Section 4: Lack of familiarity with Cultural Values
In few countries, have there existed ancient monuments related to the first centuries of Islam as in the Hijaz, the Saudi kingdom of today. Given that it is the original birthplace of Islam, valuable monuments of Islamic history could be seen in every place of this land.
The shrines and graves, the places of birth, the testimonials of the companions and their followers and the precious monuments of the Imams of the Prophet’s Household (S), the scholars and the jurist-consults1 and even the rulers and their centers of sovereignty, architectural and artistic works, etc., but the hostile fanatic Wahhabis destroyed most of them using the baseless excuse of their resemblance to the testament of polytheism!2 And very few of these monuments are left and it is proper that Muslims cry blood, for the destruction of these valuable monuments.
Today, we all know that every nation, for the testimony of its origin, relies on its past history, and regards important monuments from the past as proof and witness of this matter. In view of this they cautiously protect their historic monuments. But this group left nearly nothing of the historic monuments of Islam in this holy land and destroyed and removed all of them, monuments that were priceless.
A clear case of that is the Baqī graveyard. The Baqī graveyard is the most important graveyard in Islam which holds an important fraction of Islamic history and is a vast and descriptive book of the history of Muslims.
The graves of the wives, offspring and the Imams of the Household of the Prophet (S) of Islam, the jurist-consults and great scholars, the highly ranked companions, great martyrs, courageous warriors of Islam are all buried in Baqī; may be more than ten thousand companions lie buried there. In other words, a huge chunk of Islamic history lies hidden in the heart of Baqī.
But today, when we enter Baqī, an unsightly wreckage, abhorrent and rugged, without any name, sign or symbol is witnessed, that moves one to tears.
These stringent fanatics, have most unfortunately, removed these valuable historic monuments on the baseless excuse of "fight against polytheism" and un- pardonably laid the Islamic world destitute.
Indeed, this is how dangerous a fanatic can be and how he can fritter away the precious resources of the country, the resources that belong to everybody, the people of today, yesterday, and tomorrow!
Those who have been to Mekkah and Medina, know that despite the destruction of the entire Baqī graveyard and the graves of the martyrs of Ohud3 and the rest, the tomb and the Sacred shrine of the Prophet of Islam (S) is still there and Muslims from every part of the world keenly desire to visit it, drawing a very important question in their minds: Why did this group not go for the Shrine of the Holy Prophet (S)?!
The truth is that they saw themselves as losers going for such a job and enraging the whole Islamic world against them. Indeed, the fanatic Wahhabis tried, but couldn’t remove the sanctified Shrine of the Prophet of Islam (S) and demolish the Green Tomb and raze the Holy Mausoleum.
When they were asked how come you removed the sepulchre and burial chambers that were assembled over the graves of the Imams of Baqī and the martyres of Ohud and others in that graveyard but you left the Tomb and the Holy Shrine of the Prophet (S) as it was? What is the meaning of this contradiction in realistic terms?
If these are symbols of idol worship and polytheism, why then have you retained this "greatest symbol" right next to this grand and splendid Mosque? And if that isn’t a symbol, then why have you removed the rest?
They have no answer to this question and they get truly cornered.
In one of my religious expeditions that took place long ago, I went to visit the Imam of Madina, who was a bright and honest person and I asked him the same question.
He tried to distract me from this annoying and unanswerable question by relating a historic event. the story related to the time of Naser-ud-Dowlah4, about two jews who had burrowed a tunnel from the houses beside the shrine to get to the grave of the Holy Prophet (S). Naser-ud-Dowlah dreamt of the Prophet (S) asking him to save him from those two people! This dream was repeated for several nights. He wondered what was going on in Medina. He came to Medina and arrayed all the people in town, and found those two people that he repeatedly saw in the dream. He ordered their arrest and stopped their unholy plan from being completed.
Then he instructed his people to dig the surroundings of the holy shrine and fill it with molten metal to form a metallic wall so that nobody could dare to do something like that in future.
This answer could, at most, justify the building of the underground segment of the sacred grave, but could not justify the maintenance of the Tomb, Holy Shrine and Mausoleum. However, courtesy and the feeling that he had nothing else to say and might feel embarrassed prevented me to continue the discussion.
It was heard recently that one of the fanatic Wahhabis has said that they will demolish the Shrine and the Tomb of the Prophet (S) in the future. Although this saying is consistent with the theoretical basis of their fanaticism, it is certain that they will never have the guts to do it, especially now that the moderates of this creed have shown up.
It is strange that some people relate this saying to the leader of the Wahhabis Muhammed-ibn-Abdulwahhab. But he has considered this report as fraudulent in some of his sayings, although Hasan-ibn-Farhan Maleki5 in his book "Pretension and not a Prophet"6 believes that reference to this saying: ‘If I have the ability, I will destroy the Shrine of the Prophet (S)’ is present in the words of Shaikh Mohammad (ibn-Abdulwahhab)!