The Mamilla cemetery is the largest historical Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem. It is the burial place of many religious and political leaders, including several Sahabah, companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them).
- The cemetery is located just outside the Old City of Jerusalem, on the western side. It contains a large pool, known as the Mamilla pool which originally served as a drinking water reservoir.
- It features diverse styles of graves and tombs, which bear testament to the vibrant nature of Jerusalem’s Muslim communities over the centuries.
- The cemetery is also said to contain the following graves:
– Muslim soldiers who fought the Byzantines for control over Jerusalem in 636 CE
– Up to 70,000 soldiers of Salahuddin Ayyubi who fought against the Crusaders
– Thousands of Christians buried in pre-Islamic times, including many who were killed by Persian forces of the Sassanid Empire
- The largest tomb is of Aidughdi Kubaki who died in 1289 CE. He was said to have originally been a Syrian slave who rose to prominence to become governor of Safed and Aleppo during the Mamluke sultanate.
- The Mamilla cemetery was used for Muslim burials up until 1948, when forces from the newly declared State of Israel occupied the west part of Jerusalem. This included the cemetery.
- At it’s peak the cemetery covered around 50 acres but today only 5 acres is visible. In 1964, a large part of the cemetery was bulldozed and made into a parking lot. A hotel and cafe have also been built on the land, diminishing the sanctity of this place, especially as the cafe serves alcohol.
References: alt-arch.org, Wikipedia, aljazeerah.com