Ruling on visiting the graves to supplicate to the dead or ask for their help or intercession


I found contradictory and controversial Hadith in the book: “Shifa’ Al-Siqam fy Ziyarat Khayr Al-Anam” by Shaykh Taqy Al-Din Al-Subky Al-Shafi`y, in the chapter on Tawassul (supplicating to Allah through a means) through the Prophet (peace be upon him) and seeking his help and intercession, specifically between pages 160 and 178. Please advise us about this book, especially the chapter on Tawassul.


Visiting graves is a Sunnah (commendable act) as the Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged it and frequently visited them himself. It is done to gain warnings and lessons, to remember death, and to supplicate to Allah to forgive and have mercy upon the dead Muslims. Among the supplications on visiting graves that are confirmed from the Prophet (peace be upon him) is: “Peace be upon you, inhabitants of the abodes of the believers and the Muslims. If Allah wills, we will join you. We ask Allah for well-being for ourselves and for you.” However, people should not visit graves to supplicate to the dead or ask for their help or intercession, as this is Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship).

It is also not permissible to travel far to visit graves or to travel to do so, even if it is not far. If people exceed the proper limits in visiting graves, they travel to them to supplicate to the occupants to bring them good or ward off evil, while these acts are Bid`ah (rejected innovations in religion).

Among the people who exceeded the limits in revering the dead was Shaykh Taqy Al-Din Al-Subky Al-Shafi’i, in his book: “Shifa’ Al-Siqam.” Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Hady answered him in his book: “Al-Sarim Al-Manky fi Al-Radd ‘ala Al-Subky.” If you want to know more about this issue, read: “Al-Sarim Al-Manky” and: “Al-Tawassul wal-Wasilah” by Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to them). These two books strongly establish the truth and refute the falsehoods, and are supported by evidence and clear language.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

  • Date: Dhu al-Hijjah 7, 1441 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 3207-3
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan , Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Qa'ud