Hadrat Buraidah Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam said,

“I forbade you to visit graves, but visit them.” [Sahih Muslim, Book on Funerals, Vol. 1, Page 314]

Hadrat Ibn Mas’ud Radi Allahu Anhuma reported that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam has said,

“I forbade you to visit graves, but you may now visit them, because they produce abstinence from the world and act as a reminder of the Hereafter.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Book on Funerals, Page 112]

..:: Manners of Visiting the Graves ::..

1. The best manner of visiting the graves is to enter from the side of the feet and then to stand near the face of the deceased . The one should recite:

السلام عليكم أهل الديار، قوم المؤمنين انتم لنا سلف، وإنا إن شاء بكم لاحقون نسأل الله لنا ولكم العفو والعافية
“Peace be upon you, O the families of the believers! you are our predecessors and Allah willing, we shall meet you. we ask Allah to give us and yourselves forgiveness and compassion.”

2. Then one should recite Durud Sharif three, five, seven or an odd number of times. Thereafter one should recite however many surahs of the Holy Qur’an; for example, Surah Yasin, Surah Mulk, the 4 ‘Qul’s’, Surah al-Fatiha, Alif-Laam-Mim until “Muflihun” and the Ayah al-Kursi, and “Amanar Rasulu”. Finally, one should recite Durud Sharif and send the Thawaab to the deceased [Esal-e-Thawaab]. It is best that one makes the intention of sending the reward to all the mu’minin and mu’minat (male and female believers,) as everyone shall receive the full reward without their rewards being decreased.
[Radd al-Muhtar]

3. It is permissible to take on a journey to visit the graves of the Awliyah.

4. To visit the graves of the Awliyah is the sign that one has sincere love for Allah. To state that those who visit the graves are innovators or are kuffar (disbelievers) is open misguidance and foolishness.
[al-Tafsir al-Sawi, Vol. 1, Page 245]

5. It is open misguidance to state that Muslims who visit the graves of the awliyah are kafir. To visit the graves of the awliyah is never polytheism or worshiping other than Allah, in fact it is from the signs that one loves Allah.

6. If such acts are present in the ‘Urs, which are against the Shari’ah, then one should not stop paying visit to the grave because of this as one should not leave good deeds by seeing such things. However, one should feel bad about it and prevent it however they can and however much they can as in the Hadith it states:

When any one of you sees something which is against Shari’ah, then he should remove it by power. If he cannot do so, then by his tongue. If he cannot even do this, then he should feel unhappy about it in his heart, and this is the weakest form of Imân .

[This has been stated in Radd al-Muhtar, Vol. 1, Page 631. Narrated by Imam Ahmed in his Musnad and Imam Muslim in his Sahih on the authority of Hadrat Abu Sa’id]

7. It is strictly forbidden for women to visit the graves of their friends or relatives as they shall mourn and wail (cry out loud).

8. There is no harm for old women to pay visit to the graves of the awliyah to gain blessings. However, it is prohibited for the young females. It has been stated in Radd al-Muhtar, Vol. 1, Page 631:

There is no harm for old women to gain blessings by visiting graves of the Awliyah. However, this is disliked for young females, like it is (disliked) for them to attend the mosques to perform prayer with congregation.

‘Allama Tahtawi has written something to the same effect:

Conclusively, women are allowed to visit the graves only in such a circumstance where there shall be no fitnah (tribulations) caused. [Tahtawi, Page 376]

The great Faqih, Sadr al-Shari’ah ‘Allama Amjad ‘Ali states:

It is a more preventative measure that women be prevented from visiting the graves. [Bahar-e-Shari’at – Chapter 4, Page 549]

9. It is prohibited to bow in front of them; or to rub ones face on the ground (in front of the graves). This has been stated in Ashi’ah al-Lam’at, Vol. 1, Page 716 by Hadrat Sheikh ‘Abd al-Haq “Muhaddith-e-Dehlwi”.

10. It is forbidden to prostrate in front of a grave and to do so with the intention of worship is kufr (disbelief).

In Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar [Pg. 230] it states:

Prostrating other than to Allah is Haram.

In Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri Vol. 5 Pg. 231 it has been stated:

Faqih Abu Ja’far has stated that if one prostrated in front of a King with the intention of worship or one didn’t have any intention at that time, then that person has become a Kafir.

For more detail on this subject, please study the treatise by Imam Ahmed Raza Khan, entitled “al-Zubdah al-Zakkiyyah li Tahrim Sujud al-Tahiyyah” written in the year 1337 A.H. Also cited in Fatawa-e-Ridawiyyah – Vol. 22 Pages. 425 - 542

— — —
Extracted From
Anwaar al-Hadith, Chapter 4, Pages 132 to 135
by Hadrat Allama Mufti Jalal al-Din Qadiri al-Amjadi
English Translation: Mawlana Kalim al-Qadiri [Bolton - U.K.]