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Praying for the Deceased and Visiting Their Gravesites

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt

Question:

Is offering “fatiḥah” and going to tombs of saints and imams prohibited in Islam?

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Answer:

Jazak Allah Khayr/ Thank you for your question.

Reciting ‘fatiḥah’ usually denotes ‘rewards of deeds reaching the dead. Majority scholars regard this as permissible and valid. There are numerous prophetic reports and actions of the noble Companions to substantiate the validity of this.

“Pray for forgiveness for your brother and ask that he be made steadfast, for now he is being questioned.” (Abū Dāwūd)

“Recite Yasīn upon your dead” (Ibn Mājah)

“It is permissible for the one who fasts, performs prayers and gives charity, to gift its rewards to someone who is either dead or alive. The reward reaches them according to the Ahl al Sunnah wal Jamā’ah (Sunnis)” (Badāiʿ al Ṣanāiʿ)

It is also permissible to visit the graves of the deceased whether they be of the pious or otherwise. The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) would often visit the Baqī al Gharqad cemetery in Medīnah.

The intention for visiting the cemetery should be correct. One must use the occasion to remember death and only pray to Allāh while at the cemetery. One must not pray to the deceased seeking help or blessings from them, since they are in need of mercy just like the living amongst us are.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that “The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) visited his mother’s grave” (Muslim)

“You should visit graves, because they will remind you of the reality of death.” (Muslim, Musnad Aḥmad, Abū Dāwūd)

Shu`bī (may Allāh’s mercy be with him) said,

“When someone died among the Anṣār, they would go to his grave and recite the Qurʿān there.” (Kitab al Ruḥ of Ibn Qayyim)

And Allāh Knows Best

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