City of Brass

City of Brass

Saudis propose to relocate the Prophet’s (saw) tomb from Masjid al-Nabawi

Big Bin: photo set on Flickr

The above photo of the Mecca clock tower, or as I like to call it, “Big Bin”, was during my hajj a few years ago. It is part of my general observations of the “Meccahattan”-ization of the holiest place in Islam, the way that the Saudi religious authorities are utterly obliterating the historical wealth of architecture and history that is the birthright of every Muslim in favor of a soulless, capitalist, cynical and ideological crusade* to remake the holy city into their vision of a Salafist Las Vegas.


If I am harsh, it is because I am bitter about what has been lost already. But I was clearly not cynical enough – this news came as a shock even to me.

One of Islam’s most revered holy sites – the tomb of the Prophet Mohamed – could be destroyed and his body removed to an anonymous grave under plans which threaten to spark discord across the Muslim world.


the consultation document for the al-Nabawi mosque in Medina, by the leading Saudi academic Dr Ali bin Abdulaziz al-Shabal of Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, has been circulated to the Committee of the Presidency of the Two Mosques.


Several pages of the consultation document have just been published in the presidency’s journal. They call for the destruction of the rooms surrounding the tomb – used by the Prophet’s wives and daughters, and venerated by the Shia because of their association with his youngest daughter, Fatima.

The document also calls for the Green Dome, which covers the tomb and these living quarters, to be removed, and the ultimate removal of the Prophet’s body to a nearby cemetery.

The al-Baqi cemetery already contains the bodies of many of the Prophet’s family, including his father who was removed there in the 1970s, Dr Alawi said. In 1924 all the grave markers were removed, so pilgrims would not know who was buried there, and so be unable to pray to them.


full story here:

Perhaps we need a million muslim march on Mecca. Muslims across the world must condemn, or be complicit in their silence.

UPDATE: a comprehensive and lengthy theological discussion that refutes the Wahabbi assertion that building structures over graves is somehow shirk.

*yes, I chose that word deliberately.

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Juzar Noorani

posted September 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm

This is not new, the Saudis have long attempted to remove destroy the tomb of the prophets, history says that their first attempt for such an exploitation was when they destroyed the tombs of the Prophet’s daughter at Baqi. However, the plan never took shape due to the fact that it could have toppled the regime.

Whatever the cause or result there is one clear fact that these people basically do not care about Islam and its principles.

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posted September 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

As an outsider looking it, this seems less like a theological move and more like a cynical and tactical move against ISIS, who they consider to be Khawarij terrorists (and I think I would agree.) Saudi Arabia is definitely the juicy plum on the table for ISIS, and having what ISIS would consider a theologically “safe” target for a terror attack in Medina is a definite worry. Exposing SA as being unable to protect pilgrims on hajj from attack would be a huge win for ISIS.

I doubt that removing a terror target was the SOLE consideration, but I think it was the main one.

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posted September 4, 2014 at 10:39 am

Aziz, rest assured no one would be allowed ever to do such a thing as to move the Prophet’s tomb by the Muslim peoples everywhere. But Aziz you must be objective in your posts and also condemn practices like female genital mutilation as ordered by the spiritual head of your Bohri sect. Such a disgusting practice has no place in the modern world.

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posted September 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm

With regards to my previous post, I do not belong to any sect, I just want things to modernize for all Muslim sects & groups.

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