Um Habiba and Um Salama mentioned about a church they had seen in Ethiopia in which there were pictures. They told the Prophet about it, on which he said, “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, Volume 1, The Book of Prayer (08), Hadeeth No. 420]
Um Salama told Allah’s Apostle about a church which she had seen in Ethiopia and which was called Mariya. She told him about the pictures which she had seen in it. Allah’s Apostle said, “If any righteous pious man dies amongst them, they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it; they are the worst creatures in the sight of Allah.
[Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, The Book of Prayer (08), Hadeeth No. 427]
‘A’isha and Abdullah reported:
As the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) was about to breathe his last, he drew his sheet upon his face and when he felt uneasy, he uncovered his face and said in that very state: Let there be curse upon the Jews and the Christians that they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship. He in fact warned (his men) against what they (the Jews and the Christians) did.
[Sahih Muslim, The Book of Prayer (04), Chapter: Forbiddance to build mosques on the graves and decorating them with pictures and forbiddance to use the graves as mosques, No. 1082]
I heard from the Prophet of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) five days before his death and he said: I stand acquitted before Allaah that I took any one of you as friend, for Allaah has taken me as His friend, as he took Ibrahim as His friend. Had I taken any one of my Ummah as a friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr as a friend.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, The Book of Prayer (04), Chapter: Forbiddance to build mosques on the graves and decorating them with pictures and forbiddance to use the graves as mosques, No. 1083]
The Prophet sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“This ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of which will be in the Hellfire, except for one.” They asked: “And which is that sect?” He, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “(The ones that adhere to) That which I and my Companions are upon today.”
[At-Tabaraanee in his Mu’jam-us-Sagheer (no. 724)]
The Prophet Muhammad sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam clearly forbade taking graves as places of worship and this was what he was upon. We base our creed upon the teachings of Islaam from the sources of Islaam, not from the opinions of certain individuals (no matter how knowledgeable they were/are) or the actions of people, or erroneous justifications for actions (such as the type of Tawassul which is not permitted), or exaggerations in certain affairs such as “the awliya having special capabilities”, for committing acts of Shirk, that go contrary to these sources and clear established texts. The Sahaba (radiAllahu ‘anhum) loved Prophet Muhammad sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – who was their Imaam, teacher and guide – better than any of us, yet there is no authentic narration that any of the Sahaba used to go to his grave and invoke or supplicate to him for a request or a need to be fulfilled, whether that be to remove some harm or bring about some benefit, or other than that. This is because they knew full well that they were commanded to invoke Allah directly and not to take anyone (no matter his status or rank) as an intermediary or intecessor. This was what the Sahaba were upon. And those who strictly follow what Muhammad sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Sahaba were upon are the Firqatun-Najiyah.
Abu Bakr (radiAllahu ‘anhu) famously stated as recorded in Sahih Bukhari:
“No doubt! Whoever worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die.” Then he recited Allah’s Statement: “(O Muhammad) Verily you will die, and they also will die.” (39.30) He also recited:
“Muhammad is no more than an Apostle; and indeed many Apostles have passed away, before him, If he dies Or is killed, will you then Turn back on your heels? And he who turns back On his heels, not the least Harm will he do to Allah And Allah will give reward to those Who are grateful.” (3.144)
Also bear in mind, dear reader:
“Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. single out Allaah alone for all worship, follow the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”” [Surah Aali-Imran (3): 31]
Those who truly love Allaah are not the ones who partake in various Bid’ah (innovations in the Religion) claiming that this is showing their utmost love for the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم, under the pretence of “Bid’ah Hasanah (good innovation)”, but they are the ones who strictly follow and adhere to the sources of Islaam and do not deviate from them.
“Whoever obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allaah.” [Surah An-Nisaa(4): 80]
And whoever disobeys the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم (by disobeying the commands and prohibitions of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم which were revealed to him from Allaah, the Most High and the Most Wise) has indeed disobeyed Allaah.
Anyone who encourages you or requests that you join them to make dua to a dead person for whatever request or need that may be, i.e. to bring about some benefit or to remove a harm, for your sins to be forgiven, granting an offspring, cure for an illness, increase in provisions/wealth, etc, is calling you to the Hellfire, so beware!
Indeed, how many times do we recite the following ayah in Surah al-Fatihah each day?
“You (Allaah) Alone do we worship and in You Alone we seek aid.”
Yet, some people contradict this speech with their actions, all the while claiming to be following the Qur’aan and Sunnah!
In Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-’Uthaimeen’s (1421H) explanation of this, there occurs:
If it is further asked, “Is seeking help from the creation permissible at all times and in all situations?”
The answer is no. Requesting help from the creation is only allowed when the one being asked is fully capable of what he is being asked for, otherwise seeking his help is not permissible. An example would be asking help from someone dead in the grave; this is prohibited, rather it is major Shirk (the associating of partners with Allaah in worship)! This is because the person in his grave does not even possess the ability to help himself so how could he help someone else? Similarly, if someone seeks the help of another person who is not present with him such as a person believing that someone else in the far eastern part of the world could help him with something in his (the one seeking help) land. This is also major Shirk because the other person is not capable of helping him while he is there in another land.