The grave of one of the most highly respected and loved leaders in Islamic history has been destroyed in Syria.
Video footage of the destruction of the grave of the eighth Umayyad Caliph Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz emerged on social media a few days ago. The footage also showed the destruction of the graves of the Caliph’s wife and his servant with the contents exhumed and disappeared.
The site in which the graves are housed, located in the village of Deir Al-Sharqi in Idlib province, was captured by pro-Assad forces in February this year.
Turkish media and pro-rebel groups say that “Iran-backed militias” fighting alongside the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad destroyed and desecrated the grave.
So far the Syrian government and the Iranians have not commented on the matter.
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz (682-719) was born in Madinah and became the eighth Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate. His great grandfather was the Prophet’s companion and the second Khalifa of the Muslims, Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra).
Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz is celebrated in the Muslim world as a ruler who enforced justice throughout his short reign of two years and five months.
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Although he was perhaps the most powerful man in the world at this time, he is said to have lived a very austere lifestyle and liberally gave away much of his family’s personal wealth to the Ummah, thus restoring faith in rulers.
His reputation, especially notable amid the Umayyad dynasty which many have seen as largely corrupt and decadent, earned him the title of “the fifth rightly-guided Caliph.”