When visiting the Prophet’s Mosque, I noticed that some people touch the walls of the Prophet’s hujrah (chamber), and some of them stand as if they are praying facing it, so you see them putting their hands on their chests and facing the grave. Is what they do correct?.
We have already described the etiquette for visiting the Mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the question # 36863 . Some of the haraam things that some visitors do, to which attention should be drawn, include the following:
Praying (making du’aa’) to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or calling him, or seeking his help, as some of them say, “O Messenger of Allaah, heal my sick loved one; O Messenger of Allaah, pay off my debt; you are the means, you are the fulfillment of my need,” and other words which imply shirk and which are the opposite of Tawheed which is the right of Allaah over His slave.
Standing before the grave in a posture of prayer, placing the right hand on top of the left over one's chest or below it. This is a haraam action, because this is a posture of humility and worship which we are only permitted to do for Allaah.
Bowing or prostrating at the grave, which is actions we are only permitted to do for Allaah. It was narrated that Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “It is not appropriate for a human being to bow to another.” Narrated by Ahmad, 3/158; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1936, 1937; Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 3/158.
Praying to Allaah at the grave, or believing that du’aa’ offered at the grave will be answered. This is a haraam action because it is something that may lead to shirk. If du’aa’s offered at graves or at the grave of the Prophet were better and more correct and more beloved to Allaah, then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have encouraged us to do that, because he did not leave anything that will bring us close to Paradise but he urged his ummah to do it. Because he did not do that, we know that it is an action that is not prescribed in sharee’ah, and it is an action that is haraam and forbidden. Abu Ya’la and al-Haafiz al-Diya’ narrated in al-Mukhtaarah that ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him) saw a man entering through a gap at the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and making du’aa’. He told him not to do that and said, “Shall I not tell you a hadeeth that I heard from my father from my grandfather from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? ‘Do not take my grave as a place of festivity (which you visit repeatedly) and do not take your houses as graves. Send blessings upon me for your greeting will reach me no matter where you are.’” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2042; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 1796.
Some of those who are unable to go to Madeenah send their salaams to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with some visitors, some of whom stand and convey these salaams. This is an innovated action that has been made up. Those who send salaams and those who convey them should refrain from doing so, because there is no need for that, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Send blessings upon me for your greeting will reach me no matter where you are.”
And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has angels on earth who travel around conveying to me the salaams of my ummah.” Narrated by Ahmad, 1/441; al-Nasaa’i, 1282; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2170.
Repeatedly visiting his grave and going there a great deal, such as visiting after every obligatory prayer, or every day after a specific prayer. This is going against the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Do not take my grave as a place of festivity (which you visit repeatedly).” Ibn Hajar al-Haythami said in Sharh al-Mishkaat: “Eid (translated here as “a place of festivity) is the name of one of the festivals, and it was said that it means returning and repeating, until it becomes a habit [‘aadah]. What is meant is: do not make my grave a place to which you have the habit of coming back repeatedly and often. Hence he said, ‘Send blessings upon me for your greeting will reach me no matter where you are,’ because that is sufficient and there is no need to visit his grave frequently.”
In the book al-Jaami’ li’l-Bayaan by Ibn Rushd it says: “Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a stranger who comes to the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) each day. He said, ‘That is not right,’ and quoted the hadeeth, ‘O Allaah, do not make my grave an idol that is worshipped.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Tahdheer al-Saajid min Ittikhaadh al-Quboor Masaajid, p. 24-26.
Ibn Rushd said: “So he regarded it as makrooh to pass by it a great deal to send salaam on him, and to come there every day, lest the grave become like a mosque to which people come every day to pray. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade that when he said, ‘O Allaah, do not make my mosque an idol.’” See al-Bayaan wa’l-Tahseel by Ibn Rushd, 18/444-445.
Al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad was asked about people of Madeenah who stand by the grave one or more times a day, and they send salaams and make du’aa’ for a while. He said, “I have not heard of this from any of the fuqaha’, and nothing is good for the latter generations of this ummah except that which was good for its first generations. I have not heard that any of the first generations of the ummah used to do that.” Al-Shifa bi Ta’reef Huqooq al-Mustafa, 2/676.
Turning to face the grave from all sides of the mosque, or turning to face it whenever one enters the mosque or finishes a prayer, and putting one's hands on one's sides and inclining the head when sending salaams upon him, All of these are widespread and well-known innovations (bid’ah) which go against sharee’ah.
Fear Allaah, O slaves of Allaah, and beware of all innovations and actions that go against sharee’ah. Beware of whims and desires and blind imitation, and follow true guidance. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Is he who is on a clear proof from his Lord, like those for whom their evil deeds that they do are beautified for them, while they follow their own lusts (evil desires)?”
We ask Allaah to guide us and help us to guide others, and to follow the Sunnah of the greatest of the Messengers.