Palestine (2nd Instalment)

The Pages of History

Palestine (2nd Instalment)

Asif Iqbal Attari Madani

3. Nablus

This is Palestine’s biggest city in terms of population and harbours steep historical significance. It serves as headquarters for all of Palestine’s university-related affairs, and is located centrally between both western and eastern borders. It is also named Jabal al-Nar, Damishq Sughra, the house of scholars, and Palestine’s crownless queen.

This city was conquered during the caliphate of Sayyiduna ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb. After hearing Caesarea was conquered, people of the surrounding areas (such as Ramla, Akka, Asqalan, Gaza, Nablus, Tiberias, Beirut, Jabla, and Latakia) came to Sayyiduna ʿAmr b. Ā رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ. They negotiated a treaty upon the condition of paying tax (jizya). In this manner, the entire region was conquered in an instant.[1]

Masjid Sakina can be found in Silon, in Nablus’ southern region. It is said Prophet Yaʿqūb عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلاَم lived here, and is also the place from which Prophet Yūsuf was taken by his brothers before they cast him into the well, which itself is in Sinjil. Said well has been looked after by locals for visitors to behold.[2]

Most scholars also say the tablespread mentioned in Sūrat al-Māʾidah descended here.[3]

Nablus is also renowned for being the birthplace of many notable Islamic personalities, such as the world-renowned gnostic, ʿAbd al-Ghanī Nablūsī anafī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه.

4. Ramla

This is an illustrious fortified settlement consisting of many small villages and distinct for its architecture and for being a city of trade. Its weather and living conditions are pleasant, its homes large, masjids beautiful, and roads wide. It is located near both the sea and a mountain range.[4] Another place steeped in history, it was conquered during the caliphate of ʿSayyiduna Umar b. al-Khaṭṭāb, by Sayyiduna ʿAmr b. Ā.

Amad b. usayn b. asan Shāfiʿī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه, commonly known as Ibn Raslan, was born here.[5] His shrine is known to be a place at which duas to Allah are accepted.[6]

The anafī shaykh, author of fatawa khayriyyah (الفتاوى الخيرية لنفع البرية), imam, hadith expert, Quranic exegete, and scholar; Khayr al-Dīn Amad b. ʿAlī Ramlī was also born here (d. 1081 AH).[7]

5. Asqalan

This is a city bordering Syria and renowned for its beauty. Its name ʿurūs al-Shām (Syria’s bride) stems from the latter. At the time of writing, it is a residential area. It was also conquered during the caliphate of Sayyiduna ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ, by Sayyiduna Muʿāwiya رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ.

In 548 AH, the city was overtaken by European forces.[8]

The excellences of this city are described in a hadith, in which the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said,عسقلان احدی العروسین یبعث منھا یوم القیٰمة سبعون الفالاحساب علیہم- “Asqalan is one of two brides. On the Day of Judgement, 70,000 shall raise from here upon whom there is no accountability.”[9]

A huge number of Companions رَضِیَ اللّٰهُ عَنْهُم, their successors, and hadith experts came and spread their knowledge here. Sultan alā al-Dīn Ayyūbī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه took it back from the hands of Christian crusaders in 583 AH.[10]

[1] Futū al-Shām, vol. 2, p. 32

[2] Āthār al-Bilād wa Akhbār al-ʿIbād, p. 205

[3] Muʿjam al-Buldān, vol. 3, p. 107

[4] Asan al-Taqāsīm fī Maʿrifat al-Aqālīm, p. 164, Derived From

[5] Shar al-Mawāhib, vol. 9, p. 66

[6] Muʿjam al-Muʾallifīn, vol. 1, p. 128

[7] Muʿjam al-Maʿāt al-ʿArabiyyah wa al-Mu’arrabah, vol. 2, p. 951

[8] Āthār al-Bilād wa Akhbār al-ʿIbād, p. 222

[9] Musnad Amad, vol. 21, p. 65, hadith 13356

[10] Muʿjam al-Buldān, vol. 3, p. 327




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