8th of Shawwal - A day of deep grief and sorrow
In The Name of Allah The Beneficent, The Merciful.
"They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse"
(Holy Qur'an – 9:32- Repentance)
On 8 Shawwal, 1344 A.H. (April 21, 1926), the evil hands of Abdul Aziz Aal S'aud, founder of Saudi dynasty, dared to attack and demolish one of the holiest Islamic sites in the world, the sacred shrines of Imam Hassan Mujtaba (AS), Imam Ali Zaynul Abideen (AS), Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (AS), and Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (AS).
In the same year, the Saudi government demolished other mausoleums, like the mausoleums and shrines of the Holy Prophet Muhammad's (P.B.U.H) mother, wife, grandfather, and other ancestors. They also managed to erase the signs of all the historical Islamic sites and monuments and demolished the graves of more than 200 famous companions and Sahabahs of Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). The Saudi government banned Muslims from reconstructing the shrines and graves from that time till today.
Literally “al-Baqee” means a tree garden. It is also known as Jannatul-Baqee’ due to its sanctity, since in it are buried many of our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)’s relatives and companions. The first companion of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) to be buried there was ‘Uthman bin Ma’dhoon.
He died on 3rd Sha’ban 3 AH. The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) ordered certain trees to be felled, and in its midst, he buried his dear companion, placing two stones over the grave. Ibrahim, the son of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) who died later and over whom the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) bitterly wept, was also buried there.
The people of Madinah then began to use the site for the burial of their own dead because the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) used to greet those who were buried in Jannatul-Baqee’ saying: “Peace be upon you, O abode of the faithful! God willing, we should soon join you. O Allah! Forgive the fellows of al-Baqee’”.
The burial site was later expanded at al-Baqee’. Nearly seven thousand of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)’s companions were buried there and many of his family members including the Ahlul-Bayt (AS) praised in the Holy Quran.
They are Sayyida Fatima (AS) –the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) (according to some sayings), Imam al-Hasan (AS), Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (AS), Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (AS) and Imam Ja’ffar al-Sadiq (AS). Other relatives include: Safiyya and Aatika (his aunts); Fatima bint Asad (his aunt and mother of Imam ‘Ali); ‘Uthaman bin ‘Affaan, the third caliph of the Muslims was initially buried outside al-Baqee’ but later on, due to expansion of the burial ground, 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 al-Baqee’ became a well-known place of great significance to all Muslims. Ibn Batuta, the famous traveler has said, “At al-Baqee are the graves of numerous Muhajireen and Ansaar and many companions of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), except that most of their names are unknown”.
On 8th Shawwal, Wednesday, in the year 1344 AH, (April 21st 1926) the mausoleums in Jannatul-Baqee’ in Madinah were demolished by King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud.
In the same year i-e., 1926, King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud also demolished the tombs of holy personages at Jannatul-Mu’alla in Makkah Mukarramah where the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)’s mother, wife, grandfather and other ancestors are buried. This day is indeed a day of grief and sorrow for all Muslims.