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Friday, June 26, 2015


The Wahabi Sunni sect of Saudi Arabia is dead against elaborated tombs and mausoleums. Such structures are deemed bida'ah and wars had been waged to wipe out such. Their burial places are simple maqams or none at all. Among others, they have even destroyed remnants of supposedly the Prophet's house located of a hill slope near Masjidil Haram. They do not want worshippers to revere blindly sacred places. What historical and tangible artefacts are left to see and appreciate during pilgrimage?

The great Chahar Bagh of Isfahan, Iran.

The domed Mausoleum of Uljaitu in Sultaniyah, Iran, exemplifies the new tomb style introduced by Iran's Mongol rulers in the early 14th century.

Gur-o Amir (mausoleum of Timur), Samarkand, 1405.

Tomb of Humayun at Delhi, red sandstone and marble, c. AD 1564.

The Taj Mahal at AGra, built by Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, 1632-49: marble mausoleum, with formal garden.

Gol Gumbaz, the tomb of Sultan Muhammad Adil Shah, one of the most notable mausoleums of all time, located in Bijapur, western India. Built between 1626 and 1656, the structure has four corner towers and a dome 45m (142ft) in diameter and nearly 61m (200ft) high.

Groups of tombs formed cemeteries, which are still a conspicuous part of Islamic towns. Below: three tombs of the Southern cemetery outside Cairo - dating respectively from 756/1331, 910/1504 and 834/1430.

The Sanusi Movement. After making the pilgrimage to Mecca, a Berber leader named Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sanusi decided that Islam needed strengthening against the persuasive attractions of the Western world. He opened a series of religous lodges. The first was in Mecca, and another in Libya. By 1867 there were 50 lodges in Cyrenaica, Libya. The aim of the Sanusi Muslims was to live pious lives and purify their faith. In due course, this brotherhood of stern-minded Arabs made highly effective warriors against the Italians.
The Sanusi sect became the backbone of Libyan resistance. This was the time of the legendary Sanusi hero, Umar al-Mukhtar, a simple country schoolteacher who led the Libyan resistance. Leading a force of nomadic fighters that grow to 6,000 people, Umar led intermittent attacks on Italian communications and supply lines for nearly 20 years. In September 1931, he was wounded and captured in the Green Mountains and subsequently hanged before a crowd of 20,000 sad Libyans. (His tomb is shown below). During World War II, many Sanusis fled to Egypt and joined the Allied forces to continue the fight against the Italians.

Mausoleum of a famous religous personality, Lattakia, Syria.

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