Placing flowers and sheets on and brightening the graves

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

PLACING FLOWERS AND SHEETS ON AND BRIGHTENING THE GRAVES

There are three topics to this discussion,

1. Placing flowers on the graves of Saints (Mazaars).

2. Spreading sheets (ghilaafs) over them.

3. Illuminating the area.

The Ulama of the Ahle-Sunnat rule that it is permissible to place flowers on the grave of every Mu’min, irrespective of whether he is a Friend of Allah (Wali) or a sinner.

Regarding the placing of sheets on graves, the Jurists state that doing so is permissible for the graves of the Saints, Learned and Pious but impermissible for the graves of general Muslims because there is no benefit in this.

There is much detail in brightening the grave area (by lamps, candles, electricity, etc.) Doing so is impermissible if it is done at the graves of ordinary Muslims without any necessity. If there is one, however, it is allowed. If it is to demonstrate the greatness of the Saint (which the Mazaar belongs to), it is also acceptable. There are three necessities,

1. If a deceased is to be buried and light is needed, it is permissible.

2. If the grave is at the edge of the road and a light is lit there so that no one trips over it or so that people may see the light and come to make Fatiha, it is permissible.

3. If a person goes to the grave of a Muslim at night and wishes to recite the Quran, etc., brightening the grave-area is correct.

If light is lit for another reason besides these three, it is ‘considered wastage and prohibited as a result. Concerning the Friends of Allah, even if no need at all is found, still too is it permissible because this is admiration towards them. The opposition refutes these three things. Thus, we divide this discussion into two sections-Section One in proof of our stance and Section Two dealing with their objections.

PROOF OF PLACING FLOWERS, SHEETS AND BRIGHTENING THE GRAVES (MAZAARS)

1. In the discussion before this, we have explained that the graves of the Saints are the signs of Allahعزوجل and to respect the signs of Allahعزوجل (i.e. the signs of His deen) is a Quranic instruction, “ومن یعظم شعائر اللہ فانھا من تقوی القلوب” 13.1 There is no restriction in demonstrating respect. AU permissible practices of showing respect which exist at any time are correct for use.

Placing flowers and sheets (ghilaafs) on their graves, as well as illuminating their Mazaars, is in admiration to them and, as a result, permissible. Fresh flowers have life and therefore make tasbeeh and tahleel. Through this tasbeeh etc, reward is attained or punishment is decreased for any ordinary Muslim grave, and the visitors to a Mazaar gain a pleasant fragrance.

Therefore, placing them on any Muslim grave is allowed. Even if the deceased is experiencing punishment, through the blessings of the tasbeeh, it is lessened. The source for this is the Hadith wherein the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم passed by two graves whose inmates were undergoing punishment. One of them never used to save himself from the drops of urine and the other was a backbiter. Sayyiduna Rasooullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم took a branch of a tree and broke into two parts, placing one on each grave. When he was asked about this he replied. “As long as they aren’t dry, their punishment will be decreased.” 13.2 – Mishkaat. Baabu Aadaabil-Khalaa, Section

Imam Nawawi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes in the annotation of this Hadith, “It has been said that the punishment will be lessened because, as long as they are fresh, tasbeeh will be made by them. Based on this Hadith, Ulama have ruled that reciting the Holy Quran near the grave is Mustahab (preferred because this is more suited to lessen punishment than the tasbeeh of a branch.” 13.3.

Under this very Hadith, Ashiatul-Lam’aat states, “A group (of Jurists) rule the permissibility of placing flowers, green plants and fragrance on graves based on this Hadith.”

Mirqaat states under this Hadith, “We can deduce that placing fresh flowers on the Mazaars is Sunnat.” 13.5 Tahtaawi alal-Maraaqil-Falaah states, “Based on this Hadith, some of our companions from the latter times have ruled that the practice of laying flowers and scenting is Sunnat.” 13.6 -Pg. 364

The word ‘some’ in these extracts doesn’t mean that other Ulama have ruled this to be impermissible. Rather, it means that some accept doing so to be Sunnat. All Ulama agree that it is permissible, though there is a difference amongst them concerning it being a practice of the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. Alamghiri states, “To place flowers and fragrance on graves is good.” 13.7 – Kitaabul-Karaahiyat, Vol. 5, Baabu Ziyaaratil-Quboor

Discussing visiting the graves, Shaarni states, “From this and the Ahadith, it is ascertained that placing these things on the graves is Mustahab. The practice of placing branches of the myrtle plant, etc. On graves is modeled on this.” 13.8-Vol. I, Ziyaaratil-Quboor

It further states. “The reason for the decrease in punishment is the branches not becoming dry. In other words, through the blessings of them making tasbeeh, the punishment of the grave is lessened, since the tasbeeh of a fresh branch is more complete in comparison to a dry one. This is because there is a kind of life existing in the former.” 13.9 – Ibid

Two issues emerge from these Ahadith and extracts of the Commentators of Hadith and Jurists,

1. It is permitted to place every green plant, etc. on the graves of Muslims.The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم himself placed branches on those graves that were undergoing punishment.

2. The decrease in punishment is through the blessings of the tasbeeh made by the green plants etc, not only because of Rasooullah’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم dua. If it was only due to this dua, why was the restriction of “as long as they are dry” mentioned in the Hadith?

Thus, today, if we lay flowers etc, the deceased will surely benefit from this action, Insha-Allah. The wisdom behind keeping the graves of general Muslims natural is that when it rains, green grass will sprout and, through the tasbeeh of the grass, the punishment of the deceased will decrease. This proves that placing flowers or green plants on the graves of Believers is allowed.

Maulwi Ashraf Ali Thanwi writes that flowers should be placed on the graves of Faasiqs (open transgressors of the Shariah), not on the graves and Mazaars of the Saints because there is no punishment there to be lessened through the placing of flowers, etc. – Islaahur-Rusoom

However, it should be bared in mind that the action which is a remover of hardship for sinners causes an increase in the rank of the pious, e.g. walking towards the Musjid erases our sins but increases the rank of the virtuous. Likewise, some duas eradicate the sins of criminals like us but increase the distinction of the pious. The logic used by the opposition necessitates that the pious should not come to the Musjids or make istighfaar because they are cleansed of sin. Through the tasbeeh of these flowers, the mercy of Allahعزوجل shall descend more upon their graves just as how it increases by the recitation of the Holy Quran.

2. Placing sheets (ghilaafs/chaadars) on the graves of the Friends of Allahعزوجل is permissible because through this, the grandeur of the inmate of the grave (who is a Wali) becomes apparent to the general public who visit. Allama Shaami writes, “Fatawa Hujja has stated that placing mantles on the graves is Makrooh (disliked). However, we say that if today, creating respect within the general public is intended by doing so (so that they may not deem the inmate of the grave with contempt but rather, through these shrouds, respect, admiration and awe is instilled amongst those unaware), then placing sheets is permissible. This is because actions are based on intentions.” 13.10 _ Raddul-Muhtaar, Vol. 5, Baabul-Karaahiyat, Baabul-­Labs

This extract of Shaarni has decided that whatever permissible action is done to demonstrate the greatness of the Auliya of Allah is permissible. The source of sheets is that even in the time of Rasooullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم the Kaaba was covered with the Ghilaaf and he didn’t prohibited this. For centuries, there have been very expensive green coverings of silk over the Rauza Sharif of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. No one has disallowed this even until today. There is even a covering on (and a building built over) the Maqaam-e-Ibrahim (the stone on which Hadrat Ibrahim iti!l stood to build the Holy Kaaba).

Marvel at the glory of Allahعزوجل! The Najdi Wahabies still maintain the Maqaam-e-Ibrahim in the above manner. Why have sheets been placed over them? Simple: to demonstrate the greatness of these things.

 


Thus, for the reverence of the Friends of Allahعزوجل, it is preferred (Mustahab) to place sheets, etc. over their graves. Under the ayat, “انما یعمر مسجد اللہ من امن باللہ ” 13.11 Allama Haqqi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہwrites, “Building shelters over the graves of the Learned, Saints and Pious or placing sheets {ghilaafs), mantles and turbans on them are all permissible actions when establishing their respect amongst the masses is intended (so that they don’t hold them in contempt).” 13.12 – Tafseer Roohul-­Bayaan

3. To brighten (through lamps or electricity) the graves of general Muslims out of a need, or the graves of the Saints in demonstrating their greatness, is permissible.

Therefore, Hadiqa Nadiya, the annotation of Tareeqah Muharnrnadiah, states, “Taking lamps to the graves is an Innovation (Bidat) and wastage of money according to the book Bazaaziya. This entire ruling applies to when there is no benefit visible. However, it is permissible to light lamps if there is a Musjid or path near the grave, if a person is sitting there or to respect the soul of the inmate of the grave if he is a Saint (Wali) or reputable Aalim. Also, to inform and demonstrate to people that this is the grave of a Saint so that they may attain benefit from it and make dua to Allahعزوجل there permits the lighting of lamps in that area,” 13.13 – Vol. 2, Pg. 429, Egyptian Edition

Under the same ayat, Tafseer Roohul-Bayaan also states, “Likewise, lighting lamps and candles near the graves of the Saints and pious in demonstration of their glory is permissible because there is a valid intention here. To make a vow of lighting candles and lamps near their graves to demonstrate their greatness is also permissible. Doing so should not be prohibited.13.15

Allama Nablusi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ has written the very same thing in his treatise “Kashfun-Noor an-Ashaabil-Quboor.”

These actions should also be valid logically speaking, because we have mentioned in the Discussion of Domes that the beauty of the graves of the Friends of Allahعزوجل is, in fact, the splendor of Islam itself.

An Aalim who goes to deliver a lecture should wear good clothes, and it is Sunnah on every Muslim to wear good clothes and apply itr on the day of Eid. Why? It is so that people may be drawn towards meeting them. This shows us that anyone who has dealings with the general public of Muslims should present himself in an appealing manner. The tombs (Mazaars) of the Auliya are places the entire creation visits and assembles at. Supporting and maintaining them for this reason is also necessary.

I went for Hajj during the current governance of the Najdi Wababi regime. Around the Kaaba, I saw a circle of lights that brightened even the Haram Sharif At the door of the Kaaba itself were four brightly lit lamps. When I visited the city of Madina Sharif, I noticed that there was more light at the Rauza of Rasooullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم then at the Holy Kaaba. The light bulbs were stronger in wattage and plentiful.

During the rule of the Turks. there must have been more illumination than this. Why have all of these arrangements been made? It’s because they naturally create more reverence in the eyes of the masses.

So the graves of the Auliya are also the reflections of the noor of the Kaaba and Rauza Sharif. If arrangements for light are made here as well. what wrong is there? Today, we light up our homes for weddings and much money is spent on this. Jalsas cf’Darul Ulooms brighten their surroundings (also with an exorbitant amount of money being dedicated to this). A few years ago. Deobandis held a Jalsa of the Jamiatul-Ulama in Muraadabad. The lighting was so bright that it actually hurt the eyes. Indeed. a vast amount of money was spent for this purpose over their three day function. They lightened up the place to only make the people happy and alert.

Likewise, flags and buntings are placed in Islamic functions and garlands of flowers adorn the necks of lecturers. This is not wastage (israaf) or Haraam. These gatherings of Drs are also religious gatherings and so these actions should be valid in them as well.

OBJECTIONS and ANSWERS TO PLACING FLOWERS, SHEETS AND BRIGHTENING THE GRAVES OF THE SAINTS

OBJECTION 1: The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has said, “Allahعزوجل has not ordered us to dress stones and sand in cloth.” 13.16 -Mishkaat, Baabut-Tasaaweer

This proves that placing Ghilaafs or sheets on the graves is Haraam because the stone there is also made from sand.

Answer – This Hadith refers to ceremoniously and unnecessarily placing covers over the walls of homes, and mentions piety (taqwa) and abstinence (zuhd) ­meaning, the decorations of homes is against the concept of abstinence from the world. This very Hadith also explains that Sayyidah Aisha رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہا put a Ghilaaf over a wall. Rasooullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم took it down and then said the above. The sheets of the graves of the Saints have no connection to this. There is an expensive black Ghilaaf over the Holy Kaaba and a green mantle over the Rauza of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. So if this is allowed, the mantles of the graves of the Auliya are as well.

OBJECTION 2: Placing flowers and sheets on graves and brightening them is waste (and prohibited as a result). There are many flowers and lamps at these graves of the Anliya-Allahعزوجل. To merely fulfill the need, One flower or lamp is sufficient.

Answer – The meaning of wastage (israaf) is spending money without any benefit attained. Placing flowers, etc. is not wastage because of the benefit in this (as we have discussed in the first chapter). With regards to sufficing, we submit that over our kurtas, we wear waistcoats and jubbas. These clothes may also be very expensive. However, only one kurta is sufficient (and with ordinary material at that).

Is this wastage or not? Likewise, people pay special attention to possessing expensive buildings, partaking in varieties of food and owning various types of clothing whereas a lesser amount of these is manageable. This is not wastage. Whatever the Shariah has classified as Halaal is completely permissible.

قل من حرم زینۃ اللہ التی اخرج لعبادہ

– Surah Aaraaf. Verse 32

OBJECTION 3: The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has cursed women who visit the graves, those people who build Musjids on graves and those who light lamps over them. 13.17- Mishkaat, Baabul-Masaajid

The above extract shows that lighting lamps is an action worthy of being cursed. Fatawa Aalamghiri states, “Fataawa Dazaazia states the same as well. In other words, taking lamps to the graveyard is an Innovation (Bidat) which has no source.” 13.18 Allama Shaami writes, “If a person made a vow to burn oil (in a lamp) on the grave of the Shaikh or on the minaret, just as how women take vows to burn oil for Huzoor Gbaus-e-Paak رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and burn it on the Eastern Minaret, it is void and baseless.” 13.19 – Raddul-Muhtaar, Vol. 2, Kitaabus-aum

Qaadhi Tbana’ullah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “The lighting of lamps (Chiraagah) is an Innovation (Bidat). The Noble Messenger صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has cursed the lighting of lamps of graves and prostrating towards them.” – Irshaadut- Taalibeen

Hadrat Shah Abdul-Azeez Muhaddith Dehlwi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes in his Fataawa, “Completing Haraam actions in Urs gatherings, such as performing the lighting of lamps and covering graves in sheets is all Bidat.” – Pg. 14

All of these extracts prove that lighting lamps on graves is Haraam. With regards to the lighting of lamps occurring in the two Harams, this practice is not a proof because it has taken place after the Khairul-Quroon (time of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and two generations after) and thus has no credibility. It was introduced by the Turkish rule.

 


Answer – Actually, this objection is a combination of 6 objections, on which strength the opposition wreaks havoc.

In the chapter before this, we have written that lighting a lamp near a grave without any benefit gained is prohibited as this is wastage of money. If there is any benefit, doing so is allowed. There were approximately four benefits explained. Three were regarding the graves of general Muslims and the fourth was related to the respect of the souls of the Auliya, Mashaaikh and Ulama. The prohibition made in the Hadith of lighting lamps refers to when there is no benefit. The marginal notes of Mishkaat, under this very Hadith, state, “Lighting oflamps at graves is prohibited because this is wasting money.13.22

Mirqaat, the Sharah of Mishkaat, also explains the same. After mentioning this Hadith, Hadiqaa-Nadiya states, “Those people who light lamps near graves unnecessarily and without any benefit have been censored:’ 13.23 – Vol.2, Pg. 429, Egyptian Edition

Mishkaat states, “One night, when the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم went to the graveyard to bury one of the deceased, he lit a lamp.” 13.24 Baabud-Dafn

The Hadith states, “Rasooullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has cursed those who build Musjids on graves light lamps.” 13.15

Mulla Ali Qaari, Shaikh Abdul-Haqq Muhaddith Dehlwi and other Annotators of Hadith رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ state in the explanation of this Hadith that building a Musjid on the grave itself, which would result in Sajda being made towards the Qabr, or if the grave comes into the area of the actual Musjid, is what is prohibited.

However, if the Musjid is built near the Qabr for the sake of blessings then this is allowed. In other words, ‘Alaa’ has maintained its literal meaning. This necessitates that lighting a lamp on top of the actual grave is also not allowed, but if it is lit near and around it then it is visibly not on the Qabr itself This will be permissible as per our explanation in the Discussion of Domes. Also, Allama Nablusi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes in the commentary of this Hadith, “Especially on the grave itself.” 13.26 ­Hadiqaa-Nadiya

The reason for this prohibition is that a lamp has fire, and placing fire on a grave is a wicked action. This is why Jurists have disallowed placing a board of wood over a grave, as it would increase the fire. However, if it’s left nearby, there is no harm.

Thus, prohibition is towards the lamp itself, not directed to the respect of the grave. Also, here only one “Alaa” (the preposition for “upon” in Arabic) is used, but the Musjid and lamp are both mentioned. You accept the literal meaning for ‘Alaa’ in relation to the Musjid {i.e. specifically on the grave itself} but adopt the metaphorical (majaazi) meaning when it mentions the lamps (near the grave). This impels the gathering of literal (Haqeeqat) and metaphorical (Majaaz), which is prohibited. Therefore, the literal meaning of ‘Alaa’ in both places has to be accepted.

Mulla Ali Qaari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes in the commentary of this very Hadith, “The restriction of “on” has been implaced. This proves that building a Musjid near the grave has no wrong.” 13.26 – Mirqaat

The word’ Alaa’ proves that building a Musjid near the grave is allowed. It also ascertains that lighting lamps near the grave is valid.

With reference to Shaami and other books, we have already written in the Discussion of Domes that there were many thins forbidden in the time of the Sahaaba but are now permissible. Under the this ayat of Surah Tauba, Allama Ismail Haqqi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “Imam Ghazzali رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states in Ihyaa-ul-Uloorn that there are many preferable acts in our time which were prohibited in the era of the Sahaaba.” 13.28-Roohul-Bayaan

Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ ordered that no Muslim governor should travel on a mule, etc, eat Chapaati Roti, wear delicate clothes or close the door to a person in need. He further said, “If you do any of these things, you will be punished.” 13.29 _ Mishkaat, Kitaabul-Imaarah, Baabu Maa alal-Wulaat

Another Hadith of Rasooullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم states, “I haven’t been commanded to build Musjids high.” 13.30 – Mishkaat, Baabul-Masaajid

The marginal notes on this narration state, ”There is no instruction to build high Musjids and decorate them.” 13.31

Another Hadith states, “Do not stop women from entering Musjids.” 13.32 _ Ibid

The Holy Quran has appointed eight recipients of Zakaat (Mualifaatul-Quloob is included), but the recipients of Zakaat have been lessened to only 7 during the Khilaafat of Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ (i.e. Mualifaatul-Quloob has been separated).-Refer to Hidaya, etc.

Are the above still practiced? If Islamic rulers stay in common conditions, they will not have awe on their constituents. If the homes and temples of the Kuffaar are high but the Musjids of Allahعزوجل are low and unadorned, this will be disrespectful to Islam. If women are allowed in Musjids, numerous ills will occur, and giving Zakaat to a Kaafir is not permissible. Why have these rulings been changed? Simple because their circumstances have changed. In those times, the respect and honour of the graves of the Auliya (Friends of Allahعزوجل) were present in the hearts of Muslims without them having any visible adornment or embellishment. Therefore, there was simplicity in all affairs.

In today’s times, the world looks towards outer refinement. Therefore, these actions are deemed to be permissible. In previous times the ruling was that lighting of Mazaars should not be done. This has been allowed in this era. Under Verse 18 of Surah Tauba, Allama Ismail Haqqi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہwrites that Hadrat Sulaiman brightened the minaret of Baitul-Muqaddas, to the extent that women were able to spin thread in this brightness 12 miles away! The extract of Alamghiri was incorrectly quoted. The original extract is) “It is an Innovation (Bidat) to take lamps to the graveyard in the initial nights.” 13.34

Two parts need to be paid special attention to in this extract: ‘Ikhraaj’ and ‘Fil­layaalil-Uwal”. These clearly prove that in those times, people used to light lamps at the graves of their newly deceased and return home, thinking that the deceased are unsettled in their graves. This can be understood by the practice of some women today. Who light lamps at the graves of the deceased for 40 days thinking that the soul of the deceased arrives and, if it finds darkness, returns. Thus they light lamps to illuminate the area. The practice is absolutely Haraam as oil is being wasted and used unnecessarily. There is also an erroneous belief in this. The lighting during an Urs (Death Anniversary of a Saint) does not have this intention behind it nor does it occur during the initial nights. If this was not meant, why then is there the restriction of “the initial nights”?

The extract of Shaami is also clear. It doesn’t prohibit the lighting of Urs. It states that making a vow to light lamps in the hope of attaining proximity to the Friends of Allahعزوجل is Haraam, explaining this under the following extract of Dum­ Mukhtaar, “It should be known that the vows made by the masses for the dead and whatever amount of money, candles, oil, etc. is taken to light the area of the graves for attaining nearness to the Saints is unanimously baseless.,13.35

The extract of Shaarni itself states, “Lau Nazare” (if he makes a vow) and “Fauqa Dareehish-Shaikh” (on the grave of the Shaikh). Dareeh is known as the structure of the grave. – Muntakhabul-Lugaat

We have already written that lighting a lamp on the grave itself is forbidden. Likewise, if there is no grave but similarly a lamp is lit and kept on the name of a Buzurg (as is the practice of some ignorant people who light lamps and place them on certain trees) in niches or on someone’s name, it is Haraam. This practice is what is being forbidden when it’s said that lighting a lamp on the name of Huzoor Ghause-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and placing it on the eastern minaret is baseless. The Qabr of Huzoor Ghause-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ is in Baghdad Sharif. Why shonld a lamp be lit in the minaret of Syria for him? This is not allowed. In short, the book Shaami bas disallowed three things,

1. Vowing to light a lamp (that too with the intention of gaining nearness to Any Wali).

2. Lighting the lamp upon the actual grave.

3. Lighting a lamp for someone (one even without a Qabr).

The lighting of lamps (Chiraagah) at gatherings of Urs is free from these three things.

Rule – Some ignorant people light lamps at a certain tree or place thinking that a particular Saint visits the area. This is totally unsubstantiated. Yes, making ibaadat in a place where a pious person used to sit, or making ibaadat thinking that a certain area is blessed, is permissible. In fact, it is Sunnat.

Imam Bukhari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states that Hadrat Abdullah ibn Urnar used to read namaaz on the path wherever the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم sometimes performed ibaadat. At some of these places, Musjids were even built. However, some were erroneously built not at the actual places of’ Rasooullah’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم ibaadat. Hadrat Abdullah ibn Urnar es would never read namaaz in these Musjids and only perform ibaadat in the correct ones. “فلم یکن عبداللہ ابن عمر یصلی فی ذلک المسجد کان یترکہ عن یسارہ” – Bukhari Sharif, Vol. I, Kitaabus-Salaab, Baabu/-Masaajid Alatt fi Tareeqil-Madina

 


This was entirely to attain barkat. Even today some Haajis go to the Cave of Hira, wherein Rasooullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم made ibaadat for six months, to make Salaah. Therefore, performing Salaah in the ibaadat quarters of Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaaz etc, visiting and believing in them to be blessed is proven from the Sunnah of the Sahaabah.

Rule- The vow (nazar) made on the name of the Friends of Allahعزوجل is not a vow of Shariah. Rather, it is literal, i.e. a Nazaraana, or ‘tribute’. For example, if a person says to his teacher, “This is a gift (nazar) for you,” it is completely permissible. The Jurists rule that vow made on the name of the Saints when it is thought to be a vow of Shariah is Haraam. This is why they say, “Taqaruban ilaihim’ (to gain closeness to him). The vow of Shariah (Shar”i Nazar) is an act of worship and to accept it for anyone besides Allahعزوجل is without doubt infidelity (kufr).

Some say, “O Ghaus Paak رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ make dua. If my sickness is removed,

1 will cook a meal and feed it in your name.” This definitely doesn’t mean that he has taken Ghause-Azam رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ to be Allahعزوجل and that, on the gaining of health; this ibaadat will be completed for him. Rather, it means, “I will feed in charity (sadaqah) for the sake of Allahعزوجل and shall present you with whatever reward 1 attain for it.” An example of this is when someone says to his doctor, “If the sick person I brought you gains health, I shall give you R50 as a gift.” What sin is there in this? This was the very thing expressed in Shaami, “The wording of a vow (nazar) is for the worship of Allahعزوجل, and the needy who remain at the grave of the Shaikh are its recipients.” 13.36 – Kitaabus-Saum, Discussion of Amwaat

This is permissible. So, understand that this sadaqah is for Allahعزوجل its reward is a gift to the soul of the Shaikh and the recipients of this reward are the needy and attendants at the grave of the Shaikh. An example of this is that the mother of Sayyidah Maryam said, “O Allahعزوجل! Whatever child I carry in my womb! Vow (nazar) for you. The child will be dedicated to the service of Baitul­Muqaddas.” The vow was for Allahعزوجل and the recipient was Baitul-Muqaddas, “انی نذرت لک ما فی بطنی محررا” -Surah Aa/e-1mran, Verse 35

Swearing an oath on the name of other than Allahعزوجل is prohibited according to the Shariah. However, the Quran itself and the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” took oaths on other than Allahعزوجل). “والتین والزیتون و طور سینین” Surah Teen, Verses 1-2

The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has said, “Oath on his father, he has attained success.” 13.38

Meaning that an oath (qasam) on which the commands of it such as Kafaarah, etc. can be emplaced is not to be made on anyone besides Allahعزوجل. However, a literal oath, which is only to emphasize speech, is allowed. This is also the state of Nazar.

Once, a person made a vow to send oil for the lamps of Baitul-Muqaddas. The Messenger صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said to him, “Complete this vow.” Another person vowed to sacrifice a camel in a place called Bawaana. Rasooullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said, “Complete your vow if there is no idol, etc. there.” – Mishkaat, Baabu-Nuzoor

The Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم once said to someone who vowed to read Namaaz in Baitul-­Muqaddas, “Perform Salaah in the Musjid-e-Haraam.” These Ahadith prove that to emplace a restriction of a particular place or people (e.g. the needy) in vows of giving charity is permissible. Likewise, Maulwi Rashid Ahmed Gangohi writes, “If a vow (nazar) is made for the Friends of Allahعزوجل with the belief that the thawaab of the action is to reach their souls, it is correct because this is charity. However, the vow with the intention of closeness to them is Haraam.” – Fataawa Roshidia, Vol. J, Pg. 54

Some women made a vow that if the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم returned safely from the Battle of Uhud, they would beat duffs before him.” – Mishkaat, Baahu Manaaqibil-Umar

This vow was Urfi, not Shar”I (i.e. it was a tribute of happiness to the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم). In short, the word ‘Nazar’ has two meanings -, literal and Shar”i. The literal usage of it for the pious elders is permissible, just as how the word ‘Tawaaf has two meanings. Literally, it means moving around and, according to the Shariah, it means as per the Holy Quran.

“Making Tawaaf of the ancient house” 13.39 Here, the Shar’i usage of Tawaaf is meant. Allahعزوجل also states, “یطوفون بینھا و بین حمیم ان” 13.40 In this verse, the literal usage of Tawaaf is meant (i.e. to move around).

Hadrat Shah Abdul-Azeez Muhaddith Dehlwi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and Qaadhi Thanaullah Paani Patti رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ were undoubtedly pious personalities.

However, they were not Mujtahids for Makrooh-e- Tahrimi and prohibition to be proven from their opinion only. For this, a distinct proof of Shariah is needed.

Through the saying of an Aalim, permissibility and it being preferable can be proven.

Mustahab is that which the Ulama deem to be preferable. However, for Karaahat and impermissibility to be proven, a specific proof is necessary. Also, Shah Abdul-Azeez رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and Qaadhi Thanaullah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ say that the lighting of lamps (Chiraagah) and the sheets of Mazaars are Haraam, but Shaami rules the placing of sheets to not just be permissible, but preferable. Tafseer Roohul-Beyaan and the author of Hadiqaa-Nadiya also rule the lighting of lamps to be allowed and even preferable. Definitely, their ruling (of permissibility) is more worthy of acceptance.

The sayings of Shah Abdul-Azeez رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and Qaadhi Thanaullah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, necessitates that the Haramain Sharifain, especially the Rauza Sharif of Rasooullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم , are centers of Innovations (Bidats) and Haraam actions because the lighting of lamps occurs there and sheets (Ghilaafs) are used to cover. Until now, no Aalim or Faqih has stopped these actions. Therefore, they would all be either Innovators (Bidatis) or astray. How can the opinion of these two Scholars now be accepted? Accepting their verdict (fatwa) impels this.

Verily the deeming by the Ulama of the two Harams about something being good is proof of it being preferable. This is the sacred land wherein polytheism (shirk) cannot be made. A Hadith states that Shaitaan has become hopeless of the people of the Arab peninsula worshipping him. The land of Madina is the sanctuary of Islam and is safe from the Kuffaar and Mushriks. Madina takes out bad people from its land just as how the furnace of a blacksmith removes dirt from steel. This is done either immediately, after some time or after death. ­Mishkaat, Baabu Haramil-Madina

Shah Abdul-Haqq رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes. “This means that the land of Madina removes all mischief and vice, and this uniqueness will always remain.” – Jazbul-Quloob

Therefore, to label the ibaadat of the Ulama of Madina without thinking is very wrong, as well as saying that this lighting of lamps is the invention of the Turkish government. Both Imam Sayyid Nooruddin Samhoodi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and Imam alaaluddin Suyuti رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ passed away in 911 A.H. The fermer wrote the book Khulaasatul­Waf aa in the year 893 A.H. Speaking about the lighting of Madina Sharif, he رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes in it, “I do not know from when the old and silver lamps, hung around the Rauza of Rasooullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, were introduced.” 3.42 – Chapter 4, Section 16

He also رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “Imam Subuki has written a book named Tanzilus-Sakeenah alaa Qanaadeelil-Madina. In it, he states that the lamps of the Rauza Sharif are allowed. MakinB them waqf is permissible and nothing from them can be spent for the Musjid.” .43 -Ibid

Alhamdulillah, all objections of the opposition have been answered.

CONCLUSION

In some areas, people light lamps (Chiraagah) in Musjids on the night of the Quran Sharif being completed in Taraaweeh during Ramadaan. This is attacked by some Deobandis to be polytheism and Haraam, though it is merely them being far from Islam.

The decoration of Musjids is the recognition oflmaan. Under the 18th verse of Surah Tauba, Tafseer Roohul-Bayaan states that Hadrat Sulaiman علیہ السلام ordered 1,700 lamps to be lit in Baitul-Muqaddas. In the beginning, Musjidun-Nabawi used to be brightened by burning sticks of the date tree, etc. Tameem Daari later brought some lamps, oil and string to the Musjid and hung the lamps to its pillars. When the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم” saw this, he said, “Tameem! You have brightened our Musjid. May Allahعزوجل keep you bright.”

When Hadrat Umar also made Chiraagah and put up lamps, Hadrat Ali said to him, “نورت مسجدنا نور اللہ قبرک یا ابن الخطاب” Urnar, you have illuminated our Musjid. May Allahعزوجل make your grave bright.

Under the ayat, “انما یعمر مسجد اللہ من امن باللہ” Imam Fakhruddin Raazi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہwrites, ”The Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has said in a Hadith, “For he who lights a lamp in a Musjid, the angels and those holding the Arsh make dua for his forgiveness for as long as its light remains.” 13.47 – Tafseer Kabeer

Maulwi Rashid Ahmed Gangohi has accepted that in the time of Hadrat Umar, some Sahaaba saw the lamps at Baitul-Muqaddas and came to Musjidun­ Nabawi lighting many of their own. Thereafter, the king, Mamoon Rasheed, gave a general decree for many lamps to be lit in the Musjids. In short, the lighting in Musjids is the Sunnah of the Prophets, Sahaaba and general body of Islam. ­Fataawa Rashidia, Vol. J, Pg. J 12

One response to “Placing flowers and sheets on and brightening the graves”

  1. mohammed shakeer says:

    Masha allah good explanation

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