Tabuk History, Saudi Arabia
Tabuk, the capital city of the Saudi Arabian province of the same name, has a rich history. Rock art, inscriptions, etc. excavated from different sites in and around the city have enabled historians to deduce the fact that the region has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Age.
Tabuk History – The Ancient Saga
Tabuk (and its adjoining areas in the province) is mentioned in both the Bible and the Quran. If one considers true historic facts instead of these religious associations, the city is not only linked to Prophet Muhammad, it even shows an ancient connection, dating back to 1500 BC. Back then, it was an oasis-town known by the name of Taboo and (along with the town of Al Ola) formed the capital of the then famous state of Al Ayaneyean. This ancient oasis town might have been a part of the Nabatean kingdom at the turn of the Christian era and may even have had trade links with the capital city of Petra.
Tabuk History – Prophet Muhammad and the Battle of Tabuk
Not much is known about Tabuk history for the next six centuries and then the city again came to limelight in 630 AD because of the Battle of Tabuk. The Battle of Tabuk is a misnomer because no actual fight did take place; rather it was an effort by the founder of Islam, Prophet Muhammad, to show off the strength of the Muslims. Tabuk was, in fact, the training camp, where a gathering of Muslim soldiers (about 30,000 in strength) were trained for impending combat with the Byzantine forces. (The Tabuk Mosque where Prophet Muhammad offered his prayers for the entire camping period still stands testimony to those times; of course, the mosque was in ruins and was re-built in the 1960s).
Tabuk History – The Ottoman Period
It will again be a big leap to the Ottoman period. Actually, the Ottoman period has been an important phase in Tabuk history. The city still has a number of historic monuments like the Tabuk Fort belonging to that part of Tabuk history. Tabuk happened to be an important stop in the Hejaz Railway (a narrow gauge railway line of the Ottoman Railway network that connected Medina, Saudi Arabia, to Damascus, Syria).
Tabuk History – Present Times
Present-day Tabuk is a modern city with its wide tree-lined avenues, diverse industries, international hotels, souqs and supermarkets. An important military-post and the H.Q. of the provincial government, the city has become an important commercial center because of its excellent road links (be it with other important Saudi cities or with a neighboring country city like Amman). Like Jeddah, Tabuk serves as a gateway for the Hajj pilgrims coming from the neighboring countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey (all these countries except Turkey are part of the Levant crescent).
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