Prayer Time

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5- Sheikh Salih bin Abdulazeez Aal Sheikh:

He has a study on this matter published in his books and audio tapes. Part of his statements in this regard is mentioned in his book (introduction to the commentary on the book of Tauheed) while discussing the hadith narrated by Aisha that the Prophet-peace be upon him-said: “may the Jews be cursed for taking the graves of their pious ones as places of worship”. Aisha said: if not for this his grave would have been brought out but for the fear of it being taken as a place of worship.

The sheikh said: the companions-may Allah have mercy upon them- accepted the advice of the prophet and acted upon it. So they buried him in the place he died, in the room of Aisha. She had built a wall between her and the grave so her room was divided into two.

Likewise, when Abubakar died-may Allah have mercy on him-he was buried after the Prophet from the northern side of the room and then Umar died and was buried there too. Then the room was locked and there was no entrance door to the room rather, there was a small window.

When the mosque of the Prophet was expanded during the time of Waleed bin Abdulmalik, Umar Bin Abdulazeez was the Ameer of Madinah at the time, the rooms of the other wives of the prophet were taken by the expansion except that of Aisha where the Prophet was buried. So, they took some space from the Raudha and constructed another wall in a triangular shape round the room. So, there were now two walls. The first is the wall of the room of Aisha which is locked and has no entrance. The second was the new wall built by Umar bin Abdulazeez which is triangular with the arrow head facing opposite the Qibla. Then, after some years a third wall was built around the second one which was the wall Ibn Qayim referred to in him poem of Nuniyya.

So, the grave of the Prophet is surrounded by three walls each of which has no entrance door. The green dome is on the third wall and nobody can have direct access to the grave or see it, and thereafter, an iron fence was erected over the third wall.

In summary, the Muslims worked with the advice of the Prophet hence, they made his grave distant so that nobody can reach it directly. That was why when the people of innovation came during the Ottoman Empire; they opened a passage in the eastern part of the expansion so that whoever wants to do tawaf round the grave or pray in the area will be able to do so. However, during the First Empire of King Saud it was prohibited because it was given the ruling of a grave for if it was taken as a mosque they have no right to prohibit people from praying in a mosque. Hence, it is not possible for anybody to pray there because it is locked but they usually open it for people to pass during salam or during visitation.

With this it is clear that the grave of the Prophet has not been taken as a place of worship. Rather, the rooms were included in the mosque as a result of the expansion during the time of the tabi’un (those who came after the companions) but its position is eastern, outside the mosque. Thus, it is like something that entered into the mosque but the walls-which are the four walls that separate the grave from the mosque-, prevent the grave from being inside the mosque.

One of the things that show that the companions and those who came after them took to the advice of the Prophet-peace be upon him- and blocked ways leading to polytheism and that they did not take his grave as a mosque is that they took three meters of land from the raudha (garden) which the Prophet described as one of the gardens of paradise to build the second and third walls of the grave, and they also took more than three meters to build the iron fence round it. So, this is among the greatest application and practice of the advice of the prophet because they made it permissible to take part of the raudha and mosque in other to protect the grave of the Prophet from being taken as mosque. This shows the high level of understanding of those who carried out this work. Thus, the separation of the grave from the mosque in this manner is a mercy from Allah upon this ummah and an acceptance of the supplications of the Prophet when he prayed that Allah should not make his grave to be an idol that is worshiped.

Therefore, the hadith if the prophet that: “cursed are the Jews and the Christians because they took the grave of their pious ones as places of worship” does not apply to the Prophet’s grave because it was not taken as a place of worship.

What is present today in the Prophet’s mosque may look like a grave in the mosque but it is actually not so because of the walls erected to separate between the mosque and the grave, and also because the eastern part is not part of the mosque and that was why the last expansion started from the northern part after the end of the room by far so that the room will not be in the middle of the mosque.

The essence of this explanation is that the grave of the Prophet was not taken as a place of worship and that his advice in warning against it was adhered to in his mosque and grave but some people in this ummah have contradicted it in the graves of some pious people. Hence, they took the graves of some members of his household as places of worship. (Introduction to the commentary on the book of tauheed pg: 259-264)

Finally, I ask Allah to guide us on the right path in all our affairs.



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