Supported by Princes and top government officials Saudi Arabia's real estate developers are considering the demolition of some of Islam's historic sites in Mecca, possibly including the home of Prophet Mohammed .
The 1,400-year-old buildings from the early Islamic period are at risk for being demolished to make way for high-rise towers for Muslims flocking to perform the annual pilgrimage to Islam's holiest city.
As said by a historian in Makkah "Its layers of history are being bulldozed for a parking lot".
Over the past 50 years at least 300 historical buildings have been leveled in Mecca and Medina.
A number of Islamic landmarks have been destroyed since Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932. A 1994 edict by the kingdom's senior council of religious scholars, ruled that preserving historical buildings might lead to polytheism.
This edict is conveniently being used by real estate developers to expand their projects. The real estate firms say that their projects are in response to a massive demand for new accommodation to house up to 20 million pilgrims expected to visit Makkah and Media annually over the coming years as authorities relax entry restrictions for pilgrims.
Developers are spending around 50 billion riyals ($13 billion) on projects in the city.
One of the most elaborate project is the 10 billion riyal Jabal Omar scheme. Covering a 230,000 square yard area adjacent to the Grand Mosque, the seven-year project consists of several towers containing hotels, apartments, shops and restaurants.
These developments will dwarf Mecca's Grand Mosque and are a sign of crass commercialization.
Makkah is a religious city and a sanctuary for millions who visit it every year to attain peace and atonement. The Saudi government has allowed unbridled commercialization of the house of God to please the commercial sector that has close ties with the royal family. The royal family has several high-rise palaces in Makkah and Medina that standout as symbols of extravagance, that are in stark contrast to the principals of austerity taught by Islam and shown by the example by Prophet Muhammad .
Saudi monarchy has developed a strong alliance with the religious hierarchy of Saudi Arabia. The religious leadership does not speak on matters pertaining to justice and fairness, two of the most important fundamentals of Islam, while the monarchy does not interfere in the affairs of religious hierarchy. The religious hierarchy has rarely challenged the Saudi royal family on matters pertaining to the demolition of historical sites of Islam. On the contrary they have provoked the authorities to demolish them thus creating a haven of commercial benefits for people closer to the royal family. Saudi Arabia's rulers have often ignored the fact that the religious sites do not belong to them. They are for Muslims all over the world. The Saudi government needs to be challenged on this issue. Perhaps Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC) should launch an official protest with Saudi Arabia and involve the UN that is so keen to preserve historical sites all around the world.
Muslims all over the world have kept quiet for almost eight decades watching the Saudi government demolish historical sites under various pretexts. It is time that we speak against such a practice and inform the authorities that they need to preserve the history Islam.
|You can contact the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC or the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission and ask them to preserve Islam's historical sites.|
Dr. Aslam Abdullah is the editor of the Muslim Observer, director of the Islamic Society of Nevada and director of the Muslim Electorates Council of America (MECA).
I am disheartened how ignorant the muslims have become. No wonder why the world is finding hard to understand us. We have forgotten how to be a human race and forgot the simple things of what civilization is about.
Year by year we are demolishing our civilization little by little such that our future youth will have nothing to fall back on.
I guess it is time for conscious muslim educated people to rise up to their responsibilities and voluntarily help lead the muslim communities out of ignorance.
The term "Wah'abism": I have never heard anyone label himself as "Wahabi". They call them selves Salafs or Ahal Al Sunnah wa Aljama or something along that line. Never a Wahabi.
Muslim Ummah definately needs to get together against what Saudi Government is doing.
You talk about the oil wealth, well brother Saudi not alone, almost all the ail exporters are Muslims, before 80's Iran and Iraq was the major producers, where is there wealth ? spend in wars in killings, did they ever did anything for poor Muslims, the Saudies are not that bad, thats what I said they are best among present generation,
Or they are best among worst.
So, singling out somone for the problem which so general is not fair and dosent really show the reality.
I know in my home country millions of Muslims get benifited from money from middle east. Work, Eductaion for childerns, new Collages for Muslims and so on... beside refreshing the Islam, If other like Iran, Iraq and libya if they all contribute atleast little towards Ummah, that would make a notable change.
Here is a list people's graves disrespected at the graveyard of jannat al-baqi by the Wahhabi state:
The grave of the prophet's daughter, Syeda Fatima as-Zahra (as)
The son of Rasool-Allah, Ibrahim (as)
Hazrat Syedeena Imam Hassan (as)
Syedeena Imam Zayn al-Abideen (as)
Syedeena Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as)
Syedeena Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (as)
All of Rasool-Allah's (sawaws) wives except:
-Syeda Khadija (as)
-Lady Maymounah (ra)
-Numerous Uncles and Aunts of Rasool-Allahh (sawaws)
-Close to ten-thousand of Rasool-Allah's (sawaws) companions
If one looks at the graveyard of Jannat al-Baqi where all these people are buried, it will be found to be like a town that was razed up to the ground, and nothing but little stones and pieces of broken rubble and cement are seen. It looks as if an earthquake went through jannat al-baqi and all that remains are broken pieces of junk left there, signifying clear disrespect and displeasure with the graves of some of the best people ever to walk on this Earth. Who would have the nerve to do such a thing? And what an excuse people use...to stop shirk? Please that is such a childish and lame excuse, if you want to stop shirk, stop worshipping your egos, and show respect to those of hte past who were entrusted with Allah's message, and entrusted with the blessing of being closer to Rasool-Allah (sawaws) than anyone else. That is the only way to worship Allah properly without shirk.
If one muslim person accuses another of shirk, and that person is wrong, Allah subhanahu wa ta 'ala will make the punishment of shirk upon the accuser on the day of reckoning. Be careful who you accuse of things, just b/c you want to protect your political affiliations.
what about gving the defense control to the Americans? didn't Allah warn us of not taking the disbelievers as our protectors? what about ivnesting all that wealth in western economies instead of fueling isalmic economies? brother remember Allah tests not only by taking away but also by giving and wealth alone is not the sign of pleasure from Allah. often it is a curse if we do not look after such wealth, give thanks and share it with the needy. back to my question: take a close look at our plight internationally. Are you happy with it despit the gizillion dollars over the last 100 years. what has the average muslim have to show for it? we are not only materially disadvantages but also politically allienated people. we immigrate to far away lands in order to escape persecution at home. all our countries are run by self-appointed rulers with police states and intolerance for criticism. they do what they like and whoever likes them is given protection. the rest are slaves. otherwise how come a little state like israel can drive away inhabitants of an arab land with such impunity? iraq is the same, next is syria whilst they are beating lebanon into submission. so what is this oil wealth done for us? sure a little here, a little there. is like change for these guys when you consider the billions across the decades that have come into their bank accounts. where is the money? where is accountability? sure for the the poor is happy with crums off the table.
Well if they were working for west how the west become their enemy ?
Wake up Muslims (specially the south Asians), you blame them for the end of Khilafah, there use to be four different Imams (one for each Madhab) in Mecca, and the plimigrams use to pray behind their own Imams, so the Ummah was divided so much that even in Kabba they were four different Jama for the same pray ? Is that what we want in Khilafah ?
Allah will remove a Khilafah, if they go deviant.
After India got Independence, one of the Indian leader Sardar Valla Bhai Patel, was visiting Hyderabad, at that time he promised to bring out the Muslim women from home to sweep the roads in the city, they did work on their plans, and Muslims had hard time to find work (even now in government jobs), But Allah plan something else, he open the doors of Middle East, and thanks to that, we are not only financially sound but refreshed our Iman and Akhedah. Number of Mosques and Islamic schools are build in the city from the money come from Saudi and middle east.
Is there any other so called Muslims country beside Saudi employ as many Muslims from India, Iran is number two in oil production, Iraq was use to be the richest country in the middle east ?
Makkah is the spiritual pulse of the islamic world with a long and deep layering of history.Descretion of part of this layers is akin to vandalism of the islamic culture in the name of what?Crass commercialization?
I plead the Govt of Saudi Arabia,Royal family & ruling religious body learn from the mistakes of western planning of the 20th century.Especially those which alienate people.Architecture is about values,not simply to "house" foreign pilgrims.It part of islamic Ad-deen.
You're doing it all over again.Mega projects has its place.But not by sacrificing these structures.Greed and apathy can blind the powers that be.We are all answerable to Allah."Syrik" is a poor and unintelligent excuse.
Let us show the world,islam has the solution,physically and spiritually.Destroying these architectural jewels is not one of them.
This kind of distrction will not be the benefit to the Muslim Umma / Islam. Enemies of Islam will be happy as their work become easy . The culutural and historical evidence should be treated with high respect and it should bot be demolished or to converted for any devolopment (?)
Any one who disagrees has goes against Islam.
This is the proof of their association with JEWs.
And iff anyoen may ask , why I say like this, its obvious, they were empowered by Christian of Europe against the Muslim Caliphate.
They will do everything to destroy the culture and heritage of Muslims because they bear the hatred of Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon Him)
Here is what the Wahabbis are from Hadith :
Narrated 'Uqba bin 'Amir: One day the Prophet went out and offered the funeral prayers of the martyrs of Uhud and then went up the pulpit and said, "I will pave the way for you as your predecessor and will be a witness on you. By Allah! I see my Fount (Kauthar) just now and I have been given the keys of all the treasures of the earth (or the keys of the earth). By Allah! I am not afraid that you will worship others along with Allah after my death, but I am afraid that you will fight with one another for the worldly things." Bukhary (Book #23, Hadith #428)
The wahabbis have no conscience. All they want is wealth and they are twisting Islamic concepts to earn that wealth.
I have no doubts that Jews and Christians will be having the last laugh , as the wahabbis are their tools , doing work for them.
What a pity?? For 1,400 years no one came up with the idea of Shrik, not the Sahaba, Tabiee or the Tibbe-e-Tabiee and neither the Salaf As Saliheen and neithe the Khalaf and neither the Awliya and not the Saliheen.
ANd hey Presto , its the Wahabbis and no doubt the biggest benefactors from this will be the Jews in America who will desing and construct these new buildings under supervision of the Wahabbis.
you can preserve them. As you depart from the
Grand Mosque you see part of Islam and the history that goes with it.
The way of life of old certainly has it's mystique and beauty, however the physcial structures (i.e. the buildings that are to be demolished) in and of itself have no more barakah than a home in China. The geographical region of Mecca and Medina, however, do have barakah and this is from Allah's blessings. The country is attempting to ensure all paths to shirk are cut off, and this effort must be commended. As Muslims we should be encouraged that Saudi Arabia is vigorously promoting Tawheed al Uluhiya, The Right of Allah to be worshipped alone because shirk in this category can take the practical form, and this form is extremely dangerous. Tawheed is the essence of Aqeedah, and it is dissappointing to see fellow Muslims treat this topic as carefree as they do.
Number 2- the Prophet (saws) has informed us of the the holy places in Islam- his house is not one of them - not even the one incorporated into Masjid an-Nabawi. Furthermore, there is debate as to the day he was born, let alone knowing for sure that this dwelling was the home of Abu Talib!
Number 3 - How many people actually knew this place existed before this article? Wallahi, I have been to Hajj and not been informed about the location or importance of this house! But I have seen the conditions of the Hujjaj and know 1st hand they could benefit from better accomdations.
Islam opposes any form of idolatry, and keeping a house erected when all it did was house the prophet is a very immoral concept, because to the prophet it was just a house. The good qualities of the prophet would be to tear down the house to erect housing for hundreds even thousands in the same area.
A house is a house, and building is just a building. We must think of the greater good, not just some historical ideas we want to hold onto.
Whoever be the developer, we need good service at reasonable price, more developers means more facilities for Hajis at competitive prices.
And the area they talking about the development is no better than a shantytown and lot of illlegan settlement, and a hub for crimes around the holy mosque. I think it's a good move to develop this area and make space for pilgrims and I hope this will give more choices of Hajies.
So, people research before you talk and stop accusing other Muslims of being wrong with out any evidence.
Allah knows the best.
I am not a fan of Saudi royal family, but man what will you do if you got to be the custodian of the holy places, equate Mosques and Kaba with Shrines? Rest assure Allah empower those who server him rightly, and will destroy them if they go deviant. So before finger pointing others look at your own self.
May Allah show us the right path.
One of the brothers who commented about the article said that he would pray to Allah to wipe out the Saudi family from the Haramain. Well, I say that the Saudi family are just part of the problem. The major problem existing in that area is the wahhabi ideology that dominates that area for two centuries now. Their "sheikhs" have already destroyed many tombs of the Prophet's companions and people of ahlul Bait. I wouldnt be surprised if some day they advocate the demolishion of the Caaba saying it's a symbol of polytheism.
Improving our lives by having new and viable structures for shelter is one of those things that Islam does not go against. "Preservation of Historical sites" is to me a new innovation, I can understand preserving places for specific ISLAMIC rites and usage, e.g. the preservation and improvemnt of the Masjid Al-haram for worship, likewise the Prophet (SAW),s mosque in Medina. But to preserve Prophet,s house for tourism? I beg your pardon? No Sir! There other issues for us to tackle than this deviation the Dr Aslam is trying to create.
The Saudis could take this development to the outskirts of Makkah, as we all know there is need to accommodate and feed the pilgrims. But this is a grandiose design to line the pockets of the wealthy Saudis so that they can squander their wealth on mini skirts/ Rolex's/ horse's in Disneyland/ Dubai and Dallas. They do live Islamic lifestyles so they can't use preventing polytheism as their business plan.
I dream of the day I will breath the air of Makkah and Madinah to revive my blood and eemaan. Seeing the humble home of our Beloved Prophet SAW will remind me of His (SAW) origins and our need to remember our roots. Perhaps that's why the Saudis want to demolish it so that they don't look like extravagant and palatial hypocrites.
left alone. Why would they want to tear them down. I am sure there are many other places to build hotels and shops not on the site of the Prophets pbuh home or any other sites important to Islam
As muslims I do not believe we should attach ourselves to historic artifacts. That was not the behaviour of the Prophet (saaw) or the Companions (ra). As a matter of fact Omar (ra) had a tree cut off during his rule because he did not want Muslims to become sentimental to it. This was the tree during Hudaybiya where the Muslims took a pledge to fight if Othman (ra) had been killed by the Qurashis.
I see this author as being ignorant of Islam and have become like the Kuffars in attaching themselves to meaningless objects, rather than solving the problems of Muslims.
I am not fully against your article as some good points have also been pointed out.
Before launching any protest we should seek guidance from Shariah( Islamic Law). Whether preserving historical sites is important or providing better facilities to pilgrims. This question needs to be seen in the context of Shariah leaving aside emotions and hatred against a particular group. We should seek guidance from SEERAT( Life of Muhammad Salallahu alaihi wasallam)and islamic history.
May Allah show us the real path.
The Quran is full of visible landmarks, some remain like the Pharoas, some no longer there, some positive, some negative. These are all signs for humans to ponder on and the aim is to glorify the ONE GOD and learn from history. Muslims do not worship the walls of Mecca when they visit that house. They worship the Lord of the Universe. So what other reason you have for demolishing our beloved Prophet's house?
Adil: suggests we should forget what the ruling family does! When the guardian becomes the robber then what example we can set up for the Ummah? It is an insult to the intelligence of Muslims to accuse them as you do. A Muslim prays for Allah alone, recites Al-Fatiha and Al-Ikhlas 10 times/day at least. How dare you accuse him of shirk? Are you assuming yourself the mantle of God, heaven forbid. Judgement belongs to HIM alone. How dare you demolish the house of the prophet then say you do it so that people don't worship it. Why do Muslims need mosques or even why they need Ka'bah? Might as well demolish the whole Islamic icons and eradicate its history. This is the Zionists dream fulfilled by Al-Saud. Money is indeed the root of all evil.
The Saudi regime is totally corrupt, they do not deserve to be the guardians of our two holiest places. I pray to Allah to raise in faith another people within Saudi or outside so they can inherit the guardianship of these places!
i have agreed with the article and i am against demolition.
their was error in clicking.
57:11 Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful Loan? For (Allah) will increase it manifold to his credit and he will have (besides) a liberal reward.
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Honestly, can the Saudi Monarchy .. do anything else to cause trouble in this world?
I am seeing their list of wrongful acts getting longer and longer.
Commercialization is not bad in every case, thanks to the ease of transportation more Muslims visit Mecca and Medina then ever before, and these will keep on increase, we do need enough place to accommodate this people.
You talk about going to UN, what an filthy idea, the same UN was trying to preserve the Buddah statutes in Afghanistan. By naming UN in you message you loss the respect of many Muslims.
You talk about the Saudi Monarch making palaces, this has nothing to do with the main subject, the demolition of home of prophet, seem you are trying to use the emotions of people for one cause against another.
Ummah is facing more serious problem, please spend your energy for a better cause.