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What can Muslims not do at graves?

Graves hold a significant place in Islam, as they serve as a reminder of the transient nature of life and the ultimate meeting with our Creator. Muslims believe in the importance of showing respect and honor to the deceased, as well as seeking reflections and lessons from their final resting places. However, there are certain prohibitions and guidelines that Muslims must adhere to when visiting graves to ensure that their actions align with the teachings of Islam. In this blog post, we will explore what Muslims are not allowed to do at graves and the proper etiquette to be followed.

Visiting Graves in Islam

In Islam, Muslims are permitted to visit the graves of both Muslims and non-Muslims for a time of reflection and remembrance. It is a way of honoring the deceased and acknowledging the relationship that was shared. Muslims visit graves not to worship the deceased, but to seek forgiveness for them, make supplications, and remember their own mortality.

Permission to visit graves in Islam

According to Islamic teachings, visiting graves is permissible unless there is a specific prohibition due to a valid reason, such as an outbreak of illness or danger to oneself. Otherwise, visiting graves should be done with the intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah and without any superstitious beliefs or practices.

Purpose of visiting graves

The purpose of visiting graves in Islam goes beyond merely paying respects to the deceased. It serves as a reminder of the transient nature of life and the inevitability of death. It is an opportunity for introspection and reflection on one’s own deeds and preparation for the Hereafter. Additionally, visiting graves can serve as a reminder to value the time spent with loved ones and to live a righteous life.

Etiquette and Prohibitions at Graves

While visiting graves, Muslims are expected to adhere to certain etiquettes and avoid prohibited actions. These guidelines are in place to ensure that Muslims do not engage in practices that go against the core beliefs of Islam.

Prohibition of excessive mourning and wailing

Islam discourages excessive mourning and wailing over the deceased. While grieving is a natural process, Muslims are encouraged to express their sadness in a dignified manner and to remember that everything happens according to the will of Allah. Excessive displays of grief are not only discouraged but also considered a sign of lack of faith and acceptance of Allah’s decree.

Avoidance of acts of shirk (associating partners with Allah)

One important prohibition when visiting graves is to avoid any acts of shirk, which is the association of partners with Allah. It is strictly prohibited to seek blessings or assistance from the deceased, as Muslims believe that only Allah has the power to grant prayers and fulfill needs.

Prohibition of tawassul (seeking intercession through the deceased)

Tawassul refers to seeking intercession through the deceased. Islam strictly prohibits this practice, as it goes against the concept of monotheism in which Muslims believe that only Allah can grant intercession and forgiveness. Muslims are encouraged to directly seek forgiveness and blessings from Allah through supplications and good deeds.

Avoidance of grave worship

Islam strictly prohibits the worship of graves or turning them into places of worship. Muslims believe that worship is solely directed towards Allah and that no being, living or deceased, should be worshipped or invoked for blessings. The focus of visiting graves should be on seeking forgiveness for the deceased and drawing lessons from their lives.

Specific Actions Prohibited at Graves

In addition to the general etiquettes and prohibitions mentioned above, there are specific actions that Muslims should refrain from when visiting graves.

Prohibition of prostrating or bowing towards graves

Islam prohibits prostrating or bowing towards graves as a form of worship. These acts are reserved exclusively for Allah and are considered a violation of the Islamic concept of monotheism. Therefore, Muslims should avoid any actions that may be misconstrued as worship towards graves.

Prohibition of building structures or elaborate tombs

Islam discourages the construction of elaborate structures or tombs over graves. Muslims are encouraged to keep graves simple and humble, avoiding the extravagance that can lead to people venerating the gravesite rather than focusing on the remembrance of Allah and the deceased.

Prohibition of praying towards graves

Muslims are not allowed to pray towards graves or use them as the direction of their qibla (direction of prayer). The only direction that a Muslim should face during prayer is the Kaaba in Mecca, as mandated by the teachings of Islam. Praying towards graves or treating them as sacred places of worship is considered a deviation from Islamic beliefs.

Permissible Actions at Graves

While there are certain prohibitions at graves, Muslims are allowed and encouraged to engage in certain actions that are in line with the teachings of Islam.

Reciting supplications and prayers for the deceased

Visiting graves provides an opportunity for Muslims to make supplications and prayers for the deceased. Muslims believe that prayers and good deeds can benefit the deceased in the afterlife. Reciting verses from the Quran, offering prayers, and seeking forgiveness for the departed are all permissible actions at graves.

Making remembrance of Allah and seeking forgiveness

Visiting graves serves as a reminder of the transient nature of life and the inevitability of death. It provides an opportunity for Muslims to reflect on their own mortality and seek forgiveness from Allah. Engaging in remembrance of Allah, reciting Quranic verses, and seeking His mercy and forgiveness are all recommended actions at graves.

Reflecting on the transient nature of life and preparing for the Hereafter

Visiting graves can be a humbling experience that reminds Muslims of the temporary nature of this worldly life. It serves as a reminder to focus on the Hereafter and to prepare for the ultimate meeting with our Creator. Reflecting on the lives of the deceased and contemplating the purpose of our own existence can lead to self-improvement and a renewed commitment to live a righteous life.


In conclusion, visiting graves of both Muslims and non-Muslims is permitted in Islam for the purposes of reflection, seeking forgiveness for the departed, and drawing lessons from their lives. However, there are certain actions that Muslims are prohibited from doing at graves to ensure that their actions align with the teachings of Islam. Muslims should avoid excessive mourning and wailing, refrain from acts of shirk and tawassul, and avoid grave worship. Additionally, specific actions like prostrating or bowing towards graves, building elaborate structures, and praying towards graves are also prohibited. On the other hand, Muslims are encouraged to engage in permissible actions at graves such as reciting supplications and prayers for the deceased, making remembrance of Allah, and reflecting on the transient nature of life. By adhering to these etiquettes and prohibitions, Muslims can ensure that their visits to graves are respectful and in accordance with Islamic teachings.


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