A History of Wahabi Desecrations in the Holy Land of al-Hijaz

[excerpts from Notebooks from Makkah & Madinah: A modern journey to Islam’s two Holy Cities  
an unpublished work by Shafiq Morton]





According to Hadith, the Prophet also spat in the well and poured in some honey. Having done this, he told his Companions that al-Ghars was a fountain of Paradise. Ibn Majah quotes 'Ali as saying that the Prophet [SAW] then ordered his Companions to ceremoniously wash him with seven waterskins from this well after his death.

...the authorities had not approved of pilgrims taking ceremonial ablution, or wudu, from this well and performing salah at the site of Salman al Farsi's garden, a grove of palm trees planted by the Prophet himself. The now barren area was fenced off and his 1,400-year-old dwelling stood in ruins.

This was insanity! But worse was to follow: all evidence of these 300 date palms originally planted by the Prophet on the site had disappeared. In the middle of what was once a sacred piece of Madinah was a modern school.

I was horrified. The noble Prophet had expressly forbidden the wanton destruction of fruit trees in the two Holy Sanctuaries. Furthermore, next to water, the date palm was the most important symbol of life in the desert. Fresh dates had been the food of Maryam, the mother of Jesus, and Imam Bukhari had once stated that Madinah’s famous ‘ajwat2 dates were a great cure for sickness.


I recalled a passage from Ahmad Thompson's The Way Back3, a diarised account of his Hajj in 1977, when he was given three dates from the last two surviving palms planted by the Prophet :

We were joined by a tall smiling man from the Sudan who was one of the fuqara of Shaikh ul-Bukhari. He greeted us warmly and then produced three small wrinkled dates from one of the pockets of his voluminous white robe and handed them to me with a quiet,“Bismillah!”

These are some of the last dates to be harvested from the last two surviving date palms planted by the Prophet ," explained 'Abd ul-Jalil. "They were recently cut down by the Wahhabis because, they said, some people were idolising them.

...the Prophet planted all but one of the 300 palms with his own hands [as a ransom for his enslaved Companion Salman al-Farsi]. Some of the trees he inserted into the earth seemed dead, but soon sprouted after he had pressed the soil around their roots.


* free non-personalized email accounts can be created at a number of websites, including hotmail.com, yahoo.com and others

copyright 2004 - Shafiq Morton