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34561: Salutations at graves


What are the salutations done at graves? Is there any difference in greeting the Prophets and Martyrs at graves?
Is it right to say As-salamu ^alaykum ya rasula Allah' on Prophet’s grave and Asslam-o-Alaikum ya Ahlol Quboor at the entrance of the graveyard or Does it count as Shirk?

Praise be to Allaah.  

Visiting graves is mustahabb for men, because according to the hadeeth of Buraydah ibn al-Husayb, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I used to forbid you to visit graves, but now visit them.” (Narrated by Muslim, 977). According to another report, “… for they will remind you of the Hereafter.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 1240; Ibn Maajah, 1569; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh ibn Maajah). 

When visiting the graves it is mustahabb to greet the occupants of the graves with salaam and to make du’aa’ for them saying the words that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach his companions. It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “O Messenger of Allaah, what should I say to them (i.e., to the occupants of the graves)?” He said, “Say: Al-salaamu ‘ala ahl il-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, wa yarham Allaah al-mustaqdimeena minna wa’l-musta’khireen, wa innaa in sha Allaah bikum la laahiqoon (Peace be upon the inhabitants of the graves, believers and Muslims. May Allaah have mercy upon those who have gone ahead of us and those who come later on, and verily we will, in sha Allaah, join you).” Narrated by Muslim, 974. 

It was narrated from Buraydah ibn al-Husayb (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach them, when they went out to the graveyard, to say: “Al-salaamu ‘alaykum ahl al-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, wa inna in sha Allaah lalaahiqoon. As’al Allaah lana wa lakum al-‘aafiyah (Peace be upon you, O inhabitants of the graves, believers and Muslims. Verily we will, in sha Allaah, join you. I ask Allaah for well-being for us and for you).”” 

With regard to the graves of the Sahaabah, he should say the same du’aa’s as described above; there is no special du’aa’ for that. 

With regard to visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his two companions Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them), what was narrated from the Sahaabah is to greet them with salaam. Ibn ‘Umar used to say, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Rasool-Allaah, al-salaam ‘alayka ya Aba Bakr, al-salaamu ‘alayka ya abati (O my father),” then he would go away. This was classed as saheeh by al-Haafiz ibn Hajar. 

Some of the scholars added to that: “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya kheerat Allaah min khalqihi, al-salaamu ‘alayka ya sayyid al-mursaleen, ash-hadu annaka ballaghta al-risaalah (Peace be upon you, whom Allaah chose from among His creation; peace be upon you O leader of the Messengers, I bear witness that you indeed conveyed the message).” 

See al-Adhkaar by al-Nawawi, p. 174; al-Mughni, 5/466 

Al-Tabari said: If the visitor says the above longer version, there is nothing wrong with that, but following the example (of the Sahaabah) is better, i.e., limiting oneself to what was narrated from the Sahaabah is better. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Manaasik al-Hajj wa’l-‘Umrah: After (the pilgrim) prays upon arrival in the Prophet’s Mosque as much as Allaah wills he should pray, he should go and send salaams upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his two companions Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them). 

1 – He should stand in front of the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), facing the grave and with his back towards the qiblah, and say, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ayyuha’l-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu (Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy and blessings of Allaah).” If he wants to add something appropriate there is nothing wrong with that, such as saying, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya khaleel-Allaah wa ameenahu ‘ala waheehi wa kheeratahu min khalqihi, ash-hadu annaka qad ballaghta al-risaalah wa addayta al-amaanah wa nasahta al-ummah wa jaahadta fi Allaahi haqqa jihaadihi (Peace be upon you, O close friend of Allaah, the one with whom He entrusted His revelation and the one whom He chose from among His creation. I bear witness that you conveyed the message, fulfilled the trust, sincerely advised the ummah and strove with all your might for the sake of Allaah). 

But if he limits himself to the first salutation, that is good. Ibn ‘Umar used to say “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Rasool-Allaah, al-salaam ‘alayka ya Aba Bakr, al-salaamu ‘alayka ya abati (O my father),” then he would go away 

2 – Then he should take one step to his right so that he is in front of Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) and say, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Aba Bakr, al-salaamu ‘alayka ya khaleefat Rasool-illaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fi ummatihi, radiya Allaahu ‘anka wa jazaaka ‘an ummati Muhammadin khayran (Peace be upon you, O Abu Bakr, peace be upon you O successor of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in his ummah, may Allaah be pleased with you and reward you with good on behalf of Muhammad).” 

3 – Then he should take one step to his right so that he is in front of ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) and say, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya ‘Umar, al-salaamu ‘alayka ya ameer al-mu’mineen, radiya Allaahu ‘anka wa jazaaka ‘an ummati Muhammadin khayran (Peace be upon you, O ‘Umar, peace be upon you, O leader of the believers, may Allaah be pleased with you and reward you with good on behalf of Muhammad).  

But he should send salaams upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his two companions with proper etiquette and in a low voice, for raising the voice in the mosque is forbidden, especially in the Mosque of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and at his grave. 

Manaasik al-Hajj wa’l-‘Umrah wa’l-Mashroo’ fi’l-Ziyaarah, p. 107, 108 

If a person says “al-salaamu ‘alayum” when visiting graves, and says, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Rasool-Allaah” when visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), this is not considered to be shirk, because it is not a prayer to the dead or seeking their help. Rather it is du’aa’ for them, praying that Allaah may keep them safe from all the dangers that a person may encounter after death, such as the torment of the grave, the resurrection, the reckoning and the horrors of the Hereafter. 

We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound in this world and in the Hereafter.

And Allaah knows best. 

See Zaad al-Mustanqi’, 5/473; Ashraat al-Saa’ah by Dr. Yoosuf al-Waabil, p. 337.

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