The Origin Of Shirk: Venerating Graves
The innovation of the grave-worshippers corrupted the beliefs of many people and led them to fall into major shirk. Hence why the Divine Legislation explained the corruption of all means that lead to shirk, amongst them the decoration of graves.
As Al-Badawee said, as is found within the notes of As-Suyootee to Sunan An-Nisaa’ee:
“The origin of shirk is that it began from the glorification of graves and being turned towards (to worship)” (1)
Imaam Waleeullaah Ad-Dehlawee said:
“They (those with lack of knowledge and understanding of the deen) also believe in venerating graves and thus have been tested with different types of shirk, innovation and superstitious beliefs and so distortion and resembling (the disbelievers) became settled within them and penetrated their souls.
This was to the extent that the ruling of the Saheeh hadeeth was applied to them, “You will surely follow the ways of those before you…” It is therefore a calamity and a tribulation when a group of Muslims, in name, fall into this, may Allaah help us out of this.” (2)
He also said, describing their deeds:
“Observing past customs and common traditions of food, drink and clothing and adhering to these customs just as one would adhere to the regulations of the Sharee’ah…” (3)
(1) Haashiyat Sunan An-Nisaa’ee, 2/42
(2) Al-Fawz Al-Kabeer, p. 26
(3) Tawiyatul Imaan, p. 42