Discussion in 'Islam in General' started by Abdullah Abbas, May 22, 2009.
In the face of the Muslim expansion, the Byzantine emperor Heraclius gathered a large army, lead by his brother Theodorus, which fought the Muslim army at the Battle of Yarmouk in August 639 AD.
The site lays on the banks of the Yarmouk River on the Northern tip of Jordan. The Muslim army was greatly outnumbered but their commander Khalid ibn Al-Walid led them to victory. This battle gave the Muslims control of Greater Syria.
In Mazar Al-Shamali, near Irbid, is a shrine for Prophet Dawud 'David' . As a child, he slew Jalut 'Goliath' with a sling and became the second King of Israel after Talut 'Saul'. Moreover, Prophet David was one of the apostles to whom heavenly scriptures were revealed. Prophet David spent some time in Jordan whilst at odds with Saul, as well as later while on a campaign.
The tomb of the venerable companion Abul-Dardaa is located in a modern building in the village of Soam Ashunnaq near Irbid. One of the most devoted and pious of the companions, he was always by the Prophet's side.
Abul-Dardaa is best known for surpassing everyone else in memorizing, narrating and transmitting Prophet Mohammad's hadith. He took part in military campaigns and was later appointed governor of the Bahrain province.
See Desert Castles, Jerash, and Pella
Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan the 1st caliph of the Umayyad dynasty (661-750 AD) moved the capital of the Muslim Empire from Medina north towards Damascus. From Damascus, the Muslim empire expanded tremendously. The Umayyads gave the world a number of architectural legacies including the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the Great Mosque in Damascus.
In the Jordanian desert the Umayyads built pavilions, caravan stations, secluded baths and hunting lodges known as Desert Castles. Filled with mosaic pavements, fresco paintings, carved stucco depicting people, animals, events and patterns; Desert Castles stand as monuments to the spectacular and original early Islamic art.
On a hilltop, not far from Jerash, you can visit the shrine of Prophet Hud . Here is a modern mosque with a cave inside where Prophet Hud is believed buried. He preached to the people of Ad to only worship the One God instead of their idols. Prophet Hud has the 11th Sura in the Holy Qur'an named after him.
Known in Arabic as Fahl, Pella was the site of the famous Battle of Fahl, fought between Byzantines and the Muslim army led by Khalid ibn Al-Walid and Abu Ubeida Amer ibn Al-Jarrah in January 635 AD. The outcome was a Muslim victory and liberation of Jordan from Byzantine rule.
Not far from Ajloun is the tomb of the venerable companion Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl marked by a collection of stones. He was one of Prophet Mohammad's bitterest enemies until he embraced Islam.
Later he distinguished himself by contributing to the spread of Islam. Martyred in the Battle of Yarmouk he also took part in the wars of Apostasy and the conquest of Greater Syria.
Also in Ajloun is a shrine for El-Khedr 'St. George' as well as in Salt, Mahes, Kerak and Bayt Ras (Irbid). St. George is not a prophet but one of Allah's righteous worshippers, servants and a favorite saint.
He has many shrines in Jordan as Allah revealed a number of miracles through him as a method of educating people on the merits of servitude to Allah . In the Holy Qur'an, his famous story with Prophet Moses is cited in Surat Al-Kahf (The Cave) (verses 64-82).
Join other pilgrims in the Jordan Valley and visit the tombs of Prophet Mohammad's venerable companions and military leaders who fell in battle or became victims to the Amwas Plague or Great Plague in the 18th year after Hijra.
The venerable companion Abu Ubeida Amer ibn Al-Jarrah was the Prophet's relative and one of the first converts to Islam. Among the early Muslims who fled to Abyssinia, Abu Ubeida participated in all major events. Furthermore, he is one of the 'Blessed Ten', to whom the Prophet , promised paradise.
As the supreme commander of the Northern Muslim Army, Abu Ubeida successfully conquered Greater Syria. Prophet Mohammad dubbed him "The Trustee of the Nation" because of the knowledge he acquired.
When the Prophet died, Abu Ubeida was among the candidates for the Caliphate. He believed Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq was to lead the Muslims and become Caliph because Prophet Mohammad had asked him to lead prayers upon his death.
Abu Ubeida thus managed to avoid insurrection and disunity amongst Muslims. At the age of 58, he fell victim to the Great Plague that spread through Greater Syria. In the central Jordan Valley, his tomb is a major Islamic center with a mosque, library, and a cultural center.
The handsome, generous and venerable companion Mo'ath ibn Jabal entered Islam at the age of 18. He was one of the six charged with the task of compiling the Holy Qur'an during the life of Prophet Mohammad who said of him "the most knowledgeable on what is allowed and prohibited (in Islam) is Mo'ath ibn Jabal" and that "Mo'ath will be at the forefront of all scholars on Judgment Day".
In fact, he was regarded as the most learned in matters of Halal (permissible acts) and Haram (forbidden acts). Before accompanying Abu Ubeida Amer ibn Al-Jarrah on his conquests and later succeeding him, Prophet Mohammad sent Mo'ath ibn Jabal as counselor to the people of Yemen.
He also took part in the Aqaba Allegiance Convention between the Prophet and his supporters from Medina. He died at the age of 38 in the Jordan Valley, having spent his short life teaching faith and the Holy Qur'an. Today a modern building with 5 domes houses the tomb.
The venerable companion Shurahbil ibn Hasanah was among the early Muslims who fled to Abyssinia. He was reputed for his strong faith, intelligence, bravery and successful administration. Shurahbil actively participated in the Battle of Yarmouk and the conquest of Jerusalem. When the Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq sent the Muslim armies to Greater Syria, Shurahbil was in command of the army assigned to the conquest of Jordan.
Later, the Caliph Omar ibn Al-Khattab appointed Shurahbil the governor of a province in Greater Syria, where he distinguished himself for his fair dealings with subordinates. He died from the plague on the same day as the venerable companion Abu Ubeida Amer ibn Al-Jarrah .
The venerable companion Amir ibn Abi Waqqas was the maternal cousin of the Prophet and the 11th man to convert to Islam. He was devoted to his faith, although his mother Himnah, daughter of Abi Sufyan ibn Harb ibn Umayyah, swore to stay out in the burning sun until he renounces Islam. He migrated to Abyssinia and fought in the Battle of Uhud and was later entrusted with carrying messages from the commanders of the Muslim army to the Caliph in Medina.
Furthermore, he was the deputy of the venerable companion Abu Ubeida in his governorship of the military district of Syria. You can visit his tomb located inside a new building erected on vaults, within the village of Waqqas in the northern Jordan valley.
The venerable companion Derar ibn Al-Azwar was a poet and a fierce warrior who loved combat. He fought in the wars of Apostasy and took part in the conquest of Greater Syria along with his distinguished sister Khawlah bint Al-Azwar. In the town of Deir Alla a mosque superimposed by a dome houses the tomb of Dirar ibn Al-Azwar . The 18th year after Hijra was when he, too, became a victim of the Great Plague.
In and around Salt are several tombs of prominent figures of Islam and others mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. Within a modern mosque in Wadi Shu'ayb lies the shrine of Prophet Shu'ayb 'Jethro' , the Midianite father-in-law of Prophet Moses and with whom Prophet Moses took refuge after he killed an Egyptian. Repeatedly he preached to his people about monotheism and to abandon their corrupt practices such as under-weighing and under-measuring the commodities they sold.
Within a mosque to the west of Salt, on a hill carrying his name lies the shrine of Prophet Yusha 'Joshua' . He was the apprentice of Prophet Moses and later his successor. Prophet Joshua led the army of the tribes of Israel in conquest over the land of Palestine.
South-west of Salt in an area known as Khirbet Ayyoub foundations of an ancient building mark the final resting place of Prophet Ayyoub 'Job' who is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an 4 times. His legendary patience and faith gave him strength to endure tremendous hardships. Ultimately Prophet Job was rewarded with blessings, as stated in the Holy Qur'an (Sura 21, verses 83-84): "And (remember) Ayyoub, when He cried to his Lord, 'Truly distress has seized me, but Thou art the Most Merciful of those that are merciful'. So We listened to him: We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his people to him, and doubled their number, as a Grace from Ourselves, and a thing for commemoration, for all who serve Us".
A collection of stones marks the tomb of the venerable companion Maysarah ibn Masrouq Al-Abssi buried west of Salt in the town of Arda. He witnessed the Prophet's Farewell Pilgrimage and took part in the Battle of Yamamah and the conquest of Greater Syria. In the 20th year after Hijra, he became the commander of an army that successfully attacked the Byzantines, making them the first Muslim army to enter Byzantine lands.
In addition to the main Islamic attractions in Amman: The Citadel, Grand Husseini Mosque, and King Abdullah Mosque, Amman suburbs has many noteworthy Islamic attractions.
In Jubeha, a suburb of Amman, you can visit the tomb of the venerable companion Abdul-Rahman ibn Awf Al-Zuhri . Lined up stones mark the burial place of one of the 'Blessed Ten', to whom Prophet Mohammad promised paradise. He took part in all major battles and campaigns of Islam; including Badr, Uhud (in Medina), Al-Khandaq (the Trench), the Conquest of Mecca, and Hunayn.
He was the signatory on behalf of the Muslims at the Treaty of Hudaybiyah (west of Mecca), a compromise that was reached between Prophet Mohammad and Meccan leaders, in which Mecca gave political and religious recognition to the growing community of Muslims.
At the conquest of Jerusalem, he was one of the Muslim signatories. Abdul-Rahman was a successful businessman who shared his wealth. On one day he managed to free 31 slaves, another time he gave a caravan of 700 camels loaded with food to charity and upon his death he made a charitable will of 1000 horses and 50,000 dinars.
A modern building protects the tomb of the venerable companion Bilal ibn Rabah at the village of Bilal, in Wadi Essair another suburb of Amman. Whilst still a slave Bilal embraced Islam, which brought upon him the wrath of his master Umayyah ibn Khalaf who tried to coerce him into rejecting his faith by placing a huge rock on his chest during the peak summer heat of Mecca.
He fought bravely in the Battles of Badr and Uhud, where he was able to avenge himself from his former master. Gifted with a beautiful voice Bilal became the Prophet's personal muezzin.
A popular attraction outside of Amman is Kahf Al-Raqim or The Cave of The Seven Sleepers. Mentioned in the Holy Qur'an in a Sura named Al-Kahf (the Cave), it is located outside the village of Al-Raqim, 10 km east of Amman. Persecuted by despotic rule of Trajan for monotheism, a group of pious youths took refuge in this cave.
To preserve them, Allah put them to sleep, and when they revived 300 years later (309 lunar years as inimitability mentioned in the Holy Qur'an), they thought that they were only asleep for a day or so. Christianity was widespread by then, and when they were discovered, Allah put them to rest forever. At the cave, there still stands Byzantine and Roman ruins as well as a mosque, which exactly fit the descriptions in the Holy Qur'an.
Islamic Mount Nebo
A 10-minute drive from Madaba brings you to Mount Nebo, one of the most revered sites in Jordan. Here you have a magnificent view of the Dead Sea, a panorama of mountains, and the crowning heights of Jerusalem are visible in the distance. On the summit of Mount Nebo, you stand where the Prophet Musa 'Moses' looked over the Jordan River towards Palestine.
Mount Nebo also became his final resting place after leading his people from Egypt across the Sinai Desert towards the Promised Land. Allah spoke directly to Moses who then gave his people the divinely revealed laws.
It is generally acknowledged that Prophet Moses was buried on Mount Nebo, although there is no actual tomb marking the spot. The Holy Qur'an describes in detail the life and mission of Prophet Moses . In fact, Prophet Moses is the most mentioned prophet in the Holy Qur'an.
In need of water, Prophet Moses struck a rock with his staff and 12 springs emerged. Named Uyun Musa (Moses' springs) which are located near Madaba. Also near Madaba overlooking Wadi Mujib is the village of Shaqiq. In Shaqiq, the tomb of the venerable companion Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari is marked by lined up stones. Recognized for his veracity and generosity, Abu Dharr was among the first companions to follow Islam and a strong advocate of wealth distribution.
The Prophet Yahya 'John the Baptist' was the son of the Prophet Zakariyyah 'Zacharia' and continued his father's work of preaching the word of Allah . The pious and virtuous John lived, preached and baptized in the settlement of Bethany in the Jordan Valley.
John the Baptist also baptized Prophet Issa 'Jesus Christ' , at Bethany and often accompanied Jesus Christ whenever he preached. He became a prophet and an apostle when Allah addressed him saying: "O Yahya! take hold of the Book with might" [Sura 19, verse 12]. Herodias, who married her husband's brother King Herod, instigated John's beheading in King Herod's Citadel at Mukawir. John the Baptist's head was sent to Damascus, while his body remained in Mukawir.
Known today as Mukawir, this dramatic hilltop is the traditional site of the execution of John the Baptist (pbuh). It lies less than 20 km southwest of Madaba at the King's Highway on a stark promontory (720 m), overlooking the Dead Sea and protected on three sides by deep ravines.
A fortress was first built here by the Hasmonean ruler Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 BC) to defend Perea against the expansionist Nabataeans. His widow Alexandra, confident of the site's inviolability, stored her treasure here - to no avail, as the Romans destroyed it in 63 BC.
It was restored then by Herod the Great (37-4 BC) who, according to the contemporary historian Josephus, "built a wall round the very summit and erected towers at the corners, each 27.4 m high. In the middle of this enclosure he built a palace, breath-taking in size and beauty".
When Herod's son, Herod Antipas, divorced his Nabataean wife to marry Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, John the Baptist (pbuh) outspokenly condemned his behavior. It was at Machaerus, it is said, that John was imprisoned, and Herodias' daughter Salome danced and demanded the Baptist's head on a platter. During the Judaean war many refugees fled from Jerusalem to Machaerus for safety. It was finally destroyed, again by the Romans, in 72 AD.
Islamic Dead Sea
Near the Dead Sea, you can visit the famous Lot's Cave. Prophet Lut 'Lot' immigrated with his uncle, Prophet Abraham from Ur in Iraq. He went to live in the region just south of the Dead Sea.
He fled Allah's destruction of his village Sodom due to its inhabitants' immoral practices, by taking refuge in this cave with his daughters. Allah turned his wife into a pillar of salt for disobeying Allah's command not to look back at Sodom as it burnt.
When visiting the cave you will notice its topography tallying exactly with the Islamic and Biblical accounts. Furthermore, you can visit several 6th century ruins and mosaics dedicated to Lot's Cave. Prophet Lot is mentioned several times in the Holy Qur'an.
The most significant and the fiercest battle fought during Prophet Mohammad's lifetime was the Battle of Mutah (629 AD). It also took the lives of his closest companions, martyred fighting against a combined Byzantine/Ghassanid army. You can visit the tombs of the venerable companions Zaid ibn Harithah , Ja'far ibn Abi Talib , and Abdullah ibn Ruwahah in the town of Al-Mazar Al-Janubi near Kerak.
Prophet Mohammad's adopted son, the venerable companion Zaid ibn Harithah led the Muslim army during the Battle of Mutah. Zaid fought in matchless spirit of bravery until he fell, fatally stabbed. He is the only companion mentioned in the Holy Qur'an by name [Sura 33, verse 37]: "Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, we joined her in marriage to thee: in order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have dissolved (their marriage) with them. And Allah's command must be fulfilled".
The deputy commander of the army the venerable companion Ja'far ibn Abi Talib , cousin of Prophet Mohammad , then took the banner after Zaid . He is often known as "The Flying Ja'far" because he lost his hands during the battle and continued to hold the banner. Ja'far , was known to be similar to the Prophet both in features and in character. He was renowned for his kindness towards the needy and for narrating the hadiths directly from the Prophet .
Ja'far was charged with heading a group of Muslims who migrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia). The non-believers sent a delegation headed by Amr ibn Al-Aas to bring the Muslims back to Mecca. A debate took place in the presence of the King of Abyssinia where Ja'far proved to be indomitable and unflinching in elaborating the Muslim viewpoint.
When the King asked him about Prophet Mohammad's opinion of Jesus the son of Mary, Ja'far wisely answered: "I will tell you what Prophet Mohammad says about Jesus based on the words of Allah : Jesus is the spirit and word of Allah who revealed it to Mary the Pious Virgin". Content with the reply, the King of Abyssinia allowed the Muslims to stay.
The venerable companion Abdullah ibn Ruwahah , the third in charge of the army after Zaid and Ja'far , then assumed command. Abdullah was known among the companions for his piety, obedience and patience. Furthermore, he was a faithful and selflessly dedicated soldier. He was a famous poet of his time, and became the Prophet's poet. Before being martyred in the Battle of Mutah, Abdullah said the following lines as his army faced an overwhelming number of Byzantine and Ghassanid Arab troops:
"O my soul! If you are not killed, you are bound to die anyway. This is the fate of death overtaking you. What you have wished for, you have been granted. If you do what they (Zaid and Ja'far) have done. Then you are rightly guided".
In and around Kerak other shrines of significance to Islam are located. You can visit Prophet Nuh 'Noah' shrine in the city of Kerak. Allah sent Noah to his people to warn them of divine punishment if they continued to worship idols. As stated in the Holy Qur'an in a Sura entitled Noah (Sura 71, verses 1-3): "We sent Noah to his People (with the Command): Do thou warn thy People before there comes to them a grievous Chastisement. He said: O my People! I am to you a Warner, clear and open: That ye should worship Allah, fear Him and obey me".
Credited with great wisdom and piety, the Prophet and King of Israel, Sulayman 'Solomon' , has a shrine in Sarfah near Kerak. Prophet Solomon had great powers that included control over the winds, over the Jinnis and understanding the language of birds and other animals. Islam regards Solomon as impeccable like his father Prophet and King Dawud 'David' . Prophet Solomon is mentioned in 16 verses in the Holy Qur'an.
Also in Kerak is the shrine of Zaid ibn Ali ibn Al-Hussein . He was the great, great, grandson of Prophet Mohammad , and a religious leader known for his righteous, majestic and knowledgeable ways. When describing Zaid , Al-Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq said: "Among us he was the best read in the Holy Qur'an, and the most knowledgeable about religion, and the most caring towards family and relatives".
See Shobak, Petra, Aaron's Tomb, and Aqaba
In the southern part of Jordan, near Ras Al-Naqab, lies Humayma the base of the Abbasid Dynasty from where they planned their seizure of the Islamic Caliphate from the Umayyads.
Midway between Hejaz and Syria, on a hill located in Udruh between Ma'an and Shobak, lies Jabal Al-Tahkim or The Hill of Judication. It was here after the Battle of Siffin, that Abu Musa Al-Ashaari representing Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib met Amr ibn Al-Aas representing Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan before a court of judgment.
Both sides had agreed to arbitration to decide their conflict. North of the city of Ma'an is a mountain named Jabal Al-Ashaari, where a shrine for Abu Musa Al-Ashaari is located.
On top of Jabal Al-Nabi Harun near Petra is the shrine of Prophet Harun 'Aaron' the brother of Prophet Musa 'Moses' . Allah responded favorably to the supplication of Prophet Moses to make Aaron his minister.
Prophet Moses left Aaron to act on his behalf when he went to interlocute with Allah , near Mount Sinai, after he had promised his people to produce them a Torah as their constitution and legal document.
Aaron predeceased Moses and his shrine's topography corresponds exactly with the traditional Islamic and Biblical accounts of Aaron's burial.
Aqaba hosts three interesting Islamic sites: Othman Mosque at Ayla built during the Caliphate of Othman ibn Affan , the Mamluk Fort, and the Castle of Salahuddin (Saladin) which is located on an island in the middle of the gulf.
Desert Castles, Jordan
Scattered throughout the black basalt desert, east of Amman, the Desert Castles stand as a testament to the flourishing beginnings of Islamic-Arab civilization. These seemingly isolated pavilions, caravan stations, secluded baths, and hunting lodges, were at one time integrated agricultural or trading complexes, built mostly under the Umayyads (661-750 AD), when Muslim Arabs had succeeded in transforming the fringes of the desert into well-watered settlements.
Aside from being widely considered as the most spectacular and original monuments of early Islamic art, these complexes also served practical purposes: namely, as residences, caravanserais, and baths.
In the year 661, the capital of the newly founded Arab Muslim Empire moved from Medina and Kufa in the Hejaz and Iraq respectively, to Damascus, the seat of the Umayyad Dynasty. The years which immediately followed the death of the founder of the dynasty, Mu'awiya bin Abi Sufyan, were spent in overcoming rival claimants to the Caliphate.
The latter part of the reign of AbdulMalek bin Marwan (685-750) seems to have been an exceptionally favorable interlude for the Umayyads. Being more firmly on the saddle, one can detect a sudden release of talent and creativity, which was manifested by the construction of the first major Islamic monument in Jerusalem, the majestic Dome of the Rock. The architectural program initiated by Caliph AbdulMalek, was continued and expanded by his son, Al-Walid, who built the great mosques of Damascus, Jerusalem, and Medina.
Throughout the following decades, the Umayyads dotted the Jordanian steppe with luxurious buildings decorated with splendid mosaic pavements, fresco paintings, and carved stucco. All these indicate that the Umayyads had found a modus vivendi with the Syrian civilization. The fact that several of these buildings were located in the Jordanian steppe points to the overriding importance of the area. Indeed, the area's incorporation into the military district (Jund) of Damascus, whose governor was directly responsible to Damascus, attests to its vitality.
The Umayyad Desert Castles were initially regarded as desert retreats (Badiyas) for Umayyad princes who, being of nomadic origins, grew weary of city life with all its rigors and congested atmosphere. Those castles allowed them to return to the desert, where their nomadic instincts could be best expressed, and where they could pursue their pastimes away from watchful eyes of the pious minded.
This theory, however, was challenged by the French scholar, Jean Sauvaget. These buildings were located on extensive and elaborately irrigated farmlands, which were often accompanied by various hydraulic structures, and therefore, he argued, they were centers for agricultural exploitation. This was reflected by the Umayyad policy to expand the agricultural zone into marginal areas. Yet another and more recent explanation for the raison d'étre of these buildings is what might be called the "Architecture of Diplomacy". That is, maintaining close contacts with the tribes of the region who were vehement supporters of the Umayyads.
Al-Muwaqqar Hammam Assarah Qasr Kharaneh
Al-Qastal Mushatta Qasr Tuba
Azraq Fort Qasr Al-Hallabat Qusayr Amra
It is also possible that some of these structures, like Qusayr Amra, Kharaneh and Mshash, served as resting places for high government officials on their way to Hejaz. This restricted and temporary use of these buildings may explain the scarcity of pottery shards from those sites. A combination of factors and coordinates therefore might have been involved in the construction of the Umayyad Desert Castles, and no single element is sufficient to explain them all.
Desert Castles, Jordan
Today, these lonely and evocative structures can be visited in a one-day trip from Amman, as modern paved roads have replaced the ancient desert tracks.
Separate names with a comma.