Maqbarat Al-Baqi' (Arabic: مقبرة البقيع, Al-Baqi' cemetery) (Persian: جنة البقيع, Jannatu l-Baqī‘) is a cemetery in Medina, Saudi Arabia, located across from the Masjid al-Nabawi, in the southeastern area from the mosque.
Masjid al-Nabawi is the mosque built over the spot where the Islamic prophet Muhammad, used to live, built his mosque and where he is currently buried. Therefore this cemetery holds much significance. The cemetery contains many of Muhammad's relatives and companions. Many traditions relate Muhammad issuing a prayer every time he passed the cemetery.
The cemetery is also known as Jannatul Baqee ( جنة البقيع ). Its name means "The Garden of Heaven". It is also known with its old name Baqee Al Garqad. Baqee means garden or land which grew plants and Al Garqad refers to the large Lycium shawii trees (Arabian Boxthorn, in Arabic: Alaosaj), a species of Boxthorn plants.
During the construction of the Masjid al-Nabawi, Asa'ad Bin Zararah one of Muhammad's companions died. Muhammad chose the spot to be a cemetery and Asa'ad was the first individual to be buried in Al-Baqi cemetery among the Ansar.
Shortly after Muhammad arrived from Badr, Uthman Bin Mazoun died and was buried in Al-Baqi. Uthman Bin Mazoun was considered the first companion of Muhammad from the Muhajirun to be buried in Al-Baqi Cemetery .
The first enlargement of the cemetery in history was made by Muawiyah I, the first Umayyad leader. He bought the huge neighbouring farm where Uthman ibn Affan was buried inside Al-Baqi cemetery. Umayyad built the first dome in Al-Baqi over Uthman ibn Affan grave. During different times of history many domes and structures were built or rebuilt over many famous graves in Al-Baqi.
On April 21, 1925, mausoleums in Jannatul Baqee were demolished by King Abdul Aziz Al Saud. In the same year, he also demolished the tombs of holy personalities at Jannat al-Mualla (Makkah) where Muhammad's mother, wife, grandfather and other ancestors are buried. This happened despite protest by the international Islamic community.
Destruction of sacred sites in Hijaz by the Saudis, initiated by Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab continues even today, to prevent, what some consider to be the practices of grave-worshipping and revering the deads and ask favors of the dead buried there.
Many of these mausoleums, domes and structures, originally intended to identify famous companions of Muhammad, were destroyed since Salafi scholars complying with the Hadith narrated that Muhammad ordered not to cover or build structures over any grave and in order to prevent people from seek a means of approach to Allāh (a request for blessings, in this world or for intercessions in the hereafter) or seeking the help of the dead.
Despite this, the graves of many historic figures continue to be visited by numerous pilgrims, and burials continue at the cemetery up until this day.
Many Shia continue to mourn the day that the House of Saud demolished Shrines in the Baqi cemetery. Shia remember it by calling this day Yaum e Gham, literally meaning Day of Sorrow. Shias continue to protest the Saudi government's demolition of these shrines.
Important personalities buried at Jannat al-Baqi
These include direct kin of Muhammad:
- All of the wives of Muhammad, also known as Mother of the Believers including Aisha, Hafsa, Zainab etc. except for Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and Maymuna bint al-Harith
- Fatima Zahra – Muhammad's daughter by first wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, in an unknown grave
- Roqayyah, Muhammad's daughter
- Hasan ibn Ali - Grandson of Muhammad, son of Fatimah and Ali (2nd Twelver Shi'a Imam)
- Ibrahim – Muhammad's son by Maria al-Qibtiyya, died in infancy
- Ali Zaynul Abideen - Great-grandson of Muhammad (4th Twelver Shi'a Imam)
- Muhammad al-Baqir - Great, great-grandson of Muhammad (5th Twelver Shi'a Imam)
- Ja’far as-Sadiq - Great, great, great-grandson of Muhammad (6th Twelver Shi'a Imam)
- Abbas son of Abdul Muttalib - Uncle of Muhammad
- Many of Muhammad's aunts: Safiya and Aatika
- Fatima bint al-Asad - aunt of Muhammad and mother of Ali
Other important personalities buried here include:
- Uthman ibn Affan - The third Caliph of the Rashidun
- Uthman Bin Mazoun, companion of Muhammad
- Malik ibn Anas, Islamic jurist
- Imam Shamil, Dagestan leader
- Mohammad Hayya Al-Sindhi, Scholar
- Destruction of sites associated with early Islam
- Jannatul Mualla
- Baab Sagheer
- Holiest sites in Islam
- Map of Jannat al Baqi
- History of the Cemetery of Jannat al-Baqi
- The Baqi Collection Photos
- Save the Hijaz Website dedicated to preserving Islamic heritage in the Hijaz
- Map of Jannat al Baqi according to sunni muslim sources
- ↑ Destruction of graves
- ↑ Sahih Muslim Volume 5 Page 90
- ↑ Ibn Hanbal, Ahmad. Musnad Ahmad. Volume 5 pg. 183