Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wrote to Abu Basir. His letter reached when Abu Basir was on his deathbed

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Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wrote to Abu Basir. His letter reached when Abu Basir was on his deathbed


كتب رسول الله إلى أبي بصير فقدم كتابه و أبو بصير يموت فمات و كتاب رسول الله في يده فدفنه أبو جندل مكانه و جعل عند قبره مسجدا

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wrote to Abu Basir. His letter reached when Abu Basir was on his deathbed. He passed away with the letter of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in his hand. Abu Jandal buried him at that place and built a Masjid by his grave.


This is how the narration appears. Not as they say:

على قبره مسجدا

Upon his grave.


The word ‘ind does not mean upon. Rather sometimes, a grave is on one side and a Masjid is on the other side and between the two there is a wall, or barrier, or wide road, yet it is correct to say they are by each other. It is not necessary that it be in the precincts or courtyard. It appears in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim:


عن عائشة أن أم سلمة و أم حبيبة ذكرتا كنيسة رأينها بأرض الحبشة فيها تصاوير فذكرتا للنبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال إن أولئك إذا كان فيهم الرجل الصالح فمات بنوا على قبره مسجدا و صوروا فيه تلك الصور فأولئك شرار الخلق عند الله يوم القيامة

On the authority of ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

Umm Salamah and Umm Habibah described a church they had seen in Abyssinia which had pictures. They mentioned this to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who noted, “When a pious man dies among these people, they build a place of worship on his grave and draw these pictures. They will be the worst of creation in the sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala on the Day of Qiyamah.[1]


That church was built on a grave and surrounded it from all sides like the current tombstones found today. Thus, building on graves is haram.

For a Masjid to be by a grave, i.e. near it but barred by a pathway or something, not within its enclosure or at the side of the Qiblah, there is nothing apparently wrong with this.

The narration under discussion is mursal. Al Zuhri makes irsal. Mursal is one of the various types of da’if, hence it cannot be used as proof. Sayyidina Abu Jandal radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred during the Caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Taking this into consideration, the narration does not prove the permissibility of building on graves. If we hypothetically agree for argument’s sake that the Sahabi did actually do this, his action was not approved. Nowhere in the narration is there any mention of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam approval as they presume. Just as Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not approve the new Muslims to demarcate a tree for blessings. It appears in the hadith of Abu Waqid al Laythi:


خرجنا مع رسول الله إلى حنين و نحن حدثاء عهد بكفر و للمشركين سدرة يعكفون عندها و ينوطون بها أسلحتهم يقال لها ذات أنواط فقلنا يا رسول الله اجعل لنا ذات أنواط كما لهم ذات أنواط فقال رسول الله الله أكبر إنها السنن قلتم والذي نفسي بيده كما قالت بنوا إسرائيل اجْعَل لَّنَا إِلَٰهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ آلِهَةٌ قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُوْنَ لتركبن سنن من كان قبلكم

We went out with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam towards Hunayn. At the time, we had just abandoned kufr. The mushrikin had a lotus tree called Dhat Anwat by which they would perform i’tikaf at and hang their weapons on. So we submitted, “O Messenger of Allah! Make for us a Dhat Anwat just as they have a Dhat Anwat.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam exclaimed, “Allah is the Greatest! It is the customary actions. You said, by the Being in whose hands lies my soul, just as the Banu Isra’il said: Make for us a god just as they have gods. He (i.e. Musa ‘alayh al Salam) said, Indeed, you are a people behaving ignorantly.’[2] You will follow the practices of those before you.


Just see how Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam equated making a tree for deriving blessings with making another deity. It is the same thing these people say concerning graves and honouring the dead, which manifests to you the danger of such an invitation.

Every hadith which endorses the glorification of graves by building upon them, decorating them, or worshipping beside them is either da’if or mawdu’. For example:

إذا أعيتكم الأمور فعليكم بأصحاب القبور

When affairs tire you, then cling onto the people in graves.


This is a fabrication which none of the ‘Ulama’ have narrated nor is it found in any reliable hadith source. And Allah knows best!


Next⇒ Withhold from criticising ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib

[1] Sahih al Bukhari; Sahih Muslim.

[2] Surah al A’raf: 138.

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