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  Updated: October 20, 2007

8th Shawwal- A day of grief and sorrow

By: Kumayl Redha

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful'

"They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse" (Holy Qur'an – 9:32- Repentance)

On 8th day of 10th month of Islamic calendar that is Shawwal, Wednesday, in the year 1344 AH, (April 21st 1925) the mausoleums in Jannatul-Baqee’ in Madinah were bulldozed by the Aal-i-Sa’ud (Saudi rulers). In the same year i-e., 1925, King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud also demolished the tombs of holy personages at Jannatul-Mu’alla in Makkah Mukarrama where the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)’s mother, wife, grandfather and other ancestors are buried. This day is indeed a day of grief and sorrow for all Muslims.

Literally “al-Baqee” means a tree garden. It is also known as Jannat-ul-Baqee’ due to its sanctity, since in it are buried many of our Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)’s relatives and companions. The first companion of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) to be buried there was ‘Uthman bin Ma’dhoon. He died on 3rd Sha’ban 3 AH. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) ordered certain trees to be felled, and in its midst, he buried his dear companion, placing two stones over the grave. Ibrahim, the son of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) who died later and over whom the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) bitterly wept, was also buried there. The people of Madinah then began to use the site for the burial of their own dead because the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) used to greet those who were buried in Jannat-ul-Baqee’ saying:

“Peace be upon you, O abode of the faithful! God willing, we should soon join you. O Allah! Forgive the fellows of al-Baqee’”.

The Holy prophet (S.W.) was used to go to Baqee in the last part of night, and after sending salam (greeting) to the buried ones, he was used to pray for them.

The burial site was later expanded at al-Baqee’. Nearly seven thousand of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)’s companions were buried there and many of his family members including the Ahlul-Bayt (as) praised in the Holy Quran. They are Holy Prophet (S.W.)’s beloved daughter Sayyedah Fatimah Az-Zahraa (A.S.), four infallible Imams from his progeny (A.S.) – Al-Imam Al-Hassan (A.S.), Al-Imam Zayn-ol Abidin (A.S.), Al-Imam Al-Baqer (A.S.) and Al-Imam As-Sadeq (A.S.) -, his wives except Sayyedah Khadija (A.S.) and Maymounah (R.A.), his uncles and aunts, other relatives include: Safiyya and Aatika (his aunts); Fatima bint Asad (his aunt and mother of Imam ‘Ali); ‘Uthaman bin ‘Affaan, the third caliph of the Muslims was initially buried outside al-Baqee’ but later on, due to expansion of the burial ground, his grave was included in the area. In later years, great Muslim scholars like Malik bin Anas and many others were buried there too. Thus al-Baqee’ became a well-known place of great significance to all Muslims.

Ibn Batuta, the famous traveler has said, “At al-Baqee are the graves of numerous Muhajireen and Ansaar and many companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), except that most of their names are unknown”.

Despite commandments of Allah and his Prophet (S.W.) for revering Sha’a’er Allah (the Signs of Allah) terming this act as piety of hearts, the Saudi rulers fearlessly bulldozed the holy shrines that are Sha’a’er Allah incurring wrath of Allah and his beloved prophet Muhammad (S.W.), trampling human rights and tearing Islamic, human, legal and moral values apart.

Islam World quotes the destruction in these words: “It looked like a town was razed to the ground. All over the cemetery nothing was to be seen but little indefinite mounds of earth and stonesblocks of stone, pieces of timber, iron bars, and a broken rubble of cement and bricks strewn about been. It was like the broken remains of a town, which had demolished by an earthquake. All was a wilderness of ruined building material and tombstones, not ruined by a casual but raked away from their places and ground small.”   


 
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