al-Ghars Well

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The al-Ghars Well (بئر غرس) is a historic water well in the city of Medina, Saudi Arabia. Traditionally it is believed that the prophet Muhammad drank from this well once, and also made a request that be bathed with its water after his demise.

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Overview

The Gharas denotes cultivating a plant, Bilal Ibn Rabah used to bring the water from this well to Prophet Muhammad. This, now defunct water well, is located approximately one and a half kilometer north of Masjid Quba.

Historic Tradition

circa 620 CE

According to Fouad Al-Maghmasi, a researcher on the history of Madinah, al-Ghars Well is one of the landmarks of Madinah that has been linked to Prophet Muhammad. Ghars is one of the wells prefered by the prophet Muhammad, for its freshness and from which water was usually brought to him. Ibn Majar quoted Ali ibn Abu Talib as saying, the Prophet said: “When I die, wash me with seven water-skins from al-Ghars Well. He also used to drink from this well.”

Burton is the first person to mention the well in modern history. Richard Burton who travelled to Arabia in circa 1850s, writes in his book, Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al Madinah and Meccah, "The Bir al-Ghars, Gharas or Ghurs, so called, it is said, from the place where it was sunk, about half a mile N.W. of the Kuba Mosque, is a large well with an abundance of water." So apparently though now dried up it was still in use till mid-nineteenth century CE.

Structure

circa 620 CE

The Bir Ghars (also spelled Gharas), situated in the Bat'haan valley in al-'Awali region, is now defunct and not in use any more. Some debris can be seen at the dried up bottom of the Ghars well. Current linning wall is built with volcanic rock and baked bricks at the top with mortar. The current well is enclosed within a circular wall and access inside is not permitted. The site is currently under management of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.

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