The Friday Message - Issue No: 439 - Destruction of Sacred Shrines

The Friday Message - Issue No: 439 - Destruction of Sacred Shrines

Salamun alaykum,

Yawme Gham: What occurred?

99 years ago, on 8th Shawwal 1345 A.H./21st April, 1925, the first king of Saudi Arabia Abdul Aziz bin Saud, under the guidance of the Wahhabi clerics, led by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, ordered for the demolition of the sacred shrines in Jannatul Baqi, Madina. Even Masjidun Nabi was a victim of the bombardment.
In the same year he ordered the destruction of shrines in Jannatul Mu’alla, Makka. After the demolition the Saudi authorities have continued to step up to restrictions in the performance of ziyarah (visitation) to these sacred sites.
Since then, this day has been observed as Yawme Gham/ Yawmul Huzn–Day of Sorrow.

Personalities buried in Jannatul Baqi, Madina:

• AhlulBayt : Sayyida Fatima Zahra, Imam Hasan, Imam Ali Zaynul ‘Abidin, Imam Muhammad Baqir, Imam J’afar Sadiq.
• Aunts of Prophet: Bibi Safiya, Bibi Atiqa, Bibi Fatima bint Asd (mother of Imam Ali a.s.)
• Companions of Prophet: Aqeel bin Abitalib, Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, Asad bin Zurarah, Uthman bin Madh’un, Abdullah bin J’afar at-tayyar (husband of Bibi Zaynab)
• Wives of Prophet except Sayyida Khadija a.s.
Bayt Huzn (House of grief) ,in Jannatul Baqi, where Sayyida Fatima al Zahra a.s. mourned after the demise of Prophet was destroyed.
Personalities buried in Jannatul Mu’alla, Makka:
• Abdul Muttalib: Grandfather of Prophet
• Abu Talib: Father of Imam Ali & Uncle of Prophet
• Sayyida Khadija: Ummul Mumineen, wife of Prophet

Why the destruction?

The Saudi kingdom follows the teachings of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab who had declared himself as a mujaddid- reformer- to cleanse Islam from Bid’ah; innovations. They consider the ziyarah-visitation of graves-, offering of any prayers at graves and even construction of structures over graves as bid’ah-an innovation- that has not been enjoined by Allah. All such innovations are misguidance and lead towards Jahannam. The destruction by the Saudi authorities is justified as a means of eradicating this ‘sinful’ deed.
However, the majority of the Muslim Ummah, both Sunni and Shia, venerate the sacred places and undertake the ziyarah based on the Quran and sunnah.

Was this destruction of sacred sites the only time?

Plunder by the Wahhabis and Saudi tribal leaders was not the first time. Historical records state that the Saudi tribal leaders of Najd were Bedouins and raiders. In imitating the teachings of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, they had plundered sacred sites many times and continue doing so:
1st: 1218: Wahhabis loot Makka
2nd: 1221: Shrines of Jannatul Baqi razed to the ground. In 1818 the Ottoman rulers arrange for reconstruction.
3rd: 1924: Merciless plunder of Makka and massacre for the second time takes place. Houses razed. Women and children too are not spared.
4th: 1925: Demolition of Jannatul Baqi and Jannatul Mu’alla.
5th: And the plunder is ongoing. Over 98% of the historical and religious sites in the Saudi Kingdom have been destroyed. It is as if they want to wipe out history.
Never-ending destruction of historical sites in Mecca and Medina, cradle of Islam (

Need for observing Yawmul Huzn /Yawme Gham:

It is disheartening to witness the loss of such significant religious, cultural and historical heritage.
To keep alive for posterity the identity of these outstanding people enjoying special relation to Allah SWT and location of their sacred resting places, it is essential to observe this date.

Let us pray for the restoration of these sacred sites and increase in prayers for dhuhur of Imam al Mahdi A.F.

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah.

With salaams and duas,

Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat