Ruling on building domes over graves
Some people consider the green dome that was built on the Prophet’s grave in Madinah evidence for the permissibility of building domes on graves, such as those of righteous people. Is this true, or what shall we say to them?
It is impermissible to make such a Qiyas (analogy) to conclude the permissibility of building domes on the graves of the dead, whether righteous people or otherwise. Building these domes is a prohibited sin, as it contradicts what was authentically reported from Abu Al-Hayyaj Al-Asady who said that ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) said to him: “Should I not send you on the same mission as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sent me? Do not leave a statue without obliterating it, or a high grave without leveling it.”
It was also reported from Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade plastering of graves, sitting on them and building over them.”
Both Hadiths were narrated by Muslim in his Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith. Thus, it is impermissible to use this prohibition as evidence on the permissibility of such deeds, as the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) cannot be disobeyed in favor of the sayings or the deeds of anyone else. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is the one to whom Allah conveyed His Message; and thus his orders should be obeyed, as Allah says, “And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).” [al-Hashr: 7]
There are other Ayahs which order us to obey Allah and His Messenger. Building domes over graves is also a means which may lead to Shirk (polytheism), so the means leading to Shirk should be blocked.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
Date: Dhul-Hijjah 24, 1441 AH
Source: Fatawa al-Lajnah ad-Daimah no. 8263-4
Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz
Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify
Shaykh Abdullah ibn Qa'ud