Visiting graves without traveling with the specific intention of doing so is a Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet) for men, including the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him). An Islamically approved visit entails asking Allah to forgive the deceased and have mercy upon them. It serves as an admonition and a reminder of death and what follows thereafter. When visiting the graves of Muslims, one should supplicate,
May peace be upon you, O inmates of the abodes of the believers and the Muslims! If Allah wills, we shall follow you. We pray to Allah for the well-being of ourselves and you.
When one visits the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his two Companions,
Abu Bakr and
`Umar (may Allah be pleased with them), one should invoke Allah's blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) and ask Allah to be pleased with
Abu Bakr and
`Umar (may Allah be pleased with them).As for women, it is impermissible for them to visit graves in general, including the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is not a Sunnah for them, rather they are not allowed to visit neither the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor any other graves.
It was narrated by
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that
the Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed women who visit graves, those who build Masjids (mosques) over them and placing lamps (there).
It was also
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that
the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) cursed women who visit graves.
Al-Tirmidhy said that this Hadith is Hasan (good) and Sahih (authentic). (Part No. 9; Page No. 103) It was also authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated,
I had forbidden you to visit graves , but now you may visit them.
Only men are addressed here, not women, as there are other Hadiths where women who visit the graves were cursed, which were reported from three of the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them). What was reported from
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) about visiting the graves is Mansukh (abrogated) by the mentioned Sahih Hadiths.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.