Scholars on Traveling to Visit the Graves

Before writing on the topic of travelling to visit the graves, I want to mention here that Traveling to visit the graves of Prophets is different topic from traveling for the other purposes like studying, tourism, entertainment etc. in terms of intentions.

Allah says
{Say, “Travel through the land; then observe how was the end of the deniers.”}[Quran 6:11].

al Qurtubi commented
وهذا السفر مندوب إليه إذا كان على سبيل الاعتبار بآثار من خلا من الأُمم وأهل الديار، والعاقبة آخر الأمر.
‘This journey is desirable if the purpose is to take a lesson from the remains of the past nations, and to see what happened to them. [Tafsir al Qurtubi under 6:11]

Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah may Allaah have mercy upon him wrote about the difference of opinion among scholars regarding undertaking a journey:

“Regarding the hadeeth that reads, ‘One should not undertake a journey to visit mosques except to three…,’ some scholars said that it does not indicate prohibition but that it means that it is not legislated, neither obligatory nor recommended; rather, it is permissible, just like traveling for trade and other purposes. It is said to them: such journeys (for trade or other purposes) are not intended as a form of worship; rather, they are intended for some worldly benefit, whereas traveling to visit graves is intended as a form of worship, and worship should be performed only with obligatory or recommended actions. Therefore, if a scholarly consensus is reached that traveling to graves is neither obligatory nor recommended, then when one does it as an act of worship, it is considered a religious innovation opposing the consensus, and performing a religious innovation for the purpose of worship is not lawful…” [Islamweb 322780]

Now coming back to the topic.

I) Introduction
II) Scholars differed regarding authenticity of hadith whoever visits my grave after my death
III) Opinion of reputed scholars of Islam to visit grave
1. Imam Dahabi`s opinion of traveling to visit the grave
2. The opinion of Ibn kathir & defense of Ibn Taymiyah
3. The opinion of Imam al-Juwaini and
4. Nawawi
5. Ibn Hajr asqalani and
6. Qaadi Iyaad
7. The opinion of Imam Maalik
8. The opinion of Ibn Tamiyah
9. Al-‘Alama Al-Imam Muhi Al-Din Muhammad ibn Ali Iskandar Al-Barqawi Al-Rumi Al-Hanafi
10. Ibn ‘Abdil hadi said in “Al-Sarim Al-Munki”
11. Imam Sahsawani said
12. Shah Wali ullah said
13. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said
14. Ibraheem Al Nakha`iee said
15. Ibn Atiyah (481 – 542 هـ)
16. Imam Ibn Abdul Barr
17. Ibn Qudamah al Hanbalee
18. Ibn Batta (304 h to 387 h)
19. Mulla Ali Qari
20. Ibn Aqil Hanbalee
21. Ala ud din bin Attar student of an-Nawawi
22. Abu Bakr al Arabi 543 h
23. Ibn Atheer
24. Imam Safi ud din (Abdul Momin) bin Abdul Haq Hanbalee (d 739 h), states in his letter to the sultan:
25. Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman Baghdadi al Maaliki ( (701 h to 767 h)
26. Ibn al Katbi Muhammad Shakir Salah al-Din ad-Damishqi ash-Shafiee (d 763 h)
27-28) Abu Umar and Abdullah bin abi waleed Maaliki, The scholars of ash-Sham.
29, 30) Jamal ud din Yusaf bin Abdul Salam al Batti al Hanbali, and Abdul Khaliq al Khateeb
31. Taqi ud din as-Subki
32: The Yemenite Imam, Muhammad bin Ismaeel as-San`ani (d 1182 h)
33: Imam Mur`ee bin Yusaf al Hanbali (d 1033 h)
34: Abul Muzaffar Yusaf bin Muhammad al Hanbalee (696h to 776h)

IV) Conclusion

1. It is Prohibited
2. It is Mubah, neither prohibited neither recommended.
3. It is recommended or close to wajib
4. Those who reconciled the opinions of prohibition and recommendation

I) Introduction
Travelling towards the graves with the intention of thawab is the issue of dispute among the scholars i.e. this is the issue of fiqh. In this article readers will see about the rulings deduced by the different scholars of ahlus sunnah on this particular issue.
Secondly, there is difference between visiting the grave and travelling for visiting the graves for barakah. First one is allowed according to the general meaning of ahadith of Prophet peace be upon him and consensus.

✪ Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah said:
أن قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أفضل قبر على وجه الأرض
The grave of Prophet peace be upon him is the best grave on the face of the earth.[Iqtidha Sirat al Mustaqeem 2/662]

But that does not mean we ask help from Prophet peace be upon him, the reason of visiting graves is mentioned by Imam ash-Shafiee, as He said:
إذا زرت تستغفر للميت ويرق قلبك، وتذكر أمر الآخرة
When you visit (the grave) then make istighfar for the dead, It will soften your heart and remember the life after death [al Umm Kitab al Janaiz chapter القول عند دفن الميت]

This is the reason of visiting the graves, visiting does not mean asking help from them and seeking blessings from its mud etc. That is how Ibn Umar ra used to visit.

Abdullah ibn Dinar said, “I saw Abdullah ibn Umar stop by the grave of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and ask for blessings on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and on Abu Bakr and Umar.”[Mawatta Imam Maalik Book 9, Hadith 402] ✪ Second issue i.e. travelling to visit the graves to seek barakah (i.e. By praying to Allah) is disputed.

It is mentioned ib Urdu Muqaddima of the book “Ziyarah Qabr al Nabvi” by Sh Muhammad Basheer Sahsawani, that:

This issue is not mentioned in any early Hanafi fiqh books like
1. Imam Muhammad’s Kitab al Asl, al Jaam`e as-Sagheer and Muwatta
2. Mukhtasar al Quduri
3. Mukhatasar al-Tahawi
4. Tuhfatul Fuqaha as-Samarqandi
5. al Mabsoot as-Sarkhasi
6. Not even in al Hidaya of al Murghiyani
The first one in Hanafis who wrote regarding this issue was Burhan ud din Ibn Maazah (d 551 h), who said after quoting all the masaail of Hajj:
“Then go to Madeenah and stand near the grave of Prophet peace be upon him and say:”
But It can be understood from “Go to Madeenah” that this is the travelling for Masjid al Nabvi and then visiting the grave of Prophet peace be upon him.
The first one in Hanafis who CLEARLY mentioned about this was Abdullah bin Mahmood al Mawsali (d 683 h) in his book “al Ikhtiyaar li Taleel al Mukhtaar” and mentioned after quoting the masaail of Hajj “Fasal fe Ziyarah Qabar an-Nabvi Sal Allaho Alihe wasallam” [end from the Muqaddima]

✪ There is third opinion of scholars which states that traveling is allowed like any other traveling in the world. It is not a wrong act neither it will gain any benifit.

There are some ahadith regarding this issue and scholars differed regarding their authenticity. Following is one of them

 

II) Scholars differed regarding authenticity of hadith whoever visits my grave after my death

Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: who ever visits my grave after my death it is same he has visited me in my life.[Bayhaqi Shu’ab ul Iman Volume 003: Hadith Number 489] I am not going to quote all the ahadeeth and their chains, for that one can see “Sarim al Munki fe Radd al Subki” by Imam Ibn Abdul Hadee, this book is recomended by Imam Mur`ee bin Yusaf al Karmi (d 1033 h), He said:

“The ahadith related to the virtues of visiting the grave of Prophet peace be upon him are too many, this is not the place to mention all of them, whoever wants to see them and discussions (on the chains) then see the book “as-Saarim al Munki fe Radd al as-Subki” by Hafidh Ibn Abdul Hadi Ibn Qudama the student of Ibn Taymiyah may Allah have mercy on him.” [Shifa as-Sudur fe ziyarah al Mashahid wal qabur page 169]

Also see “Ittemam al Hujjaj” by Imam Sahsawani. Here I just want to quote the scholars who differed regarding their authenticity.

The scholars who said its weak by all of its routs.

 

a) Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said in al-Tawassul wa’l-Waseelah (p. 133)
فإن أحاديث زيارة قبره كلها ضعيفة ، لا يعتمد على شيء منها في الدين ؛ ولهذا لم يرو أهل الصحاح والسنن شيئا منها ، وإنما يرويها من يروي الضعاف كالدارقطني والبزار وغيرهما .
“All of the ahaadeeth about visiting his grave are da’eef, and are not to be relied upon in matters of religion. For this reason none of the authors of books of Saheeh and Sunan reported them at all; they were only narrated by those who reported da’eef ahaadeeth, such as al-Daaraqutni, al-Bazzaar and others.

b) Al-Uqaylee also said after narrating this hadith
. وَالرِّوَايَةُ فِي هَذَا الْبَابِ فِيهَا لِينٌ .
“The narrations in this chapter have some weakness”[Duafa al-Kabeer]

Means according to Imam al-Uqaylee all of these type of narrations have some weakness.

c) Ibn al-Qattaan Fasi (d 628 h) narrated this hadeeth in those ahadeeth which are not authentic [Byaan al waham wal Ahyaam vol 4 page 9 hadeeth no: 1433]

d) Ibn Hajr al Asqalani said:
طرق هذا الحديث كلها ضعيفة
All of the routs of this hadeeth are weak, [Talkhees al Hubayr 2/267]

The scholars who said its weak but has some basis.

a) Ibn Hajr al asqalani said after saying its weak by all of its routs:
لكن صححه من حديث ابن عمر أبو علي بن السكن في إيراده إياه في أثناء السنن الصحاح له ، وعبد الحق في الأحكام في سكوته عنه ، والشيخ تقي الدين السبكي من المتأخرين باعتبار مجموع الطرق ، وأصح ما ورد في ذلك ما رواه أحمد وأبو داود من طريق أبي صخر حميد بن زياد ، عن يزيد بن عبد الله بن قسيط ، عن أبي هريرة مرفوعا : { ما من أحد يسلم علي إلا رد الله علي روحي حتى أرد عليه السلام }. وبهذا الحديث صدر البيهقي الباب .
But the narration of Ibn Umar is authenticated by Abu Ali bin al-Sakn in “Eeradah fe Ithna al Sunan al Sahaah lahu”, Abdul Haq remained silent after quoting in “al Ahkam”, Shaykh Taqi al-din as-Subki from the Mutakhireen (authenticated) by combining all of its routs. The most authentic narration in this issue is narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawud from the rout of Abi Skhar Hameed bin Ziad from Yazeed bin Abdullah bin Qaseet from Abu Huraira from Prophet peace be upon him which states : “If any one of you greets me, Allah returns my soul to me and I respond to the greeting.” [Ibid]

So for Ibn Hajr all of these narrations are weak and the best among them is the hadeeth in Abu Dawud which has nothing to do with travelling.

b) Imam ad-Dahabi said:
All the chains of this hadith is weak but they strength each other. [Mo`jam ash-Shuyukh, also quoted by as-Sakhawi]

Following is the Fatwa by ISLAMWEB Fatawa committee regarding the verdicts of ad-Dahabi on this hadeeth.

This statement, which was reported by As-Sakhaawi from Ath-Thahabi was indeed said by Ath-Thahabi himself with the same meaning, in his well-known history book entitled “Taareekh Al-Islam.” He reported this Hadeeth [in the above book] with its chain of narrators while talking about the biography of Abdullaah Ibn ‘Umar Al-‘Umari, the brother of Obaydullaah Ibn ‘Umar (Ibn Hafs Ibn ‘Aasim Ibn ‘Umar), then he said: “It was singularly reported by Moosa (i.e. Ibn Hilaal Al Abdi Al-Basri) was the only one who reported it.” Besides, Ibn ‘Adiyy said: “I hope that it is acceptable.” Moreover, Al-‘Uqayli said: “His Hadeeth is neither Saheeh [authentic] nor is there another narrator for it except him.” Then, he mentioned the Hadeeth with other chains of narrators and then he said: “The same Hadeeth was narrated by Al-Qaadhi Al-Muhaamili from ‘Ubayd, and it is a Munkar (denounced) Hadeeth.

“We have mentioned in this Chapter that weak narrations strengthen each other because none of its narrators was accused of lying…Then he said: “I reported the Ahaadeeth of visiting the Prophet’s grave in a Juz’u (a small book containing a number of Ahaadeeth about a specific subject.” [End quote]

Hence, the fact that Ath-Thahabi classified this Hadeeth as Dha’eef [weak] does not contradict that he strengthens the Ahaadeeth of visiting the Prophet’s grave due to its other routes of narration that support it, as can be understood from his previous statements.

It should be mentioned here that visiting the Prophet’s grave is something confirmed by the general saying of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “…but you may now visit them (i.e. the graves), for it reminds you of the Hereafter.” [Ahmad and Muslim]

Therefore, visiting the Prophet’s grave is more appropriate to be included in this Hadeeth, as mentioned by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah have mercy upon him. Hence, there is no controversy over this issue, in principle, whether or not these Ahaadeeth are authentic.

Nonetheless, it should be mentioned that if this visit [of the grave of the Prophet] necessitates a travel, then it should be as part of the visit of the Prophet’s mosque and not an independent visit, i.e. this travel should not be in order to visit the grave purposely. For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 86597 and 121560.
Allaah Knows best.[Muftis of Islam web discussed this issue]

Whether this hadith is authentic or not, Imam Mur`ee bin Yusaf al Hanbali (d 1033 h) said:
ولو سلم صحة شيء منها فانها ليس فيها ذكر السفر فتحمل على زيارة بلا سفر جمعا بين الأحاديث, وهذا ليس بمحل النزاع.
Even if we accept the authenticity of these (ahadith) then traveling is not mentioned in them, They are on visiting without traveling.. This is not the issue of difference. [Sharah as-Sudur fe Ziyarah al Mashahid wal Qabur page 284]

Ibn Taymiyyah said in Radd al alIkhnai:
أن يقال لو ورد من ذلك ما هو صحيح لكان إنما يدل على مطلق الزيارة، وليس في جواب الاستفتاء نهي عن مطلق الزيارة، ولا حكى نزاع في ذلك الجواب، وإنما فيها ذكر النزاع فيمن لم يكن سفره إلا لمجرد زيارة قبور الأنبياء والصالحين وحينئذ فلو كان في هذا الباب حديث صحيح لم يتناول محل النزاع، ولا فيه رد على ما ذكره المجيب من النزاع والإجماع.
If the ahadeeth regarding (visiting the grave of Prophet peace be upon him) are authentic then it is regarding general visiting, and there is nothing in (my) answer which prohibits the general visiting, neither (I have) mentioned any difference of opinion in this matter. The difference of opinion is mentioned regarding travelling to visit the graves of Prophets and Auliyah. If there is any authentic hadith then it is not related to the topic. Neither it is against the difference of opinion (on travelling to visit graves) and Ijma (over visiting without travelling) mentioned in the answer. [Radd al Ikhnaai 1/251]

III) Opinion of Reputed Scholars of Islam on Traveling to Visit the Grave

1. Imam Dahabi`s opinion of traveling to visit the grave
Imam ad-Dahabi tried to reconcile the sayings of as-Subki and Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyah on this particular issue.He said regarding the hadeeth “Do not saddle up your riding beasts except to (visit) three mosques: The Sacred Mosque (in Makkah), this Mosque of mine, and the Mosque of Al-Aqsa”

Imam Dahabi says:

معناه: لا تشد الرحال إلى مسجد، ابتغاء الأجر سوى المساجد الثلاثة، فإن لها فضلا خاصا، فمن قال: لم يدخل في النهي شد الرحل إلى زيادة قبر نبي أو ولي، وقف مع ظاهر النص، وأن الأمر بذلك والنهي خاص بالمساجد، ومن قال بقياس الأولى، قال: إذا كان أفضل بقاع الأرض مساجدها، والنهي ورد فيها، فما دونها في الفضل كقبور الأنبياء والصالحين، أولى بالنهي، أما من سار إلى زيارة قبر فاضل من غير شد رحل، فقربة بالإجماع بلا تردد، سوى ما شذ به الشعبي ونحوه، فكان بلغهم النهي عن زيارة القبور، وما عملوا بأنه نسخ ذلك، والله أعلم
“ It means: No one should travel to visit any mosque for the purpose of getting reward except the three (al-Masjid al-Haraam , Masjid.e.Nabwi and al-Masjid al-Aqsa) because there is a great reward and virtue in it, So whoever said that traveling to visit the grave of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and of Awliya does not come under prohibition, they sided with or relied upon the apparent text and they say that it is forbidden in these (three) specific mosques. And whoever relied on Qiyas, they say that if it is forbidden in the best three mosques on earth, then it is even more forbidden to (travel to ) visit the graves of Prophets and Awliya in other places. As for the person who visits the grave of a respected person (without travelling), then this a virtuous deed unanimously without any denial or hesitation, except for Sho’bi (The tabiyee) and others who have argued otherwise and have opposed this Ijma’, to whom the narration about prohibition of visiting the graves had reached, but they did not know that, that narration is ‘Mansookh” [Siyar Ailam an-Nubala 9/368] Comment: So Imam ad-Dahabi quoted the ikhtilaaf among the scholars regarding traveling to visit the graves and mentioned the reasoning of the both sides, then he quoted the ijma that it is allowed to visit the graves without traveling. Only few Ullema went against this Ijma like Imam Shoabi etc.

Elsewhere Imam ad-Dahabi beautifully tried to resolve this issue between the scholars of his time, He said:
فزيارة قبره من أفضل القرب ، وشد الرحال إلى قبور الأنبياء والأولياء.
لئن سلمنا أنه غير مأذون فيه لعموم قوله صلوات الله عليه : ولا تشدوا الرحال إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد فشد الرحال إلى نبينا -صلى الله عليه وسلم- مستلزم لشد الرحل إلى مسجده ، وذلك مشروع بلا نزاع ؛ إذ لا وصول إلى حجرته إلا بعد الدخول إلى مسجده ، فليبدأ بتحية المسجد ، ثم بتحية صاحب المسجد ، رزقنا الله وإياكم ذلك آمين .

So visiting his grave is a virtuous deed and traveling to the grave of Auliyah and Anbiya. And If we agree then he is not Mukhtar on that because of generality of the saying of prophet peace be upon him (i.e.) Do not travel except to three Masaajids and traveling to our prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم necessitates traveling to his masjid which is allowed without any dispute, When one cannot reach to his Hujrah except after entering the Masjid so he should start with praying tahiyyatul masjid and then greet the prophet May Allah endow this upon us and you Aameen [Seyar Ailam an-Nubala]

Comment: He did not went against the opinion of those scholars who allowed traveling as well as he resolved the saying of Ibn Taymiyah that when a person travel to the grave of Prophet peace be upon him by default he has to enter into the mosque first, and then he should pray 2 rakah in masjid and then greet the Prophet peace be upon him

He also said in The book Tarjumah Shaykh ul Islampage 248
ثم ظفروا له بمسألة السفر لزيارة قبور النبيين، وأن السفر وشد الرحال لذلك منهي عنه؛ لقوله عليه السلام: «لا تُشد الرحال إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد» مع اعترافه بأن الزيارة بلا شد رحلٍ قربةٌ، وشنعوا عليه بها واستعتوا عليه، وكتب فيها جماعةٌ بأنه يلزم من منعه شائبة تنقصٍ للنبوة؛ فيَكْفُر بذلك، وأفتى عدة بأنه مخطئٌ في ذلك خطأ المجتهدين المغفور لهم، ووافقه جماعة وكبرت القضية؛
Then he raised the issue that travelling to visit the graves of Anbiya is not allowed because of the hadith of Prophet peace be upon him “Do not tie the camel saddle to set out a journey except the three mosques” with the acknowledgment that visiting without travelling is the source of qurbah. And because of that he was attacked and wronged. And a group wrote whoever has forbade it, he has defected the nabuwwah and they did takfir because of it. Others gave fatwa that its a mistake like the mistake of mujtahideen and he will be forgiven because of that, this is accepted by a Jama`h and big judges. (end quote)

Comment: So for great Judges Ibn Taymiyyah was forgiven because he has used hadith, sahaba and the sayings of scholars in his view. He was not the first in this view. Yes some wahdatul wajoodis did takfir and showed his forged fatwa to sultan, but they were refuted by the judges and scholars of his time and the scholars who came later including Ibn Hajar asqalani who said:

، وعقدت له بسبب ذلك عدة مجالس بالقاهرة ، وبدمشق ، ولا يحفظ عن أحد منهم أنه أفتى بزندقته ، ولا حكم بسفك دمه مع شدة المتعصبين عليه حينئذ من أهل الدولة ، حتى حبس بالقاهرة ، ثم بالإسكندرية ، ومع ذلك فكلهم معترف بسعة علمه ، وكثرة ورعه ، وزهده ، ووصفه بالسخاء ، والشجاعة ، وغير ذلك من قيامه في نصر الإسلام ، والدعوة إلى الله تعالى في السر والعلانية
Many hearings were held against him in Cairo and Damascus, but there is no report that any of them said he was a heretic and there was no ruling that he should be executed, even though there were many people in government at that time who were strongly opposed to him, and he was imprisoned in Cairo, then in Alexandria. Despite that, they all recognized his vast knowledge and his deep piety and asceticism, and they described him as generous and courageous, as well as supporting Islam and calling people to Allaah in secret and openly. [introduction to al-Radd al-Waafir by Hafidh Ibn Hajar asqalani] and ad-Dahabi defended him by saying:
وأوذي رحمه الله في ذات الله تعالى من قبل المخالفين، وأخيف في نصرة السنة المحضة، حتى سار على منارة، وعلى وضوح، ولكن الله جمع له قلوب أهل التقوى، وجمعهم على محبته، والدعاء له، وكبت الله أعداءه،
And he Rahimullah was harmed in his path to Allāh by the opposers, threatened because he aided the pure Sunnah until Allāh raised his lighthouse, and united the hearts of the people of piety upon love of him and supplication for him, and Allah crushed his enemies [quoted from al-Dhahabī by Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī in Dhayl Ṭabaqāt al-Ḥanābilah (4/496-497) through his work Muʿjam al-Shuyūkh, quoted by Abu Zahra in Hiyat Shaykh al Islam page 777, Omar bin Saood quoted in Sharah Limiyah 1/7 from Mojam ash-Shuyukh]

Imam ad-Dahabi said regarding Ibn Taymiyyah:
قلت وله خبرة تامة بالرجال وجرحهم وتعديلهم وطبقاتهم ومعرفة بفنون الحديث وبالعالي والنازل وبالصحيح والسقيم مع حفظه لمتونه الذي انفرد به فلا يبلغ أحد في العصر رتبته ولا يقاربه وهو عجب في استحضاره واستخراج الحجج منه وإليه المنتهى في عزوه إلى الكتب الستة والمسند بحيث يصدق عليه أن يقال كل حديث لا يعرفه ابن تيمية فليس بحديث ولكن الإحاطة لله غير أنه يغترف من بحر وغيره من الأئمة يغترفون من السواقي
“I say: He had knowledge regarding narrators, their Jarh wa Tadeel, and their category, and knowledge of sciences of Hadith, and ‘Aali and Naazil, and Authentic and inauthentic, with his specialization in Hifdh of texts so no one reaches his status during his time, not even near him…such that It would be true if said: “Every hadith (narration) which Ibn Taymiyyah does not know, is not a Hadith”. The (knowledge) is sorrounded by Allah (only) but the difference (between Ibn Taymiyah and other schoars is that) He was an ocean (of knowledge) and other scholars are streams which came out from it. [Tarjumah Shaykh ul Islam by Imam ad-Dahabee p 241, dhaylh Tabaqat Al-Hanabilah by Ibn Rajab hanbalee 4/500, al Uqood ad-Durriyah by Ibn Abdul Hadi p 41, Shahadah az-Zakiyah page 41]

Note: Some people might claim that ad-Dahabi was on the opinion that our prayers are accepted at the grave of pious more than any other place (As some people of subcontinent do), again this is a false claim because ad-Dahabi said that Allah accepts our prayer in our homes, in mosques, on roads and even on the grave of pious people, Allah accept our prayers everywhere. Below is the statement of ad-Dahabee in this regard which is similar to what i have mentioned.

يريد إجابة دعاء المضطر عنده لأن البقاع المباركة يستجاب عندها الدعاء كما أن الدعاء في السحر مرجو ودبر المكتوبات وفي المساجد بل دعاء المضطر مجاب في أي مكان اتفق اللهم إني مضطر إلى العفو فاعف عني
“It refers to the answering of a needy person’s Du’aa near his grave, because the Du’aa is answered near the blessed places as it is answered during the last part of the night that is craved for, after the obligatory prayer, and in the Masaajid, rather the Du’aa of a needy is answered at whichever place he is in. O Allaah indeed I am a in need of forgiveness, so forgive me”[Seyar Ailam an-Nubala 9/343,344]

He is also against asking help from dead

Imam Dahabee said
ولجهلة المصريين فيها اعتقاد يتجاوز الوصف، ولايجوز مما فيه من الشرك، ويسجدون لها، ويلتمسون منها المغفرة
And among the ignorance of the Egyptians they have characteristics that transgresses their belief , and this is not permissible , and it consists of shirk , and prostrating to her grave and seeking isthighfar from her and like that of idol worshipers [Seyar Ailam Nubala 10/106]

He distinguished between respect and extremism, then he said:
فإن إطراء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يؤدى إلى إساءة الادب على الرب
“extremism in veneration of Prophet peace be upon him makes the person gustakh of Allah” [Meezan al aitedaal 2/650]

Comment: So he was against extremism which people do on the graves. Like they ask help from Sayyedah Nafeesah etc.

He also said regarding the hadith “The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Observe part of the Salat (prayers) in your homes. Do not turn your homes into graves.”
هذا حديث نظيف الاسناد، حسن المتن، فيه النهي عن الدفن في البيوت ، وله شاهد من طريق آخر، وقد نهى عليه السلام أن يبنى على القبور، ولو اندفن الناس في بيوتهم، لصارت المقبرة والبيوت شيئا واحدا، والصلاة في المقبرة، فمنهي عنها نهي كراهية، أو نهي تحريم، وقد قال عليه السلام: ” أفضل صلاة الرجل في بيته إلا المكتوبة ” فناسب ذلك ألا تتخذ المساكن قبورا
This Hadith has a pure chain and a good text, there is prohibition in it to bury in the houses, There is another shahid of this with another chain. Prophet peace be upon him forbade to make structures over the graves and If people would bury in the houses than there would be no difference between the house and graveyards, While the tanzeehi or tehreemi prohibition of praying in shrines is present. [Seyar Ailam an-Nubala vol 2 pages 29-30]

2. The opinion of Ibn kathir
When people lied against Ibn Taymiya on the visiting the graves of Prophets and Auliya than than he was arrested but Imam Ibn Kathir defended

Ibn Kathir defended shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiya, He said
( دخل القاضي جمال الدين بن جملة وناصر الدين مشد الأوقاف وسألاه عن مضمون قوله في مسألة الزيارة فكتب ذلك في درج وكتب تحته قاضي الشافعية بدمشق قابلت الجواب عن هذا السؤال المكتوب على خط ابن تيمية إلى إن قال وإنما المحز جعله زيارة قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وقبور الانبياء صلوات الله وسلامه عليهم معصية بالإجماع مقطوعا بها فانظر الآن هذا التحريف على شيخ الاسلام فإن جوابه على هذه المسألة ليس فيه منع زيارة قبور الأنبياء والصالحين وإنما فيه ذكر قولين في شد الرحل والسفر إلى مجرد زيارة القبور.
وزيارة القبور من غير شد رحل إليها مسألة ، وشد الرحل لمجرد الزيارة مسألة أخرى والشيخ لم يمنع الزيارة الخالية عن شد رحل بل يستحبها ويندب إليها وكتبه ومناسكه تشهد بذلك ولم يتعرض إلى هذه الزيارة في هذا الوجه في الفتيا ولا قال إنها معصية ولا حكى الاجماع على المنع منها ولا هو جاهل قول الرسول ( زوروا القبور فإنها تذكركم الاخرة ) والله سبحانه لا يخفى عليه شيء ولا يخفى عليه خافية وسيعلم الذين ظلموا أي منقلب ينقلبون ) أهـ
Qadi Jamal ud din bin Jamlah and Nasir ud din.. came to him (Ibn Taymiya when he was in prison) and both of them asked him regarding meaning of his saying with regards to the issue of travelling. Then he (Ibn Taymiya) wrote to him on paper and under that Qadi of the Shafiees of Damishq wrote. I compared that answer to the writings of Ibn Taymiya. It was written that He (Ibn taymiyah) even said, Truth is that visiting the grave of Prophet peace be upon him and other prophets is sin according to consensus. Now see this is the forgery on Shaykh ul Islam. In this issue he (Ibn Taymiya`s) did not prevent people from visiting the graves of Prophets and Saaliheen. In fact he mentioned two sayings regarding visiting the graves. Visiting the graves without travelling is one issue and travelling only to visit is another issue. Shaykh did not prohibit the visiting without the travelling. In fact he said it is preferable and allowed and neither had he said that it is a sin nor he said there is a consensus that it is a sin. He was not unaware of the hadith of Prophet peace be upon him where he said “visit the graves for they reminds you of the Hereafter” There is nothing hidden from Allah and no one can hide from him. And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.[Al Bidaya wal Nihaya vol 14 page 124]

Comment: See how Imam Ibn Kathir cleared the stance of Shaykh ul Islam, and the lies of people towards him? same is the case with the brailwiya they misquote shaykh ul Islam and quote those few scholars who did not understood the meaning of what shaykh ul Islam said. In fact he rahimullah was totally innocent from this charge

Ibn Kathir said in al-Bidaya wal Nihaya under the Tarjuma of al-Khidr bin Nasr
وترجمه ابن خلكان في الوفيات ، وقال قبره يزار، وقد زرته غير مرة، ورأيت الناس ينتابون قبره ويتبركون به، وهذا الذي قاله ابن خلكان مما ينكره أهل العلم عليه وعلى أمثاله ممن يعظم القبور
Ibn Khilkaan mentioned his (Khidr`s) biography in al-Wafayāt and said: People visit his grave and i have visited his grave and i have seen people visiting his grave and seeking blessings from it. This is what Ibn Khilkaan said. People of knowledge rejected the veneration on his grave and a like[al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya 12/371]

Note: Seeking blessings from the graves here means dua near the graves, it does not mean asking help from the dead or praying near the grave etc.
.
3. The opinion of Imam al-Juwaini and (4.) Nawawi, (5) Ibn Hajr asqalani and (6) Qaadi Iyaad
Imam Nawawi mentioned

واختلف العلماء في شد الرحال وإعمال المطي إلى غير المساجد الثلاثة كالذهاب إلى قبور الصالحين , وإلى المواضع الفاضلة ونحو ذلك , فقال الشيخ أبو محمد الجويني من أصحابنا : هو حرام , وهو الذي أشار القاضي عياض إلى اختياره , والصحيح عند أصحابنا وهو الذي اختاره إمام الحرمين والمحققون أنه لا يحرم ولا يكره
There is a dispute among scholars regarding permissibility of travelling to places other than the three mosques like graves of pious people or places which has its a virtue and similar places. The Shaikh Abu Muhammad Al-Jwiani who is from our companions said: It is prohibited to do so, This is what Qadi Iyaad pointed to and accepted. True according to our companions and this is also opinion of Imam al Haramain and other researchers. It is neither forbidden nor disliked.[Sharah Sahih Muslim Kitab al-Hajj]

Comment: So for Abu Muhammad Juwaini and Qaadi Iyaad its prohibited to travel whereas, according to Imam Nawawi it is allowed.

Ibn Hajar asqalani also accepted this was the opinion of Imam Qaadi Iyaad, he also adds Qadhi Husayn and OTHER SCHOLARS in this group, as he said:
واختلف في شد الرحال إلى غيرها ، كالذهاب إلى زيارة الصالحين أحياء وأمواتا ، وإلى المواضع الفاضلة لقصد التبرك بها والصلاة فيها ، فقال الشيخ أبو محمد الجويني : يحرم شد الرحال إلى غيرها عملا بظاهر هذا الحديث ، وأشار القاضي حسين إلى اختياره ، وبه قال عياض وطائفة ، ويدل عليه ما رواه أصحاب السنن من إنكار بصرة الغفاري على أبي هريرة خروجه إلى الطور ، وقال له : ” لو أدركتك قبل أن تخرج ما خرجت ”
واستدل بهذا الحديث فدل على أنه يرى حمل الحديث على عمومه ووافقه أبو هريرة
There is difference of opinion regarding traveling to visit other than these (mosques) like visiting the righteous whether alive or dead, or going to places of virtues to seek blessings and praying there. Shaikh Abu Muhammad Al-Jwiani said: It is prohibited to travel other then these (masajid) according to the apparent meaning of this hadeeth, This is what Al-Qadi Husayn pointed out and accepted and this was also said by Qadi Iyaad and A GROUP. Their evidence is the hadith narrated by the authors of Sunan which Basrah al Ghifaari said to Abu Huraira when he went to “Tur”: ‘If I had met you before you left, you would not have gone there!. They take evidence from this hadith and take the general meaning of this hadith and that Abu Huraira agreed with him [Fath ul Bari 3/65]

Then he went on and said:
والصحيح عند إمام الحرمين وغيره من الشافعية أنه لا يحرم
True according to Imam al Haramayn and Shafiees is that this is not prohibited. [Ibid]

He went against this group of scholars, including Ibn Taymiyyah. This type of refuting should not make opponents of Ibn Taymiyyah happy because Ibn Hajar asqalani considered him Shaykh ul Islam. And he knew Ibn Taymiyah was not alone in this opinion as he mentioned other scholars and their evidence. It is like Shaykh Abbad refuting Shaykh Muhammad Ashqar or Shaykh Zubair Ali Zai going against some grading on ahadith by Shaykh al-Albani.

Those who are happy on the verdicts of Ibn Hajr on this issue should also see his praises for Ibn Taymiyah and hukm on the narrations of visiting graves.

Ibn Hajr al Asqalani said:
طرق هذا الحديث كلها ضعيفة
All of the routs of this hadeeth are weak, [Talkhees al Hubayr 2/267]

Ibn Hajr al asqalani said after saying its weak by all of its routs:
لكن صححه من حديث ابن عمر أبو علي بن السكن في إيراده إياه في أثناء السنن الصحاح له ، وعبد الحق في الأحكام في سكوته عنه ، والشيخ تقي الدين السبكي من المتأخرين باعتبار مجموع الطرق ، وأصح ما ورد في ذلك ما رواه أحمد وأبو داود من طريق أبي صخر حميد بن زياد ، عن يزيد بن عبد الله بن قسيط ، عن أبي هريرة مرفوعا : { ما من أحد يسلم علي إلا رد الله علي روحي حتى أرد عليه السلام }. وبهذا الحديث صدر البيهقي الباب .
But the narration of Ibn Umar is authenticated by Abu Ali bin al-Sakn in “Eeradah fe Ithna al Sunan al Sahaah lahu”, Abdul Haq remained silent after quoting in “al Ahkam”, Shaykh Taqi al-din as-Subki from the Mutakhireen (authenticated) by combining all of its routs. The most authentic narration in this issue is narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawud from the rout of Abi Skhar Hameed bin Ziad from Yazeed bin Abdullah bin Qaseet from Abu Huraira from Prophet peace be upon him which states : “If any one of you greets me, Allah returns my soul to me and I respond to the greeting.” [Ibid]

So, some of the mutakhireen authenticated it by combining all of its routs but Ibn Hajr went with the opinion of Ibn Khuzaima, al Uqaylee and Ibn Taymiyah on the authenticity of these narrations.

Further clearing The opinion of Qadi Iyaad

Qaadi Iyaad said
وقوله: ” لا تشد الرحال إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد ” الحديث: فيه تعظيم هذه المساجد وخصوصها بشد الرحال إليها، ولأنها مساجد الأنبياء، ولفضل الصلاة فيها، وتضعيف أجرها، ولزوم ذلك لمن نذره، بخلاف غيرها مما لا يلزم ولا يباح بشد الرحال إليها إلا لناذر، ولا لمتطوع لهذا النهى.
The saying “Do not undertake a journey to visit any Mosque, but three”. In this hadeeth, there is a veneration of these Masajid, specially travelling towards them (for worship), and that they are Masajid of Prophets, and that there is a great reward in it, and whoever vowed to travel towards them, its obligation on him to fulfill. Apart from these masajid, it is not obligation to travel neither it is allowed unless he vowed, neither there is reward because of this prohibition. [Ikmal al Mu`allim by Qaadi Iyaad 4/448-449]

He said regarding visiting:

الأَوْلى عندي أن منعَه وكراهة مالك له – قول : زرت قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم – لإضافته إلى قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، وأنه لو قال : زرنا النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يكرهه ، لقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( اللهم لا تجعل قبري وثنا يعبد بعدى ، اشتد غضب الله على قوم اتخذوا قبور أنبيائهم مساجد )

فحمى إضافة هذا اللفظ إلى القبر و التشبه بفعل أولئك قطعا للذريعة و حسما للباب و الله أعلم
“According to me the best interpretation is that Malik forbade and disliked saying: I visited the grave of Prophet peace be upon him adding “grave” with the Prophet peace be upon him. “HE DID NOT DISLIKE PEOPLE SAYING WE VISITED THE PROPHET Peace be upon him” This is because of the Prophet’s statement: “O Allah do not make my grave an idol to be worshiped after me. Allah was angry with the people who took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.”
So he avoid the word grave in order to cut off the means and close the door to this wrong action. ALLAH KNOWS THE BEST.[ash-Shifa of Qaadi Iyaad 2/71, Ibn Abdul Hadi quoted against as-Subki in Sarim al Munki fe radd as-Subki 1/274, Ibn Taymiyyah in al Iqtidha Siraat al Mustaqeem 1/400].

Note: whoever visits madina to learn fiqh, sunnah, justice and all sort of knowledge or to visit the mosque then visit the grave is not the issue of travelling to the graves, rather it is allowed.

Imam Nawawi said that Qaadi Iyaad said

وقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( وهو يأرز إلى المدينة ) معناه أن الإيمان أولا وآخرا بهذه الصفة لأنه في أول الإسلام كان كل من خلص إيمانه وصح إسلامه أتى المدينة , إما مهاجرا مستوطنا , وإما متشوقا إلى رؤية رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ومتعلما منه ومتقربا ثم بعده هكذا في زمن الخلفاء كذلك , ولأخذ سيرة العدل منهم والاقتداء بجمهور الصحابة رضوان الله عليهم فيها ثم من بعدهم من العلماء الذين كانوا سرج الوقت وأئمة الهدى لأخذ السنن المنتشرة بها عنهم فكان كل ثابت الإيمان منشرح الصدر به يرحل إليها ثم بعد ذلك في كل وقت إلى زماننا لزيارة قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والتبرك بمشاهده وآثاره وآثار أصحابه الكرام فلا يأتيها إلا مؤمن هذا كلام القاضي . والله أعلم بالصواب
Prophet peace be upon him said Imaan returns to madina, this means that the attribute of Imaan in the beginning was same and also in the last will be same because in the beginning of Islam every person whose Imaan and Islam were pure used to visit madina as a Mahajir or just for the sight of Prophet peace be upon him, or to learn from Prophet peace be upon him and to attain his Qurb. After this time in the era of Khulafa ar Rashideen the Ahl-al Imaan had the same attitude , they kept visiting the Madina learn justice from them and to follow the steps of the majority of the companions then to learn from the scholars who were like light lamps and the leaders of guidance at that time, to learn from them the Sunnah. So, you find every firm believer travels to the Madina, after doing all that in every era till today , they would visit the grave of the prophet and seek Blessings from his left overs and his companions so only a Mou’min who would visit the Madina”[Sharah Sahih Muslim Kitab alEman]

see this also http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vbe/showpost.php?p=5158&postcount=27

Note: Imam Ibn Abdul Hadi said

قال المعترض
قال القاضي عياض (رحمه الله) زيارة قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم سنة بين المسلمين مجمع عليها وفضيلة مرغب فيها.
قلت: هذا الإجماع الذي حكاه القاضي عياض رحمه الله تعالى حكاه شيخ الإسلام أيضاً، في غير موضع، وقد قدمناه غير مرة ذكر في مصنفاته وفتاويه ومناسكه استحباب زيارة قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم على الوجه المشروع، ولم يذكر في ذلك نزاعاً بين العلماء، وإنما ذكر الخلاف بينهم في السفر لمجرد زيارة القبور، واختار المنع من ذلك كما هو مذهب مالك وغيره من أهل العلم، وهو الذي اختاره القاضي عياض مع حكايته هذا الاجماع.
ومقصوده المعترض الاحتجاج على الشيخ بهذا الإجماع الذي ذكره القاضي عياض، والشيخ لا يخالف هذا الإجماع، بل يوافقه ويذهب إليه ويحكيه في مواضع مع قوله بالنهي عن السفر لزيارة القبور، كما ذهب إليه القاضي عياض ناقل هذا الإجماع،
Objector (as-Subki) said: Qaadi Iyaad Rahimullah said: Visiting the grave of Prophet peace be upon him is sunnah among the Muslimeen who have consensus on its virtues..

I (Ibn Abdul Hadee) say: The Ijma mentioned by Imam Qaadi Iyaad rahimullah is also mentioned by Shaykh ul Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) in many places and we have mentioned earlier that He (Ibn Taymiyah) mentioned the istehbaab of visiting the grave of Prophet peace be upon him in his Fatawa and Manasik al Hajj and he did not mentioned dispute among the scholars. He only mentioned the dispute in traveling to visit the graves and accepted the view of prohibition which is the Madhab of Maalik and other people of knowledge. This is also the opinion of Qaadi Iyaad who mentioned this consensus.

The purpose of objector (as-Subki) is to make this consensus mentioned by Qadi Iyaad evidence against the shaykh (Ibn Taymiyah). Shaykh (Ibn Taymiyah) did not oppose this consensus rather he agreed with it, and with its acception he rejected traveling to visit the graves which he mentioned in many places. This is also the opinion of Qaadi Iyaad who mentioned this consensus[ Sarim al Munki fe radd al Subki page 305-306] After quoting Consensus Qaadi Iyaad also mentioned how should a person do ziarah,

Qadhi Iyaad said that Ibn Habeeb said:

ويقول إذا دخل مسجد الرسول : بسم الله ، وسلام على رسول الله ، السلام علينا من ربنا ، وصلى الله ، وملائكته على محمد . اللهم اغفر لي ذنوبي ، وافتح لي أبواب رحمتك ، وجنتك ، واحفظني من الشيطان الرجيم ، ثم اقصد إلى الروضة ، وهي ما بين القبر ، والمنبر فاركع فيها ركعتين قبل وقوفك بالقبر تحمد الله فيهما ، وتسأله تمام ما خرجت إليه ، والعون عليه .
وإن كانت ركعتاك في غير الروضة أجزأتاك ، وفي الروضة أفضل .
وقد قال – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ما بين منبري ، وقبري روضة من رياض الجنة ، ومنبري على ترعة من ترع الجنة .
ثم تقف متواضعا متوقرا ، فتصلي عليه ، وتثني بما يحضرك ، وتسلم على أبي بكر ، وعمر ، وتدعو لهما .
وأكثر من الصلاة في مسجد النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – بالليل ، والنهار ، ولا تدع أن تأتي مسجد قباء ، وقبور الشهداء .
He should say while entering into the Mosque of Rasool Allah peace be upon him “In the name of Allah, peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, and peace be upon us from Our Lord. May the blessings of Allah and prayer of the Angels upon Messenger, O Allah forgive my sins, and open the door of Jannah and your Mercy for me, save me from the cursed satan. Than go to the Rawdha (Riyadh al Jannah) which is in between the grave (of Prophet peace be upon him) and the Minbar. Then pray two rakah in it before standing near the grave and praise Allah, and ask him all of what you came for and ask for help. If you are unable to pray in Rawdha then pray anywhere in the mosque but it is better to pray in Rawdha. Because Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Between my house and the pulpit there is a garden of the gardens of Paradise. and My pulpit is a canal of the canals of the paradise”. Then stand before the grave in a humble and good manner. And send blessings upon him (peace be upon him) and praise him whatever comes in your mind that time. Then say Salam to Abu Bakr and Umar and pray for them. Pray a lot in the mosque of Prophet peace be upon him day and night. Do not forgot to go to the Mosque of al Quba and the graves of Martyrs. [Qadhi Iyaad in Ash-Shifa, Volume No.2, Page No. 447]

Note: Just for reference I want to quote Ibn Uthaymeen ra who said almost same as Qaadi Iyaad quoted from Ibn Habeeb.

Ibn Uthaymeen said:

When he reaches the Prophet’s Mosque, he should enter with his right foot first and say, “Bismillaah wa’l-salaatu wa’l-salaam ‘ala Rasoolillaah. Allaahumma ighfir li dhunoobi waftah li abwaab rahmatika. A’oodhu Billaah il-‘azeem wa bi wajhihi’l-kareem wa bi sultaanihi’l-qadeem min al-shaytaan il-rajeem (In the name of Allaah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah. O Allaah, forgive my sins and open to me the gates of Your mercy. I seek refuge in Allaah the Almighty and in His noble Face and in His eternal Power, from the accursed Shaytaan).” Then he should pray as he likes.

It is better for him to pray in al-Rawdah which is the area between the minbar of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the room in which is his grave, because this area is one of the gardens (riyaadh, sing. rawdah) of Paradise. When he has prayed and wants to visit the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he should stand in front of it in a dignified manner and say, “Assalaamu ‘alayka ayyuha’l-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu. Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama salayta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed; Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama baarakta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed. Ashhadu annaka Rasool-Allaah haqqan wa annaka qad balaghta al-risaalah wa adayta al-amaanah wa nasahta al-ummah wa jaahadta fillaahi haqqa jihaadihi. Fa jazaka Allaahu ‘an ummatika afdal ma jaza nabiyyan ‘an ummatihi (Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allaah, and His blessings. O Allaah, send prayers upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent prayers upon Ibraaheem and the family of Ibraaheem, verily You are Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. O Allaah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent blessings upon Ibraaheem and the family of Ibraaheem, verily You are Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. I bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allaah, that you conveyed the message and fulfilled the trust, and advised the ummah and strove truly for the sake of Allaah. May Allaah reward you on behalf of your ummah better than any Prophet is rewarded on behalf of his nation).”

Then he should move a little to his right and send salaams upon Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq and pray that Allaah be pleased with him.

Then he should move a little further to his right and send salaams upon ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab and pray that Allaah be pleased with him. If he makes du’aa’ for Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them) in an appropriate manner, that is good.[al-Manhaj li Mureed al-‘Umrah wa’l-Hajj 1/26, see also Islamqa fatwa no. 34464]

This is the right way of Ziarah which is clear from innovations.

7. The opinion of Imam Maalik

Qaadi Iyaad said
و قال في المبسوط : لا أرى أن يقف عند قبر النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يدعو و لكن يسلم و يمضي
In Al Mabsut He (Imam Malik) said: I do not think people should stand at the grave of the Prophet, but should greet and then depart. [ash-Shifa (2/71)]

How Imam Maalik is clearing his stance that he should greet, not that he should ask help from Prophet peace be upon him.

Qaadi Iyaad said that Imam Maalik was asked:

Some of the people of Madina who “HAD NEITHER COME FROM A JOURNEY NOR WERE GOING ON A JOURNEY” would do that once a day or more, sometimes once or twice on Jumu’a or other days, giving the greeting and “MAKING SUPPLICATION FOR AN HOUR”.

He replied:

لم يبلغني هذا عن أهل الفقه ببلدنا وتركه واسع ولا يصلح آخر هذه الأمة إلا ما أصلح أولها ولم يبلغني عن أول هذه الأمة وصدرها أنهم كانوا يفعلون ذلك ويكره إلا لمن جاء من سفر أو أراده . قال ابن القاسم : ورأيت أهل المدينة إذا خرجوا منها أو دخلوا أتوا القبر فسلموا قال ولذلك رأى .
“I have not heard of this from any of the fuqaha’of my city, Leaving it is permitted and nothing is good for the latter generations of this ummah except that which was good for its first generations. I have not heard that any of the first generations of the ummah used to do that. It is disliked “EXCEPT FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS COME FROM OR IS GOING ON A JOURNEY” Imam Ibn al-Qasim (Authentic narrator from Imam Malik) said: When the people of Madina left or entered Madina, I saw that they used to come to the grave and give the greeting. He said: “AND THAT IS MY OPINION” [Al-Shifa bi Ta’reef Huqooq al-Mustafa, 2/676, Shaykh al Islam Ibn Taymiyyah quoted same passage in Majmoo Fatawa 1/232]

Ibn Waddaah al-Qurtubi (200 h to 287 h) May Allaah have mercy on him said:
وكان مالك ابن أنس وغيره من علماء المدينة يكرهون إتيان المساجد وتلك الآثار للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ما عدا قباء وأحدا
“Maalik ibn Anas and other scholars of Madeenah regarded it as makrooh to go to those mosques and historical sites connected to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), apart from Quba’ and Uhud.” (al-Bida’ wa’l-Nahiy ‘anhaa, p. 43).

Imam Malik (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about a stranger who comes to the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) each day. He said, : ما هذا من الأمر ، وذكر حديث : ( اللهم لا تجعل قبري وثنًا يُعبد )
‘That is not right,’ and quoted the hadith, ‘O Allah, do not make my grave an idol that is worshipped.'” [al-Jami’ li’l-Bayan by Ibn Rushd Classed as sahih by al-Albani in Tahdhir al-Sajid min Ittikhadh al-Qubur Masajid, p. 24-26.]

Ibn Rushud Said:
فيُكره أن يُكثر المرور به والسلام عليه ، والإتيان كل يوم إليه لئلا يُجعل القبر كالمسجد الذي يؤتى كل يوم للصلاة فيه ، وقد نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن ذلك بقوله : ( اللهم لا تجعل قبري وثنً
“So he regarded it as makruh to pass by it a great deal to send salam on him, and to come there every day, lest the grave become like a mosque to which people come every day to pray. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade that when he said, ‘O Allah, do not make my grave an idol.'”[al-Bayan wa’l-Tahsil by Ibn Rushd, 18/444-445.]

Ibn Abdul Hadi said:

وقد صرح مالك وغيره بأن من نذر السفر إلى المدينة النبوية إن كان مقصوده الصلاة في مسجد النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – وفى بنذره ، وإن كان مقصوده مجرد زيارة القبر من غير صلاة في المسجد لم يف بنذره ، قال : لأن النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال : (( لا تعمل المطي إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد )) .
والمسألة ذكرها إسماعيل بن إسحاق في المبسوط ، ومعناها في المدونة والجلاب وغيرهما من كتب أصحاب مالك يقول : إن من نذر إتيان مسجد النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لزمه الوفاء بنذره ؛ لأن المسجد لا يؤتي إلا للصلاة ، ومن نذر إتيان المدينة النبوية فإن كان قصده الصلاة في المسجد وفى بنذره ، وإن قصد شيئاً آخر مثل زيارة من بالبقيع أو شهداء أحد لم يف بنذره ؛ لأن السفر إنما يشر إلى المساجد الثلاثة .
Imam Maalik and others have clearly said that whoever vowed to travel to viist madinah. If his intention is to pray in Masjid al Nabvi peace be upon him then he should fulfill his vow. And if his intention is not to pray in the mosque rather to visit the grave and not to pray in masjid then He should not fulfill his vow. He said: Because Prophet peace be upon him said: “Do not travel except to three mosques”. This mas`alah is mentioned by Ismaeel bin Ishaq in (the book) “al Mabsoot” and in the books of Ashaab of Imam Maalik which are Madawwana and al Julaab following is the meaning mentioned: Whoever vowed to visit the masjid al nabivi peace be upon him he should fulfill his vow because one visits the masjid to pray. And whoever vowed to visit Madinah al Munawarah and his intention is to pray in the mosque then he must fulfill his vow. And if his intention is for other things like to visit the graves in al Baqi or to visit the martyrs of Uhad then he should not fulfill his vow because traveling (for thawab) is only allowed for three masaajid[As-Sarim al Munki fe rad al Subki pages 33]

Imam Ibn Abdul Hadi quoted live debate between vrother of Ibn Taymiyah and as-Subki regarding this quote of Imam Maalik, He states:

وهذا الذي نقله في المبسوط عن مالك لا يعرف عن أحد من الأئمة الثلاثة خلافه، ولم يذكره المعترض في موضع من كتابه، فإما أنه لم يقف عليه، وإما أنه وقف عليه وتركه عمدا.
وقد سمعت أخا شيخ الإسلام يذكر هذا النقص الذي حكاه القاضي إسماعيل في المبسوط عن مالك لهذا المعترض بحضرة بعض ولاة الأمر، فغضب المعترض غضبا شديدا، ولم يجبه بأكثر من قوله: هذا كذب على مالك. فانظر إلى جراءة هذا المعترض وإقدامه على تكذيب ما لم يحط بعلمه بغير برهان ولا حجة بمجرد الهوى والتخرص، وليس هذا ببدع منه، فإنه قد عرف منه مثل ذلك في غير موضع،
The ikhtilaaf of other three Imams is not known with the quote mentioned in “al Mabsoot” from Maalik. The objector (as-Subki) did not mentioned anywhere in his book, He deliberately left this or He did not know about this. And I heard from the brother of Shaykh ul Islam that when hementioned this clear text which is mentioned by Qadhi Ismaeel in (his book) “al Mabsoot” from Maalik in front of some Governer against the objector (as-Subki). He (as-Subki) became very furious, He did not answered more than saying “This is a lie upon Maalik”. See the (Subki`s) daring, He (denied) without knowing it, and (he rejected) without giving any evidence and because he followed his desires. This is not surprising from him because his mistakes like this are known in other places.[as-Saarim al Munki fe radd al-Subki page 341]

8. The opinion of Ibn Taymiyah
Shaykh ul Islaam Imam Ibn Taymiyyah raihmahullah said
وإن كان المسافر إلى مسجده يزور قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم بل هذا من أفضل الأعمال الصالحة ولا في شيء من كلامي وكلام غيري نهي عن ذلك ولا نهي عن المشروع في زيارة قبور الأنبياء والصالحين ولا عن المشروع في زيارة سائر القبور ; بل قد ذكرت في غير موضع استحباب زيارة القبور
If a traveler goes to Masjid of Prophet then he should visit the grave of Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم rather it is from the best of actions. There is nothing in my saying or the saying of any other which prohibits this practice, Neither the prohibition of Mashr`oo visiting of the graves of the Prophets and Righteous, neither any prohibition of visiting all of the graves, Rather I have mentioned in many places that visiting graves is Mustahab. [Majmu’a Fatwaa Ibn Taymiyyah 27/330]

Then he mentioned a hadith and said:
وإذا كانت زيارة قبور عموم المؤمنين مشروعة فزيارة قبور الأنبياء والصالحين أولى ; لكن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم له خاصية ليست لغيره من الأنبياء والصالحين
When it is allowed to visit the graves of general momineen then the graves of the Prophets and Righteous have more right to be visited, rather the messenger of Allah peace be upon him have superiority over other Anbiya and Righteous. [Ibid]

Shaykh al Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
وأول من وضع هذه الأحاديث في السفر لزيارة المشاهد التي على القبور : أهل البدع من الرافضة ونحوهم الذين يعطلون المساجد ويعظمون المشاهد يدعون بيوت الله التي أمر أن يذكر فيها اسمه ويعبد وحده لا شريك له ويعظمون المشاهد التي يشرك فيها ويكذب ويبتدع فيها دين لم ينزل الله به سلطانا ; فإن الكتاب والسنة إنما فيهما ذكر المساجد ; دون المشاهد.
The first ones who fabricated the ahadith to visit shrines are people of innovation among the Rafidah and others like them, they leave the Masajid and venerate the shrines. It is ordered to do dhikr in Masajid and to worship the One who have no other partners, They venerate shrines so much that they do shirk in them, They lie and innovate things in the religion which was not revealed by Allah. Quran and Sunnah mentioned Masajid rather than Shrines. [Majmu al Fatawa 27/191, also quoted by ash-Shawkani in Neyl al Awtar 5/156]

ash-Shawkani said after quoting this:
وهذا كله في شد الرجال وأما الزيارة فمشروعة بدونه
This is also regarding traveling to visit them, as for visiting them without doing all this is allowed. [Neyl al Awtar 5/156]

This is exactly whats happening now a days. One can see in Lahore Thousands of People go to shrine of Ali Hajvery ra (they call it “data darbar” i.e. the shrine of the Giver) and the Masjid near it is empty with the exception of very few as compared to the shrine. This is just one example.

He said:
ولهذا لم يستحب علماء السلف من أهل المدينة وغيرها قصد شيء من المزارات التي بالمدينة وما حولها بعد مسجد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إلا مسجد قباء لأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يقصد مسجدا بعينه يذهب إليه إلا هو
“Hence the scholars of the salaf among the people of Madeenah and elsewhere did not regard it as mustahabb to set out to visit any places in and around Madeenah after the Mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), apart from the mosque of Quba’, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not specify any mosque to be visited apart from that.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 17/469).

The great Salafi scholar Ata ullah Hanif Bhojiani said:
“As we have mentioned above after reaching Madinah al Munawwarah which Muslim do not want to visit the Rawdha al aqdas?… Every Muslim should pray like Umar ra i.e. ” “O Allah! I ask you for martyrdom in Your way and death in the city of Your Messenger!” (Mawatta Imam Maalik 174) My (Ata ullah Hanif Bhojiani`s) prayer in the court of Allah is same [footnotes of Hiyat Shaykh al Islam by Abu Zahrah page 511] See the biography of Ataullah Hanif here http://www.umm-ul-qura.org/info/user_pages/page.asp?art_id=166

Comment: This is the opinion of Sahaba and Tabiyeen i.e. when a person visit the mosuq he should pray there, send salam, visit the rawdha of Prophet peace be upon him.

The salaf of Ibn Taymiyah in this opinion

Shaykh al Albani said in al-Da’eefah (no. 47):

يظن كثير من الناس أن شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية ومن نحى نحوه من السلفيين يمنع من زيارة قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم ؛ وهذا كذب وافتراء وليست أول فرية على ابن تيمية رحمه الله تعالى ، وعليهم ، وكل من له اطلاع على كتب ابن تيمية يعلم أنه يقول بمشروعية زيارة قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم واستحبابها إذا لم يقترن بها شيء من المخالفات والبدع ، مثل شد الرحل والسفر إليها لعموم قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” لا تشد الرحل إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد ” . والمستثنى منه في الحديث ليس هو المساجد فقط كما يظن كثيرون بل هو كل مكان يقصد للتقرب إلى الله فيه سواء كان مسجداً أو قبراً أو غير ذلك ، بدليل ما رواه أبو هريرة قال ( في الحديث له ) :
” فلقيت بصرة بن أبي بصرة الغفاري فقال : من أين أقبلت ؟ فقلت : من الطّور ، فقال : لو أدركتك قبل أن تخرج إليه ما خرجت ! سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : ” لا تُعْمل المُطيّ إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد ” الحديث أخرجه أحمد وغيره بسند صحيح .
فهذا دليل صريح على أن الصحابة فهموا الحديث على عمومه ، ويؤيده أنه لم ينقل عن أحد منهم أنه شدّ الرّحْل لزيارة قبر ما ، فهم سلف ابن تيمية في هذه المسألة ، فمن طعن فيه فإنما يطعن في السلف الصالح رضي الله عنهم، ورحم الله من قال :
وكل خير في اتباع من سلف وكل شر في ابتداع من خلف
“Many people think that Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and those who follow him among the Salafis forbid visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) altogether. This is a lie and a fabrication, and it is not the only lie told about Ibn Taymiyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, or about the Salafis. Everyone who reads the books of Ibn Taymiyah will see that he says it is permissible to visit his grave (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and that doing so is recommended (mustahabb), so long as it is not associated with any objectionable practices or innovations (bid’ah), such as travelling solely for that purpose, because of the hadeeth “No one should set out purposely except to visit three mosques.” The hadeeth does not describe a ban only on travelling to visit other mosques, as many people think; it also includes a ban on setting out to visit any place which people think will bring them closer to Allaah, whether it is a mosque, a grave or any other place. This is indicated by the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah who said: ‘I met Basrah ibn Abi Basrah al-Ghifaari and he asked me, ‘Where are you coming from?’ I said, ‘From al-Toor [Sinai].’ He said, ‘If I had met you before you left, you would not have gone there! I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘Do not travel except to three mosques.’” (Reported by Ahmad and others with a saheeh isnaad).

This clearly indicates that the Sahaabah understood the hadeeth to be general in application [i.e., it did not apply only to mosques]. This is supported by the fact that it is not reported that any of them ever set out with the intention of visiting a grave. They (The Sahaba) are the predecessors of Ibn Taymiyah in this regard, so whoever condemns Ibn Taymiyah is in effect condemning the salaf (the righteous predecessors), may Allaah be pleased with them. May Allaah have mercy on the one who said:

“All goodness is in following those who went before (the salaf)

and all evil is in following the innovations of those who came later.”(end quote)

That is the reason Allamah Sayyed Nu`man al Alusi said in defense of Ibn Taymiyyah:
أن شيخ الإسلام لم ينفرد بهذا القول الذى شُنِّع به عليه، بل ذهب إليه غيره من الأئمة الأعلام
Shaykh al Islam is not alone in this saying as he is accused by hus opponents, rather it is the opinion of other great scholars as well. [Jala al Aynayn page 518]

9. Al-‘Alama Al-Imam Muhi Al-Din Muhammad ibn Ali Iskandar Al-Barqawi Al-Rumi Al-Hanafi said in “Ziyarat Al-Quboor” (Visiting the Graves) page 18:
ومنها السفر إليها مع التعب الأليم والإثم العظيم. فإن جمهور العلماء قالوا: السفر إلى زيارة قبور الأنبياء والصالحين بدعة، لم يفعلها أحد من الصحابة والتابعين، ولا أمر بها رسول رب العالمين، ولا استحبها أحد من أئمة المسلمين. فمن اعتقد ذلك قربة وطاعة، فقد خالف الإجماع. ولو سافر إليها بذلك الاعتقاد، يحرم بإجماع المسلمين
“The majority of the scholars said that: Travelling to visit the graves of Prophets and Righteous people is a Bid’ah (innovation), that was not done by any of the companions or the Tabi’een, neither was it ordered by the Prophet of the Lord of ‘Alamin, neither was it favored by the scholars of the Muslimeen. So whoever believes that this is a Qurbah (bring you closer to Allah) or an obedience, then he has broken the concensus of the Muslims. And if he travels there solely for that purpose than it is prohibited by the agreement of the Muslims”.

10. Ibn ‘Abdil hadi said in “Al-Sarim Al-Munki”
ولو نذر السفر إلى غير المساجد أو السفر إلى مجرد قبر نبي، أو صالح لم يلزمه الوفاء بنذر باتفاقهم، فإن هذا السفر لم يأمر به النبي ، بل قد قال: “لا تشد الرحال إلا إلى ثـلاثة مساجد”. وإنما يجب بالنذر ما كان طاعة. وقد صرح مالك –وغيره–، بأن من نذر السفر إلى المدينة النبوية: إن كان مقصوده الصلاة في مسجد النبي وفّى بنذره. وإن كان مقصوده مجرد زيارة القبر –من غير صلاة في المسجد–، لم يف بنذره. قال: لأن النبي قال: “لا تعمل المطي إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد

If he made a Nazr to travel to other than the three Masjids or to a grave of a Prophet, or righteous, then he is not obliged to keep his Nazr with their (scholar’s?) agreement, since this travel was not ordered by the Messenger [Peace be upon him], rather he said: “La Tushad Al-Rihal, except to three Masjids”, and Nazr has to be fullfilled only in obedience. Imam Malik and others stated that whoever makes a Nazr to travel to Prophetic Madina: If his intend was to pray in the Prophet’s Masjid then he upholds his Nazr, and if his intention was just to visit the grave -without praying in the Masjid- then he shouldn’t keep his Nazr. He said: Because the Messenger [Peace be upon him] said: “La Tu’mal Al-Muty, except to three Masjids

11. Imam Sahsawani said:
“And the people of tahqiq opined for prohibition of traveling to visit the graves. Like Imam of Dar al Hijrah Maalik bin Anas, Qaadi Iyaad, Abu Muhammad Juwaini, Qadhi Husayn, Ibn Battah, Ibn Taymiya, Ibn al Qayyim, Ibn Aqil, Shams ud din bin Abdul Hadi, Majority of the Maalikis, classical Shafiees and Hanbalees rather this is the saying of majority of the scholars. And not even from one of the three (Abu Hanifa, Shafiee, Ahmad) Imams said against this. [Ittemaam al Hujjah page 297]

12. Shah Wali ullah said

تفهيم – كل من ذهب إلى بلدة أجمير أو إلى قبر سالار مسعود أو ما ضاهاها لأجل حاجة يطلبها فإنه أثم إثما أكبر من القتل والزنا. ليس مثله إلا مثل من كان يعبد المصنوعات أو مثل من كان يدعو اللات والعزى إلا أنا لا نصرح بالتكفير لعدم النص من الشارع في هذا الأمر المخصوص. كل من عين حيوان الميت وطلب منه الحوائج فإنه آثم قلبه داخل في قوله تعالى ذلكم فسق
“Instruction: Anyone who goes to the town of Ajmer [to the grave of Khawaja Mu’in al-Din Chishti] or to the grave of Salar Mas’ud, or to any such place, for a need he requests of them, indeed he has committed a sin more grievous than murder and adultery. His likeness is not but like those who worship the creation or like those who call on Lat and ‘Uzza [for help]. However, we do state explicitly that he has disbelieved due to the absence of a text from the Lawgiver in this specific matter. Anyone who assigns life to the dead and requests his needs from them, ‘his heart is surely sinful’ (Qur’an, 2:283), and [this act] is included in His statement (Exalted is He), ‘that is iniquity’ (Qur’an, 5:3).” (al-Tafhimat al-Ilahiyyah, 2:45)

Note: According to Brailwi scholar Muhammad Umar Icharwi Shah Wali ullah became a Wahabi when he went to Hajj, previously his aqaid were like brailwiyah. [Miqyas Hanafiyyat, p.575to 578]

13. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said:
Visiting graves is Sunnah in all places, especially visiting al-Baqee’ where many of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) are buried, including Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan (may Allaah be pleased with him). His grave is there and is well known.

Similarly it is Sunnah to go out to Uhud and visit the graves of the martyrs there, including Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the paternal uncle of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). One should also visit the Mosque of Quba’, going out with wudoo’ and praying two rak’ahs there, because there is great virtue in doing so. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “One prayer in the Mosque of Quba’ is like ‘Umrah.” Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1180. And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever purifies himself in his house, then comes to the Mosque of Quba’ and offers a prayer there, will have a reward like that of ‘Umrah.” Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1181. [Daleel al-Akhta’ allata yaqa’ fiha al-Haaj wa’l-Mu’tamir (Mistakes made by pilgrims performing Hajj and ‘Umrah) by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him)]

14. Ibraheem Al Nakha`iee said
حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ فُضَيْلٍ ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عُبَيْدِ اللهِ ، عَنْ إبْرَاهِيمَ ، قَالَ : لاَ تُشَدُّ الرِّحَالَ إِلاَّ إلَى ثَلاَثَةِ مَسَاجِدَ.
.“No one should travel for the purpose of visiting except threeMasajid[Musannif Ibne Abi Shaiba Vol 4 Hadith no: 7623]

15. Ibn Atiyah (481 – 542 هـ) mentioned regarding the hadith “I used to forbid you from visiting graves, but now you should visit them” under surah at-Takaasur verse 2
ثم أباح بعد لمعنى الاتعاظ لا لمعنى المباهاة والتفاخر كما يصنع الناس في ملازمتها وتسنيمها بالحجارة والرخام وتلوينها شرفاً وبنيان النواويس عليها
Then he allowed in the meaning of it being a lesson form them and not for extravagance and pride like how some people engage themselves in building over the grave by building it with stones and marbles and decorating them to show respect and erecting structures over them.[al-muharrar al-wajiz fi tafsir al-kitab al-aziz under surah at-Takaasur verse 2]

16. Imam Ibn Abdul Barr
Ibn Abdul Hadee said
وقيل: أنه سفر مباح ليس بقربه كمال قاله طائفة من أصحاب الشافعي وأحمد وهو قول ابن عبد البر

It is said: The traveling is allowed but it is not to attain Qurbah as it is said by a group among the ashaab of Shafiee and Ahmad, This is also the saying of Ibn Abdul Barr [Sarim al Munki fe radd as-Subki page 205]

This was also the opinion of Imam Ibn Qudama

17: Ibn Qudamah al Hanbalee

فصل : فإن سافر لزيارة القبور والمشاهد . فقال ابن عقيل : لا يباح له الترخص ; لأنه منهي عن السفر إليها ، قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : { لا تشد الرحال إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد } . متفق عليه ، والصحيح إباحته ، وجواز القصر فيه ; لان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يأتي قباء راكبا وماشيا ، وكان يزور القبور ، وقال : { زوروها تذكركم الآخرة } .
وأما قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” لا تشد الرحال إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد ” فيحمل على نفي التفضيل ، لا على التحريم ، وليست الفضيلة شرطا في إباحة القصر ، فلا يضر انتفاؤها .
Fasal: Traveling to visit the graves and Mashahid: Ibn Aqil (al Hanbalee) said: The concession (of traveling) is not allowed (in this travelling) as it is prohibited, Prophet peace be upon him said: “Do not set out on a journey except for three Mosques” agreed upon hadith. (Ibn Qudama said) True is that it is allowed and concessions (of travelling) are allowed as Prophet peace be upon him used to visit Mosque of Qubaa by walk and by riding, and he used to visit the graves as He said “Visit the graves as they remind you of the hereafter” As for his peace be upon him saying “Do not saddle up your riding beasts except to (visit) three mosques” Then it means virtues are not (in traveling to visit other masajid) not that it is prohibited. For concession (of travelling) Virtues are not condition, If virtues are not there that does not make the traveling prohibited. [al-Mughni 2/100]

Comment: So for Ibn Qudama this type of Traveling is Mubah but prohibited according to Ibn Aqil. Ibn Qudama is taking evidence from the hadith “Visit the graves as they remind you of the hereafter” unlike those people who ask help from Prophet peace be upon him at his grave.

18. Ibn Batta (304 h to 387 h)
He said making structures over the graves, Plastering the graves, Traveling to visit them are among the innovations. [Al Ibanah tul Sughra page 273]

traveling_grave

Ibn Abdul Hadee said:

فقال: ومن البدع البناء على القبور وتحصينها، وشد الرحال إلى زيارتها، فأبن بطه يستحب الزيارة مع نهيه عن شد الرحل لمجردها، فعلم أنه يفرق بين السفر، وبين الزيارة بلا سفر
He (Ibn Batta) said making structures over the graves, Plastering the graves, Traveling to visit them are among the innovations. Ibn Batta recommended to visit the graves and prohibited traveling to visit them, He knew the difference between the traveling and visiting without the traveling [Sarim al Munki fe radd al Subki page 302]

19. Mulla Ali Qari
He allowed traveling to visit the graves and with that he also said:
فى هذا الباب نعم يمكن حمل كلام من حرم أو كره على صورة خاصة من الزيارة من الاجتماع فى وقت خاص على هيئة منكرة أو صفة مكروهة من اجتماع الرجال و النساء فى وقت واحد لما فيه من اتخاذ قبره عيدا والموجب لما أورد فيه وعيدا
In this chapter, YES it is possible to take the ruling of the one who prohibited, or disliked visiting of grave in a specific condition such as gathering at a specific time, in a sinful condition, or in a disliked position, including the mixing up of men and women at one time where they take the grave as a place of festival, and necessarily due to what has been narrated in it as a warning.” [Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari al-Harawi, Sharh al-Shifa (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 2001), vol 2 page 152]

20. Ibn Aqil Hanbalee
He criticized severly those who travel to visit the graves and ask help from them, Ibn al Jawzi said

قال وهم كفار عندي بهذه الأوضاع مثل تعظيم القبوروإكرامها بما نهى الشرع عنه من إيقاد النيران وتقبيلها وتخليفها وخطاب الموتى بالألواح وكتب الرقاع فيها يا مولاي افعل بي كذا وكذا وأخذ التراب تبركا وإفاضة الطيب على القبور وشد الرحال إليها وإلقاء الخرقعلى الشجر اقتداء بمن عبد اللات والعزى
“He (Ibn Aqil) said: “To me, they are infidels due to these positions; like revering the graves and paying respect to them with things which are forbidden by Shari’a like burning fire, kissing the graves, roaming around them, addressing the dead with sheets (of requests) and notes on patches which say like this: “O My Master do such and such for me”, and taking the soil for getting blessing, pouring perfume on the graves, undertaking journey to visit them, hanging shreds with trees, as imitation to those who worship Lat and Uzza. [Talbees Iblees of ibn e jozi تلبيس إبليس/الباب الثاني عشر chapter تلبيس إبليس على جمهور العوام]

21. Ala ud din bin Attar student of an-Nawawi

He wrote a book أحكام الموتى وغسلهم [see Al-Ailaam az-Zarkali 4/251] This book is also known as مجلس في زيارة القبور، وأحكام المقبول منها والمحذور, He said in it
هذه الأحاديث من فعله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأمره وتعليله دالة على زيارة قبر المفضول, فكيف بزيارة قبر الفاضل, فكيف بزيارة قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم, لكن للاعتبار والتذكار, لا للتآله والإكبار ولهذا قال: “لا تجعلوا قبرى وثنا” و “لا تجعلو قبري عيدا”

These ahadeeth, The practice of Prophet peace be upon him, his order and explaination are evidence of visiting the grave of the minor, then what about the visiting the grave of the righteous and visiting the grave of Prophet peace be upon him? But this (visiting) is for respect and remembering, not for worshipping and Magnificence , Therefore He (peace be upon him) said:”Do not make my grave an idol” and “Do not take my grave as a place of festivity” [Ziyarat al Qaboor by Imam Ala al-din bin Attar page 18, taken from Hadam al Manarah by Amr Abdul Munim Saleem page 89]

22. Abu bakr Al Arabi (543h) and Ash-Shaarmisaahi al Maaliki.

Abu Bakr al Arabi Maaliki (d 543 h) said regarding the visitor of the grave:
ولا يقصد الانتفاع بالميت فإنها بدعة وليست لأحدٍ على وجه الأرض إلا لواحدٍ وهو قبر محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم
“The purpose (of visiting) should not be seeking to benefit from the deceased, because this is an innovation, neither for anyone on the face of the earth, except the one and that is the grave of Muhammad peace be upon him.
[القبس في شرح موطأ مالك بن أنس 1/1157]

It is important to note that, In Ahkam al Qur`an Imam Abu Bakr al Arabi al Maaliki (468 h to 543 h), mentioned types of travelling and in the 7th type he said
قصد البقاع الكريمة ، وذلك لا يكون إلا في نوعين :
أحدهما المساجد الإلهية قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : { لا تشد الرحال إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد : مسجدي هذا ، والمسجد الحرام ، والمسجد الأقصى } .
الثاني : الثغور للرباط بها ، وتكثير سوادها للذب عنها ; ففي ذلك فضل كثير .
Intending to travel blessed places: It has two types
First (traveling to) the Masajid of Allah as Prophet peace be upon him said: “Do not undertake journey but to three mosques: this mosque of mine, the Mosque of al-Haram and the Mosque of Aqsa (Bait al-Maqdis).”
Second: Traveling to make the amount of Mujahideen more so that the borders will be saved. There is much reward in it. [Ahkam al Quran under 4:101]

Travelling to visit the graves of Anbiya is not even mentioned by him in travelling to the blessed places.

as-Subki quoted from Ash-Shaarmisaahi al Maaliki that
إن قصد الانتفاع بالميت بدعة إلا في زيارة قبر المصطفى وقبور المرسلين
It is an innovation if the purpose of visiting is taking benefit from the dead, except from the visiting the grave of Mustafa (peace be upon him) and other Messengers. [ash-Shifa as-Siqam]

as-Subki agreed with the second part and rejected the first part, whereas, Ibn Abdul Hadi accepted the first part and responded to the second one, he replied in great detail [see as-Sarim al Munki, Chapter 4] Following is the glimpse of the answer given by Ibn Abdul Hadi, taken from Islamweb Fatawa.
The quotation cited in As-Saarim Al-Munki from As-Subki is the statement of Ash-Shaarmisaahi. Al-Haafith Ibn ‘Abd Al-Haadi refuted his statement aptly. He, may Allaah have mercy upon him, first affirmed that it is true that seeking to benefit from the graves of the dead, other than the Prophets of Allaah, is a religious innovation and even a means leading to Shirk. He highlighted that the permissible visit of the graves is the one meant for supplicating Allaah in favor of the deceased hoping that the deceased would benefit from his supplications, and that the visitor only benefits from his own good deeds and efforts.

He, may Allaah have mercy upon him, wrote,
“What Allaah, The Exalted, prescribed for Muslims is to supplicate in favor of the deceased when performing the funeral prayer and when visiting the grave, and not to supplicate the deceased himself or specifically recite the supplications at the grave. This is the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to which Muslims should adhere and refer. They should not seek the judgment of any other person regardless of his status. As for the benefits the visitor yields, he does not benefit from the deceased; rather, he benefits from his own good deeds, which are visiting the grave, supplicating Allaah in favor of the deceased, invoking Allaah to confer His mercy upon the deceased, and showing kindness to him as the person benefits from his kindness towards others…”

He then addressed the exception made to the graves of the Messengers and refuted this statement from several aspects, including that none of the early Muslim generation said that it is prescribed for the Muslim to visit the graves of the Prophets and Messengers for that purpose; that the Prophets rather benefit people by guiding them to the truth and teaching them. Apart from that, then the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “O people; I have no power to prevent harm or bring benefit to you.”
He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that during his lifetime; how then could he be able to do that after his death, or how could any other than him be able to do that?

Also, this is the very act that the Messengers have forbidden and feared that their peoples might commit; the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, forbade taking his own grave as a place of celebration and the like of commands meant to eliminate the means that may lead to Shirk.

The Shaykh (Ibn Abd Al-Hadi) added:

“Whoever assumes that doing so is part of revering them is ignorant and mistaken; the due reverence should be manifested in obeying them, following their example, loving them and respecting them. Whoever reveres them by going against their commands, then his action is not reverence; rather, it is the opposite of reverence as it constitutes disobedience to them and contradicting their example. If a person prostrates to them, supplicates them instead of supplicating Allaah, glorified them with Tasbeeh, circumambulates their graves, renders their graves places of worship, attributes to them the divine attributes of Lordship, elevates them above the essential implications of the servitude to Allaah, and claims that such actions are manifestations of reverence, then he is the most ignorant and misguided of all people.”
In fact, the whole chapter is beneficial and valuable and worthy of reading, but this is as far as this summarized Fatwa can include.
Allah knows best. (end quote from Islamweb Fatwa)

23. Ibn Atheer (d 606 h) said:
(لا تشد الرحال) هذا مثل قوله: «لا تعمل المطي» وكنى به عن السير والنَّفْر، والمراد: لا يقصد موضع من المواضع بنية العبادة والتقرب إلى الله تعالى إلا إلى هذه الأماكن الثلاثة، تعظيماً لشأنها وتشريفاً.
(Saddles should not be tied to camels), This is similar to his saying (Riding Animals should not be used (for travelling) (These two sayings) metonymically refers to journey and troop, The meaning of this is, No place should be aimed (for travelling) with the intention of worship and seeking nearness of Allah except these three places (Masjid al-Haram, Masjid Nabawi, Masjid al-Aqsa) due to the exaltation and honour of these places. [Jam`e al Usul li Ibn al Athir 9/283 no. 6894, roughly translated by Abdul Raheem Salafi]

24. Imam Safi ud din (Abdul Momin) bin Abdul Haq Hanbalee (d 739 h), states in his letter to the sultan:

فإنه لما قرع أسماع أهل البلاد المشرقية والنواحي العراقية التضييق على شيخ الإسلام تقي الدين أبي العباس أحمد بن تيمية سلمه الله عظم ذلك على المسلمين وشق على ذوي الدين وارتفعت رؤوس الملحدين وجابت نفوس أهل الأهواء والمبتدعين ولما رأى علماء أهل هذه الناحية عظم هذه النازلة من شماتة أهل البدع وأهل الأهواء بأكابر الأفاضر وأئمة العلماء أنهوا حال هذا الأمر الفظيع والأمر الشنيع إلى الحضرة الشريفة السلطانية زادها الله شرفا وكتبوا أجوبتهم في تصويب ما أجاب به الشيخ سلمه الله في فتاواه وذكروا من علمه وفضائله بعض ما هو فيه وحملوا ذلك إلى بين يدي مولانا ملك الأمراء أعز الله أنصاره وضاعف اقتداءه غيرة منهم على هذا الدين ونصيحة للإسلام وأمراء المؤمنين
When people of the cities of Mashriq and those who are living nearby Iraq heard regarding the restrictions against Shaykh ul Islam Taqi ud din Abul Abbas Ahmad bin Taymiyyah, This thing was hard on Muslims and It was burden on the supporters of religion, and the heads of Mulhideen are Raised, and the souls of people of desires and Innovation became happy. When Scholars came to know about this great calamity and when they felt that because of his imprisonment people of innovations and desires are mocking the great scholars and Imams then they brought this unpleasant and daunting news in the honest court of Sultan. They (the scholars) wrote fatawa in agreement of the fatwa of shaykh and mentioned the knowledge and virtues of shaykh… [al Uqood ad-Durriyah 1/367]

25. Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman Baghdadi al Maaliki ( (701 h to 767 h)

Following letter was sent by Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman Baghdadi (701 h to 767 h) Khadim of a Group of Malikis from Madrassah ash-Shareefah al Mustansariyah stated:

ما أجاب به الشيخ الأجل الأوحد بقية السلف وقدوة الخلف رئيس المحققين وخلاصة المدققين تقي الملة والحق والدين
من الخلاف في هذه المسألة صحيح منقول في غير ما كتاب من كتب أهل العلم لا اعتراض عليه في ذلك إذ ليس في ذلك ثلب لرسول الله ولا غض من قدره
وقد نص الشيخ أبو محمد الجويني في كتبه على تحريم السفر لزيارة القبور وهذا اختيار القاضي الإمام عياض بن موسى بن عياض في إكماله وهو من أفضل المتأخرين من أصحابنا
ومن المدونة ومن قال على المشي إلى المدينة أو بين المقدس فلا يأتيهما أصلا إلا أن يريد الصلاة في مسجديهما فليأتهما
فلم يجعل نذر زيارة قبره طاعة يجب الوفاء بها إذ من أصلنا أن من نذر طاعة لزمه الوفاء بها كان من جنسها ما هو واجب بالشرع كما هو مذهب أبي حنيفة أو لم يكن
قال القاضي أبو اسحق اسمعيل بن اسحق عقيب هذه المسألة ولولا الصلاة فيهما لما لزمه إتيانهما ولو كان نذر زيارة طاعة لما لزمه ذلك
وقد ذكر ذلك القيرواني في تقريبه والشيخ ابن سيرين في تنبيهه وفي المبسوط قال مالك ومن نذر المشي إلى مسجد من المساجد ليصلي فيه قال فإني أكره ذلك له لقوله لاتعمل المطي إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد المسجد الحرام ومسجد بيت المقدس ومسجدي هذا وروى محمد بن المواز في الموازية إلا أن يكون قريبا فيلزمه الوفاء لأنه ليس بشد رحل
وقد قال الشيخ أبو عمر بن عبد البر في كتابه التمهيد يحرم على المسلمين أن يتخذوا قبور الأنبياء والصالحين مساجد
وحيث تقرر هذا فلا يجوز أن ينسب من أجاب في هذه المسألة بأنه سفر منهي عنه إلى الكفر فمن كفره بذلك من غير موجب فإن كان مستبيحا ذلك فهو كافر وإلا فهو فاسق
قال الإمام أبو عبد الله محمد بن علي المازري في كتاب المعلم من كفر أحدا من أهل القبلة فإن كان مستبيحا ذلك فقد كفر وإلا فهو فاسق يجب على الحاكم إذا رفع أمره إليه أن يؤدبه ويعزره بما يكون رادعا لأمثاله فإن ترك مع القدرة عليه فهو آثم والله تعالى أعلم أه
He quoted Abu Muhammad Juwaini and Qaadi Iyaad regarding the prohibition of traveling to visit the graves. He also quoted Qadhi Ismaeel bin Ishaq Maliki (d 282 h), Imam Maalik, Muhammad bin al Mawaz, Ibn Abdul Barr, al Maazari, Shaykh Ibn Sireen, al Madawana in favor of Ibn Taymiyyah [, Al uqood ad-Durriyah 1/45, al Kawakib ad-Durruiyah 163-165]

When as-Subki saw this letter he said This Maaliki is liar in his naql from Abu Muhammad Juwaini and Qaadi Iyaad because Abu Muhammad Juwaini and Qaadi Iyaad never said this [Shifa as-Siqam page 302]

But this is a big mistake of as-Subki because Imam an-Nawawi, Ibn Hajar asqalani and others also mentioned same fatawa from Abu Muhammad Juwaini and Qaadi Iyaad. In fact even as-Subki himself mentioned these fatawa in “Shifa as-Siqam page 295” and said Imam an-Nawawi mentioned this fatwa in his Sharah Saheeh Muslim not in other books. But we know that Imam an-Nawawi is not alone in quoting this fatwa even Ibn Hajar asqalani and other Maaliki scholars mentioned this fatwa.

Note: This Maaliki is NOT A LIAR, rather he was a trustworthy Scholar of Maalikis as said by Muhammad Makhloof and Abu Al-Abbaas Al-Hilaali Al-Filaali who wrote his biography, Muhammad Makhloof wrote a short biography on him in his book Shajarat An-Noor Az-Zakiyyah fi Tabaqaat Al-Maalikiyyah, He wrote,

“The polymath, well-versed, and ingenious scholar, the one who raised the banner of the Maaliki school in Iraq; he was a devout worshipper and one of the refined ascetic scholars. He studied at the hands of his father and other scholars. He authored many books, among them a commentary on Al-Irshaad written by his father, Sharh Mukhtasar Ibn Al-Haajib Al-Asli and Al-Fari; he also wrote a lengthy Tafseer and a commentary on Ilm Al-Khilaaf (science of legal differences among jurists) and other books in different areas of knowledge. He was born in 701 AH and passed away in 767 AH.” [see his biography on Islam web Fatwa No : 290407]

26. Ibn al Katbi Muhammad Shakir Salah al-Din ad-Damishqi ash-Shafiee (d 763 h)

He said

لا ريب أن المملوك وقف على ما سئل عنه الشيخ الإمام العلامة وحيد دهره وفريد عصره تقي الدين أبو العباس أحمد بن تيمية وما أجاب به

فوجدته خلاصة ما قاله العلماء في هذا الباب حسب ما اقتضاه الحال من نقله الصحيح وما أدى إليه البحث من الإلزام والالتزام لا يداخله تحامل ولا يعتريه تجاهل وليس فيه والعياذ بالله ما يقتضي الإزراء والتنقيص بمنزلة الرسول

وكيف يجوز للعلماء أن يحملهم العصبية أن يتفوهوا بالإزراء والتنقيص في حق الرسول
وهل يجوز أن يتصور متصور أن زيارة قبره تزيد في قدره وهل تركها مما ينقص من تعظيمه
حاشا للرسول من ذلك

نعم لو ذكر ذلك ذاكر ابتداء وكان هناك قرائن تدل على الإزراء والتنقيص أمكن حمله على ذلك مع أنه كان يكون كناية لا صريحا فكيف وقد قاله في معرض السؤال وطريق البحث والجدل
مع أن المفهوم من كلام العلماء وأنظار العقلاء أن الزيارة ليست عبادة وطاعة لمجردها حتى لو حلف أنه يأتي بعبادة أو طاعة لم يبر بها
لكن القاضي ابن كج من متأخري أصحابنا ذكر أن نذر هذه الزيارة عنده قربة تلزم ناذرها
وهو منفرد به لا يساعده في ذلك نقل صريح ولا قياس صحيح والذي يقتضيه مطلق الخبر النبوي في قوله لا تشد الرحال إلى آخره أنه لا يجوز شد الرحال إلى غير ما ذكر أو وجوبه أو ند بيته فإن فعله كان مخالفا لصريح النهي ومخالفة النهي معصية إما كفر أو غيره على قدر المنهى عنه ووجوبه وتحريمه وصفة النهي والزيارة أخص من وجه فالزيارة بغير شد غير منهي عنها ومع الشد منهي عنها
وبالجملة فما ذكره الشيخ تقي الدين على الوجه المذكور الموقوف عليه لم يستحق عليه عقابا ولا يوجب عتابا

والمراحم السلطانية أحرى بالتوسعة والنظر بعين الرأفة والرحمة إليه وللآراء الملكية علو المزيد
In this letter Muhammad Shakir Salah al-din Shafiee stated after seeking refuge. He stated “Can anyone think that traveling to visit the grave of Prophet peace be upon him will increase His status? or Will it decrease His status if someone do not travel to visit his grave? For sure this is not the case. It is understood from the sayings of Scholars that (traveling) to visit the graves is not a worship and whoever vows that he will travel and worship there then he should not fulfill his vow. Among our Later companions Qadhi Ibn al Kaj said this is Qurbah and it is obligatory to fulfill this vow. But he is alone in it and He has no support of Clear Naqal and Authentic Qiyas. In this chapter the true saying is the saying of Prophet peace be upon him “”Do not tie the camel saddle to set out a journey except the three mosques” So whenever one travels to seek blessings apart from three mosques then he is going against clear prohibition, and going against clear prohibition is a sin or kufr. If this visiting is without traveling than there is no prohibition. [al Uqud ad-Durriyah page 359-361, al Kuwakib ad-Durriyah 162-163]

27-28) Abu Umar and Abdullah bin abi waleed Maaliki, The scholars of ash-Sham.

They said in their letter

السفر إلى غير المساجد الثلاثة ليس بمشروع وأما من سافر إلى مسجد النبي ليصلي فيه ويسلم على النبي وعلى صاحبيه رضي الله عنهما فمشروع كما ذكر باتفاق العلماء
وأما لو قصد إعمال المطي لزيارته ولم يقصد الصلاة فهذا السفر إذا ذكر رجل فيه خلافا للعلماء وأن منهم من قال إنه منهي عنه ومنهم من قال أنه مباح وأنه على القولين ليس بطاعة ولا قربة فمن جعله طاعة وقربة على مقتضى هذين القولين كان حراما بالإجماع وذكر حجة كل قول منهما أو رجح أحد القولين لم يلزمه ما يلزم من تنقص إذ لا تنقص ولا إزراء بالنبي
وقد قال مالك رحمه الله لسائل سأله أنه نذر أن يأتي قبر النبي فقال إن كان أراد مسجد النبي فليأته وليصل فيه وإن كان أراد القبر فلا يفعل للحديث الذي جاء لا تعمل المطي إلا إلى ثلاثة مساجد والله أعلم
They said: Traveling other than three mosques is not allowed. But If this traveling is for visiting the Masjid of Prophet peace be upon him, pray there, sending blessings upon him, and his companions is allowed with the agreement of the scholars. If the visiting is not to pray in the mosque rather only to visit the grave then there is dispute among the scholars in this issue that it is prohibited or allowed…. Then he quoted the fatwa of Imaam Maalik which is not fulfilling the vow if the intent is only to visit the grave, and if the intent is to visit the mosque and praying there than it should be fulfilled.
[al Kuwakib ad-Durriyah 165-166]

29, 30) Jamal ud din Yusaf bin Abdul Salam al Batti al Hanbali, and Abdul Khaliq al Khateeb

Abdul Momin bin Abdul Khaliq al Khateeb started with Praising Allah and sending blessings on Prophet peace be upon him and quoted fatawa of Shafiees and Maalikis and ended with praise of Allah.

Shaykh Jamal ud din Yusaf al Hanbali said
وما جاء من الأحاديث في استحباب زيارة القبور فمحمول على ما لم يكن فيه شد رحل وإعمال مطي جمعا بينهما
The ahadith on recomendation of visiting the graves just means visiting the graves of the own city, these ahadith does not prove traveling towards them to attain barakah. [Al Uqud ad-Durriyah page 233, al Kawakib ad-Durriyah]

31. Taqi ud din as-Subki

He Rahimaullah accepted the truth when he said in Shifa as-Siqaam page 265

“That’s why most of authors while discussing the Manasik say that it is expedient to visit the grave of Messenger of Allah peace be upon him along with that make the intention of going to Masjid al Nabvi and praying there. Those who denounce visiting graves in fact do not reject the visiting of graves but actually describe the way of Mustahb Ziyarah and that is to do the intention of going to Masjid also”

He clearly said most of the authors say while making intention of visiting grave it is better to make intention to visit the Masjid al Nabvi and praying there.

32. The Yemenite Imam, Muhammad bin Ismaeel San`ani (d 1182 h) said:
والحديث دليل على فضيلة المساجد هذه ودل بمفهوم الحصر أنه يحرم شد الرحال لقصد غير الثلاثة كزيارة الصالحين أحياء وأمواتا لقصد التقرب ولقصد المواضع الفاضلة لقصد التبرك بها والصلاة فيها وقد ذهب إلى هذا الشيخ أبو محمد الجويني وبه قال القاضي عياض وطائفة
This hadith is evidence regarding virtues of these Masajid and It is evidence that It is prohibited to travel other places other than three (masajid) like visiting the righteous whether they are alive or dead with the intention of seeking nearness to Allah, With the intention that these are virtuous places, with the intention of seeking blessings from them and to pray. This is the opinion of Shaykh Abu Muhammad al Juwaini and this is also said by Qaadi Iyaad and others. [Subul al-salām 2/177]

33. Imam Mur`ee bin Yusaf al Hanbali (d 1033 h) said:
Know that visiting the graves is mustahab for men according to majority of the scholars, Sho`abi and Ibn Sireen went against this stance, and an-Nawawi quoted consensus (that it is mustahab).. but the condition is if this visiting is without travelling as it will be mentioned further… This visiting should be about remembering the akhirah, To pray for the dead and saying salam to them, making istaghfar for them, It should not be done to gather for the mawlid (of the dead) or gathering like (the gathering) of eid, Do not think that the dua near the grave is afdal, or to make Ibdah near them, or that (the dua) will be answered early, do not pray near them.. all of that is condemned and prohibited as it will be mentioned further…. It is consensus of the scholars that it is Munkar to cover the grave with silk cloth if it is done on the graves of Prophets and Righteous, then how can it be allowed for others?… It is not allowed for the visitor to stay rather he should say salam, pray for the dead and depart.

[Shifa as-Sudoor fe ziyarah al mashahid wal qaboor by Imam Mur`ee bin Yusaf al Hanbali, chapter 1 on visiting the graves page 157-158]

Imam Mur`ee bin Yusaf al Hanbali summarized the opinions of scholars regarding traveling to visit the graves.

He said:
واعلم أن السفر إلى زيارة القبور إما مباح كما هو مزهب الجمهور أو مكروه كما هو مذهب آخرين, أو حرام هو مذهب آخرين كما تقدم, ولم يقل أحد من العلماء المعتبرين أن السفر لزيارتها سنة أو مستحب.
Know that the traveling to visit the graves is Mubah according to the madhab of majority, or disliked according to the madhab of others or It is prohibited according to another group as it is mentioned before, But It was not said by any of the respectable scholar that traveling to visit the grave if sunnah or mustahab. [Shifa as-Sudur fe ziyarah al Mashahid wal qabur 1/286]

He also said:
ولم يفعله أحد من الصحابة ولا التابعين.
واما استحباب السفر لزيارة القبور فلم يقل به أحد من الأئمة كما يأتي.
This was not practiced by any single of the companion and Tabiyeen.
And It is not said by any of the scholars that traveling to visit the graves is Mustahab. [Ibid, 1/281]

So, It was not practiced by Sahaba and Tabiyeen and a group of scholars, later majority said it is Mubah, but no one said it is mustahab or sunnah, and those who said it is mustahab, they are not Motabar according to Mur`ee bin yusaf al hanbali.

34: Abul Muzaffar Yusaf bin Muhammad al Hanbalee (696h to 776h)

He was Trustworthy Imam see Radd al Wafir 1/131, He wrote الحمية الإسلامية في الإنتصار لمذهب ابن تيمية in refutation of as-Subki.

When as-Subki said regarding Ibn Taymiyah after his death:
لو كان حياً يرى قولي ويفهمه … رددت ما قال أقفو أثر سبسبه كما رددت عليه في الطلاق وفي … ترك الزيارة رداً غير مشتبه
If he was alive, he would listen and understand that I wrote a refutation.. As I refuted on the issue of divorce and visiting the graves.. [Quoted by his student Safadi in al Wafi bil wafiyat 21/172]

Imam Abul Muzaffar replied:
لكن إذا الأسد الضرغام غاب عن الــعرين تسمع فيه ضج ثعلبه
كذا الجبان خلا في البر صاح ألا … مبارزٌ وتغالى في توثبه
When the Powerful Lion (Ibn Taymiyah) is not in the Jungle, You hear the noises of the fox (as-Subki).
Coward ask for someone to come against him when there is no one in the ring. [quoted by Mahmud al Alusi in Ghayat al Amani 1/430]

And then he refuted as-Subki on traveling to visit the graves.

IV) Conclusion

In short, Visiting the grave of Prophet peace be upon him is a righteous act and this is Ijma, and all the books of fiqh states that. But traveling to visit the graves is disputed and there are few Madahib as

1. It is Prohibited
This is the Madhab of Maalik bin Anas, Qaadi Iyaad, Abu Muhammad Juwaini, Qadhi Husayn, Ibn Battah, Ibn Taymiya, Ibn al Qayyim, Ibn Aqil, Shams ud din bin Abdul Hadi, Majority of the Maalikis, classical Shafiees and Hanbalees rather this is the saying of majority of the scholars. And not even from one of the three (Abu Hanifa, Shafiee, Ahmad) Imams said against this

2. It is Mubah, neither prohibited neither recommended
The traveling is allowed but it is not to attain Qurbah as it is said by a group among the ashaab of Shafiee and Ahmad like Ibn Qudama, This is also the saying of some Maalikis like Ibn Abdul Barr.

3. It is recommended or close to wajib
This is the opinion of some of the later scholars like as-Subki and some of the Shafiees and Hanafis like Abdul Hai Lakhnavi

4. Those who reconciled the opinions of prohibition and recommendation
This is the opinion of Imam ad-Dahabi who said it is recommended and when one travel to visit the grave of Prophet peace be upon him, by default he has to visit the masjid un Nabi first. So he should pray in the masjid then come to the grave of Prophet peace be upon him.
Shaykh ul Islaam Imam Ibn Taymiyyah raihmahullah said
وإن كان المسافر إلى مسجده يزور قبره صلى الله عليه وسلم بل هذا من أفضل الأعمال الصالحة ولا في شيء من كلامي وكلام غيري نهي عن ذلك ولا نهي عن المشروع في زيارة قبور الأنبياء والصالحين ولا عن المشروع في زيارة سائر القبور ; بل قد ذكرت في غير موضع استحباب زيارة القبور
If a traveler goes to Masjid of Prophet then he should visit the grave of Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم rather it is from the best of actions. There is nothing in my saying or the saying of any other which prohibits this practice, Neither the prohibition of Mashr`oo visiting of the graves of the Prophets and Righteous, neither any prohibition of visiting all of the graves, Rather I have mentioned in many places that visiting graves is Mustahab. [Majmu’a Fatwaa Ibn Taymiyyah 27/330]

Then he mentioned a hadith and said:
وإذا كانت زيارة قبور عموم المؤمنين مشروعة فزيارة قبور الأنبياء والصالحين أولى ; لكن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم له خاصية ليست لغيره من الأنبياء والصالحين
When it is allowed to visit the graves of general momineen then the graves of the Prophets and Righteous have more right to be visited, rather the messenger of Allah peace be upon him have superiority over other Anbiya and Righteous. [Ibid]