Saudi Arabia: Destruction of sites associated with early Islam

With the new towers being built in Mecca that shadow the "Haram" is necessary to review what has already been destroyed and what is under threat...(BELOW: These are clips that have been sent to me by my blog fans and contributors.  From what I understand the first part is from Wikipedia, however I do not have the references for the rest yet.  If you find it, please contact me)

Historic and holy sites within Islam

Mainstream Islam attaches sanctity to historic and holy sites associated with early Islam. While Shia pilgrims make ziyarat to such locations to mark special events associated with the site or the person buried there, Sunni Muslims have also developed a bond with hundreds of holy places throughout the Islamic world. The holy sites in the Hejaz have especially remained places of pilgrimage and the tomb of the Islamic prophet Muhammad has always been a highly venerated site. However, Wahhabi doctrine disapproves of the holiness of cultivation of sacred sites built around mortals. Veneration of these religious and historic archeological sites are strongly condemned. They consider veneration of and worship at grave sites tantamount to idolatry. The motive behind the destruction is the Wahhabists' fear that places of historical and religious interest could give rise to idolatry or polytheism, the worship of multiple and potentially equal gods.

In Saudi Arabia

The most serious destruction of the sites started in 1806 when the Wahhabi army occupied Medina. They systematically leveled the Baqi’, or graveyard, there which contained the remains of central figures in early Islam. Mosques across the city were also targeted and an attempt was made to demolish the Prophet's tomb.

In 1818 Muhammad Ali Basha attacked Hijaz and the Ottomans captured the Medina. They subsequently carried out restoration of the sacred sites and the monuments were rebuilt between 1848 and 1860. The project amounted to nearly £700,000.

After Mecca and Medina fell under Wahhabi control in 1803, fundamentalists destroyed the marking of the tomb of Muhammad and various other sites. Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II ordered Muhammad Ali to drive out the Wahhabis in 1811. The practice of destruction was strongly criticized by Sunni Muslims around the world.

On April 21, 1925, aghast at tomb cults focused on saints and Imams, the monuments at the Medina Baqi’ were demolished once again by the Ikhwan, loyal to King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, along with the tombs of Muhammed's family members in Mecca. As the some of the demolished mausoleums in Medina included those of early Shia leaders, Shia Muslims mourn this destruction annually on the Day of Sorrow. The Prophet's mosque in Medina was bombarded and assurances given by Ibn Saud that it would be restored were never fulfilled. Promises that Hijaz would be transferred to an Islamic multinational government were likewise unfulfilled. 1926 saw Muslim protests across the world decrying the Saudi actions.

A 1994 fatwa proclaimed by Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Baz, then the kingdom’s highest religious authority stated that “It is not permitted to glorify buildings and historical sites...Such action would lead to polytheism.” Between 500-600 mausoleums and other early Islamic revered structures have been destroyed to prevent them becoming objects of adoration for worshippers. It is estimated that 95% of millennium-old buildings, historic mosques, mausoleums and other artifacts, have been demolished in the past two decades.
On 10 September 2004, after the demolition of the famous Seven Mosques of Fatimah,‘Ali,Salman al Farisi, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, al Qiblatayn and al Fath, Muhammad al Dubaisi writing in al Madinah highlighted that the "destruction of these mosques has deprived Medina of one pillar of its immortal history”. In response, Salafi writer Saleh al Fawzan justified the destruction of the historic mosques.

Some followers of Shia branch of Islam have protested, viewing the Saudi actions as a desecration of holy sites. Some Saudi voices too, especially from the Hejaz, have begun to question the wisdom of the eradication of the country’s historic heritage.

Destroyed sites

The mosque at the grave of Sayyid al-Shuhada’ Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib.
The Mosque of Fatima Zahra.
The Mosque of al-Manaratain.
Mosque and tomb of Sayyid Imam al-Uraidhi ibn Ja‘far al-Sadiq, destroyed by dynamite on August 13, 2002.
Four mosques at the site of the Battle of the Trench in Medina.
The Mosque of Abu Rasheed.
Salman al-Farsi Mosque, in Medina.
Raj'at ash-Shams Mosque, in Medina.
Cemeteries and tombs
Jannat al-Baqi in Medina, completely leveled.
Jannat al-Mu'alla, the ancient cemetery at Mecca.
Grave of Hamida al-Barbariyya, the mother of Imam Musa al-Kazim.
Grave of Amina bint Wahb, the Prophet’s mother, bulldozed and set alight in 1998.
Graves of Banu Hashim in Mecca.
Tombs of Hamza and other martyrs were demolished at Uhud.
Tomb of Eve in Jeddah, sealed with concrete in 1975.
Grave of the father of the Prophet, in Medina.

Historical religious sites

The house of Mawlid where Muhammad is believed to have been born in 570. Originally turned into a cattle market, it now lies under a rundown building which was built 70 years ago as a compromise after Wahhabi clerics called for it to be torn down.

The house of Khadija, Muhammad’s first wife. Muslims believe he received some of the first revelations there. It was also where his children Umm Kulthum, Ruqayyah, Zainab, Fatimah and Qasimwere born. After it was rediscovered during the Haram extensions in 1989, it was covered over and public toilets were built above the site.

House of Muhammed in Medina, where he lived after the migration from Mecca.
Dar al Arqam, the first Islamic school where Muhammad taught. It now lies under the extension of the Haram.
Qubbat’ al-Thanaya, the burial site of Muhammed's incisor that was broken in the Battle of Uhud.
Mashrubat Umm Ibrahim, built to mark the location of the house where the Prophet’s son, Ibrahim, was born to Mariah.

Dome which served as a canopy over the Well of Zamzam.
Bayt al-Ahzan of Sayyida Fatima, in Medina.
House of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, in Medina.
Mahhalla complex of Banu Hashim, in Medina.
House of Imam Ali where Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn were born.

Sites under threat

The Prophet’s Mosque in Medina is where Mohammed, Abu Bakr and the Islamic Caliph Umar ibn Al Khattab are buried. A pamphlet published in 2007 by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, endorsed by Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, stated that “the green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet’s Mosque.” This sentiment was echoed in a speech by the late Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen, one of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent Wahhabi clerics: “We hope one day we’ll be able to destroy the green dome of the Prophet Mohammed”.

The History of Destruction by Wahabis (inspired offshoots include Al-Qaeda and The Taliban)

Egyptian Ottoman - Saudi Wahhabi War 1811-1818

Battle of ad-Dir'iyah, (1818), major defeat dealt the Wahhabis, fanatical and puritanical Muslim reformers of Najd, central Arabia, by the forces of the Egyptian ruler Muhammad 'Ali Pasha; the Wahhabi empire was destroyed, and the Sa'udi family that created it was virtually wiped out.

Wahhabi attacks on pilgrim caravans crossing Arabia concerned the Ottoman Turkish government at the end of the 18th century (the Ottoman sultan was protector of Mecca, Islam's chief holy city). When the Ottomans attempted to invade al-Hasa', eastern Arabia, the Wahhabis responded by seizing the holy city of Karbala' in Turkish Iraq (1801), then capturing Mecca itself (1802). Preoccupied in other directions, the Sultan did not send another force into Arabia until 1811, when he consigned to Muhammad 'Ali Pasha, the virtually independent viceroy of Egypt, the task of crushing the "heretics." For the next four years, the balance of power shifted back and forth between Muhammad 'Ali and Sa'ud.

In 1815 Sa'ud's successor, 'Abd Allah I, sued for peace, and the Egyptians withdrew from Najd. The following year, however, Ibrahim Pasha, one of the Viceroy's sons, took command of the Egyptian forces. Gaining the support of the volatile Arabian tribes by skillful diplomacy and lavish gifts, he advanced into central Arabia to occupy the towns of 'Unayzah, Buraydah, and Shaqra'. Joined now by most of the principal tribes--Harb, 'Unayzah, Mutayr, Banu Khalid--he appeared before the Wahhabi capital ad-Dir'iyah in April 1818. After six months of intermittent and desperate fighting, 'Abd Allah surrendered (Sept. 9, 1818) and was sent to Constantinople, where he was beheaded. Ad-Dir'iyah was razed to the ground, and Egyptian garrisons were posted to the principal towns. Several members of the Sa'udi family managed to escape before the surrender; the rest were sent to Egypt to prison.

British-Saudi and Ottoman battles went as far as WWI

Hat tip to Wikipedia and others who have contributed by email to the facts stated in this review.  This review will increase in size as more emails come in regarding the wonton destruction of Mecca by Wahabi zealots who have been the inspiration of Al-Qaeda and The Taliban. 


Anonymous said…
For a fact these are not your words. You should clearly state the source from where you lifted this article -- it's called plagiarism if you don't.
This review is not finished yet, when it is will see all the references for the facts that have been stated. Feel free to contribute with references. Thanks!

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