Volume - V / CHAPTER - 2 / LESSON NO: 16
VISITING GRAVES AND CONVEYING REWARD OF VIRTUES
Q 1: What injunction is there for visiting graves?
A. Visiting graves is permissible and commendable act and even proved by the Holy Prophet who himself used to visit the martyrs of "Uhd" battle and pray for them. The Holy Prophet asked the believers to visit the graves as they disenchant them with the world and remind them of the next.
Q 2: What is the accepted method of visiting graves?
A. The one who wants to visit graves should better offer two Rak'at Nafl prayer at home before going to in which he should recite "Ayatul Kursi" once and "Surah Ikhlaas" twice after "Surah Faateha" in every Rak'at and then convey its "Sawaab"(reward) to the dead. Allah Almighty will create "Noor" (light) in the grave of the deceased person and grant a great reward to both the reciter and the dead. Now he should proceed to the graveyard without indulging in frivolous or worldly talks on way to; enter the graveyard taking off shoes; reach the head side of the dead passing the foot side and stand with his back towards the Qiblah, reaching the grave from the head side causes inconvenience to the dead as it has to turn his face to see the visitor and then recite:
"Assalaamu 'Alaiekum Yaa Ahlal Quboor. Yaghfirul Laahu Lanaa walakum wa Antum Lanaa Salafunaa wa Nahnu Bil Isr"
or say thus:
"Assalaamu Alaiekum Ahla Daari Qaomim Mu'mineena Antum Lanaa Salafun wa Innaa Inshaa-Allahu Bikum Laa-hiqoon".
And recite Surah Faateha, Ayatul Kursi, Surah Zilzaal and Surah Takaasur, Surah Mulk and other Surahs can also be recited, and then convey the reward of these Surahs and Ayats to all Muslim dead.
In case, he wants to sit beside the grave, he should sit at such a distance, near or far, as he used to or could in his/her lifetime.
Q 3: Which day and time are better to visit graves?
A. Four days i.e. Monday, Thursday, Jumu'ah and Saturday are better to visit graves. On Friday, it is better to visit the graves before Jumu'ah prayer. On Saturday, upto the sun-rise. And on Thursday, in the early hours of the day and some religious scholars say in the late hours. Visiting graves in the sacred nights like 15th night of Sha'baan and 27th night of Ramadaan (Qadr night) and on Eids' days and the first ten days of Zil-Hijj is also better. It is permissible to undertake journey to visit the shrines of Allah's saints who benefit their visitors. The visitors get divine bounties and favours too. It is impermissible for woman to visit graves or shrines. Men should forbid them to do so.
Q 4: Is it lawful or not to convey "Sawaab" to the dead on third, tenth, fortieth day after death or after six months or to observe death anniversary?
A. According to our, Ahle Sunnats', creed the "Sawaab" (reward) of every virtuous deed and worship done by money or by the body irrespective of "Fard", "Nafl" and charity can be conveyed to the dead persons and there is no doubt in it that conveying of reward of good deeds and worship by the living ones benefit the dead. As for "Teejah", "Daswaan", "Chaalees waan", "Shish-Maahee" and "Barsee" (conveying of "Sawaab" on 3rd, 10th and 40th day after death or after six months or on death anniversary), it is clarified that such determination of days is neither "Shar'i" nor considered to be Shar'i. Nobody knows that the reward of virtuous deeds and worship reaches the dead only on these days and does not on other days. These things are ritual and now common among people for their own facilitation. The process of the recitation of Holy Quran and charity is begun soon after death in most of Muslim families and continued for long. Therefore, it can not be said that some people consider it impermissible to convey reward to the dead on other days than the determined days. In brief, "Teejah" and "Chaalees waan" etc. are a means of "Esaal-e-Sawaab" (conveying the reward of virtuous deeds to the dead) which is quite lawful. However, it must be noted that every virtuous deed is done with good intention sans any pomp and show otherwise it will yield no reward but may incur sin in some cases. For example, some people borrow money even on interest for such ceremonies just to keep their head high and look proud in their families and communities which is in no way lawful but a sinful act.
Some people arrange feast for their relatives on such occasions which is also wrong. Such ceremonies must be exclusively held to feed the poor and indigent people so that the reward thereof reaches the dead.
Influential people must reform their respective families and communities in this respect.
Q 5: Can the rich eat food of saints' "Neyaaz"?
A. ("Neyaaz" is a Persian word which means distribution of food, sweets to convey reward thereof to saints). The food of the saints' Neyaaz is not only lawful but also rewarding one.
"Koonday" (a ritual feast in "Rajab" the 7th month of the Muslim year), milk syrup and "Khichraa" (cooked mixture of wheat, barley, pulses, spices, salt, meat etc.) in Muharram, "Faateha"(recitation of Quranic chapters or verses on food or sweets) of Hadrat Saieyyidinaa Ghous-e-'Azam (may Allah be pleased with him) on 11lth of Rabi-ul Aakhir and of Hadrat Khowaja Ghareeb Nawaaz (may Allah's mercy be on him) and likewise "Toshah"(a particular sweet dish made of granulated wheat, flour, sugar, ghee, dry fruits etc.) of Hadrat Ghous-e-'Azam and "Toshah" of Hadrat Shaikh Abdul Haq Rudulvi are being arranged/held by the Mulsims for centuries. All these things are prevalent among common men, elites, religious scholars and savants alike and are arranged specially. The rich also attend such gatherings,ceremonies with religious fervour and solemnity and eat food,sweets thereby to earn Divine blessings and bounties.
Q 6: Is "Faateha" permissible or not for other dead in Muharram than the martyrs of "Kerbala"?
A. "Faateha" for other dead than the martyrs of "Kerbala" (a place in Iraq where Hadrat Imaam Husain was martyred) can be done in Muharram as is done in other days. This is a wrong notion that Faateha of other dead can not be made in Muharram.
Q 7: Is "Urs" of saints, savants permissible or not?
A. "Urs" (death anniversary) of the saints,savants which is held every year on their death day i.e. people gather on that date, recite the Holy Quran, remember Allah, distribute "Khair Khairaat" (charity) or hold "Meelaad Shareef gathering is permissible. Such good and charitable works which are lawful in other days are also permissible in "Urs" days.
Visiting shrines of the saints earn the believers auspiciousness and blessings. As for those things,acts which are opposed to Shari'ah are unlawful in every instance and near the saints' shrines are even unlawful.