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From Layman’s Desk -2: SHA’IRALLAH or SYMBOLS OF ALLAH - Brief thoughts!

In The Name Of Allah The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

When we talk of the symbols of Allah we don’t mean the kinds that people normally
attach to a creed. In Islam, Allah is beyond any symbol for none is like Him. The
symbols and anything within the Space, Time and Energy are in the realm of
creations while Allah is the Creator. Creations can never be equated with the
Creator. At the same time, when we speak of creation we don’t in the least mean
animal procreation for Allah begets not, nor his begotten. We have to remember the
Creator has no body but is self-subsistent, Eternal and One who is not governed by
direction or location and only He is to be worshipped. The creations are not to be
worshipped, not even when the creations are “Sha’ir Allah” or the Symbols of
Allah. Prayers are accepted at the symbols of Allah, including those in Makkah
during the Haj or Umrah, and in and around Madinah the Radiant. However,
generally, these Symbols of Allah are to be respected and honoured and their
sanctity is not to be violated. So what are the symbols of Allah? How does one
honour them and why?

In Surah al-Baqara, verse 158, the hills of Safa and Marwa have been called as the
symbols of Allah. The same verse recommends the encompassing between them:

Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of God. So if those who visit the
House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round, it is no sin in
them. And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good, - be sure that God is He Who
recogniseth and knoweth. (2:158)

As every Muslim knows, it was between these two hills of Safa and Marwa that
Hajrah (Hager) kept on walking and, at times, running in quest of water for her
son, Isma’il (a.s.) (Ishmael). She climbed to the top of Mount Safa and prayed to
Allah for help, and then she climbed Mount Marwa and again cried for help. Allah
responded to her supplication and sent Jibreel (peace be upon him) to dig out the
well of Zam-Zam. Allah has declared these hills among His symbols since one of his
beloved servants, Sayyida Hajrah, walked between these two hills seeking His help.

Briefly, the Ka’ba is one such symbol which is also known as the Baitullah or the
House of Allah. The history of Ka’ba is long and ancient. It was built by Ibrahim
(a.s.) and Isma’il (a.s.) at the place indicated by Allah.

Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah
(Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-'Alamin (i.e. the mankind and
the Jinns). In it are manifest signs, the Maqam of Ibrahim; whosoever enters it,
he attains security. (3:96)

Maqam-e-Ibrahim is the place where Ibrahim (a.s.) used to stand at the time he
built the Ka’aba. That place is signified by the impression of his footprints
which are enclosed in the vicinity of the Ka’ba. The Ka’ba later became the focal
point or Qiblah for offering of the ritual prayers (salaat) wherever one might be
in the world. One makes the Tawaaf (circumambulations) of the Ka’ba, this being an
obligatory requirement of Haj (Greater Pilgrimage) and Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage).
On other occasions, too, making of Tawaaf carries immense reward. After the Tawaaf
of the Ka’ba, two rakah of voluntary prayers are offered at this place and
supplications offered by every pilgrim. Standing at Hateem or near Multazam,
drinking the water of the Zamzam spring and offering ‘Saee’ or encompassing the
distance between the hills of Safa and Marwa and ascending them, proceeding to
Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifa, sacrificing animals at Mina, pelting stones at the
Devil ( doing Rami), doing the farewell Tawaaf, and removing the Ihraam (which was
donned in the beginning while making niyah for Haj or Umrah at designated spots
“Mawaqit” are what the pilgrims do during the Haj or Umrah. All these are
associated with the Symbols of Allah.

Rasulullâh Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam stated in another Hadîth: “The best and the
most beloved city on the face of this earth to Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta’âla is
Makkah.” (Sahih A Bukharî) The city houses the Masjid al-Haraam inside which are:
the Ka’ba, the Maqam-e-Ibrahim, the Zamzam Spring are located – and even the hills
of Safa and Marwa which in modern times have been enclosed within the precincts of
Masjid al-Haraam. Whosoever enters it has attained safety (from the fire.) (Âl
-Imrân). Du’â is granted at fifteen places in Makkah. These places are well-known
to Muslims and even if they are not known they try to locate them, find them, and
pray at those designated places so that Allah may accept their prayers swiftly.

Similarly, the Hadiths and other Islamic literature are full of the virtues of
Madinah the Radiant (Medina) and its sacred precincts. Narrated Anas (r.a.), the
Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "O Allah! Bestow on Madinah twice the blessings
You bestowed on Makkah." (Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 30, Number 109). The Holy
Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) declared Madinah and what lies
between its two black tracts – twelve miles around Madinah as Haram. Cutting of
trees including the thorny plant “adah” with the normal exception of fodder for
animals and making tools and equipment of normal use, is prohibited. So also
hunting of animals. Anas reported that the Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa
Sallam) said, "Madinah is a sanctuary from such and such a place to such and such
a place, and (within this area) its trees shall not be cut, nor any (unlawful) act
committed, and whoso does so on him shall rest the curse of Allah, His angels and
the entire mankind." (Bukhari). Therefore, the majority of scholars hold Madinah
as the place of sanctuary.

Very briefly, some of the symbols of Madinah the Radiant are: The sacred grave and
the Masjid of the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam); the
distance between his (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) house and ‘mimbar’
which is blessed as the gardens of Paradise, inviting the good fortune of meeting
the Messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) at the pool of
Kawthar. Inside the Masjid there used to be some 8 pillars where the Sahaba
(r)used to offer many prayers. These pillars are known as the “Weeping” pillar,
the pillar of Aisha (r), the pillar of Repentance (Towbah), pillar of sleeping
place, pillar of Ali (r), pillar of delegations; pillar of Tahajjud and Taraveeh
prayers which Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) used to offer;
and pillar of Jibra’il a.s. from where Archangel Gabriel used to visit Holy
Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) . The virtue of offering prayers in
the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) Masjid is 50,000 times
which is half of that of the Masjid al-haraam in Makkah. However, the ulema tell
us that though the Ka’ba is the holier place than Madinah the Radiant, the grave
of Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) is higher in rank than the
Ka’ba. There are many other places in and around the City of Radiance such as Uhud
which is the burial place of Hazrat Hamza (r) and other Sahabas who were martyred
there. Their sanctity cannot be rejected by attribution of falsehood.

In Surah al-Hajj of the Noble Qur’an it is mentioned:

“And whosoever honours the symbols of Allah (Sha’ir Allah) then it is truly from
the piety of the heart.” (22:32).

And the prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “The piety is here,
(and while saying so) he pointed towards his chest.

The symbols have been designated by Allah in the Holy Quran since these symbols
and the persons, places, animals, or things associated with these symbols remind
us of Him. These symbols are the signs of Allah since He is remembered when the
pilgrim offers prayers while carrying out instructions and observances that are
attached to these symbols all for the pleasure of Allah. Yusuf Ali says that
impulse should be to do good, and if once we are sure of this, we must obey it
without hestitation, whatever the people may say. The know-how and details
regarding these instructions are also found in the ahadith (prophetic traditions).
Makkah Mukarramah (Mecca) itself was declared as ‘Haram’ or the place of sanctuary
by Ibrahim a.s.,who supplicated: O my Lord! Make this city (Makkah) a place of
peace and security. (2:126)

We find extensions of symbols that are linked to Allah, such as Rasool-Allah


(Messenger of Allah) Baitullah (for Ka’ba), Shahrullah (Month of Allah, i.e.
Ramadan), Nabi-Allah (prophets of Allah), Wali-Allah (Friends of Allah), and
Naaqata Allah, the she-camel of Allah that came out of the rock as a miracle for
the people of Thamood; the sacrificial camels “And the (sacrificial) camels! We
have made for you among the signs of Allah” (22:36) who are honoured with garlands
around their neck, and so on. Therefore, those things by which we are reminded of
Allah are included by the Ulema among the signs or symbols of Allah. By extensions
these include not only the inanimate objects as the hills, the Sacred House and
the places within the Haram Shareef, but also the precincts of Makkah that have
the house of Khadija (r), the house where Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi
Wa Sallam) was born (i.e. Mowlidun Nabi), the house of Abu Bakr Siddique (r) from
where the Hijrat to Madinah took place, the house where Hazrat Ali (r) was born;
then the house where Hazrat Umar (r) accepted Islam near the hill of Safa, where
some forty men entered Islam; the cave of Thowr where the Holy Prophet (Salla
Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (r) hid themselves to escape
from the pursuing polytheist Makkans and where the verse calling Hazrat Abu Bakr
(r) “the second of the two” was revealed; the Ghare-e-Hira or the Cave on the
mountain of light (Jabl an-Noor) where Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa
Sallam) used to spend in solitude until one day he received the first revelation
of the Holy Quran (Surah al-Alaq) and thus officially became the Messenger of
Allah; and some various Masjids known as Raya, Jinn, Shajarah, Ghanam, Ajyaad, Abu
Qubays, Tuwaa, Aisha, Ju’raana, Kabsh, Masjidul Aqba which lies on the road going
to Mina from Makkah, Masjid al-Khaif at Mina, and not far from there, the
Mursalaat Cave where Surah Mursalaat was revealed; and the graveyard, Jannatul
Ma’la, where Hazrat Khadija (r) lies buried.

There are other symbols too. According to Shah Waliyullah (reh.) the greatest
symbols of Allah are four: the Holy Qur’an, the Ka’ba, the Holy Prophet (Salla
Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) and the ritual salaat. (HUJJAT ALLAHI’L BAALIGHA).
In ALTAAF AL-QUDS, Shah Waliyullah states:
“To love the symbols of Allah the Exalted, means to love the Qur’an, the Prophet
(Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) , and the Ka’ba, or to love anything that
reminds us of Allah the Exalted. To love the Awliya of Allah is the same.”

A tradition quoted in Abi-Shaiba’s MUSNAD and in KUNOOZ AD-DAQAAIQ show that the
Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “When Awliya are seen,
Allah the Exalted is remembered.” When asked about the characteristics of Awliya,
Imam Nawawi too said the same thing. Ibn Majah also reports this hadith shareef. A
tradition related by Imam Baghawi says: “My Awliya are remembered when My Name is
mentioned, and I am remembered, when they are mentioned.”

Now, when we show honour (yu’azzim) to the signs and indications of Allah, it is
termed as “piety of the heart” as we saw in Surah al-Hajj (22:32) When there is an
impulse to do good, Allah recognizes it (Surah 2:158). When we honour and love the
Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) and those associated with him
or even the things associated with him and the friends of Allah, the impulse is to
do good. When we visit the places of rest of the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala
Alayhi Wa Sallam) and the blessed companions and the family of Holy Propht (Salla
Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) as well as the shrines of Awliya-Allah, the
impulse is to do good because the symbols of Allah necessarily remind us of Allah
the Exalted and Majestic as He is. He is fully aware of it, and no evil
imputations by the ignorant will change the piety of the heart. Therefore, showing
honour is an impulse to do good within the bounds sanctioned by Allah.

In Bukhari Shareef, Hadrat Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) reports
the following Hadith-e-Quddsi: The Most Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta'ala
Alayhi Wa Sallam) has said that Allah said, “Whoever shows enmity to a friend of
mine, I shall be at war
with him.” Allah loves his Awliya and we love the Awliya-Allah for the sake of
Allah. Thus there is ample evidence to support that Awliya-Allah are among the
symbols of Allah.

It is well to remember that the early Muslims used to go around the Ka’ba despite
the fact that 360 idols had been placed inside by the polytheists Makkans, i.e.
before Makkah (Mecca) was conquered by the Holy Prophet(Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi
Wa Sallam) . But that did not make them polytheists because their intention was
good of which Allah was aware and cognizant. Similarly, even today prayers are
offered at the Maqam-i-Ibrahim where his footprints are stored in an enclosure
near the Ka’ba. The graves of Isma’îl (a.s.) and his mother Hajrah sit in the
Hajar under the Mizâb.” (Azraqi’s A khbâr ul Makkah). Additionally, the graves of
Nûh, Hud, Shuaib and Salîh Alayhum Salâm lie between the Zamzam and the Maqâm.”
(Azraqi’s Akhbâr ul Makkah) Around the Ka’bah lie the graves of three hundred
prophets.” (Sahih Muslim, Bayhaqî) Between the Rukn ul Yamâni and the Rukn ul
Aswad seventy prophets lie buried. Each of them died in poverty and lice infection
owing to non availability of water. (Ibn Abû Zahira’s Jâmi ul Latîf) Despite all
this, Tawaafs (circumambulations) of the Ka’ba are performed.

It is also known that till the time the cloth and the walls of the Ka’ba were
destroyed by Yazeed’s forces who attacked Makkah in 64 Hegira, and poured fire,
there used to be inside the Ka’ba, the horns of the sheep that Ibrahim (a.s.) had
sacrificed in place of his son Isma’il a.s., and these too were destroyed by the
fire and irretrievably lost to the world. Presence of the horns inside the Ka’ba
did not affect the validity of the Tawaaf then.

Similarly, looking at the Ka’ba is better than a person’s performing “Ibaada” by


way of fasting, remaining awake at night, and making Jihad in the way of Allah
according to Ahmed ibn Taaoos (or al Taus) a famous Tabi’ian. According to a
tradition related by Ibn Abbas (r), twenty mercies are for merely looking at the
Ka’ba out of the one hundred and twenty that descend upon it every day and night.
Looking at the Ka’ba with faith is a form of ‘Ibaadah’ and results in purgation of
sins. Similar were the views of the early Muslims such as ‘Ata’ (d.114/732),
Ibrahim al-Nakhai (d.95/713) and well-known Tabi’in, Saeed ibn al Mussayib (b.15
Hegira) and others.

Such is also the case of Hajar al-Aswad, from where the Tawaaf initiates and ends.
The black stone, according to traditions, was whiter than milk and one of the
stones of paradise but that the sinful hands of the descendents of Adam
transformed the whiteness into blackness and took away its efficacy of curing any
disease by merely touching the stone. Touching this stone, and also Rukn al-
Yamani, also earns expatiation from sins (Tirmidhi and al-Haakim). The Holy
Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) used to kiss it and so also the
Sahabas and those who followed them and by all Muslims during the Haj or ‘Umra.
According to a tradition related by Ibn Abbas (r), the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu
Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) said that on the Day of Judgment, the Black Stone shall
see and speak, bearing witness to everyone who kissed it with truth and faith.

Regarding the Zamzam water, it is a remedy for many things and a tradition
narrated by Jabir (r) says that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Zamzam is a
cure for any purpose for which it is being drunk.” Zam-Zam is the name of the
famous well inside al-Masjid al-Haraam. It is Allah’s special blessing and miracle
that the well of Zam-Zam gushes fresh and strong in a desert land like Makkah; a
place where even today’s advanced scientific technologies can create no wells!

Again, it is reported that the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam)
used to go to Jannatul-Baqi in order to greet those who were buried there saying:
“Peace be upon you, O abode of the faithful! God willing, we should soon join you.
O Allah! Forgive the fellows of al-Baqi”. Thus visiting the graves is the Sunnah
of the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) . Permission for
visiting the graves of Muslims was given by the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala
Alayhi Wa Sallam) and the hadiths are too well-known.

It is significant to note that the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa
Sallam) used to visit the grave of his beloved mother, Bibi Amana about whose
spiritual rank a separate article is required. The Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu
Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: "My mother saw, when she gave birth to me, a light
that illuminated the palaces of Bosra." (Ibn Sa'd, Ahmad, Bazzar, Tabarani, Abu
Nu'aym, and ibn Asakir) On visiting her grave at Abwa, the Holy Prophet (Salla
Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) used to weep much so that those who had
accompanied him (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) there also wept (Sahih
Muslim). In this Book of Hadiths, it is also reported that the Holy Prophet (Salla
Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) taught Aisha ® the manners of visiting graves and
the way of greeting the dead.

According to Ibn Abi Shayba, the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa
Sallam) used to visit Uhud every year as a mark of respect and honour to the
graves of the maryrs. He used to send Salaams and supplicate for them. According
to the scholars, this Sunnah was continued by the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs
(Allah be pleased with them all) also during their caliphate as they continued to
visit the graves of the Uhud martyrs. It was here that once the Holy Prophet
(Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) came out and offered the funeral prayer for
the martyrs of Uhud. Proceeding to the pulpit he (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa
Sallam) said: "I shall be your predecessor and a witness for you, and I am really
looking at my sacred Fount [al-Kauthar] now, and no doubt, I have been given the
keys of the treasures of the world. By Allah, I am not afraid that you will
worship others along with Allah, but I am afraid that you will envy and fight one
another for worldly fortunes.” (Bukhari, Vol.2, 428) In Shu’ab al-Imaan, Bayhaqi
has narrated that the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) used to
visit the graveyard of the martyrs of Uhud annually.

In the same book Bayhaqi has also recorded a hadith that says: The Holy Prophet
(Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) has said: “Whoever visits the graves of his
parents or the grave of one of them on every Friday, he will be forgiven and his
name will be written among the pious ones.” The Holy Quran only prohibits the
visiting of the graves of the Munafiqeen (Hypocrites): “And do not even pray for
any one of them who dies, nor stand at his grave; (for) verily they disbelieved in
Allah and His Messenger and they died in state of perverse wickedness” (Quran:
9:84). From this, the Ulema of the four madhabs have unanimously deduced the
contrary position that standing at the graves of muslims is permissible.

According to the noted Arabian scholar from Makkah, Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki-
Makki (May Allah grant him Jannatul Firdaus):
“So, besides merely visiting the graves, in some cases the Prophet Muhammad, sall-
Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, would also make a habit of visiting them at specific
times every year. Thus the practice of annual commemoration for visiting certain
graves, as is the custom of many Muslims all over the world today, is actually
derived from the Sunnah.”

The Islamic literature is full of details that irrefutably proves that these are
the places of “Baraka” or blessings. However, not all graves or graveyards are of
the same rank according to the Shariah. Those burial places with the holy people
rank higher. The virtues of Jannatul Ma’la where Hazrat Khadija (r) is buried and
of the Jannatul Baqi where lie the family of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala
Alayhi Wa Sallam) and his many companions, spouses, the Muhajareen and Ansars, and
of other places are also well-known. As Muhammad ibn Alawi points out: Al-Bazzar
narrates that the Prophet Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, visited the
Jannat al-Ma'la graveyard in Makkah, where his dear wife, our Sayyidah Khadijah,
radi Allahu 'anha', is buried and said this about the place : "This is a blessed
graveyard" (Ni'mah al-maqbarah hadhih). Thus, people all over the world visit the
Jannatul Baqi in Madinah and Jannatul Ma’la in Makkah. According to the four
Imams: Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafii, Imam Maalik, and Imam Ahmad (reh.) it is
permissible (“Jaiz”) to attain Baraka through the graves of the pious such as the
Awliya Allah. It must also be remembered that when Hazrat Umar ® finally got the
permission to be buried next to the grave of Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala
Alayhi Wa Sallam) , he said that there was nothing more important to him than
that! Of course, the chapter on Baraka is very large and is outside the scope of
this small article.

Respecting and loving the signs or symbols of Allah is definitely loving Allah.
Respecting and loving those whom Allah loves definitely means loving Allah.
Respecting and loving Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) and his
relatives or near and dear ones is, again, loving Allah and his Messenger (Salla
Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam): . Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this except
the love of those near of kin." According to many commentators of the Holy Qur’an,
Ibn Abbas narrated: When the above verse (42:23) was revealed, the companions
asked: "O' the Messenger of Allah! Who are those near kin whose love Allah has
made obligatory for us?" Upon that the Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa
Sallam) said: "Ali, Fatimah, and their two sons, repeating this sentence thrice.
Sayyid Muhyuddin Ibn Al-Arabi too is of the same view, and adds the children of
Hasnain to the interpetation. Maulana Maudoodi differs saying that when the verse
was revealed in Makkah, Hazrat Ali ® and Fatimah ® were not married and no
children were born to them then. According to some interpretation the same meaning
is extended to the entire tribe of Quraish: Narrated Tawus: Ibn 'Abbas recited the
Quranic Verse:--'Except to be kind to me for my kin-ship to you--" (42.23) Said
bin Jubair said, "(The Verse implies) the kinship of Muhammad." Ibn 'Abbas said,
"There was not a single house (i.e. sub-tribe) of Quraish but had a kinship to the
Prophet and so the above Verse was revealed in this connection, and its
interpretation is: 'O Quraish! You should keep good relation between me (i.e.
Muhammad) and you." Ibn Kathir point out in his Tafseer the conversation between
Imam Zayn al Abidin (who had been captured after Karbala) and a man in Syria that
this Ayat referred to them who were the Ahle Bayt. This is held by other scholars
too, including al-Tabarani and many others. In short, loving the Ahle-Bayt who are
the descendents of the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam), too,
is obligatory for the Muslims according to the Ulema.

But then do we really care for the symbols of Allah? The house where the Prophet
(Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) received the word of God is gone and nobody
cares. Islamic history and civilization has been sought to be buried by those who
were supposed to protect them. According to past reports over 300 historic sites
of Islamic importance have been lost forever in the Province of Hejaz. By 2006
alone, more than 90 per cent of historic masjids, tombs and mausoleums and other
artefacts were razed, so that some voices from the Hejaz, have begun to question
the wisdom of the eradication of the country’s historic wealth. Included in the
destruction are: the al-Ma’la graveyard where there were the graves of Khadija ®,
Abdul Muttalib and Abu Talib, the wife, the grandfather and the uncle of Holy
Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) respectively; razing of the
graveyard of Jannatul Baqi and the graveyard of Uhud martyrs, including the grave
of Hamza ibn ‘Abd al Mutallib )®, Prophet Muhammad’s (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi
Wa Sallam)uncle; Badar is a heap of rubbles; the grave of the son of Imam Ja’far
Saadiq ®; the grave of Hazrat Abdallah ® the father of Holy Prophet ((Salla Allahu
Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) was also dug up in January 1978 at Madinah but the body
was found fresh and perfumed and so the Muslims buried it at at Jannatul Baqi
(Daily Nawa-e-Waqt of 21st January 1978); desecration of the grave of Hazrat
Aamina ®, the mother of Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam); the
site of Ghazwa-e-Khandaq has been reduced to a road; demolition of the famous
seven Masjids of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Salman Farsi, Fatimah the daughter of
Mohammed (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam), al Qiblatayn, al Fath, and other
Masjids including that of Saad ibne Maaz ® ; the dar al-arqam the first school
where Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) taught; the historical house
where the Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) Hazrat Khadijra ® lived
for 28 years including the 13 years of revelations, and historical house of Umme
Haanee whence the Miraj began, both of which were destroyed to make way for
toilets and washrooms; house of Abu Dharr Ghiffari ® across the Masjidun Nabvi is
no more; the well in the courtyard of Masjid al-Quba as well as the date-palm
garden are no longer there; near the Haram Shareef, the place of the miracle of
splitting of the moon and the historical al-Hilal Masjid were demolished and a
royal palace constructed; historical Masjid Muhammadar Rasool (Salla Allahu Ta’ala
Alayhi Wa Sallam) at Taif was set on fire in which the furniture and many copies
of Holy Quran were burnt; the pulpits of the four Madhabs in the Haram Shareef
were destroyed and the righteous banned from teaching while those who shouted
right in Masjidun Nabvi that father and mother of the Prophet (s) are in hellfire,
and charged the Muslims with Shirk, apostasy, calling them deviants and
innovators, were promoted. Destructions have been exported elsewhere too as far as
Bosnia, Chechanya, Pakistan, India and other places. For example, in 2006 c.e.,
there was desecration of the grave of Hashim ibn ‘Abd Manaf, Prophet Muhammad’s
grandfather, in the Palestinian city of Gaza.

Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “But none rejects Our Signs, except only the
perfidious, ungrateful (wretch).” (31:32)

Strange, isn’t it? That Allah should teach us a lesson in drawing our attention to
His symbols and making us observe certain rites for preserving the significance of
those symbols in honour of his beloved servants for posterity while some of his
creature should destroy the Islamic symbols, heritage, architecture, to humiliate
our noble ancestors who are the pride of Islam , under the semblance of “Shirk”
thus giving rise to a sense of rootlessnes, alienation and humiliation to the
majority Muslim Ummah. Now, everywhere we turn there we find what not to do. The
list of ‘bidah’ and ‘shirk’ keeps on growing longers and what we should do keeps
on growing lesser. But there is no check on the rampant commercialization of the
areas of Islamic sites where large hotels, giant skyscrapers, huge parking lots,
banking facilies and needless concrete jungles are invading the sanctity of the
two holiest cities of Islam.
Pursuit of material wealth and possessions and dedication to riches have become
tantamount to devotion or 'Ibaadah'. Why not destruct this symbol of mammonism?
Please spare us the humiliation of destruction of Islamic symbols!

It was during the Night Journey to Jerusalem that Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu
Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) offered two rakah prayers at various places such as
Madinah Taiyyaba (where he was to migrate within two years); then at Mount Sinai
(Toor) where Moses used to speak with Allah; then at Bethlehem where Jesus was
born; before finally reaching the Masjid al-Aqsa where Prophet (Salla Allahu
Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) led all the prophets in prayer before proceeding on the
heaveny journey in body and spirit. So why did he (s) offer those prayers? This
signifies that the places associated with men of God and pious personalities also
have Islamic values for sure, and these cannot be destroyed on the pretext of
'Shirk'.

It was Hazrat Umar ® who took part in the work of restoring Masjid Al-Aqsa, which
had been in ruins, and he carried dirt in his own robe. When the site was cleansed
and sprinkleld with scent, he and the followers prayed near the rock from which
the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) had ascended to heaven
during the night of Miraj. And no! He had not cut down the tree under which the
Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) had received the pledge of
allegiance from his companions and which has been mentioned in the Qur’an (48:18)
but the tree which was wrongly assumed to be that tree.

Lest we forget, the symbols of Allah uplift the spirit, bear witness to the glory
of Islam, and remind us of Allah and His beloved servants, and give us a sense of
belonging to the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam).

Allah and His Rasool knows best.

NASIR