The Echo Tomb


Echo Tomb

The Echo Tomb


Selam Aleykum,

I came across this recently, and Insh’Allah it will be beneficial to you and to me- It is about the Echo Tomb in China, housing the sahabi or companion of the Prophet(ASWS) – Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas (radiy’Allahu Ta’Alaa anha – Peace and Blessings be upon him), one of the “Ashra Mubasshira”, of the ten Sahabah who The Holy Prophet(ASWS) gave the joyous tidings of Paradise.


“The earliest trace of Islam in China is embodied in the Echo Tomb belonging to a Companion of the Prophet Muhammad ص, Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas ﺭ. His presence there is explained in a remarkable series of historical accounts, according to which the Tang Emperor received help from this emissary of the Prophet against a monstrous evil which had been presaged in the stars. In these accounts, aspects of the later Muslim contribution to Imperial China are prefigured, especially chivalric prowess and expertise in astronomical and mathematical sciences, as well as in the more hidden sciences of Hermeticism. This emissary’s legendary service recalls the Chinese folktale of Yi the Archer, whose service to the Heavenly Emperor included his shooting down of the nine suns that had been monstrously corrupted.

One of the Ten to whom Paradise was promised, Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas ﺭ is recognized as the patron saint of archery in the traditions of Islamic chivalry. Whereas the Imam `Ali ك is popularly regarded as the model of spiritual chivalry or futuwwah, it should be observed that he authorized others to be the patrons of various arts, such as fencing. In the example of Sa`d, the Prophet himself is held to have invested him as the “Knight of Islam” and the patron of bowmen. Although unrecognized, his role in China may therefore extend to the development of its martial arts, especially since the very Emperor he is recorded to have assisted was such a strong upholder of the art of archery. It may also be noted that the shooting techniques of Medieval China are very similar to those favored by the followers of Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas.

The Ottoman chronicler Evliya Efendi (*Evliya Celebi or Dervish Mehmet Zilli) was personally invested by the spirit of Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas ﺭ, and though he did not in his wide travels visit China, he did remark on the several tombs linked to his patron in other lands, including Egypt. It is of interest, then, to observe that to the right of the tomb in China is the grave of another Ottoman traveler, who succeeded in his quest for this most distant sanctuary.”





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The Blessed Well