Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Tombs of the Sahaba

The tomb of one of the many Sahaba who died in Jordan during the Amwaas plague outbreak in the year 18 after the Hijrah (639-640 AD). Unfortunately, I have visited a lot of their tombs and can't remember who this one belonged to. All I can make out for sure from the photo is that he was an Ansari (one of the Muslims of Medinah who helped the Muslims from Mecca after their migration to Medinah).

An estimated 25, 000 people died in the plague outbreak, including many of the Sahaba who had liberated balad ash-shams from Roman rule (or conquered it, depending on your perspective). Many people don't know that these Sahaba died of plague, and not in battle.

This tomb is not very fancy, as they go, but most of the ones I have seen are huge affairs of polished marble, golden cages, and embroidered velvet. The bravery, faith, and sacrifices of these men who died so far from home should be remembered, but erecting shrines to them seems like too much to me. It's not in keeping with the Islamic burial practices, in which the corpse is wrapped in a plain white sheet and quickly buried in the ground, to absorb back into the earth from which it was made.

I believe this was the masjid in which the tomb above was located although it may have been a different masjid holding the tombs of other Sahaba. I took the pictures last spring, and only recently had them developed.

I found it lovely, simple, and peaceful, down in the Jordan valley where things are actually green some of the time, although far richer than most of this dusty land.

It bothers me that so much is spent to glorify men dead nearly a millenia and a half, when most people here work so hard and live in poverty and difficult conditions, with little hope of anything better.


  1. Inshallah you are doing well. I get the same feelings with the graves, pray to god and not the people, if those men could talk I sure they would say the same thing.

  2. I agree. I hate the making of elaborate tombs and Muslims aren't supposed to. Build a house for a poor man instead.