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Home » Social Dealings

Taking Something From a Graveyard for the Benefit of a Main Road

There is a road that the city of Jubail is planning to widen, and it is opposed by a section of a graveyard. Is it permissible to take anything from the graveyard for the benefit of the road or not?

It is well known that the dead have inviolable rights - just as the living do - and that the graves of the dead are their abodes, that it is the responsibility of those in authority to take care of the graveyards by repairing and protecting them from deterioration and interfering with them in ways which conflict with the obligation to observe the sanctity of its inhabitants. Cutting off any of these ways conflicts with the obligation to observe their sanctity and protect them. Therefore, it is not permissible to take anything from it, except due to some legal justification.

What has been mentioned regarding the plan of the Municipality of this city to straighten the road, necessitating that they take something from the graveyard is not considered a legal justification for this due to (the following reasons):

1) The defilement of the sanctity of the dead and the violation of their abodes.

2) That the aforementioned city does not suffer from congestion of cars and traffic to an extent that would make this an urgent requirement.

3) That the widening of the proposed road according to what has been specified in the plan will expand the width of the road to thirty and a half meters, and it is possible to decrease this width to the extent that the requirement can be fulfilled without violating the dignity of the occupants of the graveyard. Accordingly, the Committee has determined that it is not permissible to take anything from the graveyard for the purpose of straightening the road where it passes by its south side, because of the (aforementioned) reasons against it. And Allah is the Granter of success. And may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, Muhammad and upon his family and his Companions.

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
Fatawa Islamiyah, volume 5 / page 41-42
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