Going around the graves of the Awliya’

Q 4: What is the ruling on vowing or slaughtering for the Awliya' (pious people), or making Tawaf (circumambulation) around their graves? Who are the Awaliya' in the sight of Islam? (Part No. 1; Page No. 206) Besides, is it permissible that someone asks the Awliya', whether they are alive or dead, to make Du`a' (supplication) for them?

A: Slaughtering or vowing for the sake of dead people is Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). A Waliy is a person who obeys Allah by doing what He commands and avoiding what He prohibits even if he is not supported by Karamahs (extraordinary events performed by a pious person). It is not permissible to ask dead people, whether they are Awliya' or not, to make Du`a' to Allah for you. But a person can ask righteous people to make so for him. Making Tawaf around the graves is forbidden as this is only to be performed around the Ka`bah. A person who makes Tawaf around the graves seeking the pleasure of their dwellers commits Shirk Akbar (major form of associating others in worship with Allah). In case that they seek to draw closer to Allah by doing so, this deed is an abhorred Bid`ah (innovation in religion). Muslims are not allowed to make Tawaf around or perform Salah (prayer) beside graves even if they do so for the sake of Allah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.