Demolition of Jannat ul-Baqi (8th Shawwal)

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Mausoleum of Imam Hasan, Zain al-Abideen, Muhammad al-Baqir and Jafar al-Sadiq before demolition.

The 8th Shawwal (1344 AH) demolition of Jannat ul-Baqi refers to the destruction of the graves at the Baqi graveyard in Medina, Saudi Arabia by the House of Saud in 1925. The day is also referred to as Yawm-e-Gham (Day of Sorrow) and Yawm-e-Inhedam (Day of Demolition) in many Shi'a communities.

Background

An Egyptian newspaper from the 1920s covering the events.
The formation of the first Saudi state in the late 18th century was largely due to the alliance formed between Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Muhammad ibn Saud with an aim to establish a religious and political authority over Arabia. As part of their campaign, they wished to revive authentic Islamic practices and get rid of heretical customs and what they deemed deviations. Subsequently their intolerant doctrine wished for all historical sites of visitation to be destroyed or at the very least pilgrims be deterred away from them.

In 1806, under the rule of Saud bin Abdulaziz the tombs in the graveyard of Baqi were demolished for the first time. However, the Ottomans gained power and control over the region a few years later and rebuilt the graveyard in 1818.[1] With the turn of the 20th century, the House of Saud under the authority of Abdulaziz ibn Saud (commonly known as Ibn Saud) began capturing different regions again and took over Medina in 1925 during their victory at the Conquest of Hejaz.

On April 21st, 1925 ibn Saud ordered for the demolition of the graveyard of Baqi for the second time in history. The campaign also involved the demolition of the tombs at the graveyard of Mualla in Makkah and various other historical buildings.

While at the time many Muslims around the world protested against the policies and actions of the House of Saud, these protests remained in vain. Today, primarily the Shi'ites mark the day as a day of sorrow which explicitly depicts the on-going injustice and oppression carried out by the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia.

References

  1. History of Baqi Cemetry in Medina
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