Al-Baqi'

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Jannat al-Baqi'
Bagicemetri2.JPG
The cemetery in 2008
Details
Established C.E. 622
Location Medina
Country Present-day Saudi Arabia
Type Muslim
Owned by State

Jannat al-Baqi‘ (Arabic: جنة البقيع‎, translit. Jannat al-Baqī‘, lit. 'Garden of Baqi'‎) is a cemetery in Medina, present-day Saudi Arabia, located to the southeast of the Masjid al-Nabawi (The Prophet's Mosque). The mosque is built where the Islamic prophet Muhammad used to live, and is currently buried. It is also known as Baqi al-Gharqad, which means "Baqi of the Boxthorn".[1]

The cemetery holds much significance. It contains many of Muhammad's relatives and companions. Many traditions relate Muhammad issuing a prayer every time he passed it. A Jewish graveyard was once located behind Jannat al-Baqi. The Umayyad rulers took down the wall of the Jewish cemetery and widened the Muslim graveyard to enclose the tomb of Caliph Uthman ibn Affan within it.[2]

History[edit]

Al-Baqi before the demolition

When Muhammad arrived at Medina from Mecca in September 622, al-Baqi was a land covered with Lycium shawii boxthorn trees.

During the construction of the al-Masjid al-Nabawi, on the site he purchased from two orphan children when he arrived after his migration from Mecca to Medina, Asa'ad Bin Zararah, one of Muhammad's companions died. Muhammad chose the spot to be a cemetery and Asa'ad was the first individual to be buried in al-Baqi among the Ansar.

While Muhammad was outside Medina for the Battle of Badr, his daughter Ruqayyah fell sick and died in 624.

Shortly after Muhammad arrived from Badr, Uthman bin Maz'oon died and was buried in al-Baqi. He was considered the first companion of Muhammad from the Muhajirun to be buried in the cemetery.

Earlier Caliph Uthman ibn Affan was buried in the huge neighbouring Jewish grave yard. The first enlargement of al-Baqi in history was made by Muawiyah I, the first Umayyad Caliph. In order to honour Uthman ibn Affan, Muawiyah included the huge Jewish graveyard into al-Baqi cemetery. The Umayyad Caliphate built the first dome in al-Baqi over his grave. During different times of history, many domes and structures were built or rebuilt over many famous graves in al-Baqi.

Demolition[edit]

Main article: Demolition of al-Baqi
The Cemetery after the 1926 demolition. The Mosque of the Prophet is in the background.

The cemetery has been demolished[1] by forces loyal to the Wahhabi-Saudi alliance in 1806 and 1925[3] (or 1926).[1][4]

At the beginning of the Wahhabis of Najd's nineteenth century (1806) control over Mecca and Medina, they demolished many of the religious buildings including tombs and mosques, whether inside or outside the Baqi,[5] in accordance with their doctrine.[1] These were razed to the ground[4][6] and plundered for their decorations and goods.[7]

The Al-Saud clan regained control of Hijaz in 1924[4] (or 1925).[1] The following year King Ibn Saud granted permission to destroy the site with religious authorization provided by Qadi Abd Allah ibn Bulayhid, and the demolition began on 21 April 1926[4] (or 1925)[3][8] by Ikhwan ("The Brothers"), a Wahabbi religious militia.[9] The demolition included destroying "even the simplest of the gravestones".[1] British convert Eldon Rutter compared the demolition to an earthquake: "All over the cemetery nothing was to be seen but little indefinite mounds of earth and stones, pieces of timber, iron bars, blocks of stone, and a broken rubble of cement and bricks, strewn about."[4]

The second demolition was discussed in Majles-e Shora-ye Melli (The National Consultative Assembly of Iran) and a group of representatives was sent to Hijaz to investigate. In recent years, efforts were made by Iranian religious scholars and political figures to restore the cemetery and its shrines.[4] Both Sunni and Shia protested against the destruction[1][8] and rallies are held annually.[1][10] The day is regarded as Yaum-e Gham ("Day of Sorrow").[8] Prominent Sunni theologians and intellectuals have condemned the "unfit" situation of the al-Baqi cemetery but the Saudi authorities have so far ignored all criticism and rejected any requests for restoration of the tombs and mausoleums.[4]

Notable interments[edit]

Kin of Muhammad[edit]

Notable figures[edit]

Other notable figures (unknown location)[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Werner, Ende (2010). "Baqīʿ al-Gharqad". In Fleet, Kate. Encyclopaedia of Islam (Third ed.). Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Textual Sources for the Study of Islam By Knappert, Jan, Andrew Rippin
  3. ^ a b Mohammadi, Adeel (2014–2015). "The destruction of Jannat al-Baqi': A case of Wahhabi Iconoclasm" (PDF). Undergraduate Journal of Middle East Studies. Canada (8): 47–56. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Bahramian, Ali; Gholami, Rahim (2013). "al-Baqīʿ". In Madelung, Wilfred; Daftary, Farhad. Encyclopaedia Islamica (Third ed.). Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  5. ^ Ahmed, Irfan. "The Destruction Of The Holy Sites in Mecca and Medina". Islamica Magazine. No. 15. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "History of the Cemetery Of Jannat Al-Baqi". Al-Islam.org. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  7. ^ Bahramian, Ali. "Baqi". The Great Islamic Encyclopedia (in Persian). Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c Shahi, Afshin. The Politics of Truth Management in Saudi Arabia. Routledge. ISBN 9781134653195. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "The Destruction Heritage in Saudi Arabia" (PDF). The Center for Academic Shi'a Studies. August 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  10. ^ Hassan, Sara (27 July 2015). "Protests at Saudi Embassy in Washington". American al-Jazeera. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Lady Fatima, Islamic Insight, Accessed September 1, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 24°28′02″N 39°36′58″E / 24.4672°N 39.616°E / 24.4672; 39.616