Written and anecdotal records state that the lands of Al-Sham, compromising what is present day Syria, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and parts of Turkey were blessed by the presence of many of the prophets and companions we as Muslims treat as the ‘founding fathers’ of our religion. The region very much holds true to the term ‘blessed lands’.
Central to this region and probably most significant in terms of its wealth in history is what we now consider Israel and Palestine (the land of the prophets). Countless ambiyah and companions of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) are reported to have either been born in or spent some portion of their lives in the holy land. Almost as many are believed to have died there; the region considered a treasure trove of important burial sites and tombs.
In a prior analysis on the Masjid al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, it was stated that the city housed many graves associated with the prophets of Allah, and the companions of Muhammad (s.a.w). This article will aim to highlight some of those figures alleged to be buried in Palestine and Israel, as well as their supposed (unconfirmed) gravesites. However due to the sheer numbers the list is far from comprehensive.
Prophets of Allah buried in historical Palestine
Nabi Adam (a.s) – The first prophet of Islam according to Quranic scriptures, Muslims believe Adam (a.s) was created from clay in the heavens before being banished to earth for failing to adhere to the command of Allah. In fact there exists a site in Sri Lanka called ‘Adams Peak’, which local tradition suggests is the location where Adam (a.s) fell to earth. A footprint claimed to be his can be found on site.
But in terms of his alleged resting place, the claims are quite diverse. Some suggestions are that he may be buried on Mount Abu Qubays in the holy city of Makkah, while others state that Nabi Nuh (a.s) may have reburied his body in Jerusalem. Another claim (Jewish tradition) is that Adam (a.s) is buried alongside his wife Hawa (a.s) at Masjid-e-Khalil (Ibrahimi Mosque), in what is now present day Hebron. The mosque, built over an ancient cemetery is also famous for being the reported grave site of four other prominent prophets of Allah (swt).
(http://www.usna.edu/Users/humss/bwheeler/adam.html) – More information.
Ibrahim (a.s) – Holding the endearing and illustrious title of Khalil-ullah (friend of Allah), Ibrahim (a.s) is easily one of the most recognisable and prominent figures in Islamic history. He is credited with building the Kabah in the city of Makkah, and is also held in high stead amongst followers of numerous other religions (Abrahamic faiths).
The widespread belief is that he is first of the four successive prophets buried at Masjid-e-Khalil, all of whom follow the same lineage.
Ishaq and Yacoob (a.s) – The son and grandson of Ibrahim (a.s) are also reported to be buried at the iconic masjid in Hebron. Although born in Palestine and having spent much of his life there, Yacoob (a.s), is believed to have settled and died in Egypt. As per tradition, he would have been buried at the place of his demise. But at personal request prior to his passing, he was laid to rest alongside his father and grandfather in Palestine.
Yusuf (a.s) – The last of the line to be buried at the Ibrahimi Mosque, the story in which Yusuf (a.s) was thrown in a well by his siblings is widely known. Interestingly the well where this incident is claimed to have taken place still exists in Jerusalem, and is venerated by practitioners of Judaism.
Another site in the Palestinian territories suggested as his resting place is a small shrine near Nablus in the West Bank, in a building called Joseph’s Tomb.
(http://www.islamiclandmarks.com/palestine/other/majid_khalil.html)- Additional info.
Dawood (a.s) – Another prophet with a significant role in several religions, he ruled as king for the people of Israel for a period of 40 years. Dawood’s (a.s) story is most famed for the battle against the army of Jalut (Goliath), where at a relatively young age he singlehandedly defeated the giant Jalut. He later went on to rule the people of Israel, to be succeeded by his son Sulaiman (a.s).
The Tomb of King David (Maqam of Dawood) in Jerusalem is a popular site amongst Jews, situated just outside the Old City on Jabel Sahyoun (Mount Zion). While followers of Judaism believe this to be his resting place, Islamic tradition suggests the site may simply be a place where the prophet once lived. This claim has been supported by historians.
Sulaiman (a.s) – The son of Dawood (a.s), he succeeded his father as king of the Israelites. The narrative is that Sulaiman (a.s), known for his ability to speak to animals and control jinn, died whilst standing up in salaah with a cane in hand. However he did not fall as expected, remaining in an upright position until Allah (swt) willed termites to eat his cane. The site of this scene is marked by a building in the compound of Masjid Al-Aqsa. As for his place of burial, it is narrated that he was buried in the same tomb as his father.
Narration can be found here: (http://www.questionsonislam.com/question/grave-prophet)
Nabi Moosa (a.s) – While most Muslims believe his tomb to be situated a few kilometres short of the Israeli town of Jericho, the Maqam El-Nabi Musa may not be his final resting place at all. The site assumed to house the grave of Musa (a.s) is largely a creation of 12th century sultan and conqueror Salahuddin Ayyubi, who was pointed to the location in a dream. As a result he decided to build a mosque and tomb to mark the area as the prophet’s burial site. Whether the tomb actually houses the grave of Musa (a.s) remains a mystery. What is known is that he did die close to the city of Jerusalem.
Yunus (a.s) – Islamic belief is that Yunus (a.s) was buried in Halhul, in the West Bank close to Hebron. The location of his gravesite is named Mount Nebi Yunus.
Lut (a.s) – A nephew to Ibrahim (a.s) who migrated to Palestine alongside his uncle, there is a mosque in the centre of the West Bank town of Bani Na’im which holds the tomb of Lut (a.s). In addition, the town also houses a shrine in his honour, the Maqam al Nabi Yatin, which has footprints believe to be that of the Lut (a.s).
Shuaib (a.s) – While Islamic history places his burial site in Jordan, followers of the Druze faith recognised the depopulated Palestinian town of Hittin as the location of his tomb.
Nabi Isa (a.s) – One of the holiest figures in Christianity and an equally pivotal prophet in Islam, Isa (a.s) had his roots firmly fixed in the lands of Palestine. Born in the town of Bethlehem, the site of his birth is revered and frequented by Christians (Church of Nativity). The final days of Isa (a.s) are well known; Christians believe he was crucified in Jerusalem at what is now the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and later buried in the city as well (possibly the Garden Tomb). Islamically this narrative is rejected under the belief that Isa (a.s) descended to heaven instead. The location of his ascension is suggested to be directly opposite Jerusalem’s Old City, on the Mount of Olives.
Next: Sahabah buried in Palestine/Israel