The people of Yemen have a rich history and a high status, yet many of us are unaware of the significance of these blessed people. Alhamdulillah, last year, we published our 40 Hadith collection on Yemen to share some of this knowledge with you, but there is so much more to learn!
The month of Dhul Hijjah begins in the next few days, so we've put together an article about the little-known connections between Yemen and the sacred sites of Makkah and Madinah. SubhanAllah, reading these beautiful hadith truly makes us feel honoured to be able to support the people of Yemen in their hour of need.
Yemen and the Ka’bah:
The name of Yemen itself is derived from the Ka’bah, as the root of the land and people comes from the blessed house of Allah.
The Ka’bah also has two Yemeni corners, one of which is the position of Black Stone. These Yemeni corners are the only corners still standing on the original foundation built by Ibrahim (as), even as the other corners have been rebuilt throughout history. You can find out more on the history of the Ka'bah here.
Not only did Yemen get its name from the Ka’bah, but its corners were loved by the Prophet (saw), and they were left untouched throughout the many changes the Ka’bah has undergone.
The Yemeni King Tubba
King Tubba was a Yemeni king who became Muslim, 1000 years before the birth of the Prophet (saw), after visiting the land of Madinah.
Initially, King Tubba wanted to attack the Ka'bah and was fighting against the Jews and ancestors of the Ansar in Madinah. However, he was moved by their kindness and service during their battles. Eventually, King Tubba left the land of Yemen and decided to go to Madinah, which was then known as Yathrib.
Along the way, he was told by his scholars that Yathrib was a significant and sacred place in their scriptures, since the final Prophet (saw) of Allah would eventually emigrate to Yathrib.
The people of Madinah described the Prophet (saw) to King Tubba from their scriptures and books. After hearing these descriptions, King Tubba loved the Prophet (saw) so much that he left his people and settled permanently in Madinah, awaiting the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).
When a year had passed and the Prophet (saw) had not yet appeared, King Tubba wrote a letter to the Prophet (saw), affirming his belief in Allah and His Messenger, and declaring himself to be a follower of the religion of the Prophet (saw). He asked for the Prophet's (saw) intercession if King Tubba was not alive to meet him.
He also built a house for the Prophet (saw), 1000 years before his arrival, which eventually became the house of Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari.
When the Prophet (saw) migrated to Madinah, he did not choose a house to stay at: instead, he let his camel decide, saying that whichever house the camel rested in front of would be the house that hosted him.
SubhanAllah, the camel stopped at the house of Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari, the place that King Tubba had built just for the Prophet (saw)! He (saw) also built his masjid opposite this house.
While he (saw) was living in the house King Tubba had built for him, the letter of Tubba also reached the Prophet (saw). This story shows yet another connection between the Prophet (saw) and the blessed people of Yemen, who were truly devoted to him.
King Tubba is also believed to be the first person to provide Kiswah (covering) to the Ka‘bah and the one who ordered the Yemeni tribe of Jurhum to cover the Ka'bah anew every year. (The Jurhum tribe lived in Makkah).
The call to Hajj
Did you know that the people of Yemen were the first to answer the call to Hajj? After Allah (swt) told Ibrahim (as) to proclaim to the people about the pilgrimage of Hajj, he stood up and called and said:
As the Prophet (saw) said many times, the people of Yemen were truly a people of faithful hearts, devoted to Allah's cause and superior in their good deeds! Throughout history, they have been quick to respond to the call of Allah and His prophets (as).
Sadly, there will be no international Hajj this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means there’s an increased focus on our worship at home: our Best 10 Days booklet provides great insights into the virtues of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah.
The pilgrims of Yemen
There is one beautiful hadith that truly sums up the virtues of the people of Yemen, as it reminds us how the Prophet (saw) spoke to protect their honour and how important they are in the pilgrimage of Hajj.
And SubhanAllah, these beautiful Yemeni pilgrims also had the honour of Allah sending down revelation about them. Not to mention, these aren't the only verses in the Qur'an about Yemen:
'Then when they arrived in Makkah, they used to beg the people, so Allah, Exalted be He revealed, “And take a provision (with you for the journey), but indeed the best provision is the fear of Allah.”’ [Qur’an, 2:197]
The people of Yemen were the ones who used to come for Hajj without bringing many provisions, saying, ‘We depend on Allah.' [Bukhari]
The days of Dhul Hijjah are set to start on the 22nd of July, and there are two beautiful ways you can honour the people of Yemen and help save lives in these blessed days:
Firstly, you can give your Qurbani to the people of Yemen. Millions of people are waking up hungry every day in Yemen, but your Qurbani can give families a chance to eat a healthy, filling meal with meat on the blessed days of Eid al-Adha.
Secondly, with our Best 10 Days tool, you can automate your donations to Yemen in the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. This will not only provide lifesaving food, water and medicine to Yemen, you will also be reaping the rewards of giving charity during the best ten days of the year, when righteous deeds are most beloved to Allah.
Yemen photography by Ayman Muhammed.