…the majestic moon last evening just after Maghrib…a theatrical effect gliding above the architectural splendour of Masjid Nabawi. Floating above our Noble Nabi SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, whose presence glows in hearts brighter than the full moon along with all the qualities bestowed upon him as the Mercy to the Worlds, SubhanAllah!
But this post is not so much about the moon, but about Madian valleys.
Bathan Valley flowed to the west of Masjid Nabawi all those centuries ago, and still lies beneath all that has been constructed upon it ever since. However the imagination tries to conjure what the scene may have been like each year when the 12th of Rabial Thani moon hovered over these blessed valleys during the decade of our Beloved Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasalla’s time in Madinah. Meandering through date palms, by mud houses, grazing flocks, sauntering camels, flitting singing birds, as water rippled after rains of mercy. Or as a dry sandy track where creatures scuttled, children played, wood was gathered, crops tendered, all to the ceaseless melodious sound of the Qur’an filling the skies and hearts.
This is the valley that is referred to by our Blessed Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam in various Ahadith.
From Sahih Bukhari it is narrated by ‘Aishah RadhiAllahu anha:
When Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam reached Medina, Abu Bakr and Bilal RadhiAllahu anhuma became ill. When Abu Bakr’s fever got worse, he would recite this poetic verse: “Everybody is staying alive with his people, yet death is nearer to him than His shoe laces.” And Bilal, when his fever deserted him, would recite: “Would that I could stay overnight in a valley wherein I would be surrounded by Idhkhir and Jalil (sweet smelling herbs). Would that one day I could drink the water of the Majanna, and would that the two mountains Shama and Tafil would appear to me!” The Prophet said, “O Allah! Curse Shaiba bin Rabi’a and ‘Utba bin Rabi’a and Umaiya bin Khalaf as they turned us out of our land to the land of epidemics.” Allah’s Apostle then said, “O Allah! Make us love Medina as we love Mecca or even more than that. O Allah! Give blessings in our Sa and our Mudd (measures for weighing foodstuffs) and make the climate of Medina suitable for us, and divert its fever towards Aljuhfa.” Aisha added: When we reached Medina, it was the most unhealthy of Allah’s lands, and the valley of Bathan used to flow with impure colored water.
And the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam is reported to have said: “Which of you would like to go early in the morning every day to Bathan or Al-‘Aqiq and return from it with two large-humped she-camels, without committing a sin or severing the ties of kinship?” They replied, “O Messenger of Allah! We (all) would like that!” He said, “If one of you goes early in the morning to the Masjid and learns or reads two Ayahs from the Book of Allah, the Exalted and the Glorious, is better for him than having two camels, and three Ayahs are better for him than three large camels, and four Ayahs are better for him than four large camels, and so on with the number of them and camels.” Such is the virtues of learning and reciting the Qur’an.
From Abu Dawud Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas RadhiAllahu anhu narrated: The Apostle of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam entered upon Thabit ibn Qays RadhiAllahu anhu. The version of Ahmad (ibn Salih) states: When he was ill the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam said: Remove the harm, O Lord of men, from Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas. He then took some dust of Bathan, and put it in a bowel, and then mixed it with water and blew in it, and poured it on him.
Narrated Bakr ibn Mubashshir al-Ansari RadhiAllahu anhu: I used to go to the place of prayer on the day of the breaking of the fast, and on the day of sacrifice along with the Companions of the Apostle of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. We would walk through the valley known as Bathan till we came to the place of prayer. Then we would pray along with the Apostle of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and return through Bathan to our house.
To retain some detail I have posted the map in two sections, from south, the bottom map to north. Bathan valley is the one on the right etching north-west by Masjid Nabawi before continuing northward where Wadi Quna joins it at the foot of Jabal Uhud. Wadi Ranono is the middle one that meets Bathan in the Awali district, while the far left one is Wadi Aqeeq. All congregate to the west of Jabal Uhud in the area known as Al-Jurf.
Al-Jurf (scroll down for previous significant information) was where the young Usamah ibn Zaid RadhiAllahu anhu was dispatched with his army, temporarily camping there during the final days of Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam’s illness. The Sahaba RadhiAllahu anhum in the expedition often travelled the 3 miles into Madinah with the permission of Usamah RadhiAllahu anhu to be at the bedside of Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. Controversy surrounded not only the appointment of Usamah RadhiAllahu anhu, but also the timing of this army to wage an attack to the north, but the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam explicitly sated that the army should not be stopped on any account and ordered them to set out for their destination as planned. The Roman Emperor Harqal received the news of the death of the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam as well as the presence of the army on the borders of Syria, ready to attack. He was amazed and overawed that regardless of the loss these valiant Sahabah RadhiAllahu anhum were experiencing, their valour and dedication did not deter them. This daring attitude scared the enemy and the morale of the Emperor, and Allah Ta’ala gave the Muslims victory without a single loss, SubhanAllah!
Other incidents regarding tayammum have been related to the Al-Jurf area. Ibn ‘Umar RadhiAllahu anhu was coming from his land in Al-Jurf and the time for ‘Asr came when he reached Marbad an-Na’am, a place where camels are kept. He prayed after performing tayammum and then entered Madinah while the sun was still high, but did not repeat the prayer.
Also, ‘Umayr, the mawla of Ibn ‘Abbas RadhiAllahu anhuma, was heard to say, “‘Abdullah ibn Yasar, the mawla of Maymuna RadhiAllahu anha, the wife of the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and I went to visit Abu Juhaym ibn al-Harith ibn Simma al-Ansari RadhiAllahu anhu. Abu Juhaym said, ‘Once the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was coming from the direction of Bi’r Jamal, Al-Jurf. A man met him and greeted him but the Prophet, SallAllahu alaihi wasallam, did not reply to him until he came to a wall. He wiped his face and hands and then returned his greeting.’”
Magnificent reminders abound throughout this Luminous City, radiating the glory and grandeur of our Blessed Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and his teachings, his Sunnah.
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.