Salaam, and condolences on the anniversary of a very doleful day. Today is the tragic 8th of Shawwal on which 90 years ago an unpardonable sin was committed in the holy city of Medina.
On this day, while pilgrims to the sacred Jannat al-Baqie Cemetery were paying respects inside the holy shrine that housed the blessed tombs of the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6thInfallible Successors of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), hordes of Godless Wahhabis burst inside, pillaging the place and finally razing to the ground the magnificent mausoleum.
These criminals then desecrated all other tombs and canopied graves of the Prophet’s aunts, wives, companions, descendants and prominent ulema. Please stay with us for a special feature in this regard.
"Peace upon you, O abode of the faithful! God willing, we should soon join you. O Allah, forgive the denizens of al-Baqie".
This is how Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) used to salute at the graves of his companions and his relatives reposing in eternal peace in the Sacred Jannat al-Baqie Cemetery in Medina – as recorded in the books of hadith and history of both Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims. As the “Mercy unto the entire creation”, he was teaching Muslims of his time and all subsequent generations, the finer points of his Sunnah and Seerah, that is, practice and behaviour when visiting the graveyards and greeting the virtuous deceased, who by the permission of God Almighty hear and answer, are part of the dynamics of creation that ought to be observed by all humanitarian societies.
He definitely knew that in a distant future his Sunnah and Seerah would be trampled in his own city by those claiming to be Muslims, but feeling no inhibitions in shedding the blood of believers in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and blasphemously bulldozing the tombs of his progeny, his family members, his wives, his companions and other prominent Islamic figures on the pretext of bid’a or innovation.
Perhaps, it was for exposing the hypocrisy of this schismatic group that the Prophet institutionalized the visiting of the graves. He thus made it clear that a dynamic Islamic society always remembers its deceased who are basking in divine mercy in afterlife, while the status of the martyrs is even more exalted, in view of the explicit words of God Almighty in the holy Qur’an that those slain in the way of Islam should not be considered dead, for they are very much alive and receive sustenance from their Lord.
Today, while commemorating the 90th lunar anniversary of the sacrilegious demolition of Jannat al-Baqie by brigands from Najd, it is beyond our imagination what transpired for the sanctified soul of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) when the tombs of his near and dear ones were razed to the ground.
Baqie is no ordinary cemetery. It is the place where at least 7,000 of the so-called Sahaba or those who had the honour of meeting the Prophet – albeit once in lifetime – are buried. It is the place where the Prophet’s paternal aunts Safiya and Ateka were laid to rest. It is the place where the Prophet with moist-filled eyes entrusted to the fragrant soil his infant son, Ibrahim, on whose death he said: “The eyes shed tears and the heart grieves, but we will say nothing but what pleases the Lord. We are surely grievous for you, O Ibrahim.”
It is the place where reposes in eternal peace, his beloved uncle, Abu Taleb's wife, Fatema bint Asad, who had brought him up as her own son and in whose grave, before she was laid to rest, the Prophet stretched himself awhile out of respect for her and recited the talqeen in a mournful voice. It is the place where his only surviving offspring, daughter Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA) used to lament for him till she passed away 90 days after his departure from the mortal world. The place of her lamentation was a room called Bait al-Huzn (House of Grief), where after the heartrending tragedy of Karbala, Umm al-Baneen the wife of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), used to lament for the Prophet’s younger grandson, Imam Husain (AS), and her own sons, including Hazrat Abbas (AS). It was here that the citizens of Medina used to join in the wailings. Rabab, the wife of Imam Husain (AS) also frequented this place to cry. The Prophet’s granddaughters Hazrat Zainab (SA) and Hazrat Umm Kulsoom (SA) were among the regular mourners here.
Above all, Jannat al-Baqie is the sacred place where until 90 years ago, used to tower over all other domes and canopies, the grand mausoleum housing the holy tombs of the four of the Prophet’s 12 Infallible Heirs – his elder grandson, Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), great-grandson Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), and the latter’s son and grandson, Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS) and Imam Ja'far Sadeq (AS). The only shrine that remained intact in the vicinity of Baqie was that of the Prophet and that too not because of any respect for him but because of fear of reaction from the Muslim world.
Jannat al-Baqie thus remains a blot on Muslim conscience. As long as this open wound that lies opposite the Prophet’s shrine is not healed, Islamic solidarity and the cherished goal of liberation of al-Aqsa Mosque in Bayt al-Moqaddas, would remain nothing more than a dream – a dream, which the avowed enemies of Islam – the Zionists and the US – are working feverishly in secret coordination with the Wahhabis, to turn into a nightmare. The Salafis, as the Wahhabis are also known, are tarnishing the image of Islam through acts of terrorism in Muslim countries and desecration of the graves.
In Syria, earlier this year, these ungodly elements, lauded by the Zionist-controlled western media as “puritanical Muslims”, desecrated the tomb of the Prophet’s companion, Hojr Ibn Odai, and stole his body that turned out to be remarkably preserved despite his martyrdom over a thousand and three-and-a-half centuries ago, by the Omayyad rebel, Mu’awiya Ibn Abu Sufyan. They have also threatened to destroy the blessed tomb in Damascus, of the Heroine of Karbala, Hazrat Zainab (SA), the granddaughter of the Prophet and the daughter of Imam Ali and Hazrat Fatema Zahra (peace upon them).
It is worth noting that in 1925 before the British gifted the Aal-e Saudi clan of brigands from the Najd with spurious state called Saudi Arabia, these Wahhabi criminals destroyed the tombs of Martyrs of Ohad including that of the Prophet’s dear uncle, Hamza, whose liver was torn out from his body and chewed by Hend, the wife of the Arab pagan leader, Abu Sufyan – a bestial act which the Salafis are emulating today in Syria before TV cameras to the shock of the civilized world.
1925 was also the year when a sacrilege occurred in Mecca as well at the Jannat al-Mu’alla Cemetery that housed the holy tombs of the First Lady of Islam, the Prophet’s loyal wife, Omm al-Momineen (Mother of True Believers), Hazrat Khadija (SA), his infant son, Qassem, his uncle and guardian Abu Taleb, his grandfather Abdul-Mutalleb (AS) and other family members.In view of these undeniable facts, the 8thof Shawwal is consequently commemorated as the Day of Grief worldwide for followers of the Prophet’s Blessed Ahl al-Bayt.
Hopefully, the day will soon dawn when the shrines of Jannat al-Baqie and Jannat al-Mu’alla will be rebuilt on a grander scale. We beseech God Almighty to hasten the reappearance of the Redeemer of mankind, Imam Mahdi (AS), the 12th and Last Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), cleanse the world of all vestiges of corruption and oppression by establishment of the global government of peace, prosperity and justice. Amen