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Shrine of the great companion Hijr ibn Adi destroyed and body reportedly exhumed

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AIM has received reports and photographs that the grave of the great companion of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), Hijr ibn Adi, in Adra, a small town north of Damascus, has been destroyed by Salafist groups.

Although the Salafi militants claim to have exhumed the body and buried it elsewhere, a caretaker to the shrine claiming to be an eye witness to the destruction taking place has stated that the digging was insufficient to reach the body and that the militants were killed on trying to leave the shrine.

These reports remain unconfirmed.

Hijr ibn Adi and his son were killed in 660 CE by Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan, due to his firm loyalty to Imam Ali (as).

Sunni scholar Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi in his book Caliphs and Kings writes:

“Hijr ibn Adi was a pious companion of the Prophet (saw) and played a vital role in the correction of the Ummah. During Muawiyah’s reign when the custom of cursing Ali from the pulpit’s of Mosques began, hearts of the Muslims were being bled dry but people bit their tongues fearing death. In Kufa, Hijr ibn Adi could not remain silent and he began to praise Ali (as) and condemn Muawiyah. Until Mughira remained the Governor of Kufa, he adopted a lenient attitude towards this, but when Ziyad’s Governorship of Basra was extended to include Kufa, serious altercations arose. He would curse Ali (as) during the sermons and Hijr would refute him.

On one occasion he (Hijr) warned Ziyad for being late for Jummah prayers. Ziyad then arrested him along with twelve of his companions on false accusations of forming an opposition group to overthrow the Khalifa. He also gathered witnesses to testify against them alleging that they claimed that khilafath was the exclusive right of the lineage of Ali (as) and further accused them of creating an uproar, of sending blessings upon him and hating his enemies.

The accused were sent to Muawiyah and he sentenced them to death. A condition was placed that if they cursed Ali (as) and showed their hatred to him they would be pardoned. They refused and Hijr ibn Adi said `I will not say that which would displease Allah’.

Finally Hijr ibn Adi, his son Humaan ibn Hijr and his seven companions were murdered. From amongst them Abdur Rahman bin Hasan was sent back to return with a written instruction that he be murdered in the worst possible manner, Ziyad buried him alive.”
[Chapter 4: “The elimination of freedom of speech” by Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi].

In other traditions, it is said that Hijr’s final wish was that his son be killed before him, in fear that his son would be terrified of death and give in to the demands to curse Ali (as).

Hijr saw his son be killed before he too stepped forward for martyrdom, both giving their lives in loyalty to Ali (as) and for the sake of Allah (swt).

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