An interesting read on the preservation efforts of the Turks of the Muslim historical sites. Leaving aside the controversial aspect and interpretations of history.
By: Salahuddin Mahmood in Urdu
The Turks decided during their reign of Hejaz to preserve every moment right from birth to demise of Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam, be it physical, spiritual, historical or social aspects for the sake of the coming generations of Ummah. While this task was in force unintentionally since the lifetime of Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam, after the period of almost one thousand years it was necessary to perform this task with full determination and earnestness. To perform this task it was required to possess limitless love towards Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam together with utmost human sincerity. These qualities were inborn in Turks and for this reason they were almost successful in their endeavors to fulfill this task and this being their utmost favor on humanity.
They knew on which place of this earth Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam descended. Which place he took his first breath, put his first step, which place his first voice was absorbed by the surrounding air, which place of air has carried the chirping of the bird to his ears, and on which location of the atmosphere the moon and the sun had seen him first and he saw them first. In whatever angle Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam saw the galaxies and all of his moments in every angle, his talk, his steps, and his vision became the role model and permanent asset of the believers until the end of this world.
Keeping in view of the above points, Turks started to record the history from the moments when a handsome person from the tribe of Banu Sa’d walking in the state of fever in a field of Madinatul Munawwara left his beloved smiling-faced wife who was pregnant and departed from this world forever leaving the coming child as an orphan .
Again, Turks identified the small house lying in a valley of a hill in Makkah where in its first floor room towards north, a baby supposed to be the trust of the whole universe had taken birth. Then a respected aged person with signs of hard work under the sun on his hands took the newborn child covered in a sheet of cloth and walked by the pathway leading towards the house of God. Upon reaching the house of God, he lifted the newborn child towards the horizon and prayed that he be blessed being an orphan and helpless. Turks also identified the pathway and the location where he prayed.
Again, the Turks explored the intersection of the hills and desert where walking by holding the fingers of the six-year-old child, his mother upon returning from his native land of Medina had sheltered to take rest at night and departed forever. Next day the bewildered child saw the face of his mother for the last time before she was buried in that location and departed with the caravan towards his destination. Turks had placed a plaque at that location for identification for the sake of the coming generations.
Later after the course of three years, a child was crying while walking and holding the casket of the dead body of an aged person who was his caretaker thinking that he will not be able to openly cry like it again. Turks with utmost care, love and affection tried to identify and preserve every landmark of the period of whole life of Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam and they were almost successful in their endeavor.
After earmarking the events from the childhood to the adolescence, they looked upon the peak of the cave of Hira and towards its valley identified the house where Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam came overwhelmed to his wife Khadija after the first revelation from God. His wife Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her, consoled him with full confidence. This place was so important to Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam that after winning the battle of Makkah, when he was asked, where would he like to rest? He ordered to put up a tent adjacent to the grave of Hazrat Khadija raziallahu anha. When people were surprised and questioned why adjacent to a grave in a graveyard? He answered:
“While I was poor, she (Khadija raziallahu anha) enriched me, when I was called a liar, she totally believed me and while all the people were against me, she was totally on my side”.
The Turks identified that house of dwelling together with its room where Hazrat Khadija raziallahu anha consoled Huzoor e Paak sallallahu alaihi wasallam. It might be interesting for the readers to know that the Ottoman Empire had passed a resolution that every year this room has to be painted white upon seeing the first moon of Ramadan, and women should recite Holy Quran all the night there until Morning Prayer call.
In addition, it was ordered that every year on First of Rabi ul Awwal, the Huffaz of Holy Quran should paint with white color the northern room of the house of Hazrat Abdul Mutallib where Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam was born. In addition, young children should recite Holy Quran on the twelfth night of Rabi ul Awwal in that room and it was a custom to free caged pigeons in the morning there.
After identifying the dwelling of Hazrat Khadija raziallahu anha and the room where she consoled Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam, Turks also identified the seat of Banu Arqam, the entrance of the house of Warqa bin Nawfil and the courtyard of Umme Hani raziallahu anha. The Turks cleaned the burial grounds of both Makkah and Madinat ul Munawwara, where the relatives and Sahaba Kiraam of Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam along with eminent personalities laid at rest. They also printed a map of those burial grounds for identification.
The Turks had an unique way to resurrect those noble memories, for example they reconstructed Masjid e Bilal which was under ruins taking care to restore it in the same model and with same materials it was built with. This was done by separating the mud, lime and stones and again reconstructing using the same materials, proportion, location and the model it was built earlier.
Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam proceeded towards Madinah after fifty three years of his stay in Makkah, the Turks followed that track and they did not touch the Cave of Thour and left it in natural state occupied with the spider webs and the nesting of pigeons as they were its deserved owners. They also left the climbing track of the cave of Hira in its original state so as to make the visitors realize the hardships encountered to reach there except that they formed a pond of rain water two third of its way so that the visitors could quench their thirst with the rain water collected in it.
Later the Turks identified the route from the house of Abu Bakr raziallahu anh towards the dwellings of Banu Najjar, which was followed by Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam during his migration. The Turks approached the living generation of Banu Najjar and collected the songs preserved by them and related to the children of Banu Najjar who greeted Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam when he entered Madinah.
They reinstated Masjid e Qaba with great care and identified the well where Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam prayed and rested after reaching Madinah. Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam saw the rising water of the well when he looked at it and he felt happy when he saw his face in it.
From this well starts the road towards Madinah, after a short distance there was a field. Fifty three years ago a handsome young person suffering from fever tried to rest and left his young beautiful wife carrying an unborn baby forever with all his aspirations.
The Present Masjid e Nabwi was supposed to be constructed at that location. Initially, the Turks keeping this noble task in their mind had no courage to fulfill its obligation for years. Their utmost love finally pushed them to fulfill this noble task and they announced about their intension throughout their kingdom and other Islamic countries. They called for the best artisans in every field needed to construct the mosque as required by them.
After this announcement master artisans of all trades like construction engineers, designers, planners, architects, construction workers, stone carvers, foundation specialists, roof specialists, calligraphers, artists, painters, glass etchers, and carpenters flooded from all over the world with their families to take part in this noble task. Turks were taken by surprise to witness the extreme love and anxiety of the people coming forward to execute this task. The Sultanate ordered their confederates to provide all the assistance required by the visitors and to station them in quarters according to their trades in newly formed city little far from Constantinople (Istanbul) built for their sake. The Turkish Kingdom bore the expenditure of their sustenance too.
This phase of the event took nearly fifteen years and it looked like all the best artisans needed for the task had arrived. The Sultan personally called for a meeting with the heads of the families and placed his plans before them. The first proposal by Sultan was that each family head needed to train his best child or children in his trade and in case he does not have a child then train the most capable student and transfer all of his skills in them until their puberty. The Turkish authorities took the responsibility to arrange teachers to teach them recitation of Holy Quran and its memorization. The young boys were also trained to ride horses. A period of twenty five years was fixed to attain this goal.
All the artisans happily agreed to this proposal and with all their earnest efforts and utmost will they performed their tasks.
After the period of twenty five years a group of the thirty to forty years of young, energetic and talented artisans of various construction trades were physically ready as good horsemen with spiritual backing by memorizing the Holy Quran were eagerly waiting to take part in the noble construction of the Holy Masjid e Nabwi Sharief; the landmark of nobility on this earth.
While the required artisans were trained in the course of nearly thirty years, the Turkish authorities used unique ways to collect the needed materials for construction. The Turkish geologists explored virgin stone mines of its kind and after collecting the required quantity of stones those mines were closed forever and they kept the location of those mines a secret and even today no one knows from where those stones used in the construction of Masjid e Nabwi were brought.
Accordingly, they explored new locations of trees in forests and the timber was collected and brought to the holy land of Hijaz to season it. The painters collected the natural materials obtained from different trees and plants grown in Islamic countries. The glass technicians used only the sand of the Hijaz to produce the glass required. The pens required for the artists were sent by Iran. The sticks required for the artists were made by the plants grown at the banks of river Nile and Jamuna.
When all the materials were collected, it was shipped by land routes and by sea from Constantinople (Istanbul) to Holy land of Hijaz together with the trained artisans. A new city twelve miles away from the Holy City of Medina was already formed to station all the artisans with their materials. A question might arise in mind; why this location to carry out the work was established twelve miles away from the Holy Mosque of Madinah? Turks answered this question; by giving the reason that the Holy Mosque of Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam where he is resting together with the visitors praying, should not get disturbed by the noise and pollution created while trimming the stones and fabricating the wood meant for the new mosque and we need to maintain the nobility of this task. MashaAllah Subhanallah.
Every construction task, which could cause noise, was supposed to be carried out twelve miles away from the location of the Holy Mosque and all the materials required for construction were not brought and dumped at the location, but brought as and only required. Each stone was cut and trimmed at the location of the fabrication site and brought to the site of the mosque only after finishing its fabrication. If at all any piece of stone did not fit, it was again taken back to the work location, trimmed and brought back for assembling. The reader could realize about the means of transportation those days, which were only the horse carts.
After all the preparations the artisans were stationed near the Holy Mosque. While they were free to use their talents, they were required to be with ablution and keep reciting the verses of Holy Quran while working. Subhanallah MashaAllah.
These artisans working while reciting the verses of Holy Quran with ablution took nearly fifteen years to complete the construction of the Masjid e Nabwi Sharief and one fine morning the call for the prayer, Azaan, was made from the new mosque to announce its completion.
How noble is this Mosque, what it is and where it takes us, I shall write it in another book, but let me tell you that this mosque is not in this world while it is in this world. Being in our senses if you look at it, it is somewhere and when we are not in our senses it is somewhere else and we too are different. The materials, atmosphere, serenity, faith, melodious chanting of holy Quran, intensions and the belief together has formed a sort of binding and it is the illumination of this building, where you will be enlightened through Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam. When you are seated in the area of Riadhul Jannah in the head front of Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam you will realize the extreme love towards Him by which those unnamed artisans had performed their tasks with great skills and we will be obliged to supplicate for the sake of Turks who took up this task.
Few centuries passed away and new chapters in the history were added to it. During twentieth century the First World War was started and the Sultanate of Uthmania supported Germany against Britain, France and Italy. In the year, 1918 Germany was defeated, the victorious forces divided Germany, and the great boundaries of Sultanate too were under their control. So as to keep up their own interest they evolved a strategy by keeping these areas under their own control wherever possible and give away the control to the Muslim forces that would be under their obligation and also create dissension among Muslims.
After the defeat of Turks in the First World War, many of the Arabian tribes exploited this opportunity and created unrest against Turkish Empire and one of the tribe by name Saud was in the forefront. This tribe under an agreement with British and with their financial support kept fighting with Turkish forces even during the World War so as to divert their attention from fighting the British. The British promised the Saud tribe that they would help them establish their rule in Najd and whole of Arabian Peninsula later. It might be noted that such promises were also made by them to Hussaini tribe of Hijaaz. Of course their main objective by doing so was to defeat the Turks and drive them away from Arabian Peninsula.
In the year 1921 with the help of the victorious forces and with the help of USA later, the Saud family overtook the other tribes in their area and announced their kingdom rule in Najd area. The Sultan of Turkey ordered their military to hand over the rule to the tribal leader of Hijaaz and return back to Turkey. The reason and their noble thinking for it was; after their defeat in the World War they can rule Hijaaz only by the force of Military and in case of any military encounter they were not prepared to shed the blood in the Holy city of Hijaaz. Turkish forces made their Tawaaf of Holy Ka’ba, paid their last visit of Masjid e Nabwi Sharief, and left Hijaaz forever.
Now both the tribes of Najad and Hijaaz were keen on acquiring the kingdom of Arabian Peninsula and both of them were supported by British. But the Saudis took over Makkah in 1924, Jeddah and Medina in 1925 and announced their kingdom over it and it is ongoing. Who are those Saudis?
As told earlier, the Saud tribe was from the eastern side of Najd. It might be recalled that they were the last tribe to embrace Islam and the first to go out of Islam. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique raziallahu anhu had sent Khalid bin Waleed raziallahu anhu towards Najad to encounter them. After they were defeated few of them re embraced Islam and Khalid bin Waleed raziallahu anhu constructed a mosque there which is in ruins now.
The Historians assert that Museelma Kazzaab was among that tribe or a sect of the tribe of Najad. Well, it could be wrong, but the way these people behaved in Hijaaz as soon as they took over by desecrating the holy places reinforces this assertion.
Again during the eighteenth century a person by name Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab reinforced this tribe through his religious ideas and lectures and he got their might and support in return, by which he enforced his thoughts on the people, which were not heard earlier. When Saud Family established their kingdom over Arabian Peninsula they were so courageous that they sent letters to other Muslim Monarchs of Islamic World, which contained the main content as follows:
“Allah is One and Muhammad is His Slave and Prophet, while it is not required to glorify him or respect him”.
Until today, the Saudis possess the same attitude.
After acquiring the rule of Hijaz, first thing the Saudis did was to eradicate the name of Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam. They erased the name of Muhammad beautifully inscribed with great love at Masjid e Haram and Masjid e Nabwi in an awkward manner. They either used a black paint or plastered the inscription made with great faith and devotion. They even chiseled it out, which could be seen even now on the walls and roof of Harem e Paak.
After, erasing the name of Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam, the Saudis through their planning erased the signs of his historical, spiritual lifetime events under the pretext of their utter Islamic beliefs.
They bulldozed and leveled the graves of Jannatul Mualla and Jannatul Baqee, where Hazrat Abdul Mutallib, Hazrat Abbas, Hazrat Abu Talib , Warqa bin Nawfil, Hazrat Khadeejatul Kubra, Hazrat Haleema Sa’dia , Ummahaat ul Mumineen, Beloved daughters and sons of Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam were buried there together with many of holy prophet’s relatives, sahaba, eminent scholars, other inhabitants and other visitors who ended up their lives there and sleeping in peace.
While widening the road opposite to the graveyard of Jannat ul Baqee, the graves of Shuhada e Kiram became the part of the road. The grave of Hazrat Abdullah ibn e Abdul Mutallib disappeared in a night while expanding a bazaar. None of the locality of Hazrat Abdulla, the doorsteps of Warqa bin Nawfil, the court yard of Umme Haani, the meeting place of Banu Arqam are existing. Instead, high-rise buildings are in its place. House of Warqa bin Nawfil is lost in a cloth bazaar. Daar e Arqam is lost in a vehicle parking area. House of Umm e Haani is lost during the extension of Masjid e Haram.
Neither the house of Abdul Mutallib nor its walkway exist but the house where Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam was born exists in depleted condition and in case you wanted to pray two raka’ thanksgiving salaat, you will be stopped by a hunter-wielding policeman as it is considered Shirk by them. The same fate is of the house of Hazrat Khadija raziallahu anha now in the midst of jewelry shops.
The route used for migration from Makkah to Madinah by Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam cannot be found now as a new road has been constructed alongside the sea. The same route was selected by Abu Sufyan to escape from the Muslim forces waiting at Madinah to attack his caravan while passing through the regular route.
While entering Madinah Munawwara a visitor first goes to Masjid e Quba. The Well where Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam sat and looked at his face in its water is being covered. When asked you get an answer that electric pumps are installed to fetch the water, hence not required to keep it open.
When the Saudi forces took over Hijaaz, they even decided to demolish the Turkish built Masjid e Nabwi. They ordered the bulldozers and started by demolishing a pillar first. It is said that in spite of using the powerful machines, they could not demolish any of the pillars and they reluctantly gave up this dreaded idea. How could it get demolished when it was built by the memorizers of Holy Quran, who constructed them in the state of Ablution with full love and devotion towards Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam, Subhanallah.
Here are all the sad events that I could explain. They performed the horrible task of erasing the noble imprints of Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam heedlessly without any love or affection for Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam. If at all the Muslims who are in love with Rasoolallah sallallahu alaihi wasallam ask the Saudi Authorities about it, they do not consider you worthy enough to be answered and if someone still insists they will just use two words as an answer; Expansion and Shirk. Could it not have been done like the way the Turks did displaying their love, affection and devotion? Was it necessary to eradicate the signs of the underlying sacred bones of Hazrat Khadijatul Kubra raziallahu Anha?
Salahuddin Mahmood – Lahore
(From a section of his memoirs” Naqshe Awwal ki Talaash” written in Urdu, during his visit to Hijaaz in the year 1390/1391 Hijri)
At Present :
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is exhibiting their heritage and History in Louvre France since July 12, 2010 with the statues, vases, inscriptions, architectural pieces and so many other objects over a span of some 7000 years. They are even displaying statues. Strange that this is not considered a Bida’ and Shirk by the Saudi Religious Body and it is allowed by them.