Saqifah Bani Sa’eda
A Green Garden Gem in Madinah
سقيفة بني ساعدة
In the blessed city of Madinah Munawwarah, just over 200m away from the Masjidun Nabawi, lies a green garden quietly being looked after by its faithful caretakers. Located west of the north-western corner of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)’s mosque (the Movenpick hotel corner), this place of natural tranquility and historical Islamic history is often overlooked by the unsuspecting pilgrim.
When the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was in Madinah (622AD onwards), there was a “saqifah” (meaning ‘shelter’) where the present garden is. This shelter was in the locality of the Bani Sa’eda – a famous family branch of the Khazraj tribe of the Ansaar. To the north of this shelter was a well – the well of Budha’ah. During his life time, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to frequently go to this shelter, drink water and perform ablution at the well, and pray in the shade of the shelter. The companions used to also rest in the coolness of this shelter.
When the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) passed away, there was a lot of confusion on how to proceed with matters. Senior sahabah and leaders of the community retreated to this shelter to discuss matters and after some deliberation Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) was elected as the Caliph (successor) of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
While the original shelter and well is no longer there, the garden offers an opportunity to remember our Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and to remember the historical election of Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) as the first Caliph of Islam. Visit this garden and reflect therein if you have an opportunity. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) give us all an opportunity to visit these blessed lands of Madinah Munawwarah and Makkah Mukarramah. آمين.
Pictorial History of Madinah Munawwarah by Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani, 2004, King Fahd National Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data, Al-Rasheed Printers, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia