Razing Down Shrines
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

What do you say about these graves of saints in Pakistan? Some say they should be demolished to just 6 inches in height. Is this allowed in Islam?



According to the Qur’ān, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil are among the obligations of an Islamic State (see Sūrah Haj verse 41). To obliterate every manifestation of shirk (polytheism), therefore is an obligation which a state must carry out. Shrines of saints if they become centres of shirk can be razed down by the state. However, if a state can purify them of polytheistic practices, without actually dismembering them, then it is not necessary to raze them down. The real thing is to eliminate polytheistic practices at such places.

It must also be kept in mind that no one else except the state has any authority to tamper with such places.

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