The superiority of some lands over others in hadiths



From the viewpoint of both Sunni and Shi‘ah traditions, it can be inferred that certain parts of the earth, and likewise the people dwelling therein, are endowed with qualities of either wickedness or prosperity and salvation:

1. On his own chain of transmission, Bukhari recounts that ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar said, “When the Holy Prophet (S) was passing through the land of Thamud, he said, ‘Do not enter lands whose owners have committed oppression against themselves so that you may not be afflicted with suffering as they were, unless you pass through while crying.’ Then, the Prophet of Allah covered his blessed head and passed through that valley quickly.”8

2. Bukhari also narrates, “‘Ali disliked performing his prayers in the valley of Babylon.”9

3. Halabi recounts, “The consensus of the Islamic community [ummah] is that this place (Medina), which contains the body of the Holy Prophet (S), is the best part of land on earth. It is even higher than the Ka‘bah (Mecca). Some say it is the most excellent part of the earth and is even higher than the Throne [‘arsh] of Allah.”10

4. In a discussion about why Medina is higher than all the other parts of the earth, Samhudi Shafi‘i says, “The second reason is this: this land consists of parts of the earth that are considered by consensus of the Islamic community [ummah] to possess the holy body of Allah’s Prophet (as).”11

5. Likewise, it is narrated that after the death and burial of the Holy Prophet (S), people used to come and carry some soil from his grave with the aim of seeking divine favors from it. ‘A’ishah got worried that the soil would get finished and hence reveal the body of the Holy Prophet. Therefore, she ordered that a wall should be raised around the Prophet’s grave.12


8. Sahih Bukhari, vol. 6, p. 7, Kitab al-Maghazi.

9. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 90; Kitab al-Salat.

10. Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, vol. 3, p. 306.

11. Wafa’ al-Wafa’, vol. 1, p. 52.

12. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 385.

Adapted from: “The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts” by: “‘Ali Asghar Ridwani”


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