Prayers: Facing grave

Q478 :You have pointed out that it is not acceptable that a person faces a grave when he prays. In Prophet's Mosque, part of the congregation faces the Prophet's grave. How is this allowed?

A478 : It is correct that it is forbidden to face a grave during a prayer. It is also not permissible to build a mosque at the place of a grave or at the graveyard. I have dealt with this question more than once. However, at the Prophet's Mosque, no one faces his grave, because his grave is not raised over the ground. Besides, there is a wall built around it, to separate it from a portion of the mosque. The wall serves as a separating area, which does not allow the grave to be in view of the worshipers. Moreover, we should not imagine the Prophet's grave as a tomb or something built high over the ground, or that cement or bricks or any other building material is used with its construction. The whole thing is made according to the Sunnah which recommends that grave is only slightly higher than the ground. With the passage of the years, the Prophet's grave and those of his two companions, Abu Bakr and Umar have become level with the ground and no one is allowed inside the built-up area around. There are specific instructions in Islam against giving graves any sort of association with worship in order not to allow any habit or practices of other religions, which give the dead a saintly position, to creep into our faith. No dead person could be of any benefit to a living one. That is the Islamic view.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )