In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi [may Allaah preserve him] stated:
Ibn Abbaas and Aa’isha [may Allaah be pleased with him and his father] said: When the last moment of the life of Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of allaah be upon him] came, he started putting his Khameesah [a woollen blanket] on his face and when he felt hot and short of breath he took it off his face and said, ‘’May Allaah curse the Yahood and Nasaaraa [i.e. those amongst them who changed the pure religion of the Prophets and Messengers of Bani Israa’eel – Moosaa, Eesaa etc], for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets.’’ [The Prophet was warning (Muslims) of what those people had done]. (a)
They [i.e. the Sahaabah] understood that the Messenger was giving a warning; Aa’isha and Ibn Abbaas [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] said, ‘’He [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] was warning the (Muslims) of what these people had done.’’
Therefore, when it is the case that the Yahood and Nasaaraa [i.e. those amongst them who deviated from the pure religion of the Prophets and Messengers of Bani Israa’eel – Moosaa, Eesaa and others (alayhimus-salaam)] were cursed and they earned the severe wrath of Allaah, (as the Messenger said), ‘’The wrath of Allaah is severe against a people who take the graves of their Prophets as places of worship’’(b), even though they loved the Prophets and built places of worship on their graves, then what about those who defile the greatest religion [i.e. Islaam] with shirk by doing what those Yahood did. So, at present Allaah’s curse and severe wrath applies to them (i.e. the grave worshippers) when they take the graves of others as places of worship. When it is the case that Allaah rejected the act of those Yahood who sanctified the Prophets and built places of worship over their graves, then how can this [same] act be accepted from those who build places of worship over the graves of those who are lesser than the Prophets in status?!
O brothers! This is a deviation from the meaning of [لا إله إلا الله – There is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah]; therefore, we appeal to the students of knowledge and the callers to Islaam not to betray this Ummah, and not to conceal this clarification and guidance that was revealed by Allaah to Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] – the explanation of Tawheed, and the distinction between Tawheed and Shirk – because if we lose this knowledge, all the other sciences will have no value. (1)
The late Mufti of Saudi Arabia Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Shrines are graves and the Prophetic tradition regarding this affair is that graves are to be raised a hand span from the ground, so that they are recognised as graves and not degraded. This is why in the hadeeth of Sa’d Bin Abee Waqqaas [may Allaah be pleased with him] it is reported that the grave of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] was raised a hand span and Sa’d also gave orders that the same should be done to his grave. As for building over them, taking them as Masaajid and building domes, this is not permissible. According to the people of knowledge, this is evil, innovation in religion and one of the means to Shirk. And due to this the Prophet stated in an authentic hadeeth: “The curse of Allaah is upon the Jews and Christians [i.e. those Jews who deviated from the pure message of Moosaa and those Christians who deviated from the pure message of the Messiah], because they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship”. And in a hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim, the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] forbade that graves should be plastered (made into permanent structures), used as sitting places and building over them. Therefore, it is not permissible to build over graves – neither mosques nor domes, nor other than them, and also they are not to be plastered, because indeed this is one of the means to Shirk – one of the means, because it becomes exalted, invoked besides Allaah and help sought from it, and thus shirk occurs. Building over graves- placing domes, mosques and lamps over them are from the means to Shirk, and this is why the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] warned against it and cursed those who do so. It is obligated on the Muslims to be warned against this and that they do not build over a grave – neither a Masjid nor other than it, neither a dome nor plastered, neither place lamps on them nor shrouded. All this is not permissible, rather it is from the means to Shirk…. (2)
Where Was The Grave of The Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] Initially?
Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him] stated as follows: The grave of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) was initially outside of his Mosque in Madeenah – the fact is that his house was next door to the Mosque and that is where he was buried after his death. Later, in the time of the rule of Waleed Ibn Abdul-Malik he commanded that Mosque be expanded, and thus the house of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) was included into the Mosque as it was extended. This occurred at the displeasure of the Scholars – and they hated it – from them, Sa’eed Ibn Al-Musayyib (died 94H).
As for the green dome that was erected high over the grave of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam), then it was built at the end of the 6th century – it was built by one of the kings of Egypt. So whoever uses the grave of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) in the Mosque as a proof, or the presence of the green dome then, in reality, he has no proof at all. That is because these constructions and affairs were initiated by people ignorant and devoid of knowledge. They had authority and the people were not able to prevent them. So they did what they did due to their claim that they were expressing their love of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) and respect for him.
This green dome at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madeenah, over his grave, was a later addition of the sixth century. It was not built or approved by the Companions or by the early scholars and well-known Imāms. (3)
[Ref a: Saheeh al-Bukhaari’ Number 436]
Ref b: Reported by Imaam Maalik [rahimahullaah], Number 416 & declared authentic by Imaam Albaani [rahimahullaah] in Al-Mish’kaat’ Number 750
[Ref 1: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 110-111]