Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi-Golpaygani has issued a statement on the occasion of the 89th lunar anniversary of the destruction of the Jannat al-Baqi’ cemetery in Madinah, at the hands of the Saudi regime. This horrendous act occured on April 21, 1926 (Shawwal 8, 1343).
The Saudi regime are the proponents of the Wahhabi cult, which considers shrines as heretical.
Jannat al-Baqi’ contains the graves of many important figures in Islam, including four of the twelve Infallible Imams.
The text of His Eminence’s statement is as follows:
In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Jannat al-Baqi’ is reminiscent of the great days
Baqi’ refers to the mausoleums of the great shrines of Madinah which are the relics of an important part of the history of Islam. During the fourteen and a half centuries which have passed, these monuments have been constant reminders of the great days and each one are important evidences of the era of the introduction of Islam to the world and the divine mission of the Prophet Muhammad (S).
The preservation and protection of these monuments is based on the call to unity and upholds the principles of the Holy Quran.
These and other monuments that are located in the Two Holy Mosques are always respected with grandeur and sanctity among Muslims. The people, the life of the Prophet Muhammad (S), the Prophet’s warriors, the Prophet’s battles, the members of the Holy Household of the Prophet (A) and the Companions of the Prophet (A) saw these monuments and regarded them with a high and unique perspective.
The history of Islam is in the Two Holy Mosques
Every part in the Two Holy Mosques of Makkah and Madinah increases ones insight and faith in Islam. The existence of the Prophet of Islam (S) and those around him, his Holy Family (A), grandfather Abdul-Muttalib (A), his grandfather, his uncle Abu Talib (A), Abu Talib’s dear wife, Fatimah bint Asad (A), who was like a mother to him, his wives in Madinah (A) and his sole wife in Makkah, Khadijah (A), his dear sons and distinguished descendants (A), and his other great uncle, Hamzah (A), are some of those important personalities who played important roles in the history of Islam and are buried in Jannat al-Baqi’.
Also, the battles of Uhud and Badr, and the holy places and mosques, like the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (S), and the historic mountain cave of Hira are all honourable centres of the mission of the Prophet (S) who invited people toward creation and ethics. Also, the home of Umm Hani, the place of the beginning of the Mi’raj and many other sacred places, introduced the history of this monotheistic religion, and the Two Holy Mosques – the Holy Ka’bah and Masjid al-Nabi – also validate these historical and honourable sites which have the highest status.
In several clear verses, the Holy Quran introduces the Ka’bah and the Station of Abraham as respectable and holy places and thus, it is worthy of our respect.
The need to honour the status of the Prophet Muhammad in the Two Holy Mosques
The Two Holy Mosques contain monuments, most of which are attributed to events during the life of the Prophet Muhammad (S), the Seal of the Prophets. It is admirable that these exalted and holy sites, which are all related to the Prophet (S), have remained over the ages. His holy sites in Makkah and in Madinah, like the Station of Abraham, should be just as well-known.
Just as the name “Abraham,” a great messenger of monotheism (A), has been attributed immortally to the Station of Abraham, the name “Muhammad” must remain immortally attributed to his message of monotheism and his holy sites in the two holy mosques.
Just as the destruction of the Station of Abraham and preventing one from the worship of God and prayer in this site is not permitted, to prohibit reverence for the holy sites of the Prophet Muhammad (S) – which are all manifestations of the Station of Abraham – are not permissible.
The holy places of Makkah and Madinah, even if they have other names, are all named for the Prophet of Islam. All are invited to monotheism and the history of this religion of monotheism and the belief in monotheism and the message of monotheism and honour are all expressions of monotheism. If Abraham is known by this one station, the Prophet Muhammad (S) is remembered by all of his numerous holy sites which are all immortal.
The main purpose of the destruction of Jannat al-Baqi’
Unfortunately, most of these holy places have been destroyed. Great damage has been inflicted on the history of Islam eliminating these historical records which cannot be rectified and destroying these buttresses of the religion of Islam.
By engaging in destruction, the ominous aim of the enemies is to eliminate these buttresses, documents and monuments and historical evidences of Islamic history. These monuments, buildings and holy sites which have been established in the world must be preserved. All efforts should be devoted to guard these shrines. Unfortunately, these holy sites have been destroyed.
In the world today where governments and people protect their honourable culture and heritage, this dear heritage has been destroyed or its name has been changed.
No nation and no individual who is aware would not destroy their history in the way Jannat al-Baqi’ has been destroyed. Written history cannot replace these monuments. Any other nation had even one monument like these, protecting it would be their priority. The destruction of these monuments and leaving them to oblivion, even the Green Dome of the Prophet’s Mosque is one of the most important of the Islamophobic policies of the enemies.
What a damaging role the plots of the colonialists have played in he hands of these ignorant groups! From God we come and to Him we shall return!
The need to commemorate the eighth day of Shawwal
The eighth day of Shawwal is the day when the destruction of Jannat al-Baqi’s holy shrines at the hands of the Wahhabis began – they destroyed the holy and illuminated tombs of the Holy Household (A) and attacked Islam’s identity. Therefore on this day, all Muslims – both Sunni and Shi’a and the various schools of thought – condemn their crimes. We must join together and rebuild and restore these dear Islamic monuments.
Every year this tragic event should be declared as a day of mourning and tragedy for Muslims and it should be condemned. We should not let time pass until these monuments are rebuilt. Sites, such as the birthplace of the Prophet in Makkah and the tomb of his grandfather and uncle and devoted wife and the Camp of Bani Hashim should be restored.
In Madinah, Uhud, the place of the martyrdom of Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib and the other martyrs and oppressed must be restored, especially the shrines of the Infallible Imams – Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba, Imam Zayn al-Abidin, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and Imam al-Sadiq (A). These great figures of the Islamic world and of humanity must be restored. The house of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (A) is one of the houses mentioned in the Holy Quran.
The Shi’a must especially remember this historical event and realize that insults to the Two Holy Shrines of the Holy Household of the Noble Prophet (S) continues to this day. These days are days of sorrow and tragedy for the Holy Household (A) and are considered as attacks on the history of Islam. Communities should hold glorious mourning ceremonies and offer their condolences to Hadhrat Baqiyatullah (AJ). These crimes against Islam, the Quran, and the personality of the Prophet Muhammad (S) and his Holy Household (A) must be condemned and not be forgotten because they are not forgettable.
“They desire to put out the light of God with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light though the faithless should be averse” [The Holy Quran 61:8]