The next stop on our tour is the shrine of a sahaba (a disciple of the Prophet Mohammed). It is situated 6 km further on, northeast of the village of Ziyaret, on a hilltop overlooking the Araban plain.
The personage whose memory is enshrined here is Sa’d Bin Ebu Vakkas. The rectangular, ashlar structure stands next to the cemetery. It has a lath and plaster interior with columnar supports and a mihrap – praying niche. The tomb itself is a 7-metre-long marble sarcophagus with lid. When the shrine was restored in 1998, a mescit or small mosque, guest house and area for sacrifices were built 30 meters southwest of the shrine. 24 companions of the Prophet are said to be buried in the forecourt of the shrine.
WHO WAS SA’D BIN EBU VAKKAS?
Popularly known as Seydi Vakkas, Sa’d Bin Ebu Vakkas was one of the ten companions to whom paradise was promised. He was one of the senior Ashab-i Kiram (Companions), a great commander of the Muslim army who was honoured by the prayers of the Prophet Muhammed. Sa’d Bin Ebu Vakkas participated in all the campaigns in the time of Muhammed, Ebu Bekir (Abu Bekir) and Ömer (Omar). He was appointed commander of the Muslim army during the rule of Caliph Ömer with the aim of conquering Iran and Iraq. According to historical sources, Sa’d bin Ebu Vakkas established his camp on this hill (now called Ziyaret Tepesi) during the campaigns in which he was victorious over the Byzantine armies.
This shrine is dedicated to Sa’d Bin Ebu Vakkas who died in 675 in Medina, where he is buried in the Cennet’ül Baki (Jannet al Baqui) cemetery.