Al-Baqee – In the Midst of Struggle
by Sayyid Mohsen Rizvi
In the most difficult times of human sufferings in the year 2021, we as Muslims are again reminding the international community that the graves of the most influential saints, guides, and leaders who the majority Muslims deeply revere and follow, are still in shambles. These graves are in the graveyard known as Al-Baqee, in the city of Medina, Saudi Arabia. These graves were destroyed by the tyrant ruler of Saudi Arabia by the name al-Saud. Neither the international community nor any Muslim country has taken notice to our voices yet, as the graveyard still lies desecrated as the day it was destroyed. The silence and the indifference of the international community is a sign of complacent towards such targeted suppression towards a specific group of people.
This issue is not just a matter of securing a heritage site that was destroyed by an ignorant population, rather it is an issue that relates to the geopolitical situation of the region. The original intention behind destroying this specific graveyard was to disburse the masses who visited the graves as a mark of reverence and devotion to the holy personalities. Even though these graves are nearly fourteen hundred years old, the visitation of the graves by the masses became a threat to the
Wahabi dictators of the region who were struggling for power in 1800s. The graveyard and other holy sites were destroyed in 1806 and in 1925 consecutively.
One reason for destroying the holy sites is particularly emphasized by the Saudis propaganda machine is very nefarious. The reason that is given that the interpretation of Islam by the Wahabi ideology states that visiting the graves is equivalent to idolatry, hence Muslims must refrain. This justification does not make any sense in the light of the role Saudi Kingdom has played since its inception. It is clear as daylight that Saudi Kingdom was never interested in following the religion of Islam, or protecting the interest of the Muslims, the only objective, as always been, is to prosper itself even if it means to genocide the world Muslim population. The destruction of the graves was neither done in the interest of the religion of Islam, nor was done in the interest of Muslims of the world.
The destruction was done to suppress and decimate any “object of centrality” that plays an axial role in gathering the similar minded people to reinvigorate the core message of Islam. The shrines of the holy saints, who propagated the true interpretation of Islam in their lives was that the Islam begins with “Justice” and ascends to inevitability with “Justice”. The principle of justice is like the rails on which the locomotive of true Islamic ideology runs. Those who were looking for an opportunity to become a ruler by force and aggression in the Arab peninsula had to grapple with the idea of justice first, and then with those whose resting places served as a reminder to the importance of Justice.
Even if the kingdom is formed on the foundation of battles and innocent blood, the longevity of the rule will always be in threat by the mutiny of the followers of those whose graves are a symbol of Justice. In the beginning Abdul Aziz – the Saud ruler went as far as Karbala (Iraq) in 1801, where he destroyed the holy shrines. His keen interest in destroying the shrine of the holy personalities after travelling thousands of kilometers to Karbala, was not just out of hate of the holy saint. The real reason is that the followers of the shrine possessed the everlasting threat to his kingdom. The insecure ruler of the kingdom carefully carved out a two-fold plan. The first step was to propagate the blasphemy that those who visited the shrines are doing idolatry. The second step was that the shrines should be destroyed. Once the holy graves are destroyed, then the gathering of devotees, who has an eagerness to implement justice will be in ashes, and thereof, any spark of protest to the unjust kingdom can be brutally silenced. The hidden agenda of the unjust kingdom was to erase the threat by erasing justice and its seekers.
In order to achieve this level of security, the foremost condition that needed to be fulfilled was to gain “religious legitimacy” in the eyes of Muslims around the world. The holiest sites in the eyes of Muslims were the cities of Mecca and Medina. As al-Saud rulers took over these holy cities in the march towards power, they established the religious wing of their kingdom who began to cultivate the minds of the Muslims that the custodians of the house of God (Kaaba) are the true commentators and scholars of Islam. In reality, they were neither commentators of Islam nor interpreters of the divine text of the religion, because the oldest standing seminaries of the Muslims were in Najaf (Iraq) and in Cairo (Egypt). The scholars of neither seminary accepted Wahabi ideology of the Saudi Kingdom as a norm. But, due to their custodianship of the Kaaba, the Wahabi interpretation was taken by the innocent Muslims as the legitimate school of thought. With this legitimacy the Wahabis declared that visiting graves is an act of idolatry and those who visit graves are unbelievers and idolaters. Since there was no significant push back from the Muslims of the world, either due to lack of information or lack of concern, the second step of plan was implemented. In 1925, the shrine of the holy personalities was destroyed to the ground.
In the scale of time, the Baqee shrine of the city of Medina has been there for thirteen hundred years, and the unjust Saudi kingdom has been there for little over hundred years. The Baqee graveyard will be reconstructed, and the shrines will stand tall soon, as rulers will come and go. The Saudi rulers misfired when they assumed that by destroying the graves, they are erasing the symbol and the message of justice, and thus eliminating the threat to their unjust rule. What they did not know is that every devotee of the holy saints has an image of the graves in his heart with utmost reverence and sanctity, and the message of justice is entwined to his throbbing heart. The imbeciles have no idea why we protest, we protest to show the ruler of an unjust kingdom that the message of justice from the graves of Baqee has reached the humanity, and the wave of justice will wipe out all the unjust rulers and their supporters. Those who are silent against the destruction of the Baqee graveyard, are supporting injustice against Allah (swt), His Messenger (saw) and his holy household (as).