By Sohail Arshad, New Age Islam
12 Dec 2012
The national secretary of All India Mashaikh Board, Syed Babar Ashraf has protested the destruction of the holy sites and Islamic cultural heritage in Medina and Makkah by the ‘custodian of the two mosques’ and its expansion plans on the mosque of the holy Prophet (PBUH) by destroying three mosques in Medina. He has rightly termed the Saudi government’s actions as the ‘cultural genocide of the Islamic heritage’ in Medina to promote a five star culture in the holy city.
The demolition and destruction of the holy places relating to the holy Prophet, his companions, his family members and other relatives in Makkah and Medina started in the 20 century with the establishment of the Saud kingdom. As they were affiliated to a Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, they destroyed all the sacred places, mausoleums, mosques and other buildings and relics that had any kind of association with the holy Prophet (PBUH) and with the holy companions.
Their justification of this demolition spree, or more rightly the’ cultural genocide of Islam’ in Saudi Arabia was that they promoted shirk as people began to revere those relics and heritage buildings and had turned them into places of worship. They also cited the cutting down by the second caliph Hadhrat Umar (R.A.) of the tree under which the holy Prophet signed (PBUH) the Hudaybia Treaty and received allegiance of his companions on the occasion.(Classed as a sound narration by the jurist and scholar Ibn Hajar in the Hadith collection titled Fath al-Bari (7/448)].
But they also seek to ignore the fact that he did not demolish the four mosques built as a memorial for the battle of the Trench (Ghazwa-e-Khandaq) and other mosques in and round Makkah and Madina, not to speak of the birth place of the holy Prophet (PBUH), the house of his first wife, Khadija Bin Khuwaylid, Hadhrat Ayub Ansari, the grave of Hadhrat Hawwa (Eve) in Jeddah and other important Islamic historical sites and heritage buildings in Arab. The destruction of all these sites started as late as 1801 when King Abdul Aziz bin Saud ibn Muhammad ibn Saud captured the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf and destroyed the tombs of Hadhrat Hussain apart from killing thousands of people there. In 1803 they captured Mekkah and Medina and destroyed holy sites including the tomb of Hadhrat Fatima (R.A.) and other holy sites of the twin cities.
It could be asked if King Abdul Aziz was a greater upholder of Islamic values of monotheism than Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Hadhrat Umar, Hadhrat Ali and Hadhrat Usman or Hadhrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz? None of them destroyed the holy sites though people had shown reverence to these places even in the time of Hadhrat Umar which is obvious from his order to cut down the tree at the Hudaybia Agreement site. There were other mosques built as a memorial of different battles like the battle of the Trench or the houses of the family members of the holy Prophet (PBUH) but though Hadhrat Umar verbally discouraged people from making visits to these sites, he did not destroy them to prevent the practice of deifying holy sites.
According to a report, 95% of nearly 1000 historical and religious Islamic sites have been destroyed by the Saudi government during the last 85 years. It is said that these holy places have bulldozed to built markets or star hotels in the name of expansion and development. And the most tragic episode of this destruction spree is the construction of a public toilet over the house of Hadhrat Khadija (R.A.), the first and the dearest wife of the holy Prophet (PBUH). Doesn’t it tantamount to showing disrespect and blasphemy to the holy Prophet (PBUH) as she is called the ‘mother of the ummah”?
Apart from the sites already destroyed by the Saudis, there are other holy sites that are awaiting demolition or destruction, including the Jabal al Noor, that has the cave called ‘Hira’ in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spent days in meditation before getting prophethood. People visiting Makkah for pilgrimage also use the opportunity to visit the mountain and the cave as a mark of respect to the Prophet (PBUH) though this does not make a part of the pilgrmige rites. However, the Saudi government is also planning to destroy the mountain itself to dissuade pilgrims to visit ‘Hira’. That is, they will now destroy mountains to prevent people from shirk. This is something the right guided caliphs did not intend or attempt. According to prophetic traditions and jurists, sometimes surpassing the piety and taqwa (in its outward manifestation) is also a sign of kharijism. The Kharijites during the holy prophet (PBUH) would score over even the holy companions in the recitation of the Quran, in offering prayers and in fasting. The founder of the kharijites, Harqoos bin Zuhayr even accused the holy Prophet (PBUH) of being unjust while he was apportioning war booty to the Muslims. Abu Said Khudri said,
‘When the Prophet (PBUH) was apportioning the war booty, Dhu al Khuwaysira (Harqoos bin Zuhayr), a man from Banu Tamim said, ‘O messenger of God, Be just! The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘Woe to you, who will be just if I am not just?’ Umar b al Khattab said, ‘O Messenger of God! Give me permission to strike his neck! The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘Leave him, for he has compatriots; and you will be-little your prayers and fasting in comparison to theirs, but they shall pass through the religion just as an arrow passes through a hunted game.’ (Sahih Bukhari -5:2281)
The hadith also shows that these transgressors will not even hesitate to insult the Prophet (PBUH).
Hadhrat Ibn Taymiyyah says on the issue:
“Abu Bakr r.a, Umar r.a (Ibn al-Khattab), Uthman r.a and Ali r.a and all the predecessors of both the immigrants (muhajirun) and the Medinan supporters of the Prophet Muhammad (Ansaar) used to travel from Medina to Mecca to perform the Hajj and Umrah, or for other purpose. None of them said that he was keen to pray in the places where the Prophet had prayed. It is known that had this been recommended in their view, they would have been the first ones to do it, for they had more knowledge of the Sunnah and followed it more closely than anyone else." [Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem]
A hadith in this connection clarifies Hadhrat Umar’s stand on this issue. Hadhrat Ibn Taimiyyah further wrote on this issue in his book:
“It is also narrated in the Hadith that the companion of Muhammad, Al-Ma’rur ibn Suwayd said: “We went out with Umar ibn al-Khattab (R.A.) and we came across a mosque on our route. The people rushed to pray in the mosque, and Umar (R.A.) said, ‘What is the matter with them?’ They said, ‘This is a mosque in which the Prophet of God (Muhammad s.a.w) prayed.’ Umar (R.A.) said, ‘O people, those who came before you were destroyed because they followed such practices until they made them places of worship. Whoever happens to be there at the time of prayer, let him pray there, and whoever is not there at the time of prayer, let him continue on his journey.’?”( Al-Majmu’ al-Fataawa (1/281)]
Though this account shows that the rightly guided caliphs were though not keen to pray in the places where the Prophet (PBUH) had prayed but also suggests that they did not take a drastic step such as destroying these mosques as a precaution against the presumably un-Islamic practices of the later generation Muslims.
All-India Ulema and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB)
Press release for favour of publication
PROTEST MARCH AGAINST SAUDI ARABIA
Delhi: 9 December
All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board [AIUMB] is going to organize a peace march in New Delhi in January 2013 to protest against constant destruction of sacred monuments of Islam in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will attract thousands of Muslims to express their deep anger from many parts of the country.
A memorandum to this effect has been sent to the Embassy of KSA in New Delhi today asking them to explain the real intentions behind such things with an emphasis that in any ideal situation the government of that country would have preserved and protected and developed those places which are landmarks and heritage in the history of Islam but they are planning and executing the total demolition of all the symbols of Islamic heritage including the birth place of the prophet of Islam PBUH.
The memorandum says that AIUMB has pledged to carry on this protest until and unless the government of KSA subscribes its hands on a treaty reassuring the whole world that not only these dangerous decisions of demolishing Islamic heritages will be withdrawn but all the demolished sacred places will be restored in their original form on their original places.
As an apex body of more than 80 percent of Indian Muslims spiritually attached to Sunni Sufi ideology, All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board [AIUMB] through this peace march shall record its silent protest against anti Muslim crimes of government of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [KSA] which is all set to demolish all remaining memorials of the prophet.
The Saudi-Wahhabi regime of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [KSA] the most important seat of Islam is senselessly injuring the sentiments of Muslims all over the world by demolishing the Islamic historical places for so many years in the name of expansion and modernization.
As the self claimed custodian of Harmain Sharifain the King of KSA is supposed to protect Islamic heritage but under a well designed and constructed agenda of Wahhabism the rulers are trying their best to convert the Islamic truth a myth for the generations to come. Rauza e Mubarak [the tomb of prophet] is now prime target of the Saudi ruler and this is sought to be done in the name of expansion of the mosque Masjid al-Nabawī and developing a 5 star culture in the city of Medina which is being forcefully resisted by the Muslims of Sunni Sufi school all over the world.
Muslims in India are badly against this most heinous crime ever committed against any religion by the hands of the so called co religious regime led by a ruler who calls himself the protector of holy places.
Though during the last century the Saudi Wahabi regime has committed this kind of crimes after regular intervals and has succeeded in razing up to 90 % sacred places to the ground and this time eyeing Rauda e Sarkar(tomb of prophet), birthplace of prophet Mohammad(peace be upon him) and Masjid e Nabi besides some other sacred mosques around. The KSA government has been reminded through the memorandum that this is in no way personal property of any dynasty of rulers but a center of prominence for Muslims globally.
National Secretary AIUMB
Arshad is a regular columnist for New AgeIslam.com. URL: http://www.newageislam.com/the-war-within-islam/sohail-arshad,-new-age-islam/saudis-should-not-hide-behind-hadhrat-umar-cutting-the-hudibiyah-tree;-he-did-not-demolish-sacred-heritage-buildings-of-makkah-and-medina/d/9639
Sohail Arshad is a regular columnist for New AgeIslam.com.