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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Salamu alaykum, I have been looking into this issue of Jannatul baqi and the other holy sites and I have come up with a possible idea of how to save these sites. I have looked into how a site becomes registered, and it must be done by the country where it is located, however, if as many of us send letters,emails and phone calls to unesco in protest, then they may set up a campaign to the Saudi government to petition them to recognise these sites and let unesco at least investigate their importance for possible registration and therefore protection. Two places have been listed as unesco world heritage sites in Saudi Arabia- Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madâin Sâlih) At-Turaif District in ad-Dir'iyah The first one is a place near Jordan, a bit like Petra, and is a pre-Islamic settlement, the secound is the first castle of the Al-Saud family in Najd, and is the first religious centre of the Wahabis. How can these places be listed, and not have the graves of the ma'soomeen listed? Below see the criteria for a site to be registered- To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. These criteria are explained in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which, besides the text of the Convention, is the main working tool on World Heritage. The criteria are regularly revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself. Until the end of 2004, World Heritage sites were selected on the basis of six cultural and four natural criteria. With the adoption of the revised Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, only one set of ten criteria exists. Selection criteria: to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius; to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design; to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared; to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history; to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change; to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria); to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance; to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features; to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals; to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation. The protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations. Since 1992 significant interactions between people and the natural environment have been recognized as cultural landscapes. How can the graves and former homes and places of worship, of such important people in Islamic history, and with Islam being the secound largest religion in the world, how can it not be important enough? See below, the contact information for UNESCO, lets see what we can do to at least try and get our holy sites recognised, the Saudis haven't even registered the Ka'aba! though the masjid al haram itself doesn't appear to be in any danger of distruction, though it's expeansion and the building of huge hotels aroung it is resulting in the destruction of other important places. UNESCO Headquarters is established in Paris. Offices are located in two places in the same area: 7, place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07 SP France 1, rue Miollis 75732 Paris Cedex 15 France The World Heritage Centre United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 7, place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07 SP, France Tel: +33-(0)1-45 68 24 96 Fax: +33-(0)1-45 68 55 70 E-Mail: email@example.com Technical support: firstname.lastname@example.org The destruction of sites associated with early Islam is an on-going phenomenon that has occurred mainly in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, particularly around the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The demolition has focused on Mosques, burial sites, homes and historical locations associated with the Islamic prophet, Muhammad(sawas) and many of the founding personalities of early Islamic history. In Saudi Arabia, many of the demolitions have officially been part of the continued expansion of the Masjid Al-Haram at Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina and their auxiliary service facilities in order to accommodate the ever-increasing number of Hajj pilgrims. Detractors of the demolitions and expansion programs have argued that this phenomenon is part of the implementation of state-endorsed Wahhabi religious policy that emphasizes the Oneness of God (Tawhid) and entirely rejects the worship of divine proxies to God or even the practices and habits which might lead to idolatry and polytheistic association (Shirk). Destroyed sites Mosques The mosque at the grave of Sayyid al-Shuhada’ Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib(as). The Mosque of Fatima Zahra(as). The Mosque of al-Manaratain. Mosque and tomb of Sayyid Imam al-Uraidhi ibn Ja‘far al-Sadiq(as), destroyed by dynamite on August 13, 2002. Four mosques at the site of the Battle of the Trench in Medina. The Mosque of Abu Rasheed. Salman al-Farsi(as) Mosque, in Medina. Raj'at ash-Shams Mosque, in Medina. Cemeteries and tombs Jannat al-Baqi in Medina, completely leveled. Jannat al-Mu'alla, the ancient cemetery at Mecca. Grave of Hamida al-Barbariyya(as), the mother of Imam Musa al-Kazim(as). Grave of Amina bint Wahb(as), Muhammad’s(sawas) mother, bulldozed and set alight in 1998. Graves of Banu Hashim in Mecca. Tombs of Hamza(as) and other martyrs were demolished at Uhud. Tomb of Eve(as) in Jeddah, sealed with concrete in 1975. Grave of the father of MuhammadÕáì Çááå Úáíå æÂáå æÓáã, in Medina. Historical religious sites The house of Mawlid where Muhammad(sawas) is believed to have been born in 570. Originally turned into a cattle market, it now lies under a rundown building which was built 70 years ago as a compromise after Wahhabi clerics called for it to be torn down. The house of Khadija(as), Muhammad’s(sawas) first wife. Muslims believe he received some of the first revelations there. It was also where Umm Kulthum(as), Ruqayyah(as), Zainab(as), Fatimah(as) and Qasim(as) were born. After it was rediscovered during the Haram extensions in 1989, it was covered over and it was made into a library. House of Muhammed(sawas) in Medina, where he lived after the migration from Mecca. Dar al Arqam, the first Islamic school where Muhammad(sawas) taught. It now lies under the extension of the Masjid Al Nabawi of Madinah. Qubbat’ al-Thanaya, the burial site of Muhammed's(sawas) incisor that was broken in the Battle of Uhud. Mashrubat Umm Ibrahim, built to mark the location of the house where Muhammad’s(sawas) son, Ibrahim(as), was born to Mariah(as). Dome which served as a canopy over the Well of Zamzam. Bayt al-Ahzan of Sayyida Fatima(as), in Medina. House of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq(as), in Medina. Mahhalla complex of Banu Hashim, in Medina. House of Ali(as) where Hasan(as) and Husayn(as) were born. Under Threat Bayt al-Mawlid When the Wahabis took Mecca in the 1920s they destroyed the dome on top of the house where the Prophet Mohammed(sawas) was born. It was then used as a cattle market before being turned into a library after a campaign by Meccans. There are concerns that the expansion of the Grand Mosque will destroy it once more. The site has never been excavated by archaeologists. Ottoman and Abbasi columns of the Masjid al-Haram Slated for demolition as part of the Grand Mosque expansion, these intricately carved columns date back to the 17th century and are the oldest surviving sections of Islam's holiest site. Much to the chagrin of Wahabis, they are inscribed with the names of the Prophet's companions. Ottomon Mecca is now rapidly disappearing. Al-Masjid al-Nabawi For many years, hardline Wahabi clerics have had their sights set on the 15th century green dome that rests above the tomb holding the ProphetÕáì Çááå Úáíå æÂáå æÓáã, Abu Bakr and Umar in Medina. The mosque is regarded as the second holiest site in Islam. Wahabis, however, believe marked graves are idolatrous. A pamphlet published in 2007 by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, endorsed by Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, stated that "the green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet's Masjid". Jabal al-Nour A mountain outside Mecca where Mohammed(sawas) received his first Koranic revelations. The Prophet(sawas) used to spend long spells in a cave called Hira. The cave is particularly popular among South Asian pilgrims who have carved steps up to its entrance and adorned the walls with graffiti. Religious hardliners are keen to dissuade pilgrims from congregating there and have mooted the idea of removing the steps and even destroying the mountain altogether. Above are the places that have been destroyed or are possibly going to be destroyed, if you know of any more to add to the list, then please do post it in this thread inshallah. Whatever action that you can take, or suggest to be taken, in order for these imprtant places to be rebuilt, or saved from destruction, then please do what you can inshallah. I would like to avoid any sectarian arguments in this thread, as I don't feel that it will be helpful in the campaign, I also would likndly like to ask any contributors to this thread, not to show any negativity or cynacism towards the efforts that I or anyone else is trying to make with regards to saving the important religious and historical sites in Saudi Arabia. If anyone can post the wording of a possible letter to be sent to UNESCO on this matter, then please do so, it would be great to collaborate on such a communication of great importance, in order to achieve a more positive response inshallah. Salams and duas to all, and thankyou in advance for your contributions inshallah
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