fact that, ‘… graves and mosques do not go together in the religion of Islaam …’ as some of the illustrious scholars have said and a mention of which will follow, and that if they do gather together then it negates making tawhid and worship purely and sincerely for Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, alone–that sincerity in pursuit of which mosques are built [in the first place], as the Most High said, “And the mosques are for Allah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allah.” Al-Jinn 72:18.
I believe that making this declaration is obligatory and something which cannot be avoided, and maybe I have been given the success by Allaah to carry it out through this book. For in it I have gathered mutawaatir hadith showing the prohibition of this act, followed by a mention of the schools of thought of the scholars and their established sayings concerning this topic and that they prove such a prohibition. While at the same time bearing witness to the fact that the Imaams, may Allaah be pleased with them, were the most compliant and eager of people to follow the Sunnah and in calling the people to follow it, and warning them against opposing it. But [alas] Allaah, the Most Great, spoke the Truth when He said, “Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up the prayers and have followed lusts–so they will be thrown into Hell.” Maryam 19:59.
Here are the chapters of the book:
Chapter One: A Mention of the Sayings of the Prophet which prohibit taking graves as mosques.
Chapter Two: The Meaning of taking a grave as a mosque.
Chapter Three: That taking graves as mosques is regarded as a major sin.
Chapter Four: Doubts and their clarifications.
Chapter Five: The wisdom behind prohibiting the building of mosques over graves.
Chapter Six: The hatred of praying in mosques which are built on graves.
Chapter Seven: That the previous ruling [mentioned in Chapter Six] applies to all mosques except that of the Prophet’s Mosque [in Medinah].
In the footnotes there are other important sub-chapters which contain important benefits, if Allaah, the Most High, wills.
And I have named it, “Warning the One who Prostrates from Taking Graves as Mosques.”
That is what I had written in the introduction to the first edition.
And I ask Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, to benefit the Muslims with this edition more than its previous one, and that He accepts it from me along with all of my righteous actions with a goodly acceptance and that He reward the one who published it well.
23rd of Jumaada al-Oolaa, 1392
[Wednesday 5th July 1972ce]
Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani.”