Essay on Pilgrimage to the Prophet Muhammad’s Grave

Essay on Pilgrimage to the Prophet Muhammad’s Grave

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The Prophet Muhammad died in 632 CE. He was believed to be the Seal of the Prophets, meaning the last prophet; therefore his grave is a very sacred place (A Concise Introduction to World religions, 210-215). Visiting the Prophet’s grave is a controversial issue. Scholars have different perspectives on traveling to his grave, each based on the Islamic Law, shari’ah. Al-Nawawi and Bin Baz each have differing yet similar rulings on the proper way of Pilgrimaging to the Prophets place of burial.
Abd al-Aziz Bin Baz has a very specific set of circumstances on visiting the Prophet Muhammad’s grave. He suggests that someone may not visit Medina with the sole purpose of seeing his grave. Bin Baz explicitly states: “It is not permissible to travel to Madina with the intention of visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or the grave of other people”. Bin Baz bases his theory on the hadith where Muhammad says that no one should journey to anyplace besides the three major Mosques (the Sacred Mosque in Mecca, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, and the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem). With this being said, it is still possible to see the Prophets burial site. It is allowed for someone to travel to Medina with the intent on praying within the Prophet’s Mosque, during this visit they may also see Muhammad’s grave. The hadith even recommends visiting the grave, but it also suggests visiting the graves of Abu Bakr and Umar (Fatawa of Shaykh Abdulaziz b. Baz Volume 8).
Shaykh Muhi al-Din al-Nawawi has a similar approach in that one can visit the grave of the Prophet during Hajj. Al-Nawawi writes that everyone should see Muhammad’s grave, but they should do so as they are leaving. “When they leave Mecca, they should go towards the city of God’...

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...would speak to another person. Bin Baz also says not to stand for long periods of time at the graves. This is to reduce crowding around the Prophet’s grave. He also frowns upon exercises such as: “putting the right hand over the left hand, over or under chest, as if performing salah”. Bin Baz states that this would express submission, and submission must only be directed towards God (Fatawa of Shaykh Abdulaziz b. Baz Volume 16).
Visiting Muhammad’s grave can be a very special moment for Muslims. But one must take some precaution when doing so. They would not want to offend the Prophet himself, even God. Steps must be taken to prevent this, although it can be a little unclear. There are different views to this, neither is right nor wrong. In the end all one can do is go by their own interpretation of hadiths, or the writing of scholars who have studied these hadiths.

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