In this episode Shaykh Yahya Rhodus highlights some of the etiquettes regarding graves. He quotes Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: “Allah censures women who frequent graves, as well as those who take them as prayer sites or places where they place lamps.” In order to understand this narration, Shaykh Yahya starts by explaining what life and death mean for Muslims. Death is the departure of the soul from the body. The purpose of life is to prepare to meet God. In that sense, for a believer, death is a gift because they should long for meeting their beloved, Allah Most High. So death is the moving on of the soul into the next realm, the intermediary realm. This context helps one understand how to have etiquette with the deceased who have moved on to the next realm. In this light, Shaykh Yahya explains, the scholars understand this narration to forbid wrong practices around the grave, rather than forbid women to visit graves altogether. There are various other narrations that display the permissibility of women visiting the graves. Wrong and excessive practices include whaling, tearing clothes, and such other acts. Regarding taking graves as prayer sights, the scholars understood this to mean to not build places of prayer on top of graves. However, it is permissible to have places of prayer next to the graves. Finally, the meaning of censuring placing lamps at graves specifically relates to when those lamps are for the purpose of calling people to those graves. However, if lamps where placed for the benefit of people, then it is permissible. Ultimately, one of the greatest etiquettes when visiting graves is to be reminded of the next world and prepare for meeting our Lord.
The Content of Character is a remarkable collection of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Chosen by the scholar, Shaykh Al-Amin Ali Mazrui and translated by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, this book was published to great critical acclaim.
Shaykh Al-Amin intended to show that progress among Muslims required not the abandonment of Islam but the recovery of the original spirit of Islamic enlightenment.
In this podcast series for SeekersHub, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus does a commentary on these concise and yet comprehensive sayings, with a special focus on character-building, morals, good manners and ethics.
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