Bab al-Saghir Cemetery

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Bab al-Saghir Cemetery

Bāb al-Ṣaghīr Cemetery (Arabic: مقبرة باب الصغیر) is an important old cemetery in Damascus in which children of some Shiite Imams (a), Sahaba, and Tabi'un are buried.

Bab al-Saghir traces back to the early years of the appearance of Islam in Syria. Maqam Ru'us al-Shuhada' (a visiting place where the heads of the Martyrs of Karbala are buried) is located near Bab al-Saghir. Some scholars, pious people, and well-known kings are also buried in this cemetery.

History, Location, and Significance

Bab al-Saghir Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Damascus which traces back to the early years when Islam entered the area. It is located near an old gate of the city known as "Bab al-Saghir". It is significant in that some Sahaba, children of the Imams (a), Tabi'un, scholars, pious people, and well-known kings are buried there.

Well-Known People Buried in the Cemetery

Darih of the Heads of the Martyrs of Karbala

Some historical sources point to well-known figures who are buried in the cemetery, although there is no sign of their graves today; for example, Muhammad b. 'Umar b. 'Ali (a), his wife, Khadija bt. Imam al-Sajjad (a), and Umm al-Hasan bt. Ja'far b. Hasan b. Hasan (a). On the other hand, some burial places which are known today are not mentioned in historical sources, such as the mausoleums of 'Abd Allah b. Imam al-Sajjad (a), 'Abd Allah b. Imam al-Sadiq (a), and the burial place of the heads of the Martyrs of Karbala.

Burial Place of the Heads of the Martyrs of Karbala

the grave attributed to Bilal al-Habashi, Mu'azzin of the Prophet (s) in the Bab al-Saghir cemetery

Near Bab al-Saghir, there is a burial place of the heads of 16 Martyrs of Karbala as follows:

However, al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin has appealed to an inscription found after 1321/1903 in the mausoleum in which only three of the Martyrs of Karbala are mentioned: al-'Abbas (a), 'Ali al-Akbar (a), and Habib b. Muzahir.

The burial place of the heads of the martyrs has a separate courtyard from that of the cemetery. The construction is located in the middle of the courtyard, and on the grave, a silver Darih is installed by the preacher of Isma'ili Shi'as of Buhra in India. Inside the Darih, there are 16 turbans as symbols of the 16 heads of the Martyrs of Karbala. The eastern side of the courtyard is connected to the courtyard of a new mosque in the shabistan of which there is a mihrab attributed to Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (a). Inside the courtyard, there is a water well with which the heads of the Martyrs of Karbala are believed by pilgrims to have been washed.

Also, Masjid Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (a), the oldest mosque in Damascus, is located near the burial place of the heads of the Martyrs of Karbala, in which Captives of Karbala were held.

Notes

  1. According to a historical account, Banu Tamim, Hurr's tribe, prevented him to be beheaded.

References