Mr Bashar Al Assad,
President of Syria Arab Republic
President’s House, Damascus, Syria
It is a matter of great mourning that the holy body of Umar bin Abdul Aziz, the eighth caliph of Umayyad Caliphate in the city of Idlib in Syria, has been dug up from the grave by the Syrian army along with militia. His tomb has been demolished and the dargah has been set on fire.
Militia fighting with your Syrian regime opened, burnt and disappeared the tomb of the eighth Umayyad Caliph Umar ibn, Abdul Aziz, in the northwestern province of Idlib this week. His body has been taken to an unknown location. Video footage of the destruction on social media has seen the graves of Caliph, his wife and his servant being exhumed and the body was taken out and taken to an unknown location. It is not yet clear where the graves of Caliph Umar and his family have been taken and who is guilty of the incident.
Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and companion of the second Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khatab (Radi). He is highly respected in the Muslim world, who implemented justice in his short reign of two years and five years. In the Sunni Sufi community, he is considered as Khalifa-e-Rashid.
The Umayyads were the first Muslim dynasty, established in 661 in Damascus. Their dynasty succeeded in the leadership of the first four caliphs—Abū Bakr, ʿUmar I, ʿUthmān, and ʿAlī. It was established by Muʿāwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān, a native of Mecca and a contemporary of the Prophet Muḥammad.
In February, videos surfaced showing regime forces and militias orbiting the graves of several opposition fighters and commanders buried in Sunni areas, with other videos showing Syrian soldiers playing with human skulls. Similar scenes were witnessed in the year 2015 when regime forces demolished dozens of tombs in Homs and stole the corpses.
In this regard, the majority of the Muslims of the Sufi Sunni community of India want to say that the Syrian struggle against the dreaded terrorist organization Islamic State is notable. The Hafiz al-Assad to your reign, secularism of your regime has always supported by our community. But such incidents have greatly damaged the dignity of your government and its image. We demand that
- Immediately find the sacred body of Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz and the body of his family members and be buried again in the same graves where he was resting before.
- The burnt mausoleum and damaged graves should be re-installed in their traditional form. Please rebuild in the earlier design.
- Identify the guilty soldiers and militias and punish them with public executions so that those with a disastrous tendency to sympathize with their ideology can understand what the consequences they may face who are ignorant about Islam’s history and repugnance to its ancestors are.
We sincerely hope that you will take immediate action on our demands. We expect immediate action from you, remembering the overwhelming support given to you by the majority Sufi Sunni community of India and the Syrian struggle against terrorism.
Shujaat Ali Quadri
National President (Muslim Students Organization of India)