Building over the graves

Salam alaikum.

This is a small research, which was compiled from some posts of  shia Nader Zaveri and some other shias from their discussion regarding building over the graves.


حدثنا محمد بن موسى بن المتوكل قال حدثنا علي بن إبراهيم عن أبيه عن حماد عن حريز عن زرارة عن أبي جعفر ع قالَ قُلْتُ لَهُ الصَّلَاةُ بَيْنَ الْقُبُورِ قَالَ بَيْنَ خَلَلِهَا وَ لَا تَتَّخِذْ شَيْئاً مِنْهَا قِبْلَةً فَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ص نَهَى عَنْ ذَلِكَ وَ قَالَ لَا تَتَّخِذُوا قَبْرِي قِبْلَةً وَ لَا مَسْجِداً فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا قُبُورَ أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ مَسَاجِدَ
…Do NOT take my grave as a qiblah or as a masjid, indeed Allah curses those who took graves of prophets as masaajid (mosques)”.


  • Al-Sadooq, ‘ilal Al-Sharaa-I’, vol. 2, pg. 358, hadeeth # 1
  • Al-Sadooq, Man Laa YaHDuruh Al-Faqeeh, vol. 1, pg. 178, hadeeth # 532
  • Al-Aamilee, Wasaa-il Al-Shee’ah, vol. 3, ch. 65, pg. 235, hadeeth # 3497
  • Al-Aamilee, Wasaa-il Al-Shee’ah, vol. 5, ch. 26, pg. 161, hadeeth # 6222
  • Al-Aamilee, Wasaa-il Al-Shee’ah, vol. 5, ch. 26, pg. 161, hadeeth # 6224
  • Al-Majlisi, Bihaar Al-Anwaar, vol. 79, ch. 12, pg. 20
  • Al-Majlisi, Bihaar Al-Anwaar, vol. 80, ch. 5, pg. 313, hadeeth # 4
  • Al-Majlisi, Bihaar Al-Anwaar, vol. 97, ch. 3, pg. 128, hadeeth # 7

The sanad of this hadeeth is impeccable. It would be considered Hasan SaHeeH mainly because of ‘Alee ibn Ibraaheem’s father (Ibraaheem ibn Haashim), because he is just “praised” and no clear-cut tawtheeq for him. But his case is different comparatively to other “praised” people, because he is one of our major major narrators and a father of our great mufassireen and muhaddith. Also, after Ibraaheem ibn Haashim you will find Hamaad bin ‘Eesaa, Hareez, and Zuraarah, these are our top narrators, not just your average thiqah (trustworhthy) person. This hadeeth is taken as a SaHeeHhadeeth.

Here is another narration with relatively the same matn (content).

لَا تَتَّخِذُوا قَبْرِي عِيداً وَ لَا تَتَّخِذُوا قُبُورَكُمْ مَسَاجِدَكُمْ وَ لَا بُيُوتَكُمْ قُبُوراً
“Do NOT make an ‘eid (festival, feast) (on) my grave, and do NOT make Masaajid (mosques) from your graves, and graves from your houses”


  • Al-Nooree, Mustadark Al-Wasaa-il, vol. 2, ch. 55, pg. 379, hadeeth # 2240
  • Al-Toosi, Al-Majaalis
  • Al-Karaajukee, Kanz
  • Al-Majlisi, Bihaar Al-Anwaar, vol. 34, pg. 332
  • Al-Majlisi, Bihaar Al-Anwaar, vol. 55, ch. 12, pg. 79, hadeeth # 44 & 45

عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ أَبِي الْخَطَّابِ عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَسْبَاطٍ عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ قَالَ سَأَلْتُ أَبَا الْحَسَنِ مُوسَى ع عَنِ الْبِنَاءِ عَلَى الْقَبْرِ وَ الْجُلُوسِ عَلَيْهِ هَلْ يَصْلُحُ قَالَ
لَا يَصْلُحُ الْبِنَاءُ عَلَيْهِ وَ لَا الْجُلُوسُ وَ لَا تَجْصِيصُهُ وَ لَا تَطْيِينُهُ
‘Alee bin Ja’far asked our 7th Imaam (as) about building upon graves and sitting (by them). He (as) said: One cannot build upon it, and sit, and plaster, and “clay” it over


  • Al-Toosi, Tahdheeb Al-aHkaam, vol. 1, ch. 23, pg. 461, hadeeth # 148
  • Al-Toosi, Al-IstibSaar, vol. 1, ch. 128, pg. 217, hadeeth # 1
  • Al-Aamilee, Wasaa’il Al-Shee’ah, vol. 3, ch. 44, pg. 210, hadeeth # 3426
  • Al-Majlisi, Bihaar Al-Anwaar, vol. 3, ch. 12, pg. 79
  • ‘Alee ibn Ja’far (brother of 7th Imaam (as)), Masaa-il ‘Alee ibn Ja’far, pg. 212, hadeeth # 460


  • Al-Majlisi said this hadeeth is Muwaththaq KalSaHeeH (Reliable (taken as a) SaHeeH (hadeeth))
    –> Milaadh Al-Akhyaar, vol. 3, pg. 298

The reason why it is considered Muwaththaq (Reliable) is mainly because of ‘Alee ibn AsbaaT, he is 100% thiqah, but people have differed on his madhhab. However, Al-Khoei said that ‘Alee ibn AsbaaT is a Shee’ah Imaamee and his madhhab is good. (See: Al-Khoei, Mu’jam Rijaal Al-Hadeeth, vol. 11, pg. 260, under person # 7923)

So this hadeeth is actually graded as purely SaHeeH

And here is what Al-Toosee says about what the four (4) fingers should be.

و يرفع من الأرض مقدار أربع أصابع و لا يطرح فيه من غير ترابه
Graves should be four fingers above the ground, no dirt other other than the dirt of grave should be placed on it


  • Al-Toosi, Al-MabsooT fee fiqh Imaamiyyah, vol. 1, pg. 187

From Wasa’il ash-Shi’a:

[6614] 7 ـ وعنهم ، عن سهل ، عن جعفر بن محمد الأشعري ، عن ابن القداح ، عن أبي عبدالله ( عليه السلام ) قال : أمير المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) : بعثني رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) في هدم القبور وكسر الصور.

ورواه البرقي في ( المحاسن ) عن جعفر بن محمد الأشعري ، مثله.

7 – And from them from Sahl from Ja`far b. Muhammad al-Ash`ari from Ibn al-Qaddah (?) from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام. He said: Amir al-Mu’mineen عليه السلام said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله sent me to tear down the graves and break the images.

6615] 8 ـ وعن علي بن إبراهيم ، عن أبيه ، عن النوفلي ، عن السكوني ، عن أبي عبدالله ( عليه السلام ) قال : قال أمير المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) : بعثني رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) إلى المدينة فقال : لا تدع صورة إلا محوتها ، ولا قبراً إلا سويته ، ولا كلباً إلا قتلته.

ورواه البرقي في ( المحاسن ) عن النوفلي ، مثله.

8 – And from `Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from an-Nawfali from as-Sakuni from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام. He said: Amir al-Mu’mineen عليه السلام said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله sent me to Madina, and said: Do not leave an image but that you have effaced it, nor a grave but that you have leveled it, nor a dog but that you have killed it.

And al-Barqi narrated it in al-Mahasin from an-Nawfali likewise.

[6616] 9 ـ محمد بن الحسن بإسناده عن الحسين بن سعيد ، عن النضر بن سويد ، عن القاسم بن سليمان ، عن جراح المدائني ، عن أبي عبدالله ( عليه السلام ) قال : لا تبنوا على القبور ولا تصوروا سقوف البيوت فإن رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) كره ذلك.

أحمد بن محمد البرقي في ( المحاسن ) عن أبيه ، عن النضر بن سويد ، مثله.

وعن يوسف بن عقيل ، عن محمد بن قيس ، عن أبي جعفر ( عليه السلام ) ، مثله.

9 – Muhammad b. al-Hasan by his isnad from al-Husayn b. Sa`id from an-Nadr b. Suwayd from al-Qasim b. Sulayman from Jarrah al-Mada’ini from Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام. He said: Do not build upon the graves and do not make images on the roofs of the houses, for verily the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله disliked that.

Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Barqi in al-Mahasin from his father from an-Nadr b. Suwayd likewise.

And from Yusuf b. `Aqil from Muhammad b. Qays from Abu Ja`far عليه السلام likewise.

[6617] 10 ـ وعن أبيه ، عن ابن سنان ، عن أبي الجارود ، عن الأصبغ بن نباتة ، عن أمير المؤمنين ( عليه السلام ) قال : من جدد قبراً أو مثل مثالاً فقد خرج من الإسلام.

ورواه الشيخ والصدوق كما مر.

10 And from his father from Ibn Sinan from Abu ‘l-Jarud from al-Asbagh b. Nabata from Amir al-Mu’mineen عليه السلام. He said: Whoever renovates a grave or fashions an image has gone out of Islam.

And the Shaykh and as-Saduq narrated it as has passed (earlier in Wasa’il).