Kissing the grave

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Kissing the grave or sajda-e-tazemi is it shirk? I know sajda-e-tazemi is not allowed and na jayiz. What is the sin of calling a Muslim who just kisses the grave, as mushrik?

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, 

Qays ibn Sa’d narrates that I went to al-Hirah and saw them (the people) prostrating themselves before a satrap of theirs, so I said: The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) has most right to have prostration made before him. When I came to the Prophet (peace be upon him), I said: I went to al-Hirah and saw them prostrating themselves before a satrap of theirs, but you have most right, Apostle of Allah, to have (people) prostrating themselves before you. He said: Tell me , if you were to pass my grave, would you prostrate yourself before it? I said: No. He then said: Do not do so. If I were to command anyone to make prostration before another I would command women to prostrate themselves before their husbands, because of the special right over them given to husbands by Allah. (Abu Dawood: 876)

Given the above and similar texts, prostration for anyone besides Allah is unlawful, and regarded a major sin. If practiced out of worship, then it will be disbelief (kufr).

In regards to kissing the grave it is stated in Raddul Muhtar that to kiss the ground in front of a respected person is unlawful. If this is done out of worship or even respect then this is disbelief. However if it is done as a greeting then it will not be disbelief but sinful. (Vol 5, P271)

It is clear from the above that if the kissing of the grave was done out of worship then there is no doubt that this is shirk, however if it was done as a means of greeting then although it is a major sin the person should not be called a mushrik but rather the severity of the matter explained to him/her and he/she encouraged to ask for sincere repentance.

In regards to calling such a person or in fact any believer with any bad names Allah states in the Quran, “O believers! Let no men laugh at other men who may perhaps be better than themselves; and let no woman laugh at another woman, who may perhaps be better than herself. Do not defame through sarcastic remarks about one another, nor call one another by offensive nicknames. It is an evil thing to be called by a bad name after being a believer,[i.e. to call your Muslim brother as “O sinner”, or “O wicked”, etc] and those who do not repent are the ones who are the wrongdoers.” (Surah Hujurat: 11)

Ibn Abbas says that prohibition of tanabuz bil alqab (call one another by offensive nicknames) means that if a person committed a sin or performed an evil deed from which he repented and mended his ways, it is unlawful for anyone to call him by denigrating names, such as thief, an adulterer, a drunkard or any such name. The Prophet (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) is reported to have said: “Anyone who denigrates a Muslim who has committed a sin of which he has repented, Allah takes it upon Himself that He will get the person to commit the very same sin and expose him to embarrassment and humiliation in this world and in the Hereafter.” (Qurtubi, Vol 16, P280)

Abu Huraira narrates that Allah’s Apostle said, “If a man says to his brother, ‘O Kafir (disbeliever)!’ Then surely one of them is such (i.e., a Kafir).” (Sahih Bukhari: 8.125A)

From the above it is clear that a Muslim should not be called with names such as kafir , mushrik etc especially if the individual has repented from the sin committed. Allah states in the end of the ayah 11 of Surah Hujurat that “and those who do not repent (from the sin of calling people bad names) are the ones who are the wrongdoers.”

Furthermore sins can be categorised in to two types. One which violates Allah’s rights, these can be forgiven by sincere repentance. The second type of sin is that which violates the right of a human being. This sin will not be forgiven until the individual forgives the perpetrator. Examples of the second type is upsetting someone, hurting their feelings or stealing from someone. Abu Huraira narrates that Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him.” (Sahih Bukhari: 3.629)

In conclusion kissing of the grave is a major sin and a person should repent from this actions. On the other hand the person should not be called a mushrik, as explained above, if it was done out of greeting then it will not be disbelief but is considered sinful. This would then violate his right and the person will be sinful as described above.

And Allah knows best.

Sayeedur Rahman

Darul Ifta, Birmingham

This answer was collected from, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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