Etiquette of visiting graves
Question: I would like to know more about the etiquette of visiting graves according to Quran and Sunnah. In the region where I am from, people read surahs from Quran in front of the graves (likeness of surah Yaseen or Mulk), but I noticed that some scholars said it’s bidah. So what we can do while we visit the graves of our relatives, for example? Can you please elaborate on that? بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
1) When arriving at the Muslims’ cemetery, read the following greeting:
السَّلامُ علَيْكُم دارَ قَوْمٍ مُؤْمِنِينَ، وإنّا إنْ شاءَ اللَّهُ بكُمْ لاحِقُونَ
صحيح مسلم ٢٤٩
Translation: Peace be upon you o abode of the believing people. Verily, we shall join you if Allah (SWT) wills.
2) When you approach the grave of the person you intend to visit, come from the direction of his feet, if possible.
3) You may make dua for the person you are visiting and everyone that is buried there. However, refrain from lifting your hands so that people do not assume you are asking from the inhabitant of the grave.
4) You may recite anything of the Quran and thereafter ask Allah (SWT) to grant the deceased the reward of your recitation. If one does not believe reciting the Quran by someone’s grave to be necessary, it would not be a bidah (innovation).
5) Abstain from any unislamic practices, e.g., placing flowers on the grave, etc.
Fatawa Hindiya: v. 1, p. 183 (DKI); Raddul Muhtar: v. 3, p. 150-151 (Maktaba Imdadia); Fatawa Mahmudia: v. 13, p. 392 (Darul Isha’at); Imdadul Ahkam: v. 1, p. 837-838 (Maktaba Darul Uloom Karachi)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah Darul Ifta Birmingham