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Islamic sites and tours

Jordan's Islamic History & Heritage

Jordan is an important destination for Muslims and many do undertake short visits to some of the more well known sites without knowing the full extent of Jordan's rich Islamic history.

Here is a brief outline of some of the well known and revered people in Islam and the various places and events in Jordan associated with them.

Visits to these sites can be incorporated with either Haj & Umrah visits and side trips to Al-Aqsa Mosque - and Hebron for those seeking to undertake a religiously orientated trip.

Very few people are aware that Jordan was the first country that Islam spread to ... As such it is very rich in Islamic history - primarily as a result of the 3 main strategic battles fought on this land - namely Muta'a - Yarmouk and Fahl. Many of the Prophet Muhammad's companions and military leaders were martyred and buried in Jordan. Some learned estimates put this figure at somewhere around 30,000.

Walk in the footsteps of the Ancient and Noble Prophets and Sahaba.

Sites associated with Islam

The Prophet's Muhammad's tree where he took shelter during a journey from Mecca to Damascus is still located in a wilderness area near Safawi

Kahf Al-Raqim or The Cave of The Seven Sleepers. Mentioned in the Holy Qur'an in a Sura named Al-Kahf (the Cave), it is located outside the village of Al-Raqim, on the outskirts of Amman

The Desert Castles (Umayyad dynasty (661-750 AD) - examples of early Islamic art and a place of recreational retreat for the early Arab Rulers. Some suggest it was also a place of refuge to escape the epidemics that plagued the big cities.

The famous Battle of Fahl (Pella) which liberated Jordan from Byzantine rule.

In the southern part of Jordan, near Ras Al-Naqab, lies Humayma the base of the Abbasid Dynasty from where they planned their seizure of the Islamic Caliphate from the Umayyads

Midway between Hejaz and Syria, on a hill located in Udruh between Ma'an and Shobak, lies Jabal Al-Tahkim or The Hill of Judication.
It was here after the Battle of Siffin, that Abu Musa Al-Ashaari representing Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib met Amr ibn Al-Aas representing Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan before a court of judgment.
North of the city of Ma'an is a mountain named Jabal Al-Ashaari, where a shrine for Abu Musa Al-Ashaari is located.

Aqaba hosts three interesting Islamic sites: Othman Mosque at Ayla built during the Caliphate of Othman ibn Affan , the Mamluk Fort, and the Castle of Salahuddin (Saladin) which is located on an island in the middle of the gulf.

A copy of the original letter (held in the Central Bank of Jordan) sent from The Prophet Muhammad to the emperor of Byzantium, Heraclius - can be seen at the King Abdullah Mosque Museum in Abdali

Mazar Islamic Museum - Karak .... Small collection of islamic sculpture, coins, and ceramics.

LAND OF PROPHETS

It is generally acknowledged that Prophet Moses was buried somewhere on Mount Nebo, although there is no actual tomb marking the spot. The Holy Qur'an describes in detail, the life and mission of Prophet Moses . In fact, Prophet Moses is the most mentioned prophet in the Holy Qur'an.

The Prophet and King of Israel, Sulayman 'Solomon' , has a shrine in Sarfah near Kerak.

Prophets Abraham and Jesus reportedly travelled extensively in Jordan.

Prophet Lut 'Lot' A Shrine and museum @ Lots Cave - is south of the Dead Sea. You will pass by the pillar of salt statue of Lot's wife on the Dead Sea Road - known to be the site of the Five Cities of the Plains - 2 of which were Sodom & Gomorrah.

The Prophet Yahya 'John the Baptist' was the son of the Prophet Zakariyyah 'Zacharia' and continued his father's work of preaching the word of Allah . He was beheaded at Mukawir and his head sent to Damascus.

In Wadi Shu'ayb lies the shrine of Prophet Shu'ayb 'Jethro' , the Midianite father-in-law of Prophet Moses

The shrine of Prophet Yusha 'Joshua' . West of salt

The final resting place of Prophet Ayyoub 'Job' who is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an 4 times. Khirbet Ayyoub - south west of Salt

Shrine of Khidr -

Shrine for Prophet Dawud 'David' . As a child, he slew Jalut 'Goliath' with a sling and became the second King of Israel

The shrine of Prophet Hud . Here is a modern mosque with a cave inside where Prophet Hud is believed buried. Near Jerash

The shrine of Prophet Adam's third son Prophet Seeth , near Tafila

The shrine of Prophet Harun 'Aaron' the brother of Prophet Moses . Jabal Al-Nabi Harun near Petra

Venerable Companions

The tomb of Bilal in Wadi el Seir, Amman - the Holy Prophet's personal muezzin.

The tomb of the venerable companion Abdul-Rahman ibn Awf Al-Zuhri . Lined up stones mark the burial place of one of the 'Blessed Ten', to whom Prophet Mohammad promised paradise. Jubeiha, Amman

The venerable companion Abu Ubeida Amer ibn Al-Jarrah who was the Prophet's relative and one of the first converts to Islam. He is one of the 'Blessed Ten', to whom the Prophet , promised paradise.

Mo'ath ibn Jabal entered Islam at the age of 18. He was one of the six charged with the task of compiling the Holy Qur'an during the life of Prophet Mohammad He died at the age of 38 in the Jordan Valley.

The venerable companion Shurahbil ibn Hasanah He died from the plague on the same day as the venerable companion Abu Ubeida Amer ibn Al-Jarrah .

The venerable companion Dirar ibn Al-Azwar was a poet and a fierce warrior who loved combat. He took part in the conquest of Greater Syria along with his distinguished sister Khawlah bint Al-Azwar. In the town of Deir Alla a mosque superimposed by a dome houses the tomb of Dirar ibn Al-Azwar in the 18th year after Hijra was when he, too, became a victim of the Great Plague.

The tombs of the venerable companions :
Ja'far ibn Abi Talib
Zaid ibn Harithah
Abdullah ibn Ruwahah in the town of Al-Mazar Al-Janubi near Kerak. (next to the site of the famous battle of Muta)

Also in Kerak is the shrine of Zaid ibn Ali ibn Al-Hussein . He was the great, great, grandson of Prophet Mohammad ,

A collection of stones marks the tomb of the venerable companion Maysarah ibn Masrouq Al-Abssi buried west of Salt in the town of Arda.

The Grave of the Venerable Companion Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl marked by a collection of stones. - Ajloun

The tomb of the venerable companion Abul-Dardaa is located in a modern building in the village of Soam Ashunnaq near Irbid.

The much beloved venerable companion Jabir ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari has a shrine in Tafilah.

The venerable companion Kaab ibn Umayr Al-Ghifari His shrine is located in Salmani, Tafila province.

The venerable companion Al-Harith ibn Umayr Al-Azdi the only one of the Prophet's messengers martyred while on an official mission. Tafila

The shrine of Farwah ibn Amr Al-Judhami is in Tafilah near Afra water springs. He was the Roman-Byzantine governor of Ma'an district until the Byzantines crucified him for converting to Islam.

Mosques of interest

King Abdullah Mosque (Abdali Amman) - with small Islamic museum - interesting letter from the Prophet Mohammad to Byzantine Emperor Heraclius ...

Ajloun Great Mosque dating back to the time of 1247 (One of the Oldest original Mosques)

Jafaar Mosque Karak - Tombs of prominent Sahaba

King Hussain Mosque - West Amman (New Mosque)

Hussaini Mosque - Downtown Amman - Re-Built on the original Mosque founded by Caliph Omar

Mosque of the Cave of the 7 Sleepers - East Amman

Abu Obeida Mosque - North Jordan Valley with Shrines and tombs of the 'Blessed Ten'

Khalid ibn Al-Walid

Abū Sulaymān Khālid ibn al-Walīd ibn al-Mughīrah al-Makhzūmī (Arabic: أبو سليمان خالد بن الوليد بن المغيرة المخزومي‎‎; 592-642) also known as Sayf Allāh al-Maslūl (Arabic: سيف الله المسلول‎; Drawn Sword of God),

Khalid was the only man who inflicted a tactical defeat on the Holy Prophet-at Uhud. He was the first Muslim commander to leave Arabia and conquer foreign lands; the first Muslim to humble two great empires, one after the other.

Almost all his battles are studies in military leadership, especially Uhud, Kazima, Walaja, Muzayyah, Ajnadein and Yarmuk. His finest battle was Walaja, while his greatest was undoubtedly Yarmuk. Khalid was essentially a soldier. He also administered the territories which he conquered, but this he did as a routine responsibility of a high-ranking general, who had not only to conquer territory but also to rule it as a military governor.

His plans and manoeuvres show a superb military intellect; but towards such things as learning and culture he was in no way inclined. Khalid was pure, unadulterated, undiluted, unspoilt soldier. It was his destiny to fight great battles and vanquish mighty foes.... to attack, kill, conquer. This destiny became apparent only when, with the rise of Islam, the prospect of holy war arose in Arab lands. And it was only after he had accepted the new faith and submitted to the Prophet that this destiny came into full play.

Wherever Khalid marched, enemies stood up to oppose him, as if some unkind fate had condemned them to death by his sword. Wherever Khalid passed, he left behind a trail of glory. From the Battle of Uhud up to the time of his dismissal, over a period of 15 years, Khalid fought 41 battles (excluding minor engagements), of which 35 were concentrated in the last seven years. And he never lost a single one! Such was Khalid, the irresistible, all-conquering master.

It is interesting to speculate what would have happened if he had remained in command of the Muslim army in Syria and had been launched to conquer the Byzantine Empire, Since Khalid never lost a battle, there is no doubt that he would have taken the whole of Asia Minor and reached the Black Sea and the Bosphorus. But it was not to be. By the end of 17 Hijri Khalid's race was run. Thereafter the stage of history was crowded by other players.

In 641, Ayadh bin Ghanam died. In this year, too, died Bilal the Muazzin and Khalid's defeated foe, Heraclius, Emperor of Rome. The following year it was Khalid's turn to go. Some time in 642 (21 Hijri), at the age of 58, Khalid was taken ill. We do not know the nature of his illness, but it was a prolonged one and took the strength out of him. As with all vigorous, active men upon whom an inactive retirement is suddenly thrust, Khalid's health and physique had declined rapidly. This last illness proved too much for him; and Khalid's sick bed became his death bed. He lay in bed, impatient and rebellious against a fate which had robbed him of a glorious, violent death in battle. Knowing that he had not long to live, it irked him to await death in bed.

Thus died Khalid, son of Al Waleed, the Sword of Allah. May Allah be pleased with him!

The news of Khalid's death broke like a storm over Madinah. The women took to the streets, led by the women of the Bani Makhzum, wailing and beating their breasts. Umar had heard the sad news and now heard the sounds of wailing. He was deeply angered. On his very first day as Caliph, he had given orders that here would be no wailing for departed Muslims. And there was logic in Umar's point of view. Why should we weep for those who have gone to paradise? the blissful abode promised by Allah to the Faithful! Umar had enforced the order, at times using his whip. 2 Umar now heard sounds of wailing. He stood up from the floor of his room, took his whip and made for the door. He would not permit disobedience of his orders; the wailing must be stopped at once! He got to the door, but there he paused. For a few silent moments the Caliph stood in the doorway, lost in thought.

This was, after all, no ordinary death; this was the passing away of Khalid bin Al Waleed. Then he heard the sounds of mourning from the next house-his own daughter, Hafsa, widow of the Holy Prophet, was weeping for the departed warrior. 3 Umar turned back. He hung up his whip and sat down again. In this one case he would make an exception. "Let the women of the Bani Makhzum say what they will about Abu Sulaiman, for they do not lie", said the Caliph. "Over the likes of Abu Sulaiman weep those who weep." 4

http://www.islamicbulletin.org/free_downloads/companions/khalid.pdf PLEASE READ THE ISLAMIC BULLETIN FOR MORE COMPREHENSIVE & EXTENSIVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE LIFE AND BATTLES OF KHALED BIN WALEED

(Battle of Muta) ......reported that the fighting was so intense that he used nine swords

(Battle of Yarmouk) ..... Sealed the fate of Byzantium due to the Tactical Marvel of Khalid

(Battle of Fahl) ...... In 635 Khalid defeated Theodore the Byzantine General.

Khalid is said to have fought around a hundred battles, both major battles and minor skirmishes as well as single duels, during his military career. Having remained undefeated, this fact makes him one of the finest military generals in history.

"I've fought in so many battles seeking martyrdom that there is no spot in my body left without a scar or a wound made by a spear or sword. And yet here I am, dying on my bed like an old camel. May the eyes of the cowards never rest."
—Khalid ibn Walid

The wife of Khalid, upon feeling the pain and sadness of her husband told Khalid: "You were given the title of 'Saif-ullah' meaning, 'The Sword of Allah' and, the sword of Allah is not meant to be broken and hence, it is not your destiny to be a 'martyr' but to die like a conqueror."

The Sword of Allah (Khaled bin Waleed) fought valiantly and brought victory to the Muslims. Read 'The Sword of Allah' by Agha Ali Ibrahim Akram (Urdu: آغا ابراہیم اکرم), better known as A. I. Akram was a lieutenant-general in the Pakistan army and a historian. He wrote books about early Muslim conquests. His first book was The Sword of Allah. He retired from Pakistan Army as Lieutenant-General in 1978.

I guarantee once you start reading this book, you cannot put it down.

Visit to Jerusalem ( Al Aqsa Mosque )

It's very easy to do a side trip to Jerusalem from Amman. We can advise you on how to get there, either by yourself or, with the help of a tour operator if you feel happier with that. We will advise what the procedures consist of, how long the formalities take and what the estimated costs will be - ie border taxis, transport etc. We will advise you of every detail entailed.

Visas on arrival are issued to all holders of European, US, UK, Canadian, Australian and other western countries. Pakistani, Indian or Malaysian visitors must obtain a visa before arrival at the border from your nearest Israeli embassy or from the Israeli Embassy here in Jordan. We will advise regarding this procedure on arrival.

GO FOR IT - INCLUDE A SIDE TRIP TO JERUSALEM & VISIT ISLAM'S 3RD HOLIEST SITE

It's very easy to do a side trip to Jerusalem from Amman. We can advise you on how to get there, either by yourself or, with the help of a tour operator if you feel happier with that. We will advise what the procedures consist of, how long the formalities take and what the estimated costs will be - ie border taxis, transport etc. We will advise you of every detail entailed.

NO NEED FOR EXPENSIVE ESCORTED TOURS, YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF & STAY IN BUDGET ACCOMMODATION

Visits to the ancient city are amazing - wander through the thousands of years' old streets - pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque - if you are lucky JUMA prayer.... and register your support and become a 'friend' of Al-Aqsa.

You may also visit other places if desired - Bethlehem, Nazareth, Yaffa, Tel Aviv - and even the Occupied Territories - the West Bank of the Jordan - visit Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron - Jericho. If you have the time why not visit all. It's relatively easy getting around. We can also advise you of companies and individuals who operate 'political interest' tours and explain exactly whats going on in that area - along with places to stay.

ISSUE OF VISAS ON LAND BORDERS

Visas are issued to Muslims and many muslims from all over the world visit Jerusalem as a side pilgrimage as it's the 3rd holiest site in Islam and the first qibla. It's not difficult - in fact much easier than many think.

If you can get a small group together from your local Mosque - ( from 3 - 20 persons) we will assist with all the logistics and give a step-by-step guide and where necessary cooperate with a local tour operator to ensure all legal formalities and seek the best quotes.

JERUSALEM AND UMAR IBN AL-KHATTAB (RA)

Jerusalem is a city holy to the three largest monotheistic faiths - Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Because of its history that spans thousands of years, it goes by many names: Jerusalem, al-Quds, Yerushaláyim, Aelia, and more, all reflecting its diverse heritage. It is a city that numerous Muslim prophets called home, from Sulayman and Dawood to Isa (Jesus), may Allah be pleased with them.

During the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ's life, he made a miraculous journey in one night from Makkah to Jerusalem and then from Jerusalem to Heaven - the Isra' and Mi'raj. During his life, however, Jerusalem never came under Muslim political control. That would change during the caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph of Islam.

Capture of Jerusalem

By 637, Muslim armies began to appear in the vicinity of Jerusalem. In charge of Jerusalem was Patriarch Sophronius, a representative of the Byzantine government, as well as a leader in the Christian Church. Although numerous Muslim armies under the command of Khalid ibn al-Walid and Amr ibn al-'As (may Allah be pleased with them) began to surround the city, Sophronius refused to surrender the city unless Umar came to accept the surrender himself.

Having heard of such a condition, Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) left Madinah, travelling alone with one donkey and one servant. When he arrived in Jerusalem, he was greeted by Sophronius, who undoubtedly must have been amazed that the caliph of the Muslims, one of the most powerful people in the world at that point, was dressed in no more than simple robes and was indistinguishable from his servant.

Umar was given a tour of the city, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. When the time for prayer came, Sophronius invited Umar to pray inside the Church, but Umar refused. He insisted that if he prayed there, later Muslims would use it as an excuse to convert it into a mosque - thereby depriving Christendom of one of its holiest sites. Instead, Umar prayed outside the Church, where a mosque (called Masjid Umar - the Mosque of Umar) was later built.

The Treaty of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)

As they did with all other cities they conquered, the Muslims had to write up a treaty detailing the rights and privileges regarding the conquered people and the Muslims in Jerusalem. This treaty was signed by Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and Patriarch Sophronius, along with some of the generals of the Muslim armies. The text of the treaty read:

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is the assurance of safety which the servant of God, Umar, the Commander of the Faithful, has given to the people of Jerusalem. He has given them an assurance of safety for themselves for their property, their churches, their crosses, the sick and healthy of the city and for all the rituals which belong to their religion. Their churches will not be inhabited by Muslims and will not be destroyed. Neither they, nor the land on which they stand, nor their cross, nor their property will be damaged. They will not be forcibly converted. No Jew will live with them in Jerusalem.

The people of Jerusalem must pay the taxes like the people of other cities and must expel the Byzantines and the robbers. Those of the people of Jerusalem who want to leave with the Byzantines, take their property and abandon their churches and crosses will be safe until they reach their place of refuge. The villagers may remain in the city if they wish but must pay taxes like the citizens. Those who wish may go with the Byzantines and those who wish may return to their families. Nothing is to be taken from them before their harvest is reaped.

If they pay their taxes according to their obligations, then the conditions laid out in this letter are under the covenant of God, are the responsibility of His Prophet, of the caliphs and of the faithful.

- Quoted in The Great Arab Conquests, from Tarikh Tabari

At the time, this was by far one of the most progressive treaties in history. For comparison, just 23 years earlier when Jerusalem was conquered by the Persians from the Byzantines, a general massacre was ordered. Another massacre ensued when Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders from the Muslims in 1099.

The Treaty of Umar allowed the Christians of Jerusalem religious freedom, as is dictated in the Quran and the sayings of Muhammad ﷺ. This was one of the first and most significant guarantees of religious freedom in history. While there is a clause in the treaty regarding the banning of Jews from Jerusalem, its authenticity is debated. One of Umar's guides in Jerusalem was a Jew named Kaab al-Ahbar. Umar further allowed Jews to worship on the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall, while the Byzantines banned them from such activities. Thus, the authenticity of the clause regarding Jews is in question.

What is not in question, however, was the significance of such a progressive and equitable surrender treaty, which protected minority rights. The treaty became the standard for Muslim-Christian relations throughout the former Byzantine Empire, with rights of conquered people being protected in all situations, and forced conversions never being a sanctioned act.

Revitalization of the City

Umar immediately set about making the city an important Muslim landmark. He cleared the area of the Temple Mount, where Muhammad ﷺascended to heaven from. The Christians had used the area as a garbage dump to offend the Jews, and Umar and his army (along with some Jews) personally cleaned it and built a mosque - Masjid al-Aqsa - there.

Throughout the remainder of Umar's caliphate and into the Umayyad Empire's reign over the city, Jerusalem became a major center of religious pilgrimage and trade. The Dome of the Rock was added to complement Masjid al-Aqsa in 691. Numerous other mosques and public institutions were soon established throughout the city.

The Muslim conquest of Jerusalem under the caliph Umar in 637 was clearly an important moment in the city's history. For the next 462 years, it would be ruled by Muslims, with religious freedom for minorities protected according to the Treaty of Umar. Even in 2012, as fighting continues over the future status of the city, many Muslims, Christians, and Jews insist that the Treaty maintains legal standing and look to it to help solve Jerusalem's current problems. http://islam.ru/en/content/story/jerusalem-and-umar-ibn-al-khattab-ra

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