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 Companions, children of the Imams (a), Tabi'un, scholars, pious people, and well-known kings are buried there.
Well-Known People Buried in the Cemetery
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. al-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
Near Bab al-Saghir, there is a burial place of the heads of sixteen Martyrs of Karbala as follows:
- Al-'Abbas b. 'Ali (a)
- 'Abd Allah b. 'Ali (a)
- Muhammad b. 'Ali (a)
- Ja'far b. 'Ali (a)
- 'Uthman b. 'Ali (a)
- 'Umar b. 'Ali (a)
- 'Ali al-Akbar b. al-Husayn (a)
- 'Abd Allah b. al-Husayn (a)
- Qasim b. al-Hasan (a)
- Ja'far b. 'Aqil
- 'Abd Allah b. 'Aqil
- Muhammad b. Muslim b. 'Aqil
- 'Awn b. 'Abd Allah b. Ja'far
- 'Abd Allah b. 'Awf
- Hurr b. Yazid .
- Habib b. Muzahir
However, al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin has appealed to an inscription found after 1321/1903-4 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 sixteen turbans as symbols of the sixteen 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.
- According to a historical account, Banu Tamim, Hurr's tribe, prevented him to be beheaded.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from قبرستان بابالصغیر in Farsi Wikishia.