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In the Name of God بسم الله

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Pre-Islamic instances of mosques built over graves:
The following list is merely indicative and should not be treated as exhaustive:
1. Prophet Dawood (a.s.) in Quds, Israel
2. Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) in Hebron, Israel
3. Prophet Is’haaq (a.s.) in Hebron
4. Prophet Yaqoob (a.s.) in Hebron
5. Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) in Hebron
All these graves were elevated structures of stones and remained in this condition even after the spread of Islam in Quds. (Kashf al-Irteyaab, pg 306)
Even Ibn Taimiyyah admits that the structure over Prophet Ibrahim’s (a.s.) grave existed when Islam reached Hebron and in the very presence of companions, none of whom raised any objection. Only thing is the door to the mausoleum (of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.)) remained closed till 400 AH.
(Majma’ al-Fataawaa of Ibn Taimiyyah vol 27 pg 141)
 list of some instances to prove the point that building graves is as old as Islam itself:
1. Existence of the structure i.e. Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) chamber inside which he (s.a.w.a.) lies buried. (Akhbaar al-Madinah vol. 1 pg 81)
Initially the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) room where he lies buried did not have walls. It was Umar b. Khattab who first constructed walls around it and gave it the shape of a structure.
(Wafaa al-Wafaa be Ikhtiyaar al-Mustafa, vol. 2 pg 521)
In fact, constructing and re-constructing walls around the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) grave was an ongoing effort with Ayesha, Abdullah b. Zubair (during his brief reign in Medina) and Mutawakkil, among others.
2. Constructing a mosque over the grave of Hazrat Hamzah (a.s.). (Ibid)
3. Grave of Ibrahim – son of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in the house of Muhammad b. Ali b. Zaid. (Ibid)
4. Building a structure over the grave of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) in the year 372 AH. (Sair-o- Aalam-e-Nobala vol 1 pg 251)
5. Building a structure over the grave of Zubair in the year 386 AH. (Al-Muntazim, vol. 14 pg 377)
6. Building a structure over the grave of Sa’d b. Maaz in the second century. (Sair-o-Aalam-e-Nobala vol. 13 pg 285)
7. Embellishing the grave of Imam Bukhari – compiler of Sahih-e-Bukhari in 256 AH. (Al-Tabaqaat al-Shaafiyyah al-Kubra, vol. 2 pg 234)
8. Abbaside Emperor Haroon al-Rashid constructed a dome over the tomb of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) during his reign in the second century. (Sair-o-Aalam-e-Nobala vol. 16 pg 251)
If leveling graves to the earth was ever mandated in Islam we can be certain that Haroon al-Rashid would definitely have done it given his animosity with the Ahle Bait (a.s.) of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his role in the murder of the Prophet’s grandson – Imam Moosa b. Jafar al-Kazim (a.s.). On the contrary, we find that he has constructed a dome as a mark of respect for someone who he did not particularly love.
9. The respected companion of the Prophet (a.s.) – Hazrat Salman-e-Muhammadi (r.a.) passed away in 36 AH. Khateeb-e-Baghdadi writes about his tomb – His grave is present even today near the palace of Kasra in Madaaen, Iraq. It is well-known heritage site and has a structure over it. (Taarikh-e-Baghdadi, vol. 1 pg 163)
10. Regarding Talhah b. Abdullah – who died while fighting the caliph of his time, Ibne Batutah writes in his journal, “His grave is at the entrance of the city and over the grave is a dome and a mosque.” (Safarnaameh Ibn Batutah, vol. 1 pg 208)
When this is the respect accorded by the Muslims to the grave of a companion who died on falsehood, graves of those like the Imams of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) who were martyred on truth and were in fact Imams of truth, deserve even more embellishment, veneration and respect.
11. Muhammad b. Idris al-Shaafei – Imam Shaafei, one of the four jurists of the Sunni school, passed away in 204 AH. Zahabi writes, “The entire city collectively constructed a dome over his grave.” (Duwal al-Islam pg 344)

Building mosques over graves is advocated by Sihaah-e-Sittah (the six compendiums of traditions regarded as highly reliable by the Ahle Tasannun)
While these Muslims are quick to advance traditions from Sahih-e-Bukhari and Sahih-e-Muslim that suit their motive to brand accepted Islamic practices as apostasy, they appear oblivious to the scores of other traditions that reject their contention.
1. Umar’s grave has a structure
Bukhari narrates in his Sahih in the Book of Janaaiz:
When Umar was stabbed, he sent his son Abdullah with a message to Ayesha to – ask her – If I can be buried with my two companions i.e. in her room, next to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Abu Bakr.
Ayesha replied: I wanted the spot for myself, but I will prefer him (Umar) to myself today.
It had been her custom that if a man from among the companions requested her for that spot, she would always refuse. She herself gave the following instructions before her death: Bury me with my lady-friends (the wives of the Prophet in al-Baqi but do not bury me with the Prophet in the house, for I dislike to be held in reverence).
Ibn Umar came back with the news whereupon Umar said: Nothing in the world was more important to me than that resting-place. (Sahih-e-Bukhari, Book of Janaaiz)
2. Elevation of graves
Abu Bakr b. Ayyaash narrates that Sufyan al-Tammar told me that he had seen the grave of the Prophet elevated and convex. (Sahih-e-Bukhari, vol. 2 book 23, tradition 473)
It is established that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) placed a rock on top of Usman b. Maz’un’s (r.a.) grave. (Sunan-e- Abi Dawud, Al-Bayhaqi in al-Kubra, vol. 3, pg 412)
The detailed report states that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked a man to place a rock on top of Usman b. Maz`un’s grave; when he was unable to move it, he rolled up his sleeves and helped him till the whiteness of his arms was visible. Usman b. Maz`un was the first of the migrants buried in Baqi. Ibrahim, the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) son, was buried next to him.
Kharijah b. Zaid states: I can see myself when we were young men in the time of Usman (b. Affaan). The strongest one of us in high jump was he who could jump over the grave of Usman b. Maz`un and clear it. (Sahih-e-Bukhari in Chapter: (Placing) a stalk on top of the grave; Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari vol. 3 pg 256 of 1959 ed., Al-Bukhari in his Al-Tarikh al-Saghir vol. 1 pg 42)
These references are clear evidences for raising the grave and elevating it above the surface of the earth.
Al-Shawkaani, a leading Salafi scholar, admitted that the Salaf built up the graves high as proved from above references.
Ibn Hibban (in his Sahih-e-Ibn Hibban) who according to many Sunni scholars ranks as the most reliable scholar after Bukhari and Muslim has documented his visitation (Ziyaarah) to the tomb of Imam Ali b. Moosa al-Reza (a.s.) in Mashshad, Iran:
I have done ziyaarah of his tomb many times, during my stay at Tus. Whenever I got into any difficulty I went to the grave of Imam Ali b. Moosa al-Raza (s.a.) and asked Allah for the fulfillment of my need. Every time I was answered and my difficulty was removed. This is such a reality that I found it to be true no matter how many times I did it. May Allah grant us death in the true love for Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his blessed Ahle Bait! (Ibn Abi Haatim al-Raazi, Kitab al-Theqah, vol. 8 pg 457, tradition 14,411)
Interpretation of traditions that prohibit building of graves
It is clear from the Holy Quran and the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) Sunnah and actions of the righteous ancestors that building of graves is permitted and even recommended in case of esteemed personalities. Then, how does one reconcile the apparent prohibition in some traditions?
The answer is simple for those who understand the tone and tenor of such traditions. Many scholars have explained it in their works – only if these so-called Muslims would have referred to these books. Perhaps, they have referred but chose to hide the truth!
Both the Ibne Hajars (Haythami and Asqalaani) among other scholars have advanced a rationale for such traditions, which is so plain that even a Muslim child will understand it.
Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, who had no love lost for the Shias, in his al-Zawaajir an Iqtiraf al-Kabaair elaborates on the tradition under question that the prohibition for building graves is if the prayer is performed towards or on the grave and this is only if one prays so close to it that if while praying the prayer of those attentive (looking down), the grave would be within one’s sight. (Al-Zawaajir an Iqtiraf al-Kabaair)
This was the method of the prayers of Jews and Christians and hence the prohibition. No one in the history of Islam took this tradition as proof of prohibition for the building of tombs/shrines over righteous Muslims as Muslims do not worship in this manner.
Likewise, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani states: In view of the fact that the Jews and Christians were taking the graves of their Prophets (a.s.) as their Qiblah for the purpose of respect, and were paying attention towards them at the time of their prayers, their graves took the position of idols. Hence, Muslims have been forbidden from this action. However, if someone constructs a mosque near the grave of a pious person for the purpose of seeking blessing (tabarruk) and not for prostration or paying attention towards them, he will never be included in this prohibition (as mentioned in Surah Kahf (18): Verse 21) (Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, Fath al-Baari vol. 3 pg 208)
Edited by hesham102001
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Destruction of Jannatul Baqi - The oppression on Janabe fatima (sa) continues till today




( 8TH SHAWWAL -1345 AH / April 21, 1925)




On 8th Shawwal, Wednesday, in the year 1345 AH (April 21, 1925), mausoleums in Jannatul al-Baqi (Madina) were demolished by King Ibn Saud.  

In the same year (1925), he also demolished the tombs of holy personages at Jannat al-Mualla (Makkah) where the Holy Prophet (s)'s mother, wife, grandfather and other ancestors are buried.
Destruction of sacred sites in Hijaz by the Saudi Wahhabis continues even today. According to some scholars what is happening in Hijaz is actually a conspiracy plotted by the Jews against Islam, under the guise of Tawheed. The idea is to eradicate the Islamic legacy and heritage and to systematically remove all its vestiges so that in the days to come, Muslims will have no affiliation with their religious history.

The Origins of Al-Baqi

Literally "al-Baqi" means a tree garden. It is also known as "Jannat al-Baqi" due to its sanctity, since in it are buried many of our Prophet's relatives and companions.
The first companion buried in al-Baqi was Uthman b. Madhoon who died on the 3rd of Sha'ban in the 3rd year of Hijrah. The Prophet (s) ordered certain trees to be felled, and in its midst, he buried his dear companion, placing two stones over the grave.
On the following years, the Prophet's son Ibrahim, who died in infancy and over whom the Prophet (s) wept bitterly, was also buried there. The people of Madina then began to use that site for the burial of their own dead, because the Prophet (s) used to greet those who were buried in al-Baqi by saying, "Peace be upon you, O abode of the faithful! God willing, we should soon join you. O' Allah, forgive the fellows of al-Baqi".
The site of the burial ground at al-Baqi was gradually extended. Nearly seven thousand companions of the Holy Prophet (s) were buried there, not to mention those of the Ahlul Bayt (a). Imam Hasan b. Ali (a), Imam Ali b. al-Husayn (a), Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a), and Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (a) were all buried there.
Among other relatives of the Prophet (s) who were buried at al-Baqi are: his aunts Safiya and Aatika, and his aunt Fatima bint al-Asad, the mother of Imam Ali (a). The third caliph Uthman was buried outside al-Baqi, but with later extensions, 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, did al-Baqi become a well-known place of great historic significance to all Muslims.
Al-Baqi as viewed by historians
Umar bin Jubair describes al-Baqi as he saw it during his travel to Madina, saying "Al-Baqi is situated to the east of Madina. You enter it through the gate known as the gate of al-Baqi. As you enter, the first grave you see on your left is that of Safiya, the Prophet's aunt, and further still is the grave of Malik bin Anas, the Imam of Madina. On his grave is raised a small dome. In front of it is the grave of Ibrahim son of our Prophet (s) with a white dome over it, and next to it on the right is the grave of Abdul-Rahman son of Umar bin al-Khattab, popularly known as Abu Shahma, whose father had kept punishing him till death overtook him. Facing it are the graves of Aqeel bin Abi Talib and Abdullah bin Ja'far al-Tayyar. There, facing those graves is a small shrine containing the graves of the Prophet's wives, following by a shrine of Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib.
The grave of Hasan bin Ali (a), situated near the gate to it's right hand, has an elevated dome over it. His head lies at the feet of Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, and both graves are raised high above the ground, their walls are panelled with yellow plates and studded with beautiful star-shaped nails. This is how the grave of Ibrahim, son of the Prophet (s) has also been adorned. Behind the shrine of Abbas there is the house attributed to Fatima, daughter of our Prophet (s), known as "Bayt al-Ahzaan" (the house of grief) because it is the house she used to frequent in order to mourn the death of her father, the chosen one, peace be upon him. At the farthest end of al-Baqi is the grave of the caliph Uthman, with a small dome over it, and there, next to it, is the grave of Fatima bint Asad, mother of Ali b. Abi Talib (a)"
After a century and a half, the famous traveller Ibn Batuta came to describe al-Baqi in a way which does not in any way differ from the description given by Ibn Jubair. He adds saying, "At al-Baqi are the graves of numerous Muhajirin and Ansar and many companions of the Prophet (s), except that most of their names are unknown."
Thus, over the centuries, al-Baqi remained a sacred site with renovations being carried out as and when needed till the Wahhabis rose to power in the early nineteenth century. The latter desecrated the tombs and demonstrated disrespect to the martyrs and the companions of the Prophet (s) buried there. Muslims who disagreed with them were branded as "infidels" and were subsequently killed.

The First Destruction of Al-Baqi

The Wahhabis believed that visiting the graves and the shrines of the Prophets, the Imams, or the saints was a form of idolatry and totally un-Islamic. Those who did not conform with their belief were killed and their property was confiscated. Since their first invasion of Iraq, and till nowadays, in fact, the Wahhabis, as well as other rulers of the Gulf States, having been carrying out massacres from which no Muslim who disagreed with them was spared. Obviously, the rest of the Islamic World viewed those graves with deep reverence. Had it not been so, the two caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar would not have expressed their desire for burial near the grave of the Prophet (s).
From 1205 AH to 1217 AH, the Wahhabis made several attempts to gain a foothold in Hijaz but failed. Finally, in 1217 AH, they somehow emerged victorious in Taif where they spilled the innocent blood of Muslims. In 1218 AH, they entered Makkah and destroyed all sacred places and domes there, including the one which served as a canopy over the well of Zamzam.
In 1221, the Wahhabis entered Madina to desecrate al-Baqi as well as every mosque they came across. An attempt was even made to demolish the Prophet's tomb, but for one reason or another, the idea was abandoned. In subsequent years, Muslims from Iraq, Syria, and Egypt were refused entry into Makkah for Hajj. King Al-Saud set a pre-condition that those who wished to perform the pilgrimage would have to accept Wahhabism or else be branded as non-Muslims, becoming ineligible for entry into the Haram.
Al-Baqi was razed to the ground, with no sign of any grave or tomb whatsoever. But the Saudis were still not quite satisfied with doing all of that. Their king ordered three black attendants at the Prophet's shrine to show him where the treasure of valuable gifts were stored. The Wahhabis plundered the treasure for their own use.
Thousands of Muslims fled Makkah and Madina in a bid to save their lives and escape from the mounting pressure and persecution at the hands of the Wahhabis. Muslims from all over the world denounced this Saudi savagery and exhorted the Caliphate of the Ottoman Empire to save the sacred shrines from total destruction. Then, as it is known, Muhammad Ali Basha attacked Hijaz and, with the support of local tribes, managed to restore law and order in Madina and Makkah, dislodging the Al-Saud clansmen. The entire Muslim world celebrated this victory with great fanfare and rejoicing. In Cairo, the celebrations continued for five days. No doubt, the joy was due to the fact that pilgrims were once more allowed freely to go for Hajj, and the sacred shrines were once again restored.
In 1818 AD, the Ottaman Caliph Abdul Majid and his successors, Caliphs Abdul Hamid and Mohammed, carried out the reconstruction of all sacred places, restoring the Islamic heritage at all important sites. In 1848 and 1860 AD, further renovations were made at the expense of nearly seven hundred thousand pounds, most of which came from the donations collected at the Prophet's tomb.

The second plunder by the Wahhabis

The Ottoman Empire had added to the splendor of Madina and Makkah by building religious structures of great beauty and architectural value. Richard Burton, who visited the holy shrines in 1853 AD disguised as an Afghan Muslim and adopting the Muslim name Abdullah, speaks of Madina boasting 55 mosques and holy shrines. Another English adventurer who visited Madina in 1877-1878 AD describes it as a small beautiful city resembling Istanbul. He writes about its white walls, golden slender minarets and green fields.
1924 AD Wahhabis entered Hijaz for a second time and carried out another merciless plunder and massacre. People in streets were killed. Houses were razed to the ground. Women and children too were not spared.
Awn bin Hashim (Shairf of Makkah) writes: "Before me, a valley appeared to have been paved with corpses, dried blood staining everywhere all around. There was hardly a tree which didn't have one or two dead bodies near its roots."
1925 Madina surrendered to the Wahhabi onslaught. All Islamic heritage were destroyed. The only shrine that remained intact was that of the Holy Prophet (s).
Ibn Jabhan says: "We know that the tomb standing on the Prophet's grave is against our principles, and to have his grave in a mosque is an abominable sin."
Tombs of Hamza and other martyrs were demolished at Uhud. The Prophet's mosque was bombarded. On protest by Muslims, assurances were given by Ibn Saud that it will be restored but the promise was never fulfilled. A promise was given that Hijaz will have an Islamic multinational government. This was also abandoned.
1925 AD Jannat al-Mu'alla, the sacred cemetery at Makkah was destroyed alongwith the house where the Holy Prophet (s) was born. Since then, this day is a day of mourning for all Muslims.
Is it not strange that the Wahhabis find it offensive to have the tombs, shrines and other places of importance preserved, while the remains of their Saudi kings are being guarded at the expense of millions of dollars? 


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