Al Baqee’ (البقيع)
Allah has mentioned special categories of people who have succeeded in both world matters. They are Prophets, Those who accept truth, Martyrs and Righteous people (النبيين و الصديقين و الشهداء و الصالحين). They acquired this high rank by leading an exemplary life with flawless faith and sincere worship to Allah and dedication towards spreading Allah’s religion, Islam.
They are greats irrespective of whether living in the earth or passed away from here. For an instance power of deceased are better because they will not live more and do bad deeds which might topple their high rank. Meanwhile a living person who is so great may go wrong at some stage and all his goodness might be vanished.
The blessed land of Madinah has got a superb mix from all the four categories. Many of them are buried in vast graveyard east to Masjidu Nnabawi called Al Jannathul Baqee’. Uthman bin Mazh’oon (رضي الله عنه), a prominent companion of Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was the first Muhajir (migrants from Makkah) buried there. As’ad bin Zararah (رضي الله عنه) is the first person buried in Al Baqee’ who was an Ansar (those who received Muhajirs in Madinah).
Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) upon burying Uthman bin Mazh’oon (رضي الله عنه) had marked his Qabr with a stone and narrated “I use it (the stone) to mark the grave of my brother so that I will later on bury along with him anyone who dies amongst my family.” Later many righteous people were buried in Al Baqee’ including many from Ummahathul Mue’mineen (Wives of Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم)), offspring of Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and companions of Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
Third Caliph Uthman bin Affan (رضي الله عنه) was buried in an adjacent land named “‘Hush Kawkab” which was later included as part of Al Baqee’ during the rule of Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan (رضي الله عنه). This qabar (grave) was enclosed by a big Maqam (building enclosing the Qabar to shelter the visitors) and Qubbah (circular dome) as was the case of many other qabars there. This was the face of Al Baqee’ for a long time in history till recent rulers of Madinah removed all the constructions over Al Baqee’. File photos of Al Baqee’ shown in a book published by King Fahad National Library (pages 6 and 7) shows images of many maqams over there.
Al Baqee’ is called Baqee’ al Gharqad referring to Gharqad trees overwhelmed there in past. Allah messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) had chosen Al Baqee’ as the burial place of Muslims. There were many expansions to Al Baqee’ as Baqee’ Al Ammat and adjacent alleyway was included into it during rule of King Abdul Aziz Aal Sa’ud in hijra 1373. In 1390H a fortress was constructed surrounding Al Baqee’ and cemented pathways were pawed inside it. Later in 1403H King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz Al Baqee’ ordered to expand Al Baqee’ further and now the whole area is 174962 square meters.
Muslims all over the world pay good respect to those who have demised from this world with a high note. They come in masses to visit the ancestors who left them. Whilst doing so they might reflect on themselves and try to rectify any falsehood they are in. As Al Baqee’ is resting place of many past greats. So most of those who come to Madina will visit there. They remember the long history of Islamic civilization spanning over 1400 years in this prosperous city and people who contributed to Islam and met their last breath in Madinah and buried in Al Baqee’.
Those who die in Madinah are really lucky because Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) has said “Whoever is able to die in Madina he should as I will intercede (يشفع) on behalf of whoever dies in it.”
السلام عليكم يا اهل البقيع الغرقد و إنَا ان شاء الله بكم لاحقون
These photos are taken from Islamic Museum in Al Madinah Al Munawwarah which shows models of Al Baqee’ and Names of prominent Qabars
This book authored by Hilal Mohammed Shaban describes history of Al Baqee’ with many pictorial illustrations. It is available in both Arabic and English. Better to get a copy of it from libraries in Madinah.