For many years, hardline Wahabi clerics have had their sites set on the 15th century green dome that rests above the tomb holding the Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar in Medina. The mosque is regarded as the second holiest site in Islam. Wahabis, however, believe marked graves are idolatrous. A pamphlet published in 2007 by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, endorsed by Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, stated that "the green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet's Masjid".
When the Wahabis took Mecca in the 1920s they destroyed the dome on top of the house where the Prophet Mohammed was born. It was thenused as a cattle market before being turned into a library after a campaign by Meccans. There are concerns that the expansion of the Grand Mosque will destroy it once more. The site has never been excavated by archaeologists.
Ottoman and Abasi columns of the Grand Mosque
Slated for demolition as part of the Grand Mosque expansion, these intricately carved columns date back to the 17th century and are the oldest surviving sections of Islam's holiest site. Much to the chagrin of Wahabis, they are inscribed with the names of the Prophet's companions. Ottomon Mecca is now rapidly disappearing.
A mountain outside Mecca where Mohammed SAW received his first Koranic revelations. The Prophet used to spend long spells in a cave called Hira. The cave is particularly popular among South Asian pilgrims who have carved steps up to its entrance and adorned the walls with graffiti. Religious hardliners are keen to dissuade pilgrims from congregating there and have mooted the idea of removing the steps and even destroying the mountain altogether.
The dome over the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) dates back to the seventh century AH. It was built during the reign of Sultan Qalawoon, and at first it was the colour of wood, then it became white, then blue, then green, and it has remained green until the present.
Professor 'Ali Haafiz (may Allaah preserve him) said:
There was no dome over the sacred chamber. There was in the roof of the mosque above the chamber a waist-high enclosure of brick to distinguish the location of the chamber from the rest of the mosque's roof.
Sultaan Qalawoon al-Saalihi was the first one to build a dome over the chamber. He did that in 678 AH. It was square at the bottom and octagonal at the top, made of wood, and built on top of the pillars that surrounded the chamber. Planks of wood were nailed to it, over which plates of lead were placed, and the brick enclosure was replaced with one made of wood.
The dome was refurbished at the time of al-Naasir Hasan ibn Muhammad Qalawoon, then the leaden plates slipped, but they were fixed and refurbished at the time of al-Ashraf Sha'baan ibn Husayn ibn Muhammad in 765 AH. It fell into disrepair and was renovated at the time of Sultaan Qayit Bey in 881 AH.
The chamber and dome were burned in the fire that swept through the Prophet's mosque in 886 AH. During the reign of Sultaan Qayit Bey the dome was rebuilt, in 887 AH, and strong pillars to support it were built in the floor of the mosque, and they were built of bricks to the correct height. After the dome had been built in the manner described above, cracks appeared in its upper part. When it proved impossible to refurbish it, the Sultaan Qayit Bey ordered that the upper part be demolished and rebuilt strongly using white plaster. So it was built solidly in 892 AH.
In 1253 AH, an order was issued by the Ottoman Sultan 'Abd al-Hameed to paint the dome green. He was the first one to colour it green, and the colour has been renewed whenever necessary until the present.
It became known as the green dome after it was painted green. It was previously known as the white dome or the fragrant dome or the blue dome. End quote.
Fusool min Tareekh al-Madeenah al-Munawwarah by 'Ali Haafiz (p. 127, 128).
The scholars, both in the past and in modern times, criticized the building of this dome and its being given a colour. All of that is because of what they know of sharee'ah closing many doors for fear of falling into shirk.
These scholars include the following:
1 - al-San'aani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Ta-theer al-I'tiqaad:
If you say: A great dome has been built over the grave of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), costing a great deal of money, I say: This is in fact great ignorance of the situation, because this dome was not built by him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or by his Sahaabah or by those who followed them, or by those who followed the Taabi'een, or by the scholars and imams of the ummah. Rather this dome was built over his grave (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the orders of one of the later kings of Egypt, namely the Sultan Qalawoon al-Saalihi who is known as King Mansoor, in 678 AH, and was mentioned in Tahqeeq al-Nasrah bi Talkhees Ma'aalim Dar al-Hijrah. These are things that were done on the orders of the state and not on the basis of shar'i evidence. End quote.
2 - The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas were asked:
There are those who take the building of the green dome over the Prophet's grave in the Prophet's Mosque as evidence that it is permissible to build domes over other graves, such as those of the righteous and others. Is this argument correct or what should our response to them be?
It is not correct to quote the fact that people built a dome over the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as evidence that it is permissible to build domes over the graves of the righteous dead and others, because those people's building a dome over his grave (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was haraam and those who did it sinned thereby, because they went against what is proven in a report from Abu'l-Hayaaj al-Asadi who said: 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to me: Shall I not send you on the same mission as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent me? Do not leave any image without erasing it or any high grave without levelling it.
And it was narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade plastering over graves, or sitting on them or building over them. Both reports were narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh. So it is not correct for anyone to quote the haraam action of some people as evidence that it is permissible to do similar haraam actions, because it is not permissible to go against the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by citing the words or actions of anyone else. And because he is the one who conveyed the command from Allaah, and he is the one who is to be obeyed, and we must beware of going against his commands, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad ملسو هيلع هللا ىلص) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)" [al-Hashr 59:7].
And there are other verses which enjoin obedience to Allaah and to His Messenger. And because building up graves and erecting domes over them are means that lead to associating their occupants with Allaah, and the means that lead to shirk must be blocked. End quote.
Shaykh 'Abd al-'Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh 'Abd al-Razzaaq 'Afeefi, Shaykh 'Abd-Allaah ibn Qa'ood.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah (9/83, 84)
3 - The scholars of the Standing Committee also said:
There is no proof in the fact that a dome was set up over the Prophet's grave for those who take it as an excuse for building domes of the graves of the awliya' ("saints") and righteous people, because the building of a dome over his grave was not done on his instructions and was not done by any of his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them), or by the Taabi'een, or by any of the imams of guidance in the early generations whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) testified were good. Rather it was done by people of bid'ah (innovation). It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected." And it was proven that 'Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to Abu'l-Hayaaj: Shall I not send you on the same mission as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent me? Do not leave any image without erasing it or any high grave without levelling it. Narrated by Muslim. As it is not proven that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) built a dome over his grave, and it is not proven from any of the leading imams; rather what is proven shows that to be an invalid action, and no Muslim should feel any attachment to the action of innovators who built a dome over the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). End quote.
Shaykh 'Abd al-'Azzez ibn Baaz, Shaykh 'Abd al-Razzaaq 'Afeefi, Shaykh 'Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh 'Abd-Allaah ibn Qa'ood
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah (2/264, 265).
4 - Shaykh Shams al-Deen al-Afghaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
al-'Allaamah al-Khajandi (1379 AH) said, discussing the history of the green dome that was built over the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and explaining that it is an innovation that was done by some sultans and ignorant persons who erred and made a mistake, and that it is contrary to the clear saheeh ahaadeeth and reflects ignorance of the Sunnah, and that they went to extremes and imitated the Christians who are confused and misguided:
It should be noted that until the year 678 AH, there was no dome over the chamber which contains the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), rather it was built by the king al-Zaahir al-Mansoor Qalawoon al-Saalihi in that year (678 AH), when this dome was built.
I say: He did that because he had seen in Egypt and Syria the adorned churches of the Christians, so he imitated them out of ignorance of the command and Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as al-Waleed imitated them by adorning the mosque, as was mentioned in Wafa' al-Wafa'.
It should be noted that undoubtedly this action of Qalawoon was contrary to the saheeh ahaadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but ignorance is a great calamity and exaggeration in love and veneration is a real disaster, and imitation of foreigners is a fatal disease. We seek refuge with Allaah from ignorance and exaggeration and imitation of foreigners. End quote.
Juhood 'Ulama' al-Hanafiyyah fi Ibtaal 'Aqaa'id al-Qubooriyyah (3/1660-1662).
The reason why it has not been demolished:
The scholars have explained the shar'i rulings concerning the building of this dome and its obvious effects on the followers of bid'ah' who have developed an attachment to this structure and its colour, and they praise and venerate it a great deal in their poetry and writings. Now it is up to the authorities to implement these fatwas, and this is nothing to do with the scholars.
The reason why it is not demolished is so as to ward off fitnah and for fear that it may lead to chaos among the ordinary people and the ignorant. Unfortunately the ordinary people have only reached this level of veneration towards this dome because of the leadership of misguided scholars and imams of innovation. They are the ones who incite the ordinary people against the land of the Two Holy Sanctuaries and its 'aqeedah and its manhaj. They are very upset about many actions that are in accordance with sharee'ah in our view and contrary to innovation in their view.
Whatever the case, the shar'i ruling is quite clear, and the fact that this dome has not been demolished does not mean that it is permissible to build it or any dome over any grave, no matter what grave it is.
The fact that this dome has remained for eight centuries does not mean that it has become permissible, and being silent about it does not indicate approval of it or that it is permissible. Rather the Muslim authorities should remove it and put it back as it was at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They should remove the dome and the adornments and engravings that are found in the mosques, above all the Prophet's Mosque, so long as that will not lead to an even greater fitnah. If it would lead to an even greater fitnah, then the ruler should postpone the matter until he finds an opportunity for that. End quote.
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
Indeed Allah (SWT) fulfilled his promise to Prophet Mohammad (SAS) as mentioned in Surah Al-Maida # 67
There were no domes on the Sacred Chamber for a long time. The roof of the Sacred Chamber was made of bricks to distinguish it from the roof of the rest of the mosque.
In 678H, Sultan Mansur Qalaon made a dome on the Sacred Chamber. He covered it with lead plates so that rain water may not go through it. This is known as the outer dome.
It was renovated from time to time. From 678H to 1253H its color was the color of lead plates fixed on it. In 1253H, Sultan Mahmood Osmani ordered to color it green. Since then it is known as Green Dome. It is repainted whenever it becomes faint due to weather conditions.
In 881H, Sultan Ashraf Qaitabai replaced the brick roof of the Sacred Chamber by an inner smaller dome.
The Domes were built to distinguish the roof of the Sacred Chamber from the roof of the rest of the mosque and also to safeguard against severe weather conditions. It was also to prevent anybody walking on the roof of the Sacred Chamber out of respect for the Prophet (SAS) and his companions.
Hence it is not proper to make domes on graves in various countries. In fact the Prophet (SAS) has forbidden us to make graves with bricks or concrete or to make a structure on top of the graves. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
BURIAL OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (peace be upon him)
Normalcy returned thereafter. The initial shock and grief gave way to tranquility and confidence and the Muslims again turned to the great task for which they had been trained and prepared by the Prophet (peace be upon him) of Allah. The Prophet's family members washed and covered him, and stationed the bier in his house. On this occasion, Abu Bakr informed the people that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told him that every Prophet was buried on the spot where he dies. The Prophet's bedding was accordingly removed from the place and Abu Talha Ansari then dug a grave for him at the same spot.
Then the people came to pay their last respects to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and to say the funeral prayer in batches one after another. Women came in after the men followed by the children, all of whom prayed over him. Nobody acted as Imam in the prayers over the Prophet (peace be upon him) . (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 663)
It was a sad day for Madinah. When Bilal gave the call for morning prayer he could not help recalling the Prophet (peace be upon him) in his mind and broke down in tears and sobs. His crying tore the hearts of all others who had been part of the living. But, it was quite different now, as everything seemed to be wearisome, gloomy.
Umm Salama says, "What a tormenting affliction it was! When we recall the distress we were in, every other trouble appears to be lighter and easier to endure.' (Ibn Kathir, Vol. IV, pp. IV, p. 517)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) had once said to the believers, "O ye people! If any one of you comes to grief, he ought to console himself in his bereavement by recalling to his mind the anguish that will rend his heart on my death. For no sorrow would be greater to my followers than the agony caused to them by my death." (Ibn Kathir Vol. IV, p. 549)
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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