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Home » Social Dealings

Graves are an Endowment for Those Who Are buried Therein

I have a plot of agricultural land and on the eastern edge, of it is a piece of land belonging to my farm that is bordered in the west by my farm, and in the east by a path. To the north and south is the property of someone else. I wanted to cultivate it, but when I prepared the foundations of the building, I found some old graves in which nothing remained except the remnants of some bones. Since I am in need of this land I request that you study this case and give a ruling for me regarding it.

It is clear from what you have said that the land about which you are asking is a graveyard and that your farm borders it in the west and that it is not part of your farm. Since you have found some old graves in it while digging it, and the graves contain bones, according to your own admission, then the land is not your property, nor does it belong to your farm. In fact, it is an endowment for those who are buried therein, and it is not permissible for you or anyone else to own it or to benefit from its land, either from housing, farming, building, erecting tents or any other such thing. And may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
Fatawa Islamiyah, volume 5 / page 40
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