In The Name Of God The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

Saudis destroying Islamic sites in Medina

by Jerome Taylor
Source: The Independent

Filed under: Featured,Lifestyle,Travel |

Three of the world’s oldest mosques are about to be destroyed as Saudi Arabia embarks on a multi-billion-pound expansion of Islam’s second holiest site. Work on the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, where the Prophet Mohamed is buried, will start once the annual Hajj pilgrimage ends next month. When complete, the development will turn the mosque into the world’s largest building, with the capacity for 1.6 million worshippers.

But concerns have been raised that the development will see key historic sites bulldozed. Anger is already growing at the kingdom’s apparent disdain for preserving the historical and archaeological heritage of the country’s holiest city, Mecca. Most of the expansion of Masjid an-Nabawi will take place to the west of the existing mosque, which holds the tombs of Islam’s founder and two of his closest companions, Abu Bakr and Umar.

Just outside the western walls of the current compound are mosques dedicated to Abu Bakr and Umar, as well as the Masjid Ghamama, built to mark the spot where the Prophet is thought to have given his first prayers for the Eid festival. The Saudis have announced no plans to preserve or move the three mosques, which have existed since the seventh century and are covered by Ottoman-era structures, or to commission archaeological digs before they are pulled down, something that has caused considerable concern among the few academics who are willing to speak out in the deeply authoritarian kingdom.

“No one denies that Medina is in need of expansion, but it’s the way the authorities are going about it which is so worrying,” says Dr Irfan al-Alawi of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation. “There are ways they could expand which would either avoid or preserve the ancient Islamic sites but instead they want to knock it all down.” Dr Alawi has spent much of the past 10 years trying to highlight the destruction of early Islamic sites.

With cheap air travel and booming middle classes in populous Muslim countries within the developing world, both Mecca and Medina are struggling to cope with the 12 million pilgrims who visit each year – a number expected to grow to 17 million by 2025. The Saudi monarchy views itself as the sole authority to decide what should happen to the cradle of Islam. Although it has earmarked billions for an enormous expansion of both Mecca and Medina, it also sees the holy cities as lucrative for a country almost entirely reliant on its finite oil wealth.

Heritage campaigners and many locals have looked on aghast as the historic sections of Mecca and Medina have been bulldozed to make way for gleaming shopping malls, luxury hotels and enormous skyscrapers. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of the 1,000-year-old buildings in the two cities have been destroyed in the past 20 years.

In Mecca, the Masjid al-Haram, the holiest site in Islam and a place where all Muslims are supposed to be equal, is now overshadowed by the Jabal Omar complex, a development of skyscraper apartments, hotels and an enormous clock tower. To build it, the Saudi authorities destroyed the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress and the hill it stood on. Other historic sites lost include the Prophet’s birthplace – now a library – and the house of his first wife, Khadijah, which was replaced with a public toilet block.

Neither the Saudi Embassy in London nor the Ministry for Foreign Affairs responded to requests for comment when The Independent contacted them this week. But the government has previously defended its expansion plans for the two holy cities as necessary. It insists it has also built large numbers of budget hotels for poorer pilgrims, though critics point out these are routinely placed many miles away from the holy sites.

Until recently, redevelopment in Medina has pressed ahead at a slightly less frenetic pace than in Mecca, although a number of early Islamic sites have still been lost. Of the seven ancient mosques built to commemorate the Battle of the Trench – a key moment in the development of Islam – only two remain. Ten years ago, a mosque which belonged to the Prophet’s grandson was dynamited. Pictures of the demolition that were secretly taken and smuggled out of the kingdom showed the religious police celebrating as the building collapsed.

The disregard for Islam’s early history is partly explained by the regime’s adoption of Wahabism, an austere and uncompromising interpretation of Islam that is vehemently opposed to anything which might encourage Muslims towards idol worship.

In most of the Muslim world, shrines have been built. Visits to graves are also commonplace. But Wahabism views such practices with disdain. The religious police go to enormous lengths to discourage people from praying at or visiting places closely connected to the time of the Prophet while powerful clerics work behind the scenes to promote the destruction of historic sites.

Dr Alawi fears that the redevelopment of the Masjid an-Nabawi is part of a wider drive to shift focus away from the place where Mohamed is buried. The spot that marks the Prophet’s tomb is covered by a famous green dome and forms the centrepiece of the current mosque. But under the new plans, it will become the east wing of a building eight times its current size with a new pulpit. There are also plans to demolish the prayer niche at the centre of mosque. The area forms part of the Riyadh al-Jannah (Garden of Paradise), a section of the mosque that the Prophet decreed especially holy.

“Their excuse is they want to make more room and create 20 spaces in a mosque that will eventually hold 1.6 million,” says Dr Alawi. “It makes no sense. What they really want is to move the focus away from where the Prophet is buried.”

A pamphlet published in 2007 by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs – and endorsed by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz al Sheikh – called for the dome to be demolished and the graves of Mohamed, Abu Bakr and Umar to be flattened. Sheikh Ibn al-Uthaymeen, one of the 20th century’s most prolific Wahabi scholars, made similar demands.

“Muslim silence over the destruction of Mecca and Medina is both disastrous and hypocritical,” says Dr Alawi. “The recent movie about the Prophet Mohamed caused worldwide protests… and yet the destruction of the Prophet’s birthplace, where he prayed and founded Islam has been allowed to continue without any criticism.”

Mecca and Medina in numbers

12m  – The number of people who visit Mecca and Medina every year

3.4m  – The number of Muslims expected to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) this year

60,000  – The current capacity of the Masjid an-Nabawi mosque

1.6m  – The projected capacity of the mosque after expansion


Mecca’s mega architecture casts shadow over hajj

by Oliver Wainwright

Arabian heights … the Abraj al-Bait looms over the Grand Mosque and Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty

A glowing green disc hovers high in the sky at night, casting an eerie glow over a forest of minarets, cranes and concrete frames that seem to stretch endlessly into the dusty distance, like a vast field of dominoes. The disc is the largest clockface in the world – and not only does it adorn the tallest clocktower in the world, it also sits atop a building boasting the biggest floor area in the world. Visible 30km away, this is the Abraj al-Bait, which rises like Big Ben on steroids to tower 600m over the holy mosque of Mecca in the spiritual heart of the Islamic world.

This thrusting pastiche palace houses an array of luxury hotels and apartments, perched above a five-storey slab of shopping malls. Completed last year at a cost of $15bn (£9bn), it stands where an Ottoman fortress once stood. A stone citadel built in 1781 to repel bandits, the Ajyad fortress’s demolition sparked an international outcry in 2002, but this was quickly rebuffed by the Saudi Islamic affairs minister. “No one has the right to interfere in what comes under the state’s authority,” he said. “This development is in the interest of all Muslims all over the world.” The fortress wasn’t just swept away – the hill it sat on went, too.

Shooting 26 searchlights 10km into the skies, and blaring its call to prayer 7km across the valley, the Abraj al-Bait is also the world’s second tallest building. Encrusted with mosaics and inlaid with gold, it is the most visible (and audible) sign of the frenzied building boom that has taken hold of Saudi Arabia’s holy city over the last 10 years. “It is truly indescribable,” says Sami Angawi, architect and founder of the Jeddah-based Hajj Research Centre, who has spent the last three decades researching and documenting the historic buildings of Mecca and Medina, few of which now remain. In particular, the house of the prophet’s wife, Khadijah, was razed to make way for public lavatories; the house of his companion, Abu Bakr, is now the site of a Hilton hotel; and his grandson’s house was flattened by the King’s palace. “They are turning the holy sanctuary into a machine, a city which has no identity, no heritage, no culture and no natural environment. They’ve even taken away the mountains,” says Angawi.

Geological features have proved no match for dynamite and concrete, which are being liberally deployed to make way for the burgeoning number of visitors. Three million Muslims arrived in Mecca this week for the annual hajj pilgrimage, an event that has mutated from a simple, spartan rite of passage, in which pilgrims give up their worldly goods, into a big-bucks business worthy of Las Vegas – with the overblown architecture to match.

Along the western flank of the city are the first towers of the Jabal Omar development, a sprawling complex that will eventually accommodate 100,000 people in 26 luxury hotels – sitting on another gargantuan plinth of 4,000 shops and 500 restaurants, along with its own six-storey prayer hall. The line of blocks, which will climb to heights of up to 200 metres and terminate in a monumental gateway building, share the clocktower’s Islamic-lite language: a cliched dressing of pointed arches and filigree grillwork plastered over generic concrete shells.

The developers have somehow transformed a type of architecture that evolved from a dense urban grain of low-rise courtyards and narrow streets into meaningless wallpaper: an endlessly repeatable pattern for the decoration of standardised slab after standardised slab. Flimsy rows of concrete arches hang above swaths of blue mirror glass, punctuated by stick-on timber trellis screens. These are modelled on traditional mashrabiya panels, those beautiful latticework openings designed as ventilating veils, but here they become meaningless applique. “If we are imitating, why can’t we imitate the best?” asks Angawi, in a tone of desperation. “Why are we imitating the worst mistakes of 60 or 70 years ago from around the world – only even bigger?”

Another development of repetitive slabs, echoing Jabal Omar’s toast-rack urbanism, is slated for the northern side of the Grand Mosque, at al-Shamiya, while a $10bn plan to provide an extra 400,000 sq metres of prayer halls there is almost complete. Standing like a gigantic triangular slice of wedding cake, this building will accommodate 1.2m more worshippers each year, but it has come at a price.

Toast-rack urbanism … how the al-Shamiya area will look


“This was the most historic part of the old city,” says Irfan al-Alawi, executive director of the UK-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, who has worked in vain to raise the profile of his country’s historic sites. “It has now all been flattened.” Residents were evicted, he says, with one week’s notice, and many have still not been compensated – a common story across Mecca’s developments. “They are now living in shantytowns on the edge of the city without proper sanitation. Locals, who have lived here for generations, are being forced out to make way for these marble castles in the sky.”

Alawi describes the imminent arrival of yet more seven-star hotels even closer to the mosque than the al-Bait clocktower, as well as proposals to develop Jabal Khandama, on the hills to the east, which will likely see the erasure of the site where the prophet Muhammad was born. Alawi says this wilful destruction of Islamic heritage is no accident: it is driven by state-endorsed wahhabism, the hardline interpretation of Islam that perceives historical sites as encouraging sinful idolatry. So anything that relates to the prophet could be in the bulldozer’s sights.

“It is the end of Mecca,” says Alawi. “And for what? Most of these hotels are 50% vacant and the malls are empty – the rents are too expensive for the former souk stall-holders. And people praying in the new mosque extension will not even be able to see the Kaaba.”

The Kaaba is the holy black cube in the centre of the Grand Mosque, around which pilgrims walk; proximity to it has become the ultimate currency, allowing hotel suites with the best views to charge $7,000 per night during peak seasons. This unique concentricity, with everything determined by its orientation towards the hallowed centre, has spawned a strangely diagrammatic radial urbanism. From above, like a sea of iron filings pulled by a magnet, the whole city appears to crowd round a core, the vortex of pilgrims giving way to an equally swirling current of tower blocks. It is the axis of prayer writ large in concrete.

The road to Mecca funnels traffic into two lanes: the one marked “Muslims only” goes to the holy city; the other, marked “Non Muslims”, bypasses it, since the latter – me included – are forbidden entry to Mecca (and Medina) under Saudi law. Soon after this hajj, work will start on the expansion of the mataf, the open area around the Kaaba, to triple its capacity to 130,000 pilgrims per hour. But to create this, the historic centre of the mosque will be obliterated. “They want to get rid of the brick vaults and stone columns that have stood there since the 17th century,” says Alawi. “These are the oldest part of the holy mosque, designed by the great architect Sinan. The pillars are inscribed with stories and the names of the prophet’s companions, so the wahhabis want to see them bulldozed.”

The Jabal Omar project


The desperation to be, or feel, as close as possible to the Kaaba has forced buildings to become ever higher, ever more ridiculously tapered, so everyone can have a view, however notional, of the sacred centre. This has given the sanctified “mother of villages” the most expensive real estate in the world: a square foot around the Grand Mosque now sells for up to $18,000, mayor Osama al-Bar said last year, dwarfing the Monaco average of $4,400.

As the influx of pilgrims increases, land values will continue to rise: 12 million visit the city every year, a figure expected to swell to 17 million by 2025. They will be eased on their way by a new high-speed rail link that will connect gateway city Jeddah with Mecca and Medina. Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz international airport is itself undergoing expansion to quadruple its capacity to 80 million passengers a year.

Fuelled by petrodollars, all of these vast projects are now either completed or well under way. So it seems strange that King Abdullah should only now be ordering the creation of a masterplan for Mecca and its surroundings, covering buildings, transport and infrastructure – given that most of the city’s holy mountains have been dynamited into dust, and all but a handful of its ancient monuments buried beneath soaring structures. As Angawi says: “There is no other place in the world where development starts with bulldozing before planning. But it is not too late if we stop now. Otherwise, we risk the sanctity of Mecca being gone for ever.”

Prayer room with a view: a pilgrim’s perspective

Everything about the hajj is overwhelming – the numbers, the logistics, the infrastructure, the stakes – so it’s no surprise that the architecture is catching up. Its sleek and state-of-the-art towers offer butler services, designer toiletries, entire floors reserved for Saudi royalty, wet rooms, helipads, quality linens, plush carpets and thick bathrobes.

During my 2010 visit to Mecca, a number of hotels in the Abraj al-Bait complex were at 100% capacity. The hotel employee showing me around one presidential suite said I could pray in front of the Qibla without ever leaving the room, gesturing to a window with priceless views to prove his point. The sense of exclusivity extended to the reservation system, too. Rooms could only be booked through the hotel, but not as part of a package, the traditional if not the uniform way of securing accommodation in Mecca.

None of this is visible at ground level. Pilgrims occupy every available space and the dimensions of the projects are too grand to be appreciated simply by craning the neck. Instead, the best views are from the Jeddah-Mecca Highway, where the clocktower appears to rear out of the barren landscape in such an outlandish fashion it looks as if it has been drawn on to the skyline. The vast floor-to-ceiling windows of al-Safa Palace, perched on a hill above Mecca’s holy sites, fully reveal the audacious vision to reshape the pilgrimage.

The building work has inevitably changed the hajj experience for everyone. Aside from the increased pollution and heavy machinery, there is more segregation along economic and class lines. Muslims cannot choose where or when to perform the hajj – it can only be done in Mecca, at a certain point in the year – but they can choose where to stay.

divinecountenance 5pts

You jews and christians have nothing to offer us. We muslims have nothing to loose becos we have the promise of Allah with us. Allah will compensate us all for any loss of lives wealth or any suffering as long as w e believe and trust Allah to be our Lord and God and Saviour and never become sad or disappointed whatever the jews christians and hypocrats inflict the sufferings upon us. In the end Alah will reward the elievers and will punish the disbelievers. Your sympathy to muslims is an episode of what Satan did with Adam and Eve when they were in Heaven. Satan pretended to be their well wisher and told them that i am ur friend which proved to be a lie and there was a great evil trap behind their sweet words and we muslims see you recognize you and your language. Even if you become an expert and doctorate in deceiving cheating and lying Allah is all capable to expose ur lies and deceptions. Repent o criminals and humble unto Allah before the doors of repentance are closed for you.

jjjjjjjqqqqq 5pts

i feel your pain and insultment even if im a christian i respect your ways

divinecountenance 5pts

This site is most probably being designed by one evil jealous arrogant ignorant faithless jew. If you read the language of the comments, it is the same evil jew who is writting pretending different persons sometimes immitating to a pakistani sometimes to an indonesian sometimes Turkish sometimes pretending to be an Australian Muslim either living in Australia or a reverted Muslim.

These are the different traps what these evil hearted cursed people use against mankind to provoke hatred and conspiracies. This is what they did exactly with poor christains untill they divided them into countless sects and denominations. But by the Power and Might of Allah they will be exposed where ever they hide. Whether they hide behind the christain names. Whether they hide the European and American Names and speak from the mainstream media to represent the voice and opinion of the majority of the nation, NO MATTER WHERE YOU WILL HIDE O JEWS!!! WE WILL EXPOSE YOU UNTIL THE ADVENT OF JESUS ( ISA SON OF MARY). ALLAH WILL EXPOSE YOU WHEN YOU WILL GIVE YOUR ALEGIANCE TO DAJJAL THE ANTICHRIST AND THEN YOU WILL FACE THE WRATH AND ANGER OF ALLAH BY THE HANDS OF MUSLIMS ALL OVER THE WORLD. ALLAHU AKBAR.





divinecountenance 5pts

Dear Brothers and sisters in islam

Depart from this site and dont reply to its emails. Its a jewish fitna to break the spirits and unity of Muslims and fan hatred inorder to put them against each other so that they can turn away the Muslim power and force away from these criminals and immoral theives. The place of circumbulation of Kaaba , saee between safa and Marwa and the place to pray in Macca and Madina in the prophet's Masjid will continue existing until Judgement day even if these Atheist Judeo christian pagans bomb all the masjids on this Earth. Love of Allah will never depart from our hearts and souls and we will fight these enemies of Allah enemies of Muslims and humanity until judgement day. It is shaitan who is fighting islam and Muslims in the bodies of these sinners and criminals.

Allah is enough for His servants aid and support against the party of shaitan party of Hell Fire.

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mishfaq 5pts

What is a motive of this topic? "Fassad fee subeelilla"

divinecountenance 5pts

Bismillah wassalatu wassalamu alaa Rasulillah

My brothers and sisters and hi to those who are not part of Muslim Ummah yet! May Allah guide us all to the Right path aameen

Islam is not the name of buildings but an ideology of Truth and Justice. Our History is the Protection of Qur'an Seeratul Rasul Allah sallallahu alayhi wassalam and Healthy Kind Generously knowledgeable wise pure hearted who overcome their weaknesses of their own selves represent through their lifes and works the Beauty of Qur'an and The Noble qualities Cause Purpose and Mission of the Prophet of Allah Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wassalam.

If the evil forces of west demolish even Macca and The Mosque in Madina or Al Aqsa islam will be never weakened or destroyed.

Although we love and respect all the masjids but if these asjids are going to be the part of Masjid Nabavi people prayers will be rewarded hundreds and thousands times more than praying in the smaller mosques whatever their names are. Government of Kingdom is not turning the mosques into some places where some immoral or illegal activities can be performed Astagfirullah. So lets be at peace with such issues and struve and struggle to call the kuffar and misguided among us to Siratal Mustaqeem and fight against the hidden and apparent enemies of Islam & Muslims collectively with whatever means Allah provide us with. But keep in mind Ward off the evil with good , correct the mistakes of the people in accordance to the prophetic teachings and be tough against the oppressors and imperialist forces and those who are spreading immorality and confusions seperations by sowing the seeds of hatred among the muslims. Be careful and warned from the munafiqeen among muslims who love to gossip about muslims and never work to educate the masses regarding how to qualify on the day of judgement.

ZulinnaDinadani 5pts

The kingdom of saudi is the greatest traitor of the ummah. They are the creator of the biggest bid'ah in the history of Islam. In fact, they are the biggest enemy of Islam apart from their big brothers the American, British and Israel. Allah swt will definitely punish those who are the traitors of Islam with the most painful punishment. My heart is in grieve to see the holy land being transformed into some mega ctiy infrastructure with most of the Islamic heritage being destroyde by these evil and misguided wahabi idiots! May Allah send his punishment to the people responsible for these messes. aamiin!

Sakinah Ahmad
Sakinah Ahmad 5pts

Oh ok. Thanks. I was on my iPhone and it said source: MV media 5pts

The sources of our articles are always published. On our recently released mobile site, it is not showning. We are working to rectify this InshAllah, 5pts

There is a difference between grave worshipping shirk and visiting the graves of the Saliheen to honour them and make dua to Allah.

Mon Aro
Mon Aro 5pts

Where to start, everyone has there own opinion as to what is right or wrong, the actions of a few do not reflect the actions of the masses. Its like if you have a sore on one of your toes instead of treating your sore you chop of your leg. Unfortunately this is what is happening when it comes to making decisions of the actions of a few and without istisharah. We should do our best to educate all muslim in the Holy Quran and the Hadith. The muslims even on this page a split on what is right or wrong, where do we all stand, what are our thoughts on this. If we look closer we will see that we are moving further and further away from what the Prophet S.A.W has taught us. A simple example here to illustrate my point, constructing billion dollar sky scrappers with 5, 6 and 7 star hotels with rooms overlooking the Kaabe with all the wordly luxuries included could you tell me where this fits in Islamic teaching. What wordly possesion did the Prophet S. A.W have during all stages of Prophet S.A.W life and death . Is the sole purpose of destroying old mosques and buildings saying we need the space for muslims to pray is the right justification for these monsterous buildings so close to the Kaabe. If in 50 years God knows when there is a need for more space for muslims to pray what do we demolish and build then. Answer this question, if one day they said we need more room lets completely demolish and rebuild Masjid anNabawi so it could accommodate 5m muslims in prayer, who would object or approve this action?

Caghan Al Kubrisi
Caghan Al Kubrisi 5pts

After seeing these two Authentic Hadith why would the article say "In most of the Muslim world, shrines have been built. Visits to graves are also commonplace."????

Caghan Al Kubrisi
Caghan Al Kubrisi 5pts

Ahmad has reported with a good Sanad that Ibn Mas'ud (Ra) narrated in a Marfu' Hadith The Prophet pbuh said "The most evil men are those upon whom the (signs of) Hour (of Resurrection) comes while they are still alive, and those who take graves as places of worship (Masjid)". [This tradition was also reported by Abu Hatim in his Sahih.]

Helmi Zul
Helmi Zul 5pts

Auzubillah himinash syaiton nirajim Bismillah hirah ma nirrahim.. The best of all practice is as a muslim , we make doa for each other so that Allah may guide us to the right path. As the world is changing to its state where human are seeking dunia n leaving the practice of deen. Rasulullah s.a.w once ask the sahabah what is the best of amal? And all the sahabah that was present when quiet. And Rasulullah s.a.w said taking care of your tongue. Take precautios of what we say brothers n sisters course on the day of judgement we will be question every word we say. So instead of commenting the bad thoughts n give self intrepetations tat may coz disunity, lets bring people to do good deeds, as another ahadith, the best of you are those who invite another to do gd deeds. And as a true and practicing muslim who follows the quran and sunnah insya'allah Allah will guide. So when ever we face issue or problems today we refer back to the sirat of the anbiya and sahabah. Coz Allah have put it nicely for us. We are best of All umats, coz when we do gd deed we gain more in the afterlife n we hv more mujahadah when we practice one. Muslims are those who look the greater side of someting. Muslims do not look at ones weakness. Be positive minded at all time is the key to be among the solihins. The syatan are attacking us every moment and if we leave our guard down , he will drag us to his evil intentions n his promise is till the day of qiyamah. As mention there are only three enemies in this world 1- Syatan , 2-Our nafs, 3- Our bad habits. So my Brothers n sisters of islam, Lets reunite regardless of the calamity n influence around us as we realize tis is time of fahsyar and munkar. Lets unite becoz we are muslim. Lets unite bcoz of the same kalimah , the kalimah of La ila ha illallah Muhammadur rasulullah( there is no god except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. With tis kalimah tat every muslim have, we can do things with one fikr one heart tat is to achieve the pleasure of Allah s.w.t. Tat with this same kalimah as it said that one day Muslims will be one again and not in sections or groups. With the same kalimah is greater than the world and its content. Insya'allah we will never go astray. Now we can do is make zikr such as recite the quran that have been left abandon at our selves, do tasbih to keep oneselve always tat Allah is the greatest, do amal of the sunnah that not been practice, pray for one another for hidayah from Allah s.w.t and pray for the whole. We think like how Muhammad s.a.w think. Think for how the whole world can get hidayah from Allah s.w.t as Muhammad s.a.w was send for the whole universe not only for muslim. So we must re enlive the sunnah of nabi, where there is success in this world and the hereafter. May Allah s.w.t give us taufiq and hidayah amin. Allahuma amin..

Mujteba Aplak
Mujteba Aplak 5pts

In agreement with Caghan. Tawheed & accomadating for more worshippers is far more important than creating places if touristic and sentimental significance with no real Islamic benefit.

Shaziya Rahman Nadeem
Shaziya Rahman Nadeem 5pts

There has to be some other way to teach muslims to stop doing things that are close to "shirk",turning Ummul Momeneen`s house into a public toilet cannot be justified

Caghan Al Kubrisi
Caghan Al Kubrisi 5pts

By the way Umar himself was the first to sacrifice a historical place in order to prevent the ummah from falling into shirk by cutting the tree where the pledge was made. This was done after he noticed people gathering there and taking it as a special site!!

Caghan Al Kubrisi
Caghan Al Kubrisi 5pts

Brother I have seen them with my eyes calling direct to the prophet pbuh!!! Not to mention the Shia spending more time at the baqia grave than the mosque!!!

Ibi Khan
Ibi Khan 5pts

No one worships graves they send salaam if anyone does something haraam out of ignorance then u tell that person. Fear Allah by calling Muslim grave worshippers they are your brothers and sisters, by saying such things you are deeming helll for them bro. Second the hajj numbers are increasing and space is needed, and that's the reason we are told buildings are destroyed but in reality we see burger king take up the space. Third the hadiths quoted are for Jews and Christians if you go to their museums you will see how they did this no Muslims made statues and pictures of sorts. Graves should be respected regardless of it being a Muslim or non Muslim. Muslims should help each other peacefully and with wisdom in advising each other rather than name calling, back biting and wish each other only Allah set pleasure

Khater Saleh
Khater Saleh 5pts

What destruction do u speak of? If the capacity of maisjd nabwai is 60k and 3.4million visit hajj each year, what does 60k do for 3.4m each hajj or 12m a year do??? Mosque needs major expansion! The kabah is made of stone and mud since Abraham! We pray towards it not for it! It used to unite us not to worship the actual site. Not that I ever think kabah should ever be destroyed but just an example.

Bahram Mia
Bahram Mia 5pts

Bint Jafar, things like culture and history exist, they are part and parcel of our humaness. If all we have to hold onto is the Quran and Hadith, then let us go and destroy the Blue Mosque in Turkey, while we're at it, Sultan Hasan in Cairo, the Alhambra in Spain; let us burn historical books of medicine and science written during the golden ages of Islam, let us rent all our culture and history asunder. What makes the culture and history of the two holy cities doubly important is, that they are sacred, they have been honoured by Allah. We don't have the right to destroy them and replace them with monuments to consumerism and capitalism.

Bint Jafar Umm 'Aeisya
Bint Jafar Umm 'Aeisya 5pts

If it's necessary, yes. If it's to stop those who come from grave-worshipping, yes. The Prophet only mentioned three mosques - Masjid alHaram, Masjid anNabawiyy and Masjid alAqsa. When we "add on", we are acting as if we feel/believe we are better than the Prophet - that we know more or know better than him na'udzubillah min dzaalik. Am sure that none of us here is like that, though :)

Bint Jafar Umm 'Aeisya
Bint Jafar Umm 'Aeisya 5pts

Apparently none of you read the last few paragraphs, nor did any research other than reading this piece of biased article. Why do we need to have historical sites to "tell" our future generation about the glory of Islam? Isn't the Quran and authentic hadiths of our beloved Prophet enough? Have you all not read/heard about the hadith where the Prophet urged his ummah to hold on to the Quran and hadith by their molars? Or have you used your own logic to interpret that particular hadith? And to those who generalise who or how Saudis are - what a bunch of hypocrites you are! You get agitated when the kuffar generalise Muslims, yet you do the same towards your own Muslim brothers.

Rafiq Islam
Rafiq Islam 5pts

Prophet predicted Muslims would behave one day like bani Israel. This is the time. I visited dozens of countries. I would rank Saudis at the bottom in terms if basic human qualities. They have lost Islam as well as basic traits of Bedouin. They used to be brave, simple and hospitable. Lowest if the low now.

Shaziya Rahman Nadeem
Shaziya Rahman Nadeem 5pts

They are turning Islam into are we going to tell our future generation about the glory of Islam if they go on doing this act of nonsense,or may be their hearts are full,its we muslims from other countries who yearn to be there at any cost :(

ElenaPorcelli 5pts

While I agree that the clock tower/hotel structure is an enormous eyesore towering over the home of the Kabaa, something I'm sure the Prophet PBUH would have abhorred, the "wahhabi" idea of demolishing the graves and "historic" homes and sites is wholly different. The problem is that we are viewing this with Western eyes. Our ideas of what needs to be preserved and for what reasons are not necessarily in line with what Quran and Sunnah taught us which is that we should not venerate or hold esteem for things like old buildings and especially gravesites; that graves ought not to be ostentatious or noticeable nor viewed as something to hold great reverence for. The Prophet himself spoke against forming shrines for the dead, especially himself, because it led to greater veneration of the dead rather than Allah. Now while I believe that this extreme revering of these sites (to the point that people prostrate before it, kiss the doors and etc) can be overcome with proper instruction in our youth to begin with, I do not believe that preservation of these sites is the most pressing matter. What matters is the reason behind it, part of the reasoning in this article, this lavish and consumerist nightmare that Saudi Arabia is exacting on the two holiest sites in Islam, the religion that spoke out against that very idea.

Senna Bhatti
Senna Bhatti 5pts

Very saddening to read I really don't want to believe it in fact. How can they do this? Seriously. Is it even true? Allahu Alim.

Salma Talib
Salma Talib 5pts

Muslims are very quick to critise non Muslims but the silence on all issues that are Muslim on Muslim

Muna Nisar Naseer
Muna Nisar Naseer 5pts

Its surprising that as much as the Saudis' spend time in Europe they dont learn from how well the Europeans preserve their history....from the Vatican to their age old castles, and bridges...Stone henge will survive but the prophet's mosque wont? pretty darn sad...What is in our power to stop this?

David Barr
David Barr 5pts

Very sad. Inshallah, I hope to perform hajj. And I hoped to see many historic sites directly related to our Prophet (saw). I have no desire to make pilgrimage to malls and modern vanity.

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