Resting in Peace Part 2: Burial in the Prophetic Chamber

Salam

Summary

A common misunderstanding is that burial of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in the room of Sayyidah Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) is from the special prophetic qualities (khasais al-nubuwwah) which do not apply to others.  Scholars have argued that this in incorrect as Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, Sayyiduna Umar (Allah be pleased with them) are also buried alongside the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).  Likewise Sayyidah Aishah initially wished to also be buried in the room as did Imam Hasan (Peace be upon him).

Sayyidah Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) would offer her prayers in the room containing the graves without any barrier between her and the noble graves, and on Fridays when space ran out in the masjid people would pray in the room containing the noble graves.

The details are furnished below:

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The Companions Did Not Think it Unlawful to Bury in the Masjid itself

After the passing away of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) the prominent companions (Allah be pleased with them) differed over where he should be buried. Some said he should be buried in the masjid itself by the pulpit (minbar) or in the prayer area. Some said he should be buried alongside the other companions in al-Baqi; this was detailed by Imam Malik in al-Muwatta (1/231) and Hafiz Ibn Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhid (24/394).

The narration related to the where the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is currently buried is well known and does not require citing. What is important to note is that the initial difference regarding the specification of the burial location indicates that all of these locations were regarded as lawful places for burial, though agreement was finally reached on the current location.

The Burial of Non Prophets in the Prophetic Burial Chamber
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was buried in his room, after which his two companions were buried, after which Hasan was also given permission to buried there.  Burial in this location was also as the desire of Abd al-Rahman bin Awf and Aishah (Allah be pleased with them), all of which is a clear proof of the permissibility of burial in a building with a roof and building around a grave after burial. This is also negates the claims of those who state that burial in a building is  from the special unique qualities (khasais) of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

It is also authentically reported that Sayyiduna Isa Ibn Maryam (Upon him be peace) will be buried in the room of Sayyidah Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) as detailed by Shaykh Abdullah bin al-Siddiq al-Ghumari in his two works Iqamat al-Burhan and Aqidah Ahl al-Islam.

Allamah al-Sayyid al-Samhudi in Wafa al-Wafa (2/557) said

There remains adjacent to the noble graves the space for one grave. This supported by that which is narrated by Aishah (Allah be pleased with her)…her granting permission to Hasan bin Ali (upon him be peace) to be buried in the room. However Bani Umayyah prevented the burial.
Likewise that which is related in Sahih al-Bukhari from Hisham bin Urwah that Aishah instructed Abdullah bin al-Zubair: ‘Do not bury me with them’ [meaning the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his two companions] rather bury me with the companions of al-Baqi…
Al-Ismaili related this and cited the additional wording: ‘There was the space of a grave in her house’, however in the Sahih it is mentioned that Umar bin al-Khattab when he sent the message to Aisha requesting to be buried alongside the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and Abu Bakr, she replied: I had wanted it for myself, however today I give others preference to it over myself.

Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s Confirmation of the Above

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said in his Fath al-Bari (3/233)

The majority of scholars hold the view of the permissibilty of burial within buildings. Yazid bin Abdullah bin al-Shakhir instructed that he buried in his home, and he was buried there. Hasan attended his funeral and no one condemned this.

Sayyidah Aishah’s Offering Prayer in the Prophetic Chamber

For the duration that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and then Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) were buried in the room of Sayyidah Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) she would offer prayer in the room next to the noble grave. However when Sayydina Umar (Allah be pleased with him) was buried in the room she had a wall constructed between her and the graves, or would fully cover herself.

There are a couple of differing narrations detailing this in the Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d (2/294) the strongest of them being the following

Saeed bin Sulaiman informed us saying Abd al-Rahman bin Uthman bin Ibrahim informed us saying, I heard my father mention: Aishah would open her hijab up to the time when her father was buried alongside the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). When Umar was buried there she covered up fully and did not untie her hijab.

This is supported by that which is mentioned by Ibn Zabalah (as cited by Ibn Asakir in his Tuhfah p.224) that

Ismail bin Ubaydullah narrated to me from his father from Amrah from Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) that she said: I used to remove my hijab and wear my normal clothing until Umar was buried [in the room]. I then was always carefully observed my clothing until a wall was built between me and the graves.

Friday Prayer in the Prophetic Chamber Due to Lack of Space

When there was no space in the masjid people would enter the rooms of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and offer prayer therein.  Ibn Shabbah said in Tarikh al-Madinah (as cited by Ibn Najjar p.152 and Ibn Taymiyyah in Rad ala al-Akhnai p.121)

Al-Qanabi and Abu Ghassan narrated to me from Malik that: People would enter the rooms of the wives of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to pray therein on Fridays. This was after the passing away of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), this was when there was no space in the masjid.

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And tawfiq is from Allah (Most High) alone, salutations and peace be upon the Prophet, his companions, mothers of the believers and those that follow them with goodness till the last day.

Resting in Peace Part 1: What Does Taking a Grave as a Masjid Mean?

Salam

Many people have been shocked at the behaviour of the violent thugs in Libya and their desecration of the Maqams of pious Muslims not least a companion of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).  There seems to be a fair amount of misinformation circulating amongst Muslims regarding the common phenomenon of masajid which are built adjacent to the graves of the pious, or include a grave within their complex.  The worrying effect of this misinformation is the tacit approval from certain scholars, people of authority (politicians) and lay people alike for the destruction of these graves, and more alarmingly the digging out of the graves and transferring of remains.

I hope to be able to post a range of different information correcting misunderstandings from the work Kashf al-Satoor (inshAllah); but due to time commitments am not sure whether this will be possible.  We ask Allah (Most High) for tawfiq to do so.  Please find the first installment below:

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A common misunderstanding is that the hadith which prohibit taking the graves of the Prophets as a masjid mean that any grave within a masjid complex or adjacent to the main prayer hall are prohibited.  Our ulema who commented on this explained that this is not the meaning of the hadith, rather what is meant is that the actual grave itself is prostrated upon or that people offer their prayer in direction of the grave as opposed to the direction of Makka.

The hadith as related by Imam Al-Bukhari (435)  & Muslim (531) is as follows:

The Messenger of of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said in his final illness, “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians who took the graves of their Prophets as masajid.”

Explanation

Masajid is the plural of masjid, which is the name of a physical place/location.  The hadith is referring to the actual place of the grave itself and is not referring to that which surrounds the grave, is adjacent to the grave, or is above the grave.

Allamah Ali al-Qari said in his Sharh al-Mishkat (1/470)

They made masajid upon them.  He said: the conditional clause [upon them] indicates that making a masjid adjacent to graves is permitted [la ba’s bihi].

Ibn Abd al-Barr said in Al-Tamhid (6/383)

This hadith contains the permissibility of supplicating against the people of disbelief, the prohibition of prostrating upon the graves of the Prophets.  This includes that it is prohibited to prostrate to anyone other than Allah (Azza wa Jall).  The hadith can be interpreted to mean that the graves of the Prophets are not taken as a qibla (direction of prayer) to which prayers are directed…A group claimed that this hadith is evidence that it is disliked to pray in a graveyard or with a graveyard in front of one, however I do not regard this to be a proof for this.

Ibn Abd al-Barr said at another place in Al-Tamhid (5/45)

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)  warned his companions and the rest of his community of the bad practices of the nations which had preceded him, who would offer prayer to the graves of the Prophets, taking them as a qibla and masjid (place of prostration).

Allamah al-Baydawi said:

When the Jews and Christians had prostrated to the graves of their Prophets out of honouring them and making them a qibla to which they would direct their prayers, taking them as idols.

Allamah al-Tibi said in Sharh al-Mishkat (2/235)

As for the person who makes a masjid adjacent to [the grave of] a pious person or prays in his cemetry, intending by it istizhar of his soul, or attaining a trace from his worship, not out of honouring or facing the direction of the grave and its like, then there is no harm in this.  Do you not see that the resting place of Ismail (Upon him be peace) is in the Masjid al-Haram at the Hateem?

Similar points were mentioned by Qadi Iyad in Ikmal al-Muallim (2/450-452); Imam al-Nawawi in Sharh Sahih Muslim (3/17); Imam al-Qurtubi in al-Mufhim (2/128) and al-Turbushti in Mirat Sharh al-Mishkat (2/419).

Wassalam