“Visit to shrines” is a very controversial topic that whether it is permitted in Islam or not and if it is not permitted than why it is practiced by most of the Sufis orders. We have searched in this project about this controversy with proofs and reasons from Quran and Sunnah. A shrine is a holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, daemon or similar figure of awe and respect, at which they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines are found in many of the world's religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Wicca, Chinese folk religion and Shinto, as well as in secular and non-religious settings such as a war memorial. Shrines can be found in various settings, such as churches, temples, cemeteries, or in the home, although portable shrines are also found in some cultures. Many questions come in minds of various people that should Muslims visit shrines of dead people, even if some of them were known for being pious. And do Muslims believe that a dead person can intermediate between them and Allah? And if it is present in the Sufi orders then what is its legal status according to Quran and Sunnah.
Traditions of Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) regarding visit to shrines: Visit to shrines is a great controversial act due to which some people are against the Sufi practices. We will discuss and try to prove this act that whether it is good or bad in the light of Quran and Sunnah.
Visit to graveyards by Holy Prophet (S.A.W.):
The scholars of Islam with the support of verses of Qur’an and traditions have recommended ziyarat of grave especially the ziyarat of the Holy Prophet's grave and those of the pious people and consider this to be a virtue and honor. Witnessing this silent valley which softens the most adamant heart and makes the most heavy ear to hear and gives brightness to the most poor eye-sight, causes a person to review his plans in life and ponder over the great responsibilities which he has before Allah and the people and controls his desires. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) referring to this point in a tradition says:ss “Visit the graves; for visiting them becomes the cause of remembering the next world”. Sunan Ibn Maja (vol. 1, p. 113 chapter o) From the Islamic traditions which the authors of Sihah and Sunan have narrated, we derive the conclusion that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) had prohibited, due to a temporary reason, the ziyarat of graves and later on allowed the people to make haste for ziyarat. Perhaps the reason for prohibition was that their dead ones were predominantly polytheists and idol worshippers and Islam had cut off their relation and affection with the world of polytheism. It is also possible that the reason for prohibition was something else and that is the newly converted Muslims were writing elegies and saying un-Islamic things over the graves of the dead polytheists. But after the expansion of Islam and the ‘faith’ entering into the hearts of people, this prohibition was lifted and the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) permitted the people to go for the ziyarat of graves because of the educative benefits, so that people should hasten to visit graves The writers of Sunan and Sihah narrate as such:
“I had prohibited you from ziyara of graves. From now on, go for ziyara because it will make you feel unattached towards this world and make you remember the hereafter.” (Sunan Ibn Maja, chapter of vol.1, p.114, (Indian edition); Sahih al-Tirmidhi chapter of vol. 3 p. 274 along with commentary of Ibn al-‘Arabi Maliki, (Lebanon edition) From another tradition we come to know that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) used to hasten, along with a group of people for ziyarat of graves and teach them the manner of doing ziyarat. Hazrat Ayesha (R.A.) says: The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) taught me the manner of visiting the graves. Here is the text of the tradition: “My lord commanded me to come to Baqi’ and seek forgiveness for them. (Ayesha) says: I asked him how...