Grave Worship


We have seen in previous articles how the Shia believe that the Imams are infallible and posses many attributes of Allah. But the Shia don’t stop there; they have taken it to the next level. The Shia have erected shrines over the graves of their Imams. Millions of Shia from all over the world visit these shrines in Iran and Iraq to pray in them.

The Ahlus Sunnah is stunned by this pagan practise of creating shrines and grave-worshipping. The Shia will argue that they really aren’t praying to the deceased, but that really doesn’t make any sense. Why then do they travel all the way to Iran to do prayer? Surely they believe there is some benefit of praying next to the body of a deceased Imam? Otherwise, why would they come from so far to do it?

Shrines are completely Haram (forbidden) in Islam because they are paganistic and polythiestic in nature. Historically, Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) destroyed all the shrines in Mecca. This point cannot be stressed enough: the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) shed blood of the Sahabah in order that Mecca be cleansed of shrines, and this was one of the Prophet’s first legislative acts after the Muslims conquered Mecca. How is it that the Shia do not realize that what they are doing is completely antithetical to the entire mission of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) who was sent to guide a shrine-worshipping people?

The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) repeatedly condemned grave-worshipping in the authentic Hadith:

“Beware of those who preceded you and used to take the graves of their prophets and righteous men as places of worship, but you must not take graves as mosques; I forbid you to do that.” (Sahih Muslim)

“May Allah’s curse be on the Jews for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets.” (Sahih Bukhari)

“May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets.” (Sahih Bukhari)

“If any religious man dies amongst those people they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it. They will be the worst creature in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Bukhari)

“Do not sit on the graves and do not pray facing towards them.” (Sahih Bukhari)

The first time in human history that people commited the sin of idol-worship was around the time of Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام). A very pious man passed away. Shaytan whispered in the ears of the tonwnspeople: he urged them never to forget this pious man lest the townspeople abandon his example and be lost to sin. Once Shaytan had convinced them of the necessity to revere the memory of this pious dead man, he then then convinced them to erect a shrine over the grave of this man. Eventually, the people started praying in the shrine, and soon thereafter Shaytan convinced them to pray to the deceased man.

It was in this step by step fashion that Shaytan was able to misguide people into Shirk. He convinced them that they were doing a good thing by respecting a pious man, and he allowed them to add one Bidah (evil innovation) after another, infusing polythiestic practise in their belief. Likewise do the Shia believe that they are being pious by visiting shrines but in reality they have been fooled by Shaytan.

Of course, the Shia will make the futile argument that they really aren’t praying to the deceased person. It just so happens that they pray next to the grave and supplicate. Indeed, this argument sounds very similar to what modern-day Hindus claim. Hindus say that they don’t really worship the idol itself, that they really are worshipping God, and that they are just facing the idol. We see there is very little difference between what the Shia say and what the Hindus say.

The Islamic ethos deplores all idol-worshipping and is very strict in forbidding it. There is absolutely no point in praying next to someone’s grave. There is no benefit in it, and grave-worship is considered a grave sin (no pun intended). It is Shirk, and no matter what the intention is, it is still praying to the creation instead of the Creator. We urge any Shia reading this to immediately cease engaging in idol-worshipping. If a Muslim wants to “pay his respects” to a religious person of old, the best way to do that is to be an upright Muslim: to read Quran, to pray Salat, to give Zakat, to make Hajj, and to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم). The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) does not want anyone to commit Shirk to him. Ali (رضّى الله عنه) does not want anyone to commit Shirk to him. Neither would any pious person ever want someone to use them to commit Shirk. The pious Muslims of the past would only want the Muslims of today to also be pious.

It is polythiestic the manner in which the Shia go to their shrines and cry next to them, rub them, and pray to them. It is Shirk reminscent of the Jahiliyyah times when the pagan Arabs used to do this. Tawheedullah (the Unity and Oneness of Allah) is the central tenet of Islam, and the Shia are guilty of violating this core belief by engaging in Shirk, which is the absolute major sin in Islam. The main emphasis in Islam is to stay away from Shirk, and yet the Shia embrace practises and customs that foster Shirk.

Article Written By: Ibn al-Hashimi, | Email : ahlelbayt[a] | English Version