The cemetery in 2008
|Country||Present-day Saudi Arabia|
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".
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.
When Muhammad arrived at Medina from Mecca in September 622, 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 Baqi, which was therefore considered as the public tomb. Also Baqi introduced as somewhere which its east side is Nakhl and its west side there are houses. In fact before demolition Baqi was located behind Medina’s houses.
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.
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.
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, in accordance with their doctrine. These were razed to the ground and plundered for their decorations and goods.
The Al-Saud clan regained control of Hijaz in 1924 (or 1925). 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 (or 1925) by Ikhwan ("The Brothers"), a Wahabbi religious militia. The demolition included destroying "even the simplest of the gravestones". 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."
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. Both Sunni and Shia protested against the destruction and rallies are held annually. The day is regarded as Yaum-e Gham ("Day of Sorrow"). 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. Though nowadays the situation of the Baqi is better than the time of demolition but there is an Acrimonious memory in the memories of the Muslim who visited there in that time.
Kin of Muhammad
- Halimah the milk-mother and nurse of Muhammad
- All of the wives of Muhammad, except Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and Maymunah bint al-Harith is buried in Jannatul Mualla in Mecca and at Sarif respectively.
- Ibrahim, Muhammad's son by Maria al-Qibtiyya, died in infancy
- Roqayyah, Umm Kulthum and Zainab daughters of Muhammad and Khadijah
- Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad is purportedly buried there, though the location of her grave is disputed.
- Fatima bint al-Asad, aunt of Muhammad and mother of Caliph and Imam Ali.
- ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, uncle of Muhammad.
- Umm ul-Banin, who married Caliph Ali after the death of Fatimah and Safiyyah, Atika aunts of Muhammad.
- Imam Hasan ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad, son of Fatimah bint Muhammad and Imam Ali.
- Imam Zayn al-Abidin, great grandson of Fatima bint Muhammad who is the only adult male that survived the Battle of Karbala because he was sick and could not fight.
- Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, son of ‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn.
- Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq, son of Muhammad al-Baqir.
- Abdullah son of Jaffar e Tayyar, who was husband of Zainab, daughter of Ali and nephew of Ali and father of Aun and Muhammad (martyrs of Karbala).
- Aqeel ibn Abi Talib; the elder brother of Ali.
- Uthman ibn Affan, companion, son-in-law of Muhammad and third Sunni Caliph. Uthman ibn Affan was at first buried in a Jewish graveyard behind Al-Baqi', but later Muawiyah I extended Al-Baqi' to include Uthman.
- Uthman Bin Mazoun, companion of Muhammad.
- Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri
- Malik ibn Anas, Islamic jurist
- Nafi‘ al-Madani, one of Ten Readers of Quran
- Abdülmecid II, the last caliph of Islam, the 37th Head of the Imperial House of Osman
Other notable figures (unknown location)
- Mohammad Hayya Al-Sindhi, scholar
- Imam Shamil, Muslim leader and freedom fighter from the Caucasus
- Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy, scholar
- Idris of Libya, King of Libya
- Hasan as-Senussi, Crown Prince of Libya
- Muhammad Zakariya Kandhalawi, Author of Fazael-e-A'maal
- Prof Dr Riaz Ahmed Pal , Chairman of Biological Sciences Quid-e-azim University and Founder of Parasite (shafaq)
Panorama showing a part of the Baqi Cemetery. Qibla is behind the photographer.
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- "Al Baqi Cemetery". Al-Mustafa International University. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Al-Baqi'.|
- Visitation of Baqi
- The oldest photos of Jannat al-Baqi (in Persian)
- Jannat al-Baqi website
- Map of Jannat al-Baqi
- History of the Cemetery of Jannat al-Baqi
- The Baqi Collection Photos
- Map of Jannat al-Baqi according to Sunni Muslim sources