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Palestine: blessed land of blessed people



By: MyIslaam


In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.

Abu Huraira narrates: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Do not set out on a journey except for three Mosques i.e. Al-Masjid-AI-Haram (Makkah), the Mosque of Allah’s Apostle (Madeenah) , and the Mosque of Al-Aqsa (Jerusalem).” [Bukhari]

A multitude of Prophets have lived, died and been buried in the sacred Palestinian soil, while others have passed the land leaving their blessed traces. It is a site of significant historic events and the place for major prophesised events near the Day of Judgment which are both detailed in the holy Quran and many Ahadith of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him).

Once Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) told his companions how blessed the whole region of Al-Sham is (modern day Palestine, Jordan, Syria & Lebanon). Upon the companions questioning the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) for the reasons behind the land being so blessed, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) revealed that the Angels of Allah are spreading their wings over Al-Sham(1). On another occasion the beloved Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) emphasized that particularly Palestine has been made holy by Allah but the entire region is blessed (2). Many believe the reason for this region having such a high status in the eyes of Allah is as a result of the link it has with the many Prophets and the pious Saints of Allah.

Knowing the importance of this noble Sanctuary many Prophets of Allah migrated from their homelands to live in the blessed region of Palestine and would pray to die on this sacred land. Just one example of this is Prophet Musa (Peace be upon him) who travelled with his followers from Egypt to Palestine and according to his last wish, died close to Al-Quds(3). As a result of their devotion to this sacred place hundreds of Messengers of Allah and many Companions of the beloved Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) are buried in Palestine. We will list a few of these holy sites and would recommend reading about the lives of these honorable personalities, with an intention of reminding ourselves of their important roles in the Islamic history and also gaining many lessons from their struggles.

Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) – Indeed a great Prophet blessed with the title of ‘Friend of Allah’ by the Almighty Allah himself (4). Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) is mentioned in the holy Quran sixty nine times and Allah constantly refers to Islam as the religion of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him). During his lifetime he encountered several miracles of Allah and faced many difficult trials which all brought him even closer to Allah. Due to the excellence of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) Allah made many Prophets from his progeny including our last beloved Prophet Mohammed (Peace and blessings be upon him). Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) spent many years of his life in Palestine with his family and his blessed Tomb is located in the old city of Al-Khaleel (also known as Hebron). It is a site where Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) with his wife Sarah (May Allah be pleased with her) and son Ishaq (Peace be upon him) lived and today is known as Ibraheemi Masjid. Sarah’s (May Allah be pleased with her) grave is also located inside the masjid next to Ibrahim’s (Peace be upon him).

Prophet Ishaq (Peace be upon him) – Son of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) and an important Prophet in Islam who continued to spread the message of the oneness of Allah after the death of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him). The Quran speaks of Ishaq (Peace be upon him) as a ‘gift’ to Ibraheem (Peace be upon him) from the Almighty Allah (5). Ishaq (Peace be upon him) and his wife Rifaqah’s (May Allah be pleased with her) tombs are also located in the Ibraheemi Masjid next to each other.

Prophet Yaqoub (Peace be upon him) – Son of Ishaq (Peace be upon him) and a noble Prophet of Allah, mentioned sixteen times by name in the holy Quran. Yaqoub (Peace be upon him) was born in Palestine and spent most of his life in the blessed land. Towards his later days the honourable Prophet migrated to Egypt with his family on the invitation of his son Yusuf (Peace be upon him) and settled there but after his death he was brought back and buried in Al-Khaleel according to his will. Yaqoub’s (Peace be upon him) and his wife Leah’s (May Allah be pleased with her) tombs are also located in the Ibraheemi Masjid but since recently it is not possible for Muslims to visit this part of the Masjid due to the political situation there.

Prophet Yusuf (Peace be upon him) – One of the favourite Sons of Yaqoub (Peace be upon him) and his only son to have been given the gift of prophecy. Allah bestowed utmost grace upon Yusuf (Peace be upon him) and chose him to be among the most exalted men. The complete and detailed narrative of Prophet Yusuf (Peace be upon him) is given in ‘Surah Yusuf’ of the holy Quran. According to the Islamic traditions, Yusuf’s (Peace be upon him) burial site is also in the holy city of Al-Khaleel, next to the Ibraheemi Masjid and inside a medieval structure known as Yussuf-Kalah (Castle of Yusuf). The well in which the brothers of Yusuf (Peace be upon him) threw him in out of jealousy is located near ‘Kibbutz Amiad’ in Galilee. The site is known locally as ‘Judd Yussuf’.

Prophet Musa (Peace be upon him) – A worthy Prophet of Allah also from the lineage of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) and mentioned in the Quran one hundred and thirty six times. Musa (Peace be upon him) was blessed in many ways by Allah since his childhood and had the privilege of speaking to Allah directly. During his lifetime he faced many trials and tribulations but remained steadfast in accomplishing the mission of Prophet hood which Allah honoured him with. The holy book of Towrat was revealed to him as a guidance for his followers. Musa’s (Peace be upon him) tomb is located at Maqam El-Nabi Musa which lies six point eight miles south of Jericho and 12 miles east of Jerusalem in the Judean Wilderness.

Prophet Lut (Peace be upon him)- Paternal nephew of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) who migrated to Palestine with Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him). He was commanded by Allah to go to a community who had long been in a habit of committing lustful and violent acts openly without any shame. Lut (Peace be upon him) brought Allah’s message to them and tried his best to stop them from their evil ways. When there was no hope of these People accepting Allah’s message, Prophet Lut (Peace be upon him) prayed to Allah “My Lord! Save me and my family from what they do”(6). Allah surely saved him with his family except for his wife who was not one of the righteous. After the Prophet left their land Allah’s most severe punishment came to the community destroying them from the face of this earth. It is believed that the area where the Dead sea is situated today between Palestine and Jordan is the place where this community lived. One of the punishments that befell them was of Allah’s Angel carrying the whole piece of their land high up in the sky and after flipping it upside down smashed them back on the earth. This explains the area of the Dead Sea being the lowest point on this earth. As this was a site of Allah’s wrath and punishment it should not be visited for leisure or with an intention of receiving health benefits but it is permissible to visit with an intention of taking heed. Prophet Lut’s (Peace be upon him) tomb is located in the centre of a small town called Bani Na’im, close to the Dead Sea and five miles east of Al-Khaleel. There is also a shrine dedicated to Lut (Peace be upon him) on the southeast of Bani Na’im known as the ‘Maqam an Nabi Yatin’ (Shrine of the truthful Prophet). Local legend claims Lut (Peace be upon him) prayed at this site and imprints of his blessed feet are visible on a rock here.

Prophet Yunus (Peace be upon him) – Faithful Prophet of the Almighty from the offspring of Yaqub (Peace be upon him). Also addressed in the holy Quran as ‘Companion of the Fish’ (7) because of the famous story of the Prophet being swallowed by a whale and being trapped inside the Whale’s stomach for a number of days. Allah tells us in the holy Quran how Prophet Yunus (Peace be upon him) cried out to Allah in the depths of the darkness continuously praying “La ilaha illa anta, Subhanaka, Inni kuntu minaz-zalimin” (There is none worthy of Worship besides You, You are far exalted and above all weaknesses, Surely, I am from among the wrongdoers) (8). Despite being in such an unimaginable situation Yunus (Peace be upon him) did not lose faith in Allah and hoped for Allah’s mercy which surely did reach him and the whale cast Yunus (Peace be upon him) out on dry land. After sometime Yunus (Peace be upon him) was again blessed with good health and returned to his people to guide them towards Allah’s message. Yunus’s (Peace be upon him) tomb is located in a city called Hulhul which is three miles north of Al-Khaleel.

Prophet Dawood  (Peace be upon him)– A great Messenger, a Warrior and a King of Palestine who ruled his people for forty years. Seven years in Al-Khaleel and thirty-three in Al-Quds (Jerusalem). Allah had given Dawood (Peace be upon him) the sweetest voice which had not been given to anyone before him. The holy book of Zabur was revealed to him and when he use to recite from it, the human beings, Jinns, Birds, animals and even the mountains would join him in repeating Allah’s praises. Prophet Dawood’s (Peace be upon him) tomb is located just outside the old city of Al-Quds on Mount Zion. There is a difference of opinion on whether this is the tomb of Dawood (Peace be upon him) or a Maqam where he once stayed. Allah knows best.

Prophet Sulaiman (Peace be upon him) – The son of Dawood (Peace be upon him) who was bestowed with many precious gifts from Allah including the ability to speak to animals and control Jinns. Blessed with Prophet hood and a level of Kingship which was given to none after him (9). He justly ruled over Palestine for many years and commanded his Jinns to restore Masjid Al Aqsa. Some walls and two pillars constructed by the Jinns of Sulaiman (Peace be upon him) are still holding the foundation of Masjid-Al-Aqsa and are found in the basement of Masjid-Al-Aqsa. When Sulaiman (Peace be upon him) was to die, he stood up in prayer holding his cane. There he silently died, but, by Allah’s will, did not fall. He remained in this position, and everyone including the Jinns thought that he was still alive. The Jinns under his control carried on their allocated tasks until Allah revealed to everyone the death of Sulaiman (Peace be upon him). This happened when Allah ordered  termites to weaken the cane on which Sulaiman’s (Peace be upon him) body was resting. To mark the site where Prophet Sulaiman (Peace be upon him) left this world a Mausoleum can be found inside the Masjid-Al-Aqsa compound.

Prophet Isa  (Peace be upon him) – The only person in the history of Mankind to have had a miraculous birth without a Father which is indeed a reminder for us that Allah can create what he pleases and is not bound to the laws of nature or this world. Allah blessed Isa (Peace be upon him) with many more miracles from speaking to the people in the cradle (10) to bringing the dead back alive(11). All by the will and command of his lord to show people the signs of Allah. In order to save Isa (Peace be upon him) from his enemies and for Allah’s greater plans, Isa (Peace be upon him) was lifted to the heavens alive (12). Before the day of Judgment Isa (Peace be upon him) will return to defeat the Dajjal and his army(13).

Bethlehem is the birthplace of Isa (Peace be upon him) and can easily be visited from Al-Quds. The exact location is inside the Church of Nativity, located in the center of Bethlehem. The site where Isa (Peace be upon him) was lifted to the heavens is located on the Mount of Olives in the At-Tur district of Al-Quds. There is a small round building with a dome called ‘Chapel of the Ascension’ to mark this holy spot.

Maryam (Peace be upon her) – The great mother of Prophet Isa (Peace be upon him) and truly a sign of Allah to mankind (14). Maryam (Peace be upon her) is the only women to be mentioned by name in the holy Quran and a whole Chapter is named after her. Her story in the Quran begins while she is still in her Mother’s Womb. Allah Exalted Maryam (Peace be upon her) above all women of the Universe(15). Maryam’s (Peace be upon her) tomb is located in a church at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Al-Quds, very close to Masjid-Al-Aqsa.

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) – One of the most powerful and influential Muslim rulers in the history of Islam. A very close companion of Prophet Mohammed (Peace and blessings be upon him) and the second caliph It was under the rule of Umar (Allah be pleased with him) that Al-Quds was conquered without any bloodshed and under his rule people of all faiths were allowed back in the holy city to practice their religion without any fear of prosecution. While on a tour of Al-Quds, Umar (Allah be pleased with him) was being shown around the ‘Church of the holy Sepulchre’ by the Patriarch of Al-Quds and during the tour the time for Salah came. The Patriarch offered a place for prayer inside the Church for Umar (Allah be pleased with him) but he refused saying if he had prayed inside the Church his followers would have taken possession of it saying that Umar had prayed in it. Rather Umar (Allah be pleased with him) threw a stone outside the Church and where it landed he offered his Salah. This shows the respect Umar (Allah be pleased with him) had for people of other faiths. On the site where Umar (Allah be pleased with him) prayed there is a Masjid named after him, which is right opposite the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Two Companions of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) – One of the first and oldest Muslim Cemeteries in Bayt Al Maqdis, where many pious saints of Allah are buried including two of the Companions of our beloved Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) called Shadaad bin Aus (Allah be pleased with him) and Ubadah Ibn As-Samit (Allah be pleased with him). Ubadah (Allah be pleased with him) was a brave warrior who participated in most of the conquest of this region. After the Muslims took control of Palestine, Ubadah (Allah be pleased with him) was appointed by Umar ibn Al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) as the first teacher and Judge for the Palestinians. Shadaad (Allah be pleased with him) a close companion of beloved Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) narrated several Ahaadith directly from the Prophet Mohammed (Peace and blessings be upon him). Once while he was in Madeenah, the Prophet Mohammed (Peace and blessings be upon him) gave him the glad tidings of Bayt Al-Maqdis being conquered and him and his offspring being Imams there (16). True to the Prophet’s (Peace and blessings be upon him) words Shadaad (Allah be pleased with him) spent sixty nine years of his life in Al Quds.

The cemetery is located just outside the Al-Aqsa compound from the Lions gate. About a minute walk into the cemetery and the graves of the Companions are to the right with two separate sign boards in Arabic to mark the location.

Salman Farsi (Allah be pleased with him) – One of the most famous Companions of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and a perfect example of a seeker of truth. Knowing about the many struggles that Salman Farsi (Allah be pleased with him) faced in order to seek the true path of Islam will truly touch one’s heart.

The tomb of Salman Farsi (Allah be pleased with him) is located in Al-Quds, on top of the Mount of Olives in a small Masjid. There’s a difference of opinion on whether this place marks where Salman Farsi (Allah be pleased with him) once stayed or if it’s the Sahabi’s tomb. Allah knows best.

Rabia Al-Basriya (Allah’s mercy be upon her) – A true saint who was blessed with divine love for Allah. She was a disciple of Shaikh Hasan-Al-Basri (Allah’s mercy be upon him). According to some historians Rabia Al-Basriya (Allah’s mercy be upon her) is believed to be buried inside ‘Chapel of the Ascension’ in Al-Quds. This is the same site where Prophet Isa (Peace be upon him) ascended to the heavens from.

Our beloved Prophet Mohammed’s (Peace and blessings be upon him) link with the blessed land of Palestine is like no other and requires much more detailed insight. We will soon be publishing an article on the blessed Masjid-Al-Aqsa, in which we will learn the importance of the noble Sanctuary as per the teachings of our noble Prophet Mohammed (Peace and blessings be upon him). May Allah give us all the opportunity to visit the beautiful and blessed land of Palestine at least once in our lifetime. Ameen.


 سنن الترمذي، باب في فضل الشام و اليمن..1

كنز العمال، العريش و الفرات و فلسطين..2

صحيح البخاري، باب من أحب الدفن في الأرض المقدسة أو نحوها..3

4 – Al-Quran 4:125

5 – Al-Quran 6:84 & 19:49-50

6 – Al-Quran 26:169

7 – Al-Quran 68:48

8 – Al-Quran 21:87

9 – Al-Quran 38:35

10 – Al-Quran 3:46 & 19:30-33

11 – Al-Quran 3:49

12 – Al-Quran 4:157-158

صحيح مسلم، باب فِى خُرُوجِ الدَّجَّالِ وَمُكْثِهِ فِى الأَرْضِ وَنُزُولِ عِيسَى وَقَتْلِهِ إِيَّاهُ.13

14 – Al Quran 23:50

15 – Al Quran 3:42

المعجم الكبير للطبراني، ح/٧٠١٦، يَعْلَى بن شَدَّادِ بن أَوْسٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ.16

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