There are not any spirits in graveyards, then, why did the Prophet stand by the graves and recited the Koran? And why did he encourage visiting graveyards? We can explain the reasons and the benefits of it as follows:
1- The grave is the symbol of one’s rank in the next world.
2- It is for remembering him.
3- Reciting him or them “Fatiha” (the opening Chapter of the Koran)
4- If the person who visits is a Prophet or a Saint, if visitor is a Prophet or saint, it becomes a blessing and intercession for the persons who are visited.
5- If the person who is visited is a Prophet, a believer or a pious person who is close to Allah, the believer goes to his grave, which is his memorial, his house as if he is alive. The visitor expects his prayer from his Divine Spirit, which is alive in the Heavens. The spirits of pious Prophets, Saints, eminently truthful people, the Spirits of Martyrs and righteous servants are alive. They are in the presence of Allah and their prayers are worth answering and are accepted by Allah.
The books about Canonical Jurisprudence contain subjects about the religious suitability and manners of visiting graveyards. Concerning about this sentence, there is a hadith in “Dürrü Muhtar”: “There is no objection to visiting graveyards even it is for women because once I had forbidden to visit graveyards but now I give you permission to visit them.” (1) In Imdaa, Müjteba, Bahir and Redd-i Muhtar, it is written: “It is a good and pious act to visit them as it is commanded and advised in the hadith. In Redd-i Muhtar: “They can be visited every week. The most virtuous days are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Thursday.” In Fethu’l Kadir: “Praying while standing is in accordance with Sunnat”. Thus, the Prophet (S.A.W.) would do in that way when there was a misfortune and he would also say: “Greetings to the people of the land of believers, we hope to join you if God wills.” (2) In Shehr-i Lübeb: As a manner of visiting, the visitor comes to the grave from the foot of it but not from the head of it, if possible. It is also confirmed that the Prophet (S.A.W.) would recite the beginning part of Sura of Baqhara at the head of a grave and the last part of it at the foot of it. Another real manner of it is to salute saying: “Esselamü Aleyküm” but not “Aleykümüsselam”.
He would then pray while standing up and if he sat down, he would sit down near or far to the grave according to his relation in his life and read the easy parts of the Koran. As for this, he would recite “Fatiha, the beginning part of Sura of Al-Baqhara, Ayetül’-Kürsi, Âmenerresulü, Yasin, Mülk, Tekasür and Sura of Ihlas twelve, eleven, seven or three times and say: “My God, do accept the merits (divine blessings) of what we have recited for the person who died. There is wide information about presenting merits to dead person by reciting the Koran and other pious deeds in “İbnü Abidin”.
Summary: In the Chapter about “Hac Ani’l Gayr-going on a pilgrimage to Mecca in the name of another person” our Scholars have clearly said that one could bestow the benefits of ritual prayer, fasting, almsgiving and other good deeds on other people. (Hidayet) It is even written in the Chapter about Almsgiving in “Tatarhaniye”, taken from Muhit that the most virtuous act for the person who gives alms is to intend for all the believer women and men because this reaches them and his own merits are not reduced by it. In “Bahir”: “It is also proper to bestow the merits of one’s prayer, fasting, almsgiving for others and the merits find them according to the People of Sunnat and the Community of Muslims.” (Bedayi) İbnû Teymiyye wanted to forbid giving the merits of recitation as a present to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) because he claimed that one can dare to his exalted dignity with only his permission and this is to pronounce the formula calling God’s benediction on the Prophet and to desire for an opportunity for this. Subki and some others refused this stating that a special permission was not necessary in these matters by showing examples from Ibn-ü Ömer and others.
(1) It is said that the word “land” is an extra word in the sentence or you have to say it, for, when you greet the land, you are considered to have greeted the people there. From Ibnu Abidin
(2) Muslim, Cenaiz,102; Abu Davud, Cenaiz, 79; Nesai, Taharet, 109, Cenaiz, 103; Ibn Mace, Cenaiz, 36; Muvatta, Taharet, 28; Ahmed b. Hanbel, IV, 221
Hz. Ebu Hanife told his student Ebu Yusuf in “Vasiyetnâme-the Written Will”: “When you observe in your Sultan (Religious Teacher) something which is not in accordance with Knowledge, remember him with your obedience to him because his hand is more powerful than yours. You can say to him: ‘I am obedient to you in the matters on which you have authority and dominion, but I would like to request something about your manners which is contrary to the Knowledge. It is enough if you do it once near your Sultan. If you insist on and continue it; they may depress you and it may cause the destruction of your religion. If he does the same thing again in order to understand your ambition in commanding good works and your seriousness in religion, you can again go near him alone and give advice to him about religion. If he is a follower of a sect that has gone astray, argue with him even if he is a Sultan. Tell him what you know about the Book of Allah and the Sunnat of the Prophet. If he accepts his fault, that is better, but if not, pray God to protect you from him and remember death. Wish forgiveness for your Master and for the people from whom you imparted Knowledge. Continue reciting the Koran and visit the graveyards saints and holy places very often!”
Every Muslim knows there is nothing in the graveyards except the lying dead bodies without spirits. And none of the Muslims, who says Allah is One, worship them as a god. The respect is for Allah. The love and respect for the Prophet Saints, martyrs and believers are same as the respect and love of the student towards their teacher or the love of the son towards his father.
That is to say, every Prophet and Saint posses the complete Knowledge and Wisdom of Allah. To love and to respect the Scholars, the Wise and the Gnostics is the command of Islam.
“Show your love and affection to those who are close to Allah. The noblest of you in God’s sight is he who is the most righteous.” (Al-Hajurat, 13)
Piety is possible with fear and awe. The fear and awe are possible with the Knowledge.
“Innema yahşellahe min ibadihi’l ülema-Only those who are scholars-who have the Knowledge of Allah-fear Allah (God).” (Fatir, 28)
A wise saint and apostle is the scholar of Allah. The scholar is the teacher. Those who do not love and respect their teachers, have no love and respect for Allah.
It is said that people are kissing hands or gravestones. In our religion, there is no evidence of not kissing the hands of teachers, fathers or not showing them respect. On the contrary, they are encouraged to do so.
The respect for the great person is for Allah and Allah is the greatest.
“Refiüdderecat-The highest of degrees (ranks)”. (Mü’min, 15)
The most scholar of Muslims after the Prophets is Hz. Aliyyel Mürteza who is the King of Sanctity-Shah-ı Velayat and the Door of Wisdom. For this reason, he is called as “Keremallahu vechehu-Allah honored his face.”
“İnne ekremeküm indallahi etkaküm - The noblest of you in God’s sight is he who is pious.” (Al-Hajurat, 13)
Piety is acquired with Knowledge because:
“Only those who are Scholars fear Allah (afraid of Allah).” (Fatir, 28)
Hz. Ali is the head and leader of all the Wise and Scholars. For this reason, the leader (Imam) of all the pious is Hz. Imam-ı Ali who is the King of Sanctity.
Our Most High Lord has accepted the degrees (ranks) according to the Verse Mü’min 15: “Refiüdderecat-The highest of all degrees” and said: “He is the Most Exalted of all.”
When a lover kisses a grave, he is as if kissing the dead person’s hand same as he kisses his parents’ or teacher’s hands. He shows his respect by this as well as his love. Kissing is a sign of love and respect; it is not worship.
Everybody loves his master, his teacher and he kisses his hands sincerely because of his love.
Protecting and praising the graves of the Prophets and their heirs Walis, who are the great defenders, the symbols of the Oneness of Allah is in order to protect and exalt the reality of Unity of Allah.
If the defenders and leaders of Religion of Unity, who are the Scholars and Wise People of Islam are forgotten, Islam will be forgotten.
Protecting and exalting the memories and memorials of these personalities are in the name of Oneness-Unity of Allah and for Islam, which is the Religion of Unity.
Those that do not love and respect them do not love and respect Allah-the Lord because they are the teachers who inform us about our Lord Allah and His Oneness and they teach and defend this idea. Exalting the Perfect Men, the Mature people, the real monotheists (people who defend and live the oneness of Allah) who are the Wise and even the source of Wisdom means exalting Allah and Unity as they are the great Monotheists , the witnesses of God (Shahid) and the soldiers of God (Mujahid) who are the leaders of Unity.
“Hakka bina; La ilahe illalah’est Hüseyn-Huseyin is the mausoleum of the One God-La ilâhe illallah.” (Mashad-ı Husayn A.S.)
Mashad-ı Imam Husayn is the reflection of Hazrat Husayn who is the King of Martyrs and the Mausoleum of Unity. (3)
(3) The above Persian line belongs to Hz. Sayyid Muiniddini Cheshdi (r.a, k.s ) who was a great Wali, a scholar and a Gnostic. He was the religious teacher of the Cheshdi Tariqat.