Al-Baqi'

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Al-Baqīʿ
ٱلْبَقِيْع
Bagicemetri2.JPG
The cemetery in 2008
Details
EstablishedC.E. 622
Location
CountryPresent-day Saudi Arabia
TypeMuslim
Owned byState

Jannat al-Baqīʿ (Arabic: ٱلْبَقِيْع‎, "The Baqi'") is the oldest and the first Islamic cemetery of Medina[1] in the Hejazi[2] region of present-day Saudi Arabia. It is located to the southeast of the Prophet's Mosque, which contains the graves of some of Prophet Muhammad's family and friends. It is also known as Baqīʿ al-Gharqad (Arabic: بَقِيْع الْغَرْقَد‎, meaning "Baqiʿ of the Boxthorn").[1]

The grounds hold much significance for Muslims, being the resting place of many of Prophet Muhammad's relatives and companions, thus making it as one of the two holiest cemeteries in Islamic tradition. Many narrations relate Prophet Muhammad issuing a prayer every time he passed it.

History[edit]

When Muhammad arrived at Medina from Mecca in September 622 CE, al-Baqi' was a land covered with Lycium shawii boxthorn trees. According to historical records, after the arrival of Muhammad, the houses of Medina developed near al-Baqi', which was therefore considered as the public tomb. The bramble-growth was cleared and the place consecrated to be the future cemetery of the Muslims who died at al-Madina.[1] Also al-Baqi' was introduced as somewhere whose east side is Nakhl and west side contains houses. In fact, before demolition al-Baqi' was located behind the houses in the city.[3]

During the construction of the Prophet's Mosque, on the site he purchased from two orphan children when he arrived after his migration from Mecca to Medina, Es'ad bin Zurarah, one of Muhammad's companions died. Muhammad chose the spot to be a cemetery and Es'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. She was buried in al-Baqi'. She was the first person from Ahl al-Bayt (Household of Muhammad) buried in this cemetery.

Shortly after Muhammad arrived from Badr, Uthman bin Maz'oon died in 5/626-7 and was buried in al-Baqi'.[1] He was considered the first companion of Muhammad from the Muhajirun to be buried in the cemetery. He was also called by the Prophet to be the first 'among us to go to the hereafter', and he also called the place where he is buried Rawhā. When his son died, he commanded that he be buried there also; he watered the grave and called this place Zawrā.[4]

Initially, Caliph Uthman ibn Affan[5] was buried in the huge neighbouring Jewish graveyard. 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]

First demolition[edit]

The cemetery before the 1926 demolition
The former mausoleum of Fatimah, Abbas, Hasan ibn Ali, Ali as-Sajjad, Muhammad al-Baqir and Ja'far as-Sadiq
The Cemetery after the 1926 demolition. The Prophet's Mosque in far background, view towards west.
Panorama showing the cemetery, with the Qiblah being behind the photographer, view towards north.

The cemetery was demolished[1] by forces loyal to the Wahhabi-Saudi alliance in 1806 and 1925[6] (or 1926).[1][7]

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,[8] whether inside or outside the Baqi,[9] in accordance with their doctrine.[1] These were razed to the ground[7][10] and plundered for their decorations and goods.[11]

Second demolition[edit]

The clan of Saud regained control of the Hijaz in 1924[7] 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[7] (or 1925)[6][12] by Ikhwan ("The Brothers"), a Wahabbi religious militia.[13] 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."[7]

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[when?], efforts were made by Iranian religious scholars and political figures to restore the cemetery and its shrines.[7] Both Sunni and Shia protested against the destruction[1][12] and rallies are held annually.[1][14] The day is regarded as Yaum-e Gham ("Day of Sorrow").[12] Prominent Sunni theologians and intellectuals have condemned the "unfit" situation of the Baqi cemetery but the Saudi authorities have so far ignored all criticism and rejected any requests for restoration of the tombs and mausoleums.[7] Though nowadays the situation of the Baqi is better than the time of demolition but there was acrimony in the memories of the Muslims who visited there in the past.[15]

People of Prophet Muhammad that are buried there[edit]

Unknown locations[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Werner, Ende (2010). "Baqīʿ al-Gharqad". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Brill Online. ISSN 1873-9830.
  2. ^ Hopkins, Daniel J.; 편집부 (2001). Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary. p. 479. ISBN 0-87779-546-0. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  3. ^ Muhammad Sadiq Najmi. history of tombs of Imam in Baqi and other monuments (in Persian). Mashar. p. 67-68.
  4. ^ "Encyclopedia of Islam by the Turkish government".
  5. ^ Textual Sources for the Study of Islam, by Knappert, Jan, and Andrew Rippin
  6. ^ 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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 August 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Bahramian, Ali; Gholami, Rahim (2013). "al-Baqīʿ". In Madelung, Wilfred; Daftary, Farhad (eds.). Encyclopaedia Islamica (Third ed.). Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Sahih Muslim 969a, 969b - The Book of Prayer - Funerals - كتاب الجنائز - Sunnah.com - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". sunnah.com. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "History of the Cemetery Of Jannat Al-Baqi". Al-Islam.org. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  11. ^ Bahramian, Ali. "Baqi". The Great Islamic Encyclopedia (in Persian). Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  12. ^ a b c Shahi, Afshin (4 December 2013). The Politics of Truth Management in Saudi Arabia. Routledge. ISBN 9781134653195. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  13. ^ "The Destruction Heritage in Saudi Arabia" (PDF). The Center for Academic Shi'a Studies. August 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  14. ^ Hassan, Sara (27 July 2015). "Protests at Saudi Embassy in Washington". American al-Jazeera. Archived from the original on 25 June 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  15. ^ Hammoudi, Abdellah (2006). A Season In Mecca : Narrative Of A Pilgrimage. pp. 95–96. ISBN 9780745601540.
  16. ^ Lady Fatima Archived 11 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Islamic Insight, Accessed 1 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Al Baqi Cemetery". Al-Mustafa International University. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  18. ^ "History of the Cemetery Of Jannat Al-Baqi". Al-Islam.org. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2017.

External links[edit]

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