Archive for July, 2010
Makkah is known for the hills it has apparently everywhere. There are plenty of them adorned with rocks of different colors and shapes but bare without a single tree or green bush. With these types of hills peaking every here and there one can visualize the roughness of this desert land.
But, Allah the creator of the universe and everything in it has selected Makkah to be the center of the best civilization in the world. He has chosen Makkah to hold the first ever worship center in the earth. He has picked Makkah as birth place of His beloved and the last messenger Muhammad Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Yes, we can call it as the center of the earth as from every part of the earth people are turning towards it during their prayers!
There are many hills in Makkah which holds much historic significance. Safa and Marwah are mentioned in the Holy Qura’n as symbols. These two hills have to say many stories on Hazrath Hajar (رضي الله عنها) and her toddler Sayyiduna Ismael (عليه السلام) who were virtually the initial inhabitants of Makkah. Just near by there is Jabal Qubais upon which Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) made his first public preaching on Islam to members of Quraish tribe.
Nearby there is another hill called Jabal Kaa’ba (جبل كعبة). As the name suggests, stones to construct the Holy Kaa’ba was cut from this hill. As many other hills in vicinity of Masjidul Haram were leveled for expanding the Mosque, this hill also was leveled. There is a rock painted green over its vertical surface kept just to mark the position of the hill.
Safa and Marwah were almost fully flattened to facilitate smooth Sa’ee (سعي). Jabal Qubais was demolished to build a palace over it. Jabal Kaa’ba was leveled to construct hotel apartments. This area is now planned for another reconstruction as part of the ongoing project to expand Masjidul Haram and surrounding areas. Another nearby hill named Jabal Umar is also being flattened for this project.
One could see the very face of Masjdul Haram will change soon as part of the ongoing development. Apart from expansion of prayer area, many high rise towers are planned to be built to accommodate Hajis. One can’t discard the need of such development, but it is happening at expense of many natural sites which were trademark of Makkah for a long time.
There are many companions of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) who came in glow of fame for many reasons. One would feel their greatness upon knowing their tremendous love towards Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and the superior religion He had propagated. They have made incredible contributions to Islam with their admirable lifestyles, relentlessness in acquiring and teaching Islamic knowledge and keenness in preaching and spreading Islam to anybody they meet.
Our discussion is about one of closest companions of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and one among many children who were with and around Him. It is Abdullah ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه), son of Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib (رضي الله عنه) uncle of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). His mother is Lubabah al Kubrah bint Harith (رضي الله عنها) also known as Umm Jameel. She was close friend of Khadeejah al Kubrah (رضي الله عنها) and among initial believers of Islam.
He was only 13 years old when Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) departed this world. But even this brief companionship with Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) in his childhood lead him to be called ‘Raeesul Mufassireen’ (رئيس المفسرين) – leader of interpreters of Qura’n. He is also called as ‘Al Bahr’ (البحر) – the Sea because of abundance of his knowledge. Hibrul Umma (حبر الامة) – Ink of the Nation is another title attributed to him because of literature he submitted for the Ummah.
He attained this enviable position because of the guidance he got from Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and dua’ He made for him after drawing him close and patting his shoulders “O Allah, bless him with the full knowledge of the religion and interpretation of the Holy Qura’n”. Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) repeated this dua in various occasions.
There is no question on his command on Qura’n interpretation. But vastness of his knowledge won’t stop there. He was a great authority in Islamic jurisprudence (فقه), History and Arabic language literature. He relocated to Taif (طائف) in latter part of his life and met his last breath there. His Qabr in Taif is among few ones preserved by recent rulers of Arabian Peninsula. A big Masjid is constructed beside his Qabr.
A Library is established near his Qabr by Turki governor of Hijaz (Old name of area enclosing Makkah and Madinah) Muhammad Rasheedi Pasha Al Sharwani in 13th century hijri. Scholars and travelers during 7th and 10th century hijri used to endow (وقف) many books and manuscripts in Masjid ibn Abbas. In 1217H number of books there reached almost 10,000, a big number considering that age!
Taif, some 80KM away from Makkah in direction of Najd (Riyadh) has much historical significance. It is a hill station over gorgeous desert of Hijaz with pleasant weather and good plantation. I might write on Taif in another post (ان شاء الله).
Places related to Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) are of high importance. Then what about places where Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) had prayed? Yes, there are many places in and around Makkah and Madinah where Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) offered special prayers. Some places where He prayed for a long time for the Ummah Al Islamiyyah.
It was during battle of Khandaq (called Al Ahzab in Quran) when infidel army from Makkah came to capture and demolish Madinah, the city of Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). It was in 5th Hijri year when Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his companions were not well equipped with enough provisions for a battle. Salmanul Farisi (رضي الله عنه) a renowned companion then put forth the idea of digging a wide and deep trench at entrance of Madinah.
Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) approved the idea and they dug a deep, wide and long trench along valley of the hill Sila’ (جبل سلع). It was an effortful job undertaken by Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his companions counting more than a thousand. They completed the trench, though countered by lack of food and fatigue. I might write more detailed account relating miracles happened in Khandaq in another post. ان شاء الله
As expected Makkah mushriks came and was baffled to see the deep and wide trench. Army of Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) had already taken positions in strategic areas around the hill. Unable to advance, the Makkah mushriks stayed near the trench expecting food and provisions of Muslim army will dry out and finally they might come for confrontation with them.
Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) stayed in a place and prayed to Allah for His mercy and special help for almost three days. Allah helped His beloved and the Ummah Al Islamiyya. Verily, He is the supporter of His believers. He sent down a rain storm which terrorized the enemies and they had to flee the ground. They left their belongings and valuables including cooked food thus offering a feast to Muslim army. The battle ended without much bloodshed and the army of Islam winning! الحمد لله
There were seven Masjids later built at positions where main groups of Sahaba had took positions near the hill. There are only four Masjids seen nowadays. Unfortunately the trench dug by Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his companions with a lot of effort and pain was recently filled and a road is paved over it. Luckily Masjdul Fath is preserved where Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) offered his special supplication to Allah.
Many people visit Khandaq and especially Masjdul Fath. It was very much crowded inside Masjidul Fath and many people were offering two rakaa’th prayers where Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) had prayed.
It is quite amazing how Allah has decorated this earth with beautiful sceneries. He has set the land on earth in many modes. Be it a hot Arabian desert, a calm tropical Island, a cool hill station, a shiny sea shore, a lush green rain forest, a snow peaking mountain… Just pass through any place in the earth and one would feel the elegance at which Allah have set them all with unique appearance. One would murmur internally! Subhana Allah… You are the Master, You are the Creator, and You are the only one who deserve to be worshipped!
This was my feeling when I paged through these eye-catching snaps of Ooty, a hill station in South India. It is a popular tourist destination where people used to escape from their hard feelings and look for some relaxation. It is the capital of Nilgiris district in state of Tamil Nadu situated at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level. It offers wonderful scenes and cool weather throughout the year.
To get promise from Allah’s Messenger Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam is a priceless boon for a believer. How would one feel of somebody who got such promises many times in his life and that too about unimaginable mansions in the Paradise? Who is this lucky person? It is Uthman bin Affan (عثمان بن عفان رضي الله عنه), third Khalifa of Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam. He is the one nicknamed as ‘Du Nnurain’ (ذو النورين) as he was fortunate to marry two daughters of Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam.
He had got promises on Paradise (جنة) in many occasions. One of such occasion is when people of Madinah was suffering draught of water and there was sufficient water in a well belonging to one Jew. The Jew named Rumat al Giffari was selling water to the poor inhabitants of Madinah with a high price. Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam assured Paradise to those who will buy the well and endow it to the residents of Madinah.
Uthman bin Affan Raliya Allahu Anhu at once set out for the Jew and purchased the well in two batches paying a hefty price (38,000 dirham – silver coins – a huge sum in those times) and registered as endowment (وقف) to poor natives of Madinah. Jazaka Allah Khair ya Sayyiduna Uthman bin Affan Raliya Allahu Anhu for this prolonged charity. (جزاك الله خيرا يا سيدنا عثمان بن عفان رضي الله عنه لهذه صدقة جارية)
This well is still intact and now one could see water being pumped out of it using electrical motor which is used to irrigate the farm land beside it. We were lucky to be there and to taste that sweet water. The area is full of green and blossom with many date palms and other trees. The well is now covered but an old pulley and its stand is still kept there. The area is open for public though unknown to many pilgrims.
Our guide was ready to show us many such historic locations in Madinah. But our schedule was a bit tight and could not afford it. He told that if you want to visit all such places you might plan for a ten days stay in the glorious land Madinah al Munawwarah, Rasoolullah’s (Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam) own city!
Martyrs have esteem position in Islam as they have sacrificed their life in this world for the sake of the great religion. There are many benefits given to them in this world and hereafter. Allah has mentioned in Quran not to consider martyrs as dead but they are living in presence of Allah.
وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ
169 – آل عمران
Think not of those who are slain in ALLAH’s way as dead. nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their lord.
There are many renowned martyrs in history, but to be called as Master of Martyrs is a special distinction. Who is this great Martyr? He is Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib Raliya Allahu Anhu beloved uncle of Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam.
He was amongst early believers of the Religion. He protected Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam from many evil doers. He is the one who guarded Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam when Umar bin Khatab came that day in full fury with sword off from the casing in his hand to confront Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam. Yes, the day in which Umar bin Khatab Raliya Allahu Anhu took a u-turn in his life and embraced Islam.
He is famous for his bravery, marital art skills and battle tricks. He is the one who confronted and killed Aswad who came to destroy water tank setup by Muslim army in Badr battle. He is among the three great warriors who stood steadfast when Infidel army from Makkah asked for three men from Muslim army to fight with them peer to peer. He killed Shaibah bin Rabeea’h in the spot and reached to help Ubaidah Raliya Allahu Anhu who was in little struggle against Utabah bin Rabeea’h.
In Uhud battle he fought lion heartedly and killed many infidels who came all the way from Makkah to Madeenah to destroy Muslims and their dwellings. He was finally martyred after being hit by a sharp and lethal rolled spear thrown by Wahshi, slave of Hind from a distance. Hind, daughter of Shaibah bin Rabeea’h slain by Hamzah Raliya Allahu Anhu in Badr took her revenge by ripping chest of this great Martyr, slicing his liver and chewing it. Inna Lillahi wa inna Ilihi rajio’on…
Note: Both Hind binth Shaibah and her slave Wahshi embraced Islam later during Fath Makkah incident as Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam showcased his matchless mercy on them by forgiving them. Thus they also are among Sahaba and so don’t feel bad on them!
He presented all his skills for the great religion Islam and fought till his last drop of blood. Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam was in tears the time He saw slit and torn body of his beloved uncle laying in Uhud battle field. Now a Masjid is constructed in the place where his body was found. This Masjid called Masjid Sayyidu Shuhadae is in front of the block where all martyrs of Uhud are buried. Qabr of Hamzah Raliya Allahu Anhu along with other great martyred Sahaba are almost in the middle of this fenced block clearly visible by the markings.
Those martyrs might be flying with colors through earth and heaven. May Allah accept their martyrdom and grant them more and more rewards! May Allah accept our visit to their battle ground and Qabr and guide us to His near people having solid faith, unmatched patience and profound knowledge about Him. Aameen!
Places related to Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam are considered having keen importance. There are so many such places in and around Makkah and Madinah. Khaleefa Umar bin Abdul Aziz during his rule he ordered to construct Masjids in all places where Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam had prayed.
So a Masjid was constructed in place where Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam prayed for rain and got answer immediately. It is mentioned in Books of Hadith that inhabitants of Madinah appealed Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam on lack of water and their sufferings for it. So Rasoolullahi Sallallahu Alihi Wasallam summoned people and did Istisqa’ prayer (صلوة الاستسقاء) and suddenly the clear sky was covered by rain clouds and it started raining immediately. Subhana Allah…
This Masjid is known as Masjidul Ghamama, as the word ghamama means cloud. It was later renovated by Sultan Abdul Majeed Al Uthmani and recently by King Fahad bin Abdul Azeez Al Saud. This Masjid is in right front corner of Masjid Al Nabavi some 300 meters away from current gate to courtyard of the Masjid.