Today, many are aware of the famine and war that is occurring in Yemen but how many are you aware it is the home to several landmarks that hold historical significance to Islam. Yemen is situated to the east of Oman and south of Saudi Arabia. It was known for its power and trade for ostrich plumes and spice predominantly myrrh and frankincense. Many of our beloved Prophets (peace be upon them) travelled through Yemen to go to Syria, Iraq and Egypt and other countries.
The tomb of Prophet Hud and Shuaib (peace be upon them) are situated in Hadr Mawt. Prophet Hud was sent to the people of Aad who were known for their size and strength and disobeyed the message of Allah calling them to void sin and pray to the Almighty Allah (The Most High). This resulted in them being punished by a strong wind. Subhanallah. Similarly, Prophet Shuaib (peace be upon him) was sent to spread the message of Allah but to the people of Madian.
Allah (The Most High) has given His messengers blessings in different ways. One of these include the ability to speak with animals and wisdom and this was gifted to Prophet Suleiman (peace be upon him). He was modest in his nature and like all the Prophets of Allah (The Most High) spent his time serving Allah.
“And Solomon inherited (the knowledge of) David. He said: "O mankind! We have been taught the language of birds, and on us have been bestowed all things. This, verily, is an evident grace (from Allah)." The Ant - Verse 16
He was introduced to Sheba otherwise known as Saba in present day Yemen after communicating with a hoopie bird who narrated to the Prophet of Allah about a powerful queen called Bilqis whose kingdom worshipped the sun and gods. The moon god Al-makah was the king of the gods and he had a daughter called Shamsh who the goddess of the sun Upon hearing this, he invited her to submit to Allah (The Most High). In Surah Al Naml (The Ant) verse 20 -44, Allah informs us of how His Prophet embarked on his journey used his wisdom and Bilqis reverted to monotheism.
Temple of Al-Makkah
Saba was known for their talent of engineering and building projects such as Maarib Dam which is the oldest dam in the world that aided irrigation and diverted rain water to the farms in lower end of the valleys by evading the Dhana ravine (Wadi Adanah). They harvested wheat, barley, fruits and dates. Trees that grew saps in which aromatic compounds such as myrrh and frankincense were extracted. Similar to the people of Aad and Madyan there were punished as Allah (The Most High) for their ungratefulness where the Ma’rib dam became dysfunctional and was used to flood Saba. In Surah Saba, verse 15 to 16, Allah (The Most High) says:
There was for [the tribe of] Saba' in their dwelling place a sign: two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told], "Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord. “But they turned away [refusing], so We sent upon them the flood of the dam, and We replaced their two [fields of] gardens with garden of bitter fruit, tamarisks and something of sparse lote trees.
Remains of the dam
Moreover, in the early days of Makkah, Yemen was ruled by a Christian ruler called Abraha. He had a cathedral in Sanaa in Yemen and wanted to divert the Makkans from Kaabah to worshipping in his cathedral. In order to achieve this, he sent an army including elephants to destroy Kaabah. However, Allah has sent birds hailing them with stones as he stated in Surah Al Feel (The Elephant).
Have you not considered, [O Muhammad], how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant?. Did He not make their plan into misguidance? And He sent against them birds in flocks, Striking them with stones of hard clay, And He made them like eaten straw.
Subhanallah, reflecting on these parables, Allah left these monuments as a sign for us of what happened to those before us so we can seek guidance and repent before it is too late. May Allah keep us steadfast Ameen.
And We left it as a sign, so is there any who will remember? Surah Qamar (54:15)
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This is a 12 month project aiming to educate the public on sacred landmarks in Islam around the world.