Image taken from our Umrah trip in 2009
The Dome of Peace as seen towards the end of the Ottoman era, when out of respect for our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, no building was permitted to be higher than the Dome.
Many more images below. This article includes What is under the Green Dome, How the burials took place, The building of the walls, the repair work inside the Sacred Chamber, The Fake Tombs, The Plot to dig out the Grave Of Our Beloved Prophet (SAW) and his Companions.
The following is copied from the Riyadat an-Nafs blog. JazakumuLlahu khairan to brother Nuruddinzangi for so generously offering this beautiful account to be reproduced. Ameen to his Du’a, "hoping to gain the favor of Allah and to one day be counted among the servants (khuddam) of His Messenger, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam." May we all echo this Du’a.
Bism Allah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem, revealer of the Qur’an Kareem that says to His noble Messenger: And We have not sent you except as a Mercy to the aalameen: all the worlds.
And as-Salaatu was-Salaamu upon the most noble of the mursaleen (Messengers), our master Muhammad, and upon his family and descendants until the Yawm al-Deen.
I stood this Sunday morning in London’s V&A Museum before three magnificent pieces of silk in the Islamic Arts section. The most wonderful in design and color was a red band from the Honored Kaaba, dating from the 1800s, because for hundreds of years the Kaaba’s covering was green- not black- in color, with a red band instead of the gold of today.
The two others were green pieces of the silk that once covered the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam). The first from 1517-1600, and the second from 1600 to 1700. For a hundred years each, these pieces of silk were exposed to all the blessings and mercies that were sent down from Allah upon the Noble Messenger, and to the majestic lights that rose up, emanating from the Light of the Worlds himself, Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
Ever since Abbasid times, the coverings of the Honored Kaaba and the Noble Chamber were made in Egypt; at one point in history the latter was being changed every five years. But after the reign of the Ottomans in the lands, the coverings of the inside of the Kaaba and of the Prophetic Chamber were made in Turkey, while the outer covering of the Kaaba remained the work of Egypt.
But the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abd al-Aziz bin Abd al-Rahman Aal Saud, ordered that a factory be created in Mecca to manufacture these coverings from his day forward. Journalist Omar al-Midwahy, whose writings focus on the two Holy Sanctuaries and other important Islamic sights, was able to interview in Mecca two of the men who worked on the last covering of the Prophetic Chamber and its installation.
On the occasion of this servant’s viewing of the blessed coverings, and hoping for forgiveness and acceptance from His Lord, he will attempt to translate this interview that reveals some of the secrets of the majestic chamber of Allah’s Beloved, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, hoping to gain the favor of Allah and to one day be counted among the servants (khuddam) of His Messenger, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
I still remember the conversations with the two old men in Mecca, while looking at their weaving. I was in Mecca, so I headed toward the factory of the covering of the Kaaba, and there I learned that the factory has another honor, for it produces also a covering for the Prophetic Chamber.
I met at that time- several years ago- with men who partook in the production and installation, and I didn’t want to waste that opportunity as their youngest was in his sixties and I feared that they would leave this world before I could document this work.
I recorded with them conversations that were mixed with tears and reverence; sometimes words would betray them, and at others, their emotions would choke them, as they spoke of their unique experience. Their limbs shook from just the memory- as if it happened yesterday- and not a quarter of a century ago.
Shaykh Muhammad Ali Madani, head of the automated weaving division of the factory at that time, was generous with me. I learned from him that he was one of those who took part in weaving and installing the covering of the Prophetic Chamber. I said to him, tell me about the covering and the Prophetic Chamber- describe them to me.
His sight wandered far, as if he was bringing those treasured memories before him. Then he answered: On that day, I felt a state of complete amazement take over me. It is a grand spot- of utmost grandeur. I do not know its exact circumference, but it seemed to me that the Prophetic Chamber was 48 meters in circumference.
The awe of the place was so overbearing that nothing attracted my attention. I was so dazzled that I only saw the lamps hanging from the chamber ceiling, which were old gifts that would be given to the Mosque of the Prophet in ancient times. I was told that there were some Prophetic relics that were kept in another place- I don’t know where- but I do know that some historical items were kept in the chamber of sayyida Fatima al-Zahraa- the same place that she lived in.
He added: the chamber covering is a weave made of pure silk, green in color, padded with a strong cotton cloth, and it is crowned by a belt similar to that of the covering of the Honored Kaaba, except that it is red in color. A quarter of its space is taken up by an embroidery of noble Quranic verses from Surat al-Fath, made of lines of cotton and wires of gold and silver…
The covering of the Prophetic Chamber is not changed every year like the covering of the Honored Kaaba, because it is kept inside the chamber and far from the hands of the people and of the elements, and so it is only changed when needed.
Then I met Shaykh Ahmad Sahirty, head of the embroidery division of the factory. It was apparent to me - back then- how old he was, and how weak his vision. He took the initiative, saying: How can I speak to you about my feelings at the moment I entered the Prophetic Chamber… I can’t.. That is a speech above my abilities of speech, and I never thought that I would one day be asked about this experience. And I guarantee you that I will not be able to go through it again.
He drew nearer to me and added: Look at the lenses of my spectacles- and he pointed at their thickness- and look at my white hair and the weight of the years that I carry. My age I do not count, but I’ve heard them say that I was born in the year 1333 A.H. (1917 C.E.). And in all those years, I did not know a single hobby other than the love of beautiful scents and perfumes. I’ve spent such a long period of time in those years that I’ve lived, trying to satiate that voracious appetite that is still with me; I traveled much and learned much, but I can tell you this with confidence: that I have my own special blends that you will not find with anyone else, and that no one else could ever make.
And I tell you this because I discovered my inability and the meagerness of my knowledge on that blessed night, when the doors were opened to us, and we entered the Prophetic Chamber, and I inhaled perfumes and scents that I have never known before, and have never known since. I still do not know the secret of its composition: it was a scent above scents, an aroma above and beyond aromas- something else that us people of expertise, the people of the trade, have never experienced before.
When I asked him to describe to me the Prophetic Chamber, a slight chill struck him and coursed through his body. And he said in a faint voice: I believe that the chamber is 11 meters in height. Below the green dome is another dome on which is written: “The tomb of the Prophet, the tomb of Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq, and the tomb of Umar ibn al-Khattab”. And I saw also that there was another tomb that was empty, and next to the four tombs was the chamber of sayyida Fatima al-Zahraa, which is the house in which she lived.
From our awe we didn’t know how to remove the special pieces made for the dome- our fingers would shake and our breaths would race. We stayed 14 full nights working from after the Isha prayer until the first Adhaan of the Fajr, in order to finish our task. We kept removing the pieces, untying the knots of the old covering, and cleaning all the dust and pigeon feathers that were stuck in that pure place. This scene goes back to the year 1971 C.E., and the covering that we changed was old: it was 75 years old according to the date that was weaved on it, and had never been changed since.
I was the first to enter, with the Sayyid Habib, one of the notables of al-Madina al-Munawwara, As’ad Sheera the director of religious endowments of Madina at the time, and Habib Moghrabi from the factory management, and Abd al-Karim Flomban, Nasir Qari, Abd al-Rahim Bukhari and others. We were 13 men, I don’t remember most of them, for they have left unto the Mercy of Allah.
We were accompanied by the chief of the Aghas who kept the keys to the Prophetic Chamber, and a number of the servants of the Chamber. Whispering was our speech, and that was if signaling was not sufficient. I was, and still am, suffering from weakness of vision and these spectacles have not left my eyes since those days, but in that chamber I was another person… I felt it, and the difference was clear to me.
The shaykh Sahirti swore, saying: I used to put the thread into the hole of the needle without my spectacles, despite the dim light in which we worked. How do you explain that? And how do you explain the fact that I didn’t feel the allergy that I suffered -and still suffer-from? Because I cough severely from the slightest bit of dust. But that day,I was not affected by the dust of the chamber, or the sand flying into the air. As if sand was no longer sand ,and as if the dust became a medicine for my ailment. I used to feel all during those nights that I was a young man, and that youth fulness had been given back to me.
Another strange thing happened to me whose secret I haven’t understood until today. We had to take out the old covering, and it was carried by who ever carried it. The embroidered band, 36 meters long, remained. I said to them wrap it and leave it. I went upto it, and despite my weakness, carried it over this shoulder. I went out of the Prophetic Chamber with it, without ever feeling its weight. But after that, they came with five young men to carry it from where I had put it down and they couldn’t.
The shaykh began to weep silently and continued, while sighing: Someone asked who carried it and brought it here. I replied saying: me. They didn’t believe me. I said to them: Ask Abdal-Rahim Bukhari, the famous calligrapher of the covering.
Posted on 21/05/2010 by MuQeet
By Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad
Hujrat are those huts in which Prophet Mohammad (SAS) used to reside with his wives. When the Prophet’s Mosque was being built, two huts were also constructed for Prophet’s wives Aisha (RUA) and Sauda(RU). More such huts were built as the number of wives of the Prophet (SAS) increased. All these huts or rooms were adjacent to the mosque and their doors used to open in the mosque. Each hut consisted of a room. It’s walls were built by unbaked bricks of mud and the roof by the branches of palm tree. It had also a tiny yard.As described in Bukhari, Dawud bin Qais (RU) said, “I saw these huts or hujrat. These were covered by the branches of the palm trees. The distance between the entrance door and the door of hujra was about three meters. Each hujra was roughly 5×5 meters. ”
Hasan Basri (RU) said, “I was a teenager and I could touch the ceiling of each hut as I stood in it. Each hujra consisted of only one room. The roof of each room was made of wooden pieces.” (Bukhari 581, Khilasa-tul-Vifa 278).
The wives of the Prophet (SAS) spent their lives in such ordinary rooms. The hujra of Aisha (RUA) will be described below in more detail. Other hujrat are described in by the author’s separate book titled ‘Houses of the Companions of the Prophet (SAS).’
When Omar bin Abdul Aziz (RU) expanded the Prophet’s Mosque, he included in it all the hujrat except that of Aisha (RUA). Sacred Chamber means that room in which the Prophet used to live with his wife Aisha. Prophet passed away in this room and was buried in this very room. Later on Caliph Abu Bakr (RU) and Caliph Omar (RU) were also buried in this room. Isa (AS) will be buried in this room as well when Allah (SWT) will send him down from the sky and when he (AS) will die like other human beings.
Aisha (RUA) said, “I saw in a dream that three moons fell in my lap. I described this dream to my father Abu Bakr (RU).” When Prophet Mohammad (SAS) died and was buried in Aisha’s room, Abu Bakr (RU) referring to Aisha’s (RUA) dream said to her, “This is the one among your moons and it is better than the other two.”
Imam Malik (RTA) said, “Prophet Mohammad (SAS) died on Monday and was buried on Tuesday. Some people suggested that he should be buried near the pulpit. Others suggested Baqee graveyard for his burial. Abu Bakr (RU) said, ‘I have heard from Prophet Mohammad (SAS) that a prophet is buried at that spot where he passes away.’ Hence Prophet Mohammad (SAS) was buried in Aisha’s hujra.”
When Prophet Mohammad (SAS) was given a bath before his burial, a sound was heard calling for not removing the shirt of the Prophet (SAS). Hence his shirt was not removed and he was given bath with his clothes on.”
“People offered Salat-ul-Janaza individually. No congregational salat was held with an Imam.” (Muwatta Imam Malik)
Salam Bin Obeid (RU), was one of the residents of Suffah. He narrated that the companions asked Abu Bakr (RU), “Should we bury the Prophet?” Abu Bakr (RU) replied, “Yes”. They asked, “Where?” Abu Bakr (RU) said “Where he died”. Hence the Prophet (SAS) was buried in Aisha’s chamber. (Majma-al-Zawaid).
As described in Bukhari, Aisha (RUA) said, “Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said during his illness before death, ‘Where will I stay tonight? Where am I supposed to be tomorrow?’ All his wives very willingly agreed to let him stay in my chamber during his final illness? He passed away when his head was in my lap. He was buried in my room.”
Abdullah bin Abbas (RU) narrated that at the time of the bath of the Prophet (SAS) some companions gathered outside his house. Abbas (RU) called two of them. He sent one to bring Abu Obeida bin Jarrah (RU) since he used to dig straight graves in Makkah. Abbas (RU) sent the other person to bring Abu Talha (RU) since he used to dig graves in Madina with a side trench in it. At that time Abbas (RU) also made this supplication, “O Allah, choose one of them for your beloved Prophet”. By chance the messengers could not find Abu Obeida (RU) or Abu Talha (RU). Hence Abbas (RU) made the grave for the Prophet with a side trench at the bottom of the grave. (Bukhari, Muwatta)
Caliph Abu Bakr (RU) left a will with Aisha [ to bury him by the side of Prophet Mohammad (SAS). Hence he was buried there in such a way that his head was in line with the shoulders of Prophet Mohammad (SAS). A grave with side trench was prepared for him.
Ibn Kathir wrote that Abu Bakr (RU) died in Jamada II of 13H. He was sixty three years old just like Prophet Mohammad (SAS). He was, in this way, with the Prophet (SAS) after death just like he was with him during his lifetime. During Abu Bakr’s (RU) fifteen days illness, Omar (RU) led the salat. (Al Bidaih Wa An Nihaih)
Prophet Mohammad (SAS) migrated to Madina and spent rest of his life there and finally died in Madina. Prophet (SAS) used to encourage Muslims to reside and die in Madina. As described by Ibn Majah and narrated by Ibn Omar (RU), Prophet Mohammad (SAS) used to say, “You should wish to die in Madina. I shall be a witness for the person who dies in Madina.”
Hence Omar (RU) used to make the following dua as mentioned in Bukhari, “O Allah, please grant me martyrdom and make me die in the city of Your beloved Prophet (SAS).”
Ibn Kathir wrote that Allah (SWT) granted the dua of Omar (RU) and combined his both wishes. Omar (RU) was leading Sala-tul-Fajr on 26th of Dhul Hajja in the year of 23H. A person attacked him with a double edged sharp dagger causing a fatal wound. This was done by a slave of Al-Mugayyrah bin Shaabah. This slave was known as Abu Luh Luh who was a worshipper of fire and not a Muslim by faith.
Lot of blood was gushing out of the wound of Omar (RU). He was immediately brought to his home. At times he passed out and at times he regained his senses. When he was reminded of the salat, he completed his salat and said “Those who do not establish salat have nothing to do with Islam.” Omar (RU) enquired, “ Who was the attacker?” He was told about Abu Luh Luh, the non Muslim. Omar (RU) said “All praise is for Allah (SWT) who did not cause my death by the hands of a person who is Muslim by faith.” Soon after this he died and was buried by the side of Abu Bakr (RU) on the first of Muharram in the year 24H. Omar (RU) was the third moon which Aisha (RU) saw in her dream.
As mentioned in Bukhari and narrated by Amar bin Maimon (RU), “I saw that Omar (RU) was instructing his son, Abdullah bin Omar (RU) to visit Aisha (RUA) and after conveying his salam to her, to make the following request. ‘Omar (RU) requests you to grant him permission to be buried along with his companions in her chamber.’ Ibn Omar went to Aisha (RUA) and requested her accordingly. She said, ‘I had reserved this spot for myself. I however, grant you the permission out of sympathy.’ When Ibn Omar returned he informed Omar (RU) about the permission of Aisha (RUA). Omar (RU) said, ‘After my death again convey my salam to Aisha (RUA) and request her once again to grant the permission for burial in her chamber. If she does not grant the permission, bury me in Baqee cemetry.’ Aisha again granted the permission.”
As mentioned in Bukhari, Ibn Abbas (RU) narrated, “Omar (RU) was put on a cot or a bed after his death. Many people surrounded the cot and were making supplications for Omar (RU). I was among these people. One person put his hand on my shoulder. I turned around and noticed that it was Ali (RU). Ali (RU) made the following supplication, ‘O Omar, may Allah’s (SWT), mercy be showered on you. I wish when I face Allah (SWT) I go there with wonderful deeds like yours. I swear I have full faith in the fact that Allah (SWT) will make you join your companions. I often heard this from Prophet Mohammad (SAS), ‘I, Abu Bakr and Omar went. I, Abu Bakr and Omar entered. I, Abu Bakr and Omar came out.”
After the burial of Omar (RU) in the Sacred Chamber, Aisha (RUA) put a partition between the area occupied by the graves and rest of the room. It was because Omar (RU) was not mahram to her. Hence she continued keeping her veil from him even after his death.
It is mentioned in Tabka-tul-Kubra and narrated by Malik bin Anas (RU), “After burial of Omar (RU) in the Sacred Chamber, Aisha (RUA) divided her room into two parts by building a wall between the graves and rest of her tiny living area. Whenever she went to the area occupied by the graves, she wore Islamic veil.”
It is mentioned in Vifa-ul-Vifa, Aisha (RUA) said, “When no wall was built between the graves and my living area, I never took my veil off and used to stay wrapped up in clothes.”
These steps of Aisha (RUA) are a guiding light for the Muslim women to observe the Islamic veil. Every muslim woman should ask herself how close she is to this Islamic practice.
There are different narrations regarding the order and lay out of the graves of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) and his two companions resting in the Sacred Chamber. Most of the scholars have described it as follows. First grave from Qiblah or from the southern wall of the Sacred Chamber is of Prophet Mohammad (SAS). Abu Bakr’s (RU) grave is a bit north of the Prophet’s (SAS) grave in such a way that the head of Abu Bakr (RU) is in line with the shoulders of the Prophet (SAS). Slightly north of it is the grave of Omar (RU) and his head is in line with the shoulders of Abu Bakr (RU). Samhoudi and other scholars preferred this description over other versions. Nawawi and many other scholars have used this lay out to guide visitors for salutation to Prophet (SAS) and his companions. Nawawi said, “The visitor should face towards the grave with his back toward Qiblah and respectfully offer salutation to the Prophet (SAS). Then move about half a meter to his right and offer salutation to Abu Bakr (RU). Finally move about half meter more to his right and offer salutation to Omar (RU).
It will be pertinent to mention here that the companions never put bricks or other similar materials on these three graves. Qasim bin Mohammad bin Abu Bakr (RU) narrated as mentioned in Sunan Abu Dawud, “ I visited Aisha (RU) and requested her to show me these three graves. I observed that the graves were neither very high above the ground nor totally in level with the ground. I saw these covered with reddish color earth.”
It is mentioned in Tabqa-tul-Kubra by Ibn Saad as narrated by Qassim, “I was only a child when I visited these graves which were covered with reddish color earth.”
It is mentioned in Fatah Bari as narrated by Abu Bakr Ajari (RU)
“I saw these graves during the period of Omar bin Abdul Aziz (RU). These were about four inches above the ground level”. It is also mentioned in Fatah Bari as narrated by Rija bin Haiwah, “Waleed bin Abdul Malik wrote to Omar bin Abdul Aziz to purchase the hujrat of the wives of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) and include this area in the mosque as well. When the walls of the hujrats were removed, these graves became visible. The sandy soil on the graves had somewhat leveled off. Omar bin Abdul Aziz rebuilt the walls of Aisha’s chamber during the expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque.”
A renowned scholar, Samhoudi, mentioned in Vifa-ul-Vifa that the walls of the Sacred Chamber were remodeled in 878H. He had the privilege and honor of entering the Sacred Chamber during these repairs. Samhoudi said, “As I entered the Sacred Chamber, I found very delicate fragrance there which I had never experienced in my life before. I offered salutation to the Prophet (SAS) and his both companions. Then I focused my attention to condition of the graves so that I could describe it fully to others. All three graves were almost even to the ground level. At one place there was a slight rise above the ground level. It was probably, Omar’s (RU) grave. The graves were definitely covered by ordinary earth.”
After this occasion nobody has been able to see these graves since all the four walls of the Sacred Chamber have been fully built upto the roof level and closed for any view.
I may add that some people are carrying pictures of these graves indicating that the graves are built of bricks or stones and are quite high from the ground level. It is total fabrication. This approach is like following the footsteps of Jews. When Jews wanted to make something permissible for them, they would ascribe it to Prophet Moses (AS) to justify their actions.
As mentioned some hadith and other authentic books there is a spot for a fourth grave in the Sacred Chamber. This is the same spot which Aisha (RUA) offered to Abdur Rahman bin Auf (RU). Hafs bin Omar bin Abdur Rahman narrated, “ When Abdur Rahman bin Auf (RU) was on his death bed, Aisha (RUA) sent him a message that I have kept a spot for you near the Prophet (SAS). Accept it, if you like.” Abdur Rahman (RU) said, “ I have heard that you have not removed your veil since Omar (RU) was burried in your room. Furthermore, I do not like to convert the house of the Prophet (SAS) into a cemetery. I have promised Osman bin Mazun (RU) that our graves will be situated close to each other.” (History of Madina-Ibn Shabah)
Hence there is a spot for a fourth grave in the Sacred Chamber. It is also mentioned in Bukhari that Aisha (RUA) left this will with her nephew Abdullah bin Zubair (RU), instructing him not to bury her in the Sacred Chamber. Rather bury her with rest of the wives of the Prophet (SAS) in Baqee cemetery since she does not wish to distinguish herself from his other wives.
Imam Malik (RTA) said, “There was some space in the Sacred Chamber. Hence Aisha (RUA) was told that, if it pleased her, she would be buried there after her death”. Aisha (RUA) replied, ‘I would then become one who invents an innovation.’”
Many scholars have written that there is a spot for a grave near the eastern part of the Sacred Chamber. Saeed bin Al-Musayyab said, “This is the spot for Isa (AS).” Furthermore, it is obvious that there was a tiny living area for Aisha (RUA) in her humble hut after the partition was built to separate her from the graves. In other words, there is a spot for the fourth grave in the Sacred Chamber, where Isa (AS) will be buried.
Tirmidhi has mentioned as narrated by Abdullah bin Salam (AS), “The characteristics of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) are described in Old Testament and it is also mentioned there that Isa (AS) will be buried with him”.
Abdullah bin Omar (RU) has narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “Isa (AS) will descend to the earth. He will marry and will have children. In this way he will spend forty five years and finally he will die and will be buried with me. On the Day of Judgement. I, Isa (AS), Abu Bakr and Omar will rise from the same site.” (Al-Vifa).
Original hujra or hut of Aisha was built of branches of palm trees covered with blanket of hair. The frame of the door was made of wood. The branches of trees were replaced by bricks by Omar (RU).
It is narrated by Obeid ullah bin Abu Yazeed that the walls of the house of Prophet (SAS) were not made of bricks, stones or any other such materials. Omar (RU) rebuilt these walls by bricks during his Caliphate. These walls were, however, small. Abdulla bin Zubair raised these higher. (Tabka-tul-Kubra). Near the end of the first century of Hijra, Omar bin Abdul Aziz constructed the walls of the Sacred Chamber with black stone.
Urwa bin Zubair narrated that hujrat were removed during the period of Waleed bin Abdul Malik in order to include them in the expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque. At that time the eastern wall of the Sacred Chamber collapsed. It was necessary to dig its foundation to rebuild it. In this process a foot appeared.
Someone said that it was perhaps the Prophet’s (SAS) foot. Urwa saw it and said, “I swear it is not the Prophet’s foot, it is Omar’s (RU) foot”.
More detail of this event is given by Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Aqeel. He said, “I used to come to the Prophet’s Mosque in the later part of the night. I used to salute Prophet (SAS) and then used to stay in the mosque till salat-ul-fajr. One night it was raining. When I reached near the house of Al-Mugayyara bin Shaabah (RU), I came across some fragrance which I had never experienced before. I entered the mosque and saluted the Prophet (SAS). I was surprised to see that one wall of the Sacred Chamber had collapsed. I went inside the chamber and saluted the Prophet (SAS) again. Shortly after this Omar bin Abdul Aziz, the Governor of Madina, arrived there since he had been informed about the fall of the wall. He ordered to cover the Sacred Chamber with a large piece of cloth. In the morning a builder was brought and was told to go inside the chamber. He requested that another person should also accompany him. Omar bin Abdul Aziz (RU) became ready for it. Qasim bin Abu Bakr volunteered for it also. Similarly Salim bin Abdullah bin Omar volunteered too and insisted to accompany them as well. Omar bin Abdul Aziz (RU) said, ‘We should not bother the residents of the graves by crowding there.’ Omar (RU) then said to his freed slave, Mazaham, ‘Please go inside all alone.’ Mazaham said, ‘The first grave is slightly lower in height than the other two graves.’ After the completion of the renovation Omar (RU) said to Mazaham, ‘Go inside again and clean the Sacred Chamber.’ Mazaham went in again and did the general cleaning there after the renovation activities. Later on Omar (RU) remarked, ‘I wish I had done this cleaning in place of Mazaham. This cleaning activity would have been better for me than all of the worldly assets.’”
In 91H, Omar bin Abdul Aziz built these five cornered walls around the inner four walls of the Sacred Chamber so that nobody may enter the Sacred Chamber. These outer walls are about seven meters high and are covered by a cloth. These days this outer structure is called Sacred Chamber. Samhoudi said, “The outer walls were made with five corners instead of four, so that the Sacred Chamber does not resemble the Kabah. This was to avoid any possibility of people making prostration to the Sacred Chamber.
In 1296H, a screen of a window fell inside the Sacred Chamber. Burzanji went, with the Imam of Prophet’s Mosque, on the roof of the mosque. They saw that there was an inner smaller dome. The inner Sacred Chamber was a square structure and covered with a cloth. Hence it was not possible to see inside the Sacred Chamber enclosed by the four walls.
During the period of Qaitabai, the walls of the Sacred Chamber were renovated again. Samhoudi described it as follows:
“The eastern wall of Sacred Chamber developed some cracks. The cracks were filled and white washing was done on top of it. In due course of time these fillings wore off and cracks appeared in the five cornered walls of the Sacred Chamber. Hence on the 14th of Shaaban 881H, the outer five walls of the Sacred Chamber were removed for reconstruction. The cracks were also visible in the inner four walls of the Sacred Chamber. Hence these innermost walls were also removed. This made the Sacred Chamber open and visible.” Samhoudi stated, “I had the privilege and honor to enter the Sacred Chamber. I entered from the backside (i.e. North). I experienced a unique fragrance there which I never came across in my life. I humbly saluted the Prophet (SAS) and his two companions. I then took part in reconstruction of the Sacred Chamber voluntarily and this construction work was completed on the seventh of Shawwal.”
Samhoudi added, “We saw that the inner structure of the Sacred Chamber was a square and built of black stones similar to the stones of Kabah. There was no door in it. The visitor automatically develops very lovely feelings there.”
It was therefore in `A'ishah's quarters, while his head lay in her lap that the Prophet-may God's peace and blessing be upon him chose the company of God on High. When this happened, `A'ishah laid his head down on a pillow and joined the other women of the house who rushed to her upon hearing the news and began to cry in bereavement and sorrow. The Muslims at the mosque were taken by surprise by the sudden noise. In the morning, they had seen the Prophet and were convinced his health was improving so much that Abu Bakr, it will be remembered, sought permission to go and visit his wife at al Sunh.
Upon hearing the news and hardly believing it, 'Umar returned quickly to the Prophet's quarters. Upon arrival, he went straight to Muhammad's bed, uncovered and looked at his face for a while. He perceived its motionlessness and deathlike appearance as a coma from which he believed Muhammad would soon emerge. A1 Mughirah tried in vain to convince `Umar of the painful fact. `Umar, however, continued to believe firmly that Muhammad did not die. When al Mughirah insisted, `Umar said to him in anger, "You lie." The two went to the mosque together while `Umar was proclaiming at the top of his voice, "Some hypocrites are pretending that the Prophet of God-may God's peace and blessing be upon him-has died. By God I swear that he did not die: that he has gone to join his Lord, just as Moses went before. Moses absented himself from his people fourteen consecutive nights and returned to them after they had declared him dead. By God, the Prophet of God will return just as Moses returned. Any man who dares to perpetrate a false rumor such as Muhammad's death shall have his arms and legs cut off by this hand."
At the mosque, the Muslims heard these proclamations from `Umar-they were shocked and stupefied. If Muhammad truly died, woe unto all those who saw him and heard him, who believed in him and in the God Who sent him a conveyor of true guidance and religion. Their bereavement would be so great that their hearts and minds would break asunder. If, on the other hand, it were true that Muhammad had not died but had gone to join his Lord, as `Umar claimed, that was reason for an even greater shock. The Muslims should then await his return which, like that of Moses, would be all the more reason for wonder. The Muslim crowds sat around `Umar and listened to him, inclined as they were to agree with him that the Prophet of God did not die. At any rate, they could not associate death with the man whom they had beheld in person only a few hours before and whose clear and resonant voice they had heard pray and invoke God's mercy and blessing. Moreover, they could not convince themselves that the friend whom God had chosen for the conveyance of His divine message, to whom all the Arabs had submitted, and to whom Chosroes and Heraclius were also soon to submit, could possibly die. They could not believe that a man could die who had shown such power as had shaken the world for twenty consecutive years and had produced the greatest spiritual storm of history. The women, however, were still beating their faces and crying at Muhammad's house, a sure sign that Muhammad had really died. Yet, here in the mosque, `Umar was still proclaiming that Muhammad had not died; and that he had gone to join his Lord as Moses had done; that those who spoke of Muhammad's death were hypocrites who would suffer the cutting of their arms and necks by Muhammad upon his return. What would the Muslims believe? As they recovered from their severe shock, hope began to stir within them in consequence of `Umar's claim that Muhammad was to return, and soon they almost believed their own wishes. Their wishful thinking had apparently painted for them the sky a beautiful blue.
As they wavered between believing `Umar or the indubitable meaning of the women's crying, Abu Bakr heard the news and returned from al Sunh. He looked through the door of the mosque and saw the Muslims being addressed by `Umar, but he did not tarry there. He went straight to the quarters of `A'ishah and asked for permission to enter. He was answered that there was no need that day for. permission. He entered and found the Prophet laid down in a corner and covered with a striped cloth. He approached, uncovered the face and kissed it, saying, "How wholesome you are, whether alive or dead!" He then held the Prophet's head in his hands and looked closely at the face which showed no sign whatever of death's attack. Laying it down again, he said, "What would I not have sacrificed for you! The one death which God has decreed for you, as for any other man, to taste, you have now tasted. Henceforth, no death shall ever befall you." He covered the head with the striped cloth and went straight to the mosque where `Umar was still proclaiming loudly that Muhammad had not died. The crowds made a way for him to the front, and as he came close to `Umar he said to him "Softly, O `Umar ! Keep silent!" But `Umar would not stop talking and continued repeating the same claim. Abu Bakr rose and made a sign to the people that he wished to address them. No one could have dared impose himself upon the congregation in such manner except Abu Bakr, for he was the ever trustworthy friend of the Prophet, whom Muhammad would have chosen from among all men. Hence, it was natural that the people hastened to respond to his call and move away from `Umar.
After praising and thanking God, Abu Bakr delivered the following brief address: "O Men, if you have been worshipping Muhammad, then know that Muhammad is dead. But if you have been worshipping God, then know that God is living and never dies." He then recited the Qur'anic verse,
"Muhammad is but a prophet before whom many prophets have come and gone. Should he die or be killed, will you abjure your faith? Know that whoever abjures his faith will cause no harm to God, but God will surely reward those who are grateful to him." [Qur'an, 3:144]
Realizing that the people were withdrawing from him and going to Abu Bakr, `Umar fell silent and listened to Abu Bakr's speech. Upon hearing Abu Bakr recite the Qur'anic verse, `Umar fell to the ground. The certainty that the Prophet of God was truly dead shattered him. Beguiled by `Umar's speech, the people listened to Abu Bakr's statement and to the Qur'anic verse as if it was given to them for the first time. They had forgotten that there was any such revelation. Abu Bakr's stark words dissipated all doubt and uncertainty. His Qur'anic quotation reassured the Muslims that their holding fast to God Who never dies would more than compensate for Muhammad's passing.
Did `Umar exaggerate when he convinced himself that Muhammad had not died, when he tried to cause the people to believe likewise? The answer must be in the negative. In like vein, men of science tell us that the sun will continue to rise in the morning until a certain day when it will explode and disappear. Does anyone of us accept such a claim without entertaining a doubt as to its validity and truth? Does not everyone of us ask himself, "How could the sun explode, disappear, and go away, the sun by whose light and warmth everything in the world lives? How could it explode and disappear and the world continue thereafter even for one day?" And yet, was the light of Muhammad any less brilliant than that of the sun or his warmth and power any less strong than those of the sun? The sun is source of much good. But was not Muhammad the source of as much and equal good? The sun stands in communion with all beings. But was not the soul of Muhammad equally in communion with all being? Does not his blessed memory still fill the whole universe with its grace and beauty? No wonder then that `Umar was not convinced that Muhammad could have died, and in truth, in one sense Muhammad did not die and will not die.
Having seen him that morning when he went to the mosque and, like all other Muslims, having thought that the Prophet had recovered his health, Usamah ibn Zayd returned to al Jurf with those of his colleagues who had accompanied him to Madinah in search of reassuring news. He ordered the army to prepare to march to al Sham; but before the army proceeded forth, it heard the news of the Prophet's death. Usamah ordered the army to return to Madinah. He hung his command flag on the door of 'A'ishah's quarters and decided to wait until the Muslims recovered from their shock.
In fact, the Muslims were wondering which step to take. After hearing Abu Bakr and knowing for certain that Muhammad had died, they dispersed. Some of the al Ansar gathered around Sa'd ibn `Ubadah in the courtyard of Banu Sa'idah. `Ali ibn Abu Talib, al Zubayr ibn al `Awwam, and Talhah ibn `Ubaydullah gathered in the house of Fatimah; and al Muhajirun, together with the Usayd ibn Hudayr as well as Banu `Abd al Ashhal, gathered around Abu Bakr. Soon a man came to Abu Bakr and `Umar to inform them that al Ansar were gathering around Sa'd ibn `Ubadah. The informant added that the two leaders should go out and reorganize Muslim leadership before the division of the Muslim community got any worse. Since the Prophet of God-may God's peace and blessing be upon him-was still laid out in his house and unburied, it was surely unbecoming that the Muslims begin to divide among themselves. `Umar pleaded with Abu Bakr to go with him immediately to al Ansar and see what they were doing. On the way thither, they were met by two upright and trustworthy Ansar men who, when questioned, remarked that al Ansar were contemplating separatist ideas. When the two Ansar men questioned Abu Bakr and `Umar in turn and learned from them that they were going to al Ansar's gathering, they advised them not to go but to try to settle the Muhajirun's own affairs. `Umar was determined to go and Abu Bakr was not difficult to persuade on this point. They came to the courtyard of Banu Sa'idah and found that al Ansar had gathered around a man wrapped up in a blanket. `Umar ibn al Khattab asked who the man was, and he was told that that was Sa'd ibn `Ubadah suffering from a serious sickness. `Umar and Abu Bakr, joined at this moment by a number of Muhajirun, took their seats in the assembly. Soon, a speaker rose and addressed a1 Ansar in the following words after praising God and thanking Him: "We are al Ansar-ie., the helpers of God and the army of Islam. You, the Muhajirun, are only a brigade in the army. Nonetheless, a group of you have gone to the extreme of seeking to deprive us of our natural leadership and to deny us our rights."
Actually, this complaint had always been on al Ansar's lips, even during the Prophet's lifetime. When `Umar heard it being voiced again, he could hardly restrain himself. Indeed, he was ready to put an end to this situation once and for all by the sword, if needed. Fearing that harsh treatment might aggravate rather than improve matters, Abu Bakr held `Umar back and asked him to act gently. He then turned to al Ansar, saying: "O men, we, the Muhajirun, were the first men to convert to Islam. We enjoy the noblest lineage and descendence. We are the most reputable and the best esteemed as well as the most numerous of any group in Arabia. Furthermore, we are the closest blood relatives of the Prophet. The Qur'an itself has given us preference. For it is God-may He be praised and blessed-Who said, `First and foremost were al Muhajirun, then al Ansar, and then those who have followed these two groups in virtue and righteousness.' [Qur'an, 9:100] We were the first to emigrate for the sake of God, and you are literally `al Ansar', i.e., the helpers. However, you are our brethren in religion, our partners in the fortunes of war, and our helpers against the enemy. All the good that you have claimed is truly yours, for you are the most worthy people of mankind. But the Arabs do not and will not recognize any sovereignty unless it belongs to the tribe of Quraysh. The princes shall be from among us, whereas your group will furnish the viziers." At this, a member of al Ansar became furious and said: "Rather am I, the experienced warrior! On my arm every verdict shall rest. And my verdict is that the people of Quraysh may have their prince as long as we, too, may have our own." Abu Bakr repeated his proposition that the princes of the Muslims must be of the Quraysh whereas their vizers must be of al Ansar. Taking the hand of `Umar ibn al Khattab as well as that of Abu `Ubaydah ibn al Jarrah, who were sitting on either side of him, Abu Bakr said, "Either one of these two men is acceptable to us as leader of the Muslim community. Choose whomsoever you please."
At that moment, all the men present began to talk at the same time, and the meeting itself was on the verge of disintegration. With his usual clear and loud voice, `Umar said: "O Abu Bakr, stretch forth your hand and I will give you my oath of fealty. Did not the Prophet himself command you to lead the Muslims in prayer? You, therefore, are his successor. We elect you to this position. In electing you, we are electing the best of all those whom the Prophet of God loved and trusted." `Umar's words touched the hearts of the Muslims present, as they truly expressed the Prophet's will up to and including the last day of his life. On that day they had witnessed his insistence that Abu Bakr lead the prayer even in his presence. Thus, the difference between al Muhajirun and al Ansar was dissolved, and members of both camps came forward to give their oath of fealty.
On the following day, as Abu Bakr took his place at the pulpit of the mosque, `Umar ibn al Khattab rose before the congregation and said, after offering due praise to God: "Yesterday, I presented to you a novel idea. I drew it neither from the Book of God, nor from any memory I have of the Prophet of God. It just occurred to me that the Prophet of God would continue to lead us in this world forever and that he would survive us all. But now I know better. God has left us His Holy Book, the Repository of His Prophet's guidance. If we hold closely to it, God will surely guide us to the same felicity to which he guided His Prophet. God has consolidated you together under the leadership of the best man among you, of the companion of the Prophet of God-may God's peace and blessing be upon him-who was blessed by God with the honor of the Prophet's company in the cave when the Makkans were following in close pursuit. Rise and give him your oath of fealty." All the men rose and pledged their loyalty to Abu Bakr. That was the public bay'ah, [In Islamic political theory, "bay'ah" means the investment of the caliph with political authority. It consists of a "private" and "public" investment. The former amounts to nomination of the caliph by a number of supporters; the latter to confirmation of the private bay'ah by the electorate at large. It is only when the two bay'ahs have taken place and have been accepted by the caliph that he is said to have legitimately acceded to the caliphate. -Tr.] following the private bay'ah in the courtyard of Banu Sa'idah.
Thereafter, Abu Bakr rose and delivered a speech, which may be regarded as one of the most illustrious embodiments of wisdom and sound judgment. After thanking God and praising Him, Abu Bakr said
"O Men! Here I have been assigned the job of being a ruler over you while I am not the best among you. If I do well in my job, help me. If I do wrong, redress me. Truthfulness is fidelity, and lying is treason. The weak shall be strong in my eyes until I restore to them their lost rights, and the strong shall be weak in my eye until I have restored the rights of the weak from them. No people give up fighting for the cause of God but God inflicts upon them abject subjection; and no people give themselves to lewdness but God envelops them with misery. Obey me as long as I obey God and His Prophet. But if I disobey God's command or His Prophet's, then no obedience is incumbent upon you. Rise to your prayer, that God may bless you."
Throughout the Muslims' disputing of the question of success at the courtyard of Banu Sa'idah and in the mosque, the Prophet's remains were lying on his bed surrounded by his next of kin. After the election of Abu Bakr, the people came to the Prophet's house to prepare for his funeral and burial. There was disagreement as to where the Prophet was to be buried. Some Muhajirun advised that he ought to be buried in Makkah, his native town, in the proximity of his own relatives. Others advised that he ought to be buried in Jerusalem where the Prophets were buried before him. The latter was certainly a baffling view considering that Jerusalem was in the hands of the Byzantines, and the relations between them and the Muslims were most hostile, especially since the Mu'tah and Tabuk campaigns. Indeed, an army which the Prophet himself had mobilized and placed under the leadership of Usamah was supposed to fight them and avenge the Muslim defeat in those campaigns. At any rate, the proposals to bury the remains in Makkah or in Jerusalem were both rejected. The Muslims resolved to bury him in Madinah, the city which gave him shelter and assistance and which was the first one to raise the banner of Islam. Once this decision was made, they proceeded to look for a proper location for burial. Some advocated burial in the mosque where he used to address the people, preach the faith, and lead them in prayer. They thought that the most appropriate place was either the very spot of ground where the pulpit stood or the spot next to it. This opinion, however, did not meet with approval. `A'ishah had related that in his last days, whenever his pain increased, the Prophet used to uncover his face to curse such people as had taken the grave of their prophets as places of worship. Abu Bakr solved the issue when he proclaimed that he had heard the Prophet say that prophets should be buried wherever they die. This opinion carried the day.
Washing the Prophet's body before burial was performed by his next of kin, by `Ali ibn Abu Talib, al `Abbas ibn `Abd al Muttalib and his two sons, al Fadl and Qutham, as well as by Usamah ibn Zayd. Usamah ibn Zayd and Shuqran, the Prophet's client, poured the water while `Ali washed the body, covered as it was by Muhammad's nightgown. It was decided that the Prophet's body should not, under any circumstance whatever, be fully exposed. As they performed their washing, contrary to what is usual in such cases, the body emitted beautiful smells, so that `Ali said continually: "By God, what would I give for you! How sweet you are and how wholesome you are, both alive and dead!" Some western Orientalists sought to explain this fair scent emitted from the body of the Prophet by calling it the result of the perfume which he used so lavishly, remembering that he once declared it one of the good things he truly loved in this world. When the washing was completed, the Prophet's body was wrapped in three shrouds: two made in Suhar and the third in Hibarah in Yaman. When this operation was completed, the body was left where it was and the doors were flung open for the Muslims to enter from the mosque, to take a last look at their Prophet, and to pray for him. [The reader may be thrown off by this usage of "pray upon" instead of the commonplace "pray for." In the Muslim practice nobody "prays for" the Prophet in the sense that one prays for a departed loved one. Prayer upon the Prophet is much more formal and is commanded by the Qur'an (33:56). It is a main part of Muslim worship to use the Qur'anic "pray upon" in invoking God's blessing upon His Prophet. -Tr.] Undoubtedly, they emerged deeply moved and conscious of their terrible bereavement.
The room was practically full when Abu Bakr and `Umar entered the room and joined the Muslims in a funerary prayer for the Prophet. The prayer was performed without a leader. When it was over, Abu Bakr began to pray aloud, saying: "Peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you, O Prophet of God. We witness that the Prophet of God and His apostle conveyed the message entrusted to him by his Lord and that he exerted himself and fought in His cause until God gave victory to His religion. We equally witness that the Prophet of God and His apostle fully performed his promise and that he commanded us to worship none but God alone who has no associates." At the end , of every phrase, the Muslims responded together, "Amen, Amen." When this prayer was complete, the men left and the women and children took turns taking a last look at the Prophet. One and all, every man, woman and child, emerged from that room torn with sorrow and crushed by a sense of bereavement for the loss of the Prophet of God, the Seal of His apostles. They were full of apprehension that some calamity might befall the religion of God in the future.
No man can today reconstruct this thirteen-centuries-old scene in his imagination without being filled with awe and reverence. The anguishing view of this body laid down in a corner of the room which was to become a grave the following day and which until the day before reverberated with Muhammad's vitality, mercy, and light, filled the hearts of the faithful mourners with apprehension. It could not have been otherwise. For, there lay the man who had called men to truth, to the path of righteousness and had struck for them the highest example of goodness, mercy, courage, chastity, purity, and justice. As the crowds of Muslims passed by his bier despondent, disheartened, and dispirited, every man, woman, and child among them saw in the body that lay motionless before him his own father, brother, friend, trustworthy companion, Prophet, and Apostle of God. To recall that hour is surely to reconstruct a pathetic scene. Even as he writes about it, this author is seized by the grip of its terror and can hardly overcome the consequent anguish.
It was natural for the Muslims to be apprehensive of the future. Indeed, as soon as the news of the Prophet's death spread in Madinah and reached the Arab tribes in the surrounding area, Jews and Christians sprang to their feet, hypocrisy took a new lease on life, and the faith of many weak Arabs fell into confusion. The Makkans sought to abjure Islam, and they did so to the extent of instilling fear in `Attab ibn Asid, their governor appointed by the Prophet to rule them. Suhayl ibn `Amr, following the news of the Prophet's death, stood up in their midst and said: "The Prophet's death shall increase the power of Islam and strengthen it. Whoever attacks us or abjures our cause, we shall strike with the sword. O People of Makkah! you were the last to enter Islam. Do not, therefore, be the first to desert it. Have faith that God will bring you final victory just as the Prophet of God-may God's peace and blessing be upon him-has promised you." Only then did the Makkans change their minds.
The Arabs knew two ways of digging graves. The Makkans made their graves flat at the bottom while the Madinese made them curved. Abu `Ubaydah ibn al Jarrah was the gravedigger for the Makkans, and Abu Talhah Zayd ibn Sahl was gravedigger for the Madinese. The Prophet's relatives could not choose between them. The Prophet's uncle, al 'Abbas, sent two men to call the two gravediggers for a consultation. Only one was found and could respond to the call, and that was Abu Talhah, the Madinese. He therefore was commissioned to dig a grave for the Prophet of God as he knew best. When evening came and the Muslims had taken leave of the body of their Prophet, Muhammad's relatives prepared for the burial. They waited until a quarter or a third of the night had passed before proceeding with the burial. In the grave, they spread out a red mantle that once belonged to the Prophet, and the men who had washed the body lowered it to its last repose. They built over it a bridge with bricks and then covered the grave with sand. `A'ishah said: "We did not learn of the burial of the Prophet of God-may God's peace and blessing be upon him until midnight or later"; and so did Fatimah report. The Prophet was buried on Tuesday night, 14th of Rabi` I, two days after his death, in the year 10 A.H.
`A'ishah lived thereafter in her quarters, next door to the Prophet's grave, contented with her proximity to this holy precinct. When Abu Bakr died, he was buried in the immediate vicinity of the Prophet's grave, as was `Umar ibn al Khattab thereafter. It is related that `A'ishah used to visit the grave room without veil until `Umar was buried therein, i.e., during the time it contained only the grave of her father and husband. But after `Umar's burial, she entered the room only when fully veiled.
As soon as the burial of the Prophet was completed, Abu Bakr commanded that the army of Usamah begin its march on al Sham in execution of the commandment the Prophet of God had issued in his last days. Some Muslims objected to this measure just as they had during the sickness of Muhammad. `Umar joined the ranks of these objectors on the grounds that the Muslim forces ought not to be dispersed in this grave hour. Abu Bakr, however, did not hesitate to follow the commandment left unfulfilled by the Prophet at his death. He refused to give credit to those who counseled that an older and more experienced general in war than Usamah be appointed to lead that army. Al Jurf remained the rallying place for the army, and Usamah remained its leading general. Abu Bakr went out in person to see the army off on its march. It was there that Abu Bakr asked Usamah to absolve `Umar ibn al Khattab from his duty to go forth in the army so that he might remain in Madinah in close proximity to Abu Bakr who needed his advice in his first days of administration. Twenty days after the army began its march northward, the Muslims launched their attack against al Balqa' and avenged the Muslims' setback in Mu'tah where Usamah's father fell under Byzantine arms. The war cry in that campaign was "O Victor! Give death to the enemy!" Thus Abu Bakr and Usamah fulfilled the commandment of the Prophet, and the army returned to Madinah victorious. Usamah was at its head, riding the very horse on which his father died at the Battle of Mu'tah, and carrying high the banner which the Prophet of God had entrusted to him in person.
After the death of the Prophet, his daughter Fatimah asked Abu Bakr to return to her the land the Prophet kept for himself at Fadak and Khaybar. Abu Bakr, however, answered her by quoting her father's words: "We, the Prophets, do not leave any inheritance for anyone. Whatever we do leave shall be given out in charity." Continuing with his own words, Abu Bakr said "However, if it was the case that your father had made a grant to you of this property, then I shall certainly honor your word to this effect and fulfill for you his commandment." At this, Fatimah answered that her father had not made any such grant to her at all, but that Umm Ayman had informed her that that might have been Muhammad's purpose. Abu Bakr therefore resolved that the lands of Fadak and Khaybar should be kept by the public treasury of the Muslims as state domain.
Thus Muhammad left this world just as he had entered, without material shackles. His only inheritance left to mankind was the religion of truth and goodness. He had paved the ground and laid the foundation for the great civilization of Islam which had covered the world in the past and would cover the world in the future. It was a civilization in which tawhid, or the unitization of God, was the cornerstone; and an order in which the word of God and His commandments are always uppermost, while those of unfaith are nethermost. It was a civilization purged absolutely clean of all paganism and of all idolatrous forms and expressions, a civilization in which men were called upon to cooperate with one another for the good and moral felicity of all men, not for the benefit of any group or people. Muhammad left to this world the Book of God, a guidance and mercy to mankind, while the memory of his own life gave the highest and noblest example for man's emulation. One of the last sermons which the Prophet delivered to the people during his illness contained the following words: "O Men! If I have lashed the back of anyone, let him come forward and lash my back in return. If I have insulted anyone, let him come forth and take satisfaction of me. If I have dispossessed anyone of any wealth, let him come forth and seize his wealth from me. If there be any such men as these, let them come forth without fear of retaliation or hatred, for neither of these become of me." Only one man came forth to make a claim, that Muhammad owed him three dirhams; he was paid in full by Muhammad on his deathbed. The Prophet left this world an inheritance of a great spiritual legacy whose light continues to illumine the world and will continue to illumine the world until God completely fulfills His promise and gives victory to His religion over all the religions despite all unbelievers. May God's peace and blessing be upon Muhammad!
Al-Raheeq al-Makhtum - The Sealed Nectar.
Almutawaj belkaram - The one crowned with miracle
Almuzallal belgham - The one shaded by clouds
Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Prophet and his family.
Qur’anic verses and Salawaat adorn one of the curtains that used to surround the Abode of our Blessed Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam.
The first cover sent from Istanbul to Madinah, woven during the reign of Sultan Ahmad 1. Old covers would be sent back to Istanbul by the current Amir at the time and taken to the tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari RadhiAllahu anhu where they would be displayed for some time before being sent to the Apartments of the Holy Mantle in the Topkapi Palace Museum.
Some narrations say it was the mother of Haroon Rashid, the Abbasid Caliph (786-809 CE) who donated the first curtain for the Hujrah, others say it was the wife. And Allah the Almighty knows best.
After that it was the Prime Minister of Egypt who ordered a white curtain decorated and embellished with Surah Yasin. Two years later the Caliph sent violet curtains with his name being the main motif! The next one recorded was black, which accompanied his mother when she came for Hajj, and then another sent to be placed over these two, forming three layers.
Thereafter, every six years a Kiswa made of white silk embroidered with gold and silver from Egypt was provided.
Kiswa al-Saadat, the Curtain of Bliss
When the Ottomans were in control they established the green curtain with red and gold calligraphy features as above.
Detail of the above,bearing inscriptions and greetings of peace and praise for The Holy Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam.
These designs are stunning, not only for their artisitic merit, which is superlative, but for the fact that they all once veiled our Blessed Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam! Allahu Akbar!
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.
This was sent to me by my younger brother, we had our doubts regarding the images we were seeing every where. He had done some research and put this together. (I must add, that this work has been put together from work done by others before, We are not claiming the work to be ours).
Run this and view the real location and tomb of one of these tombs.
The Pillars inside the Sacred Haram (with Images)
This door, on the eastern side of the Roza Mubarak marks the place where the door of the house of Ali (r.a.) and his wife Fatima (r.a.) was located. Fatima (r.a.) was the youngest and most beloved daughter of the Prophet (s.a.w.).
History of Madinah Munawwarah – Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani
Original praying spot of the Prophet (s.a.w.)
This pillar, the fifth one down from the ‘Aisha’ pillar and in line with Bab-e-Jibraeel is the approximate spot where the Prophet (s.a.w.) led salah in Madinah when the Qiblah was still towards Jerusalem
and at the opposite direction of Makkah.
History of Madinah Munawwarah – Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani
In the beginning of fifth century Hijra, the first attempt was made to transfer bodies of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) and his two companions from Madina to Egypt. Order was issued by Egyptian Fatami ruler Ba Amrullah. Abu Al-Fatuh, the governor of Makkah and Madina, was to carry out this plot. Ba Amrullah was the sixth Obeidi ruler. He was very cruel and a criminal. Daruz of Lebanon still regard him a holy person. (May Allah’s curse be upon him).
Ibn Najjar wrote in his book “History of Baghdad”, Ba Amrullah
hatched this plot to attract the attention of the world to Egypt and thus allowing the residents of Egypt to gain great respect. The ruler spent a lot of money to build an expensive enclosure for this purpose. He sent Abu Al-Fatuh to Madina to carry out the plan. When Abu Al-Fatuh arrived in Madina, the residents of Madina came to know about his plot. They gathered around him. Qari Zalbani recited the following verses of the Quran there. (At-Taubah # 12-13).
But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and attack your religion with disapproval and criticism, then fight the leaders of
disbelief - for surely their oaths are nothing to them - so that they may stop. Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths and intended to expel the messenger while they did attack you first? Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him if you are believers.
The residents of Madina got very furious and were about to kill Abu Al-Fatuh and his soldiers. This made Abu Al-Fatuh scared. He said “I shall never carry out this dirty plan even if the ruler kills me.” In the meanwhile, a big storm swept through this area that evening. Many houses, animals and people died of this storm. Abu Al-Fatuh found a good excuse to run away from Madina. Allah (SWT) saved the Prophet (SAS) and his companions from these criminals.
Ruler Ba Amrullah hatched a second plot but failed again. Ibn Saadoon has reported this in his book that Ba Amrullah sent some people to carry out his evil plans. These people started residing in a house near the Prophet’s Mosque and started digging an underground tunnel to reach the grave of the Prophet (SAS). During this a fearful lightning struck the area and the following voice was heard, announcing very loudly, “Your Prophet’s grave is being dug!” The residents of Madina rushed out of their houses and started investigating. They got hold of the culprits and killed them all.
It took place in 557H (1164C). Samhoudi reported that the Christians made this plot very carefully to steal the body of the Prophet (SAS).
There was a very pious ruler of Egypt at that time known as Sultan Nuruddin Zanki. One night after Tahajjud he saw the Prophet (SAS) in his dream. The Prophet (SAS) was pointing out towards two persons of reddish color and saying i.e. save me from these two persons. Nuruddin woke up and was perplexed. He did ablution, performed his salat and went back to sleep. He again saw the same dream. He woke up and again offered his salat and went to sleep. He saw the same dream the third time. He lost his sleep and described his dreams to his advisor, Jamal-ud-Din Al-Musali. The advisor said to him, “Why you are sitting here? You should go to Madina immediately. He added, “Please do not related your dream to any other person”. Nuruddin started his journey towards the Madina the next morning. He took twenty persons with him including the advisor. They carried many expensive gifts with them for charity. They reached Madina in sixteen days. Nuruddin entered the Prophet’s Mosque and offered salat. Then he did salutation to the Prophet (SAS) and his companions. Nuruddin sat down in the mosque wondering what to do next. The advisor announced, “Sultan has brought lots of gifts for charity. These gifts will be distributed among the residents of Madina. Sultan granted a gift to each resident of Madina turn by turn. Sultan looked at each recipient very carefully to match the features with those seen in the dreams. Finally Sultan inquired, “Have all the residents visited me?” The answer from the residents was, “Yes, indeed.” Sultan said, “Are you really sure?” People said, “There are two pious Morrocans who do not accept anything from others. They rather feed the needy very generously. They fast regularly. Offer tahajjud and offer salutation to the Prophet (SAS) day and night. They also visit Quba mosque once a week.” Sultan exclaimed, “Subhanallah”. Sultan then ordered that both of them be brought to him. The Morrocans said, “We are very rich and don’t need charity.” On insistence of the Sultan they were brought to him. Sultan recognized them and asked them, “Where do you come from?” They said, “We are Morrocans. We came here for Hajj and wish to stay here as neighbors of the Prophet (SAS).” The Sultan said, “Why don’t you speak the truth?” At that they kept quiet. Sultan enquired about their residence. Their residence was near the Sacred Chamber. Sultan accompanied them to their residence. He found a lot of expensive goods lying there. Sultan kept roaming around the house alone till he removed an old piece of rug from the floor of the house. He saw a newly dug underground tunnel there leading to the Sacred Chamber. The men got terrified. Sultan said to them, “Now tell me the truth”. They confessed, “We are actually Christians. The King has sent us here as Hajji from Morroco. He gave lot of money to us so that we could remove the body of the Prophet. In order to achieve our goal we started residing in this house nearest to the Sacred Chamber. We dig underground tunnel at night and carry the mud in Morrocan bags to Baqee cemetery and spread the mud around the graves. When we reached near the Sacred Chamber a very fearful lightning struck and an earthquake shook the earth. Now you have arrived and caught us. We confess that we were about to commit the crime.” The Sultan ordered the execution of these criminals. He thanked Allah (SWT) who chose him to discover the plot.
First two plots were made between 386H. and 411H. The third plot took place in 557H. After this third plot, Sultan Nuruddin ordered to dig a deep trench around the Sacred Chamber. He filled this trench with molten lead. In this way nobody will ever be able to reach the graves through underground tunnels.
It will be appropriate to mention here that the Sultan stayed in a house in Madina called Darul-Ziaffa and distributed charity to the residents of Madina from this location. This house existed just outside the door known as Bab Omer. This house was included in the Prophet’s Mosque during the second Saudi extension of the Mosque.
The site where the lead was melted was just outside Bab Salam and was known as Saqeefa-tur-Rasas. When Qamash market
caught fire on the 18th Rajab 1397H, this house was also burnt in this fire.
The house where the Christians stayed and dug the tunnel was located outside the present window across the Sacred Chamber in the southernmost wall of the mosque.
Ibn Aseer said, “Sultan Nuruddin Zanki was a very pious and just ruler.” (Vifa-ul-Vifa).
Ibn Jubair has given details of this plot. He said, “On 29th Dhul-Qada 578H, I arrived in Alexandria during my excursion tour of Egypt. We left Alexandria on the 8th of Dhul-Hijja. We saw there that a very big crowd of people came out of their homes to see the Roman Christian prisoners. These prisoners were brought to the city on camels with their faces towards the tails of the camels. Bugles were being blown and other music was being played around them. We enquired about these prisoners. We were given a detailed picture of their cruel activities, which was as follows.”
“The Christians of Syria built some boats near Mediterranean sea and transported these boats on the backs of camels to the bank of the sea. There they equipped the boats for war activities. They then set out in the sea with these boats and plundered the caravans of pilgrims for Makkah. When they reached river Naam where they burnt sixteen boats of other people. Then they reached Eizab and captured a caravan of pilgrims coming from Jeddah. Similarly they overpowered a caravan which was traveling from Qaus towards Eizab and killed all the people. Two boats of traders were coming from Yemen with food grain for Makkah and Madina. They burnt the storage of this food grain. They carried out many such evil activities. Their most treacherous plan was to remove the body of the Prophet Mohammad (SAS) from the Sacred Chamber. They announced it boldly and started heading towards Madina. When they were about one day’s journey away from Madina, the famous Hajib Luhluh came with a few Moroccan youths who were expert in sea warfare. They arrested these Christians and killed some of them then and there. They also sent some of these prisoners to other cities to be put to sword. Some prisoners were sent to Makkah and Madina. The prisoners whom we saw were brought to Alexandria. In this way Allah (SWT) saved his Prophet (SAS) from these criminals.”
Tabri, the famous historian, has described it as follows:
“The head of the service personnel of the Prophet’s Mosque was Shamsuddin Sawab Lamti who was very gentle and a kind person. Sawab said that he had a close friend who happened to be known to the ruler of Madina. This friend often kept him informed about the major news. One day this friend said to Sawab, ‘A big event is about to take place. Some people have come from Halb in Syria. They have bribed the ruler of Madina and have demanded from him the bodies of Abu Bakr (RU) and Omar (RU). The ruler has consented to it.’
“Sawab got very worried. Shortly afterwards a messenger of the ruler of Madina came and took Sawab to the ruler. The ruler said to Sawab, “Some people will knock at the door of the Prophet’s Mosque at night. Open the door for them and let them do what they want to do. Don’t interfere in anyway.’ Swab said that he answered the ruler the way the ruler wanted him to answer. He then came back and I was crying bitterly. After salat-ul-Isha the doors of Prophet’s Mosque were closed as usual. Shortly afterwards, somebody knocked at the door known as Bab Salam. The ruler of Madina used to live in a fort in front of Bab Salam. Sawab opened the door. Forty people entered the mosque, he was counting them one by one. They had equipment to demolish buildings and were carrying torches with them. They were heading towards the Sacred Chamber. They had not yet even reached the pulpit when the earth split under their feet and they were buried with their equipment then and there. There was no sign left about their presence on the surface of the earth.”
“The ruler waited for them for a while. Finally he sent for Sawab and asked him, ‘Sawab, did some people not come to you?’ He said, ‘Yes, indeed. They were, however, buried in the earth.’ The ruler said, ‘Think before you speak. How can this happen?’ Sawab invited him to see the spot with his own eyes. The ruler said, ‘Leave the matter as it is. Don’t mention this to anybody. I shall cut your head off if you talked about it.’”
Samhoudi said, “Abu Mohammad Abdullah Margani has also described this plot briefly in the History of Madina. He has, however mentioned that the number of these people was fifteen or twenty and they were swallowed by the earth when they had gone only a few steps towards the Sacred Chamber.”
Note that the enemies of Allah make plans and Allah (SWT) also makes plans. However Allah is the Best planner. Surah Al-Anfal #30
They were plotting and Allah too was plotting and Allah is the Best plotter ( or planner ).
Indeed Allah (SWT) fulfilled his promise to Prophet Mohammad (SAS) as mentioned in Surah Al-Maida # 67
And Allah will protect you from the people.