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Ever wonder whether your watch is too fancy to wear with ihram? | Sunday Open Thread 5/23/10


Innalhamdolillah. Allah Knows what reason you wear your watch — to tell time or as a status symbol. Maybe you use your mobile phone to tell time, and carrying your cell phone during the acts of Umrah and Hajj is a whole other can of worms. Indeed Allah Knows our intentions at least as well as we do ourselves. May He forgive me my mistakes and shortcomings, and may He Guide all of us.

Khayr, inshaAllah, soon residents of Makkah and guests of Allah alike will have a new clock with which to tell the time:

Makkah Clock Royal Tower set to become world’s tallest hotel

JEDDAH – The 76-story and 577-meter high Makkah Clock Royal Tower, scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2010, will become the world’s tallest hotel, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Group said early this week.

Located in the holy city of Makkah, the hotel will be adjacent to the Masjid Al-Haram, the holiest site in Islam.

The hotel will have 858 rooms and will include a 40-meter clock, more than five times larger than Big Ben in London, which will be visible up to 17 kilometers away and will announce the daily prayers to the Muslim world.

The tower will also include the Lunar Observation Center and Islamic Museum.
[Excerpted from press release.]

Click here or on the frame above to see an artist’s flash rendering of the Clock Tower in the city of Makkah.

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May Allah make people more heedful by it of the appointed hour, the one that only Allah can tell.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Bismillah walhamdolillah. May Allah accept my repentance and yours. I am an attorney, a stepfather, a husband, a son, and a Muslim. Studying Islam is a means, reflecting what I have learned is a must, and to Allah is the inevitable return. If you would like my help, know that Allah is the source of all aid. If you would like to contact me, try tariqnisarahmed at Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, or add me as a friend on Facebook.



  1. Quran Player - Yuxx

    May 23, 2010 at 3:42 AM

    mashâa’ Allâh, it’s wonderful :D gg muslims :D
    Best Regards
    Quran Player

  2. ummfatima

    May 23, 2010 at 5:23 AM

    “May Allah make people more heedful by it of the appointed hour, the one that only Allah can tell.”

    Aameen ..

  3. ibn adam

    May 23, 2010 at 5:33 AM

    another addition to the metropolis. boohoo.

  4. inna

    May 23, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    just an observation, it should be “Innalhamdalillah” instead of ‘Innalhamdolillah’

  5. Marwa

    May 23, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    Tall buildings…

  6. Sayf

    May 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    What’s the next addition.. a private zam-zam swimming pool?

    • Abd- Allah

      May 23, 2010 at 2:34 PM

      What’s the next addition.. a private zam-zam swimming pool?

      Hey don’t give them ideas bro.

      • Sayf

        May 24, 2010 at 11:54 AM


    • Bushra

      May 24, 2010 at 12:05 PM

      It’s actually permissible to do ghusl with ZamZam water too…

  7. madam

    May 24, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    i don’t know whether to applaud or to just shake my head… i thought hajj was supposed to be about brotherhood, and all that…

  8. Shukri

    May 24, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    I never fully understood what was going on in Saudi until I watched this “House of Saud” documentary:

    • Abd- Allah

      May 24, 2010 at 10:21 PM

      Brother, this movie is a misrepresentation of Islam and of Saudi Arabia, and to take these biased ideas from people who are ignorant of what Islam is, then I think this will only form an incorrect idea in our minds about what is really going on. I’m not saying that everything that was mentioned in the movie is wrong, but the entire movie is a representation from a non-muslim point of view.

  9. Muhammad

    May 24, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    SubhanAllah – this monstrosity is nothing but a sign of decadence and extravagance that has turned what was once a valley into the laz vegas of the hijaz. Yet what i find most annoying is that the scholars do not speak out about such things – no wonder the ummah is in the crisis it is today.

    Ask yourself brothers and sisters whether it is right that in the name of bidaa all sites of historic relevance to islam and the muslims that the scholars of 1400 years did not see fit to destroy – are now levelled to the floor. In place of them are 5 and 6 star hotels and shopping malls. Ask yourself about the total disregard for the fact that the way that makkah and medina are being constructed today for poorer muslims… effectively pricing many muslims out of the ability to go on hajj or umrah.

    Ask yourself why it is that scholars don’t say a word about this and instead are mute on these issues? It is the same deafening silence that accompanied the destruction of the caliphate, the rise of nationalism and the reinterpretation of the deen to fit liberal ideologies.


    • Abd- Allah

      May 24, 2010 at 9:55 PM

      Hold your horses akhi, who told you that all scholars are not speaking up against this ? Besides, is this something prohibited for them to denounce ? I’m sure that many of us don’t like what is going on, but to say that this is not permissible then we need some clear evidence. The way you put down the scholars all together and accused them of not speaking up is not correct. According to the sunnah, giving advice to the ruler should be done in private not in public. I’m sure there are several scholars who do advise the Muslim rulers and do speak up against the wrong when they see it, but that doesn’t mean they have to make it public for everyone to know about it. No one is saying that the scholars are perfect, but I wish we would show some respect and appreciation for our scholars, after all, they are the inheritors of the Prophets peace be upon them.

      • Student

        May 26, 2010 at 4:31 PM

        Assalamu alaykum,

        Can you please provide evidence for your comment, “According to the sunnah, giving advice to the ruler should be done in private not in public”?

        Jazak Allahu khayran.

        • Abd- Allah

          May 26, 2010 at 11:42 PM

          Alaikum Assalaam Warahmatulah

          Brother Student, here is the evidence in the statement of the Prophet peace be upon him.

          It is authentically reported from the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) in the hadeeth of ‘Iyaad ibn Ghunum who said, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever desires to advise a sultaan (leader/ruler/the one with authority) then he should not do so openly, rather he should take him by the hand and take him into seclusion (and then advise him). And if he accepts (the advice) from him then (he has achieved his objective) and if not, then he has fulfilled that which was a duty upon him.” (Musnad of Ahmad, as-Sunnah of Ibn Abee Aa’sim. Authenticated by al-Albaanee may Allaah have mercy upon him).

  10. Hassan Adnan

    May 25, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    Assalam O Alikum:

    Among the signs of the Hour mentioned by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) – in Sahih al-Bukhari is “when the destitute (al-buhm) camelherds compete in building tall structures.” Another version in al-Bukhari has: “when the barefoot and the naked are the top leaders (lit. “heads”) of the people.” In Sahih Muslim: “you shall see the barefoot, naked, indigent (al-`âla) shepherds compete in building tall structures.” Another version in Muslim states: “when the naked and barefoot are the top leaders of the people.” A third version in Muslim has: “when you see that the barefoot and naked, the deaf and dumb are the kings of the earth.”

    We should take heed of this my brothers and sisters and not be deceived by the awe of these constructions. May Allah protect us all. Ameen. JazakAllah khair.

    • Hassan

      May 26, 2010 at 11:14 PM

      If something is sign of an hour, does it automatically makes it bad/evil?

      I think these hotels are more for logistics then competition as well.

      • Abd- Allah

        May 27, 2010 at 12:43 AM

        If something is sign of an hour, does it automatically makes it bad/evil?

        Although most of them are bad, but I would say not all of them are necessarily bad in of themselves, but being a sign that the day of judgment is approaching means that things overall are getting worse. As you know things do tend to worsen towards the end of times. Ibn Mas’ood said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The Hour will only come upon the most evil of people.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 5243, and by Ahmad, no. 3548).

        Ahmad and al-Bukhari narrated that Mardaas al-Sulami said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The righteous people will vanish, the best first, then the next best and so on, and there will be left worthless chaff like the chaff of barley or dates, and Allah will not care about them at all.” ( al-Jaami’ al-Saheeh, 7934).

        So I don’t think that anyone would want to be alive towards the end of times, that is why people consider the signs of the hour as something bad, in general, because they are an indication of other bad things that are drawing near, even if these signs aren’t bad in of themselves.

        But here is another example of a sign of the hour which I think many would see as something good, and that is the over flow of wealth and money to the extent that no one would find any poor person who would accept zakah money from them. Another sign which some men might see as something good is the increase in the number of women compared to men. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Among the signs of the Hour are: knowledge will be reduced, ignorance will prevail, zinaa will be widespread, and there will be many women and few men, until for fifty women there will be one guardian.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, no. 79; Muslim, no. 4825; Ahmad, no. 12735; and al-Tirmidhi, no. 2131).
        Allah knows best.

  11. MR

    May 25, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    Although I’m disappointed in the towers, I ain’t going to lie, I’d love to stay in the hotel and have an aerial view of the kaaba.

    • Hassan

      May 26, 2010 at 11:18 PM

      Alhamdulillah I had oppurtunity to stay in zam zam tower, and could see kabah from my window. It was quite good experience

      I do not understand (from islam perspective) what is wrong with towers/tall buildings. Is their prohibition on it? (keep in mind kabaah is very low, and the whole masjid is low and things surrounding masjid are naturally taller. I was sitting on top floor of haram and yet I was just slightly above the main entrance (king abdul aziz building or something, all these tall towers belong to that).

  12. Muhammad

    May 25, 2010 at 3:18 PM


    I will reply to brother Abd-Allahs point. I am not saying it is Haraam to build the worlds largest/ tallest hotel adjacent to the kaaba,
    I am not saying that it is Haraam to price poor Muslims out of umrah and Hajj,
    I’m not saying that it is Haraam to put the kaaba in the shadow of a huge money-making structure with a pointlessly huge clock on it,
    I’m not saying it is Haraam that the building in question contains vanity rooms including one dedicated to chocolate whilst hundreds of millions of muslims are starving to death each night
    I’m not saying it is haraam that the absolute majority of buildings and sights associated with the Prophet (SAW), the Sahaaba (Ra) and our pious predecessors have been wiped out to make way for these hotels/ shops etc…
    I would hope that these things are self-evidently against the ethos of Islam enough for any scholar worth his salt to be able to grasp this.

    Secondly, your point about advising the rulers in private is not borne out in the experience of the khulufa rashidun. In fact, I suggest that you bring evidences to prove that the sunnah contains evidences that this is the preferred method. In reality, the sahaabas would confront umar (R) in public on an issue they disagreed with him over and he would answer back in a likewise manner. The excuse of “advising the rulers in private” is used by many to cover up the fact that few scholars take a stand on these issues. My proof is the public domain and I ask anyone to bring public statements by scholars challenging the social/ religious and long term effects of turning Makkah into a virtual las vegas.

    Finally, I do respect and appreciate our scholars. They do a lot of good work and often do it thanklessly. But unfortunately, in this day and age, we find scholars who are all too eager to promote voting by making videos/ writing articles and starting campaigns but rarely mention the word “khilafa” from their lips. We find scholars who are at the forefront of talking about the bidaah of the sufis and how they turn every grave into a shrine (which they do) but then when they see Makkah and Medina being turned into Capitalist playgrounds they do not utter a sigh in public. We find scholars who are quick in denouncing those who blindly follow madhabs but are equally rigid in following a clique of scholars from one part of the world.

    The sunnah of Allah is that when the ulemaa of an ummah begin to lose sight of the bigger picture, when they have one set of rulings for the rich and powerful and another for the poor and ignorant, when they present a lop-sided view of the faith – then we will be destroyed.

    I lived in Arabia my whole life and have seen the transformation of Makkah and Medina within my lifetime from a place of spiritual retreat to something entirely different. Our respect and love for our scholars should not prevent us from standing up and telling them that they should speak out clearly on this issue… the faith is naseeha and they are just as deserving of it as the next person.

    • Abd- Allah

      May 25, 2010 at 7:39 PM

      It is authentically reported from the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) in the hadeeth of ‘Iyaad ibn Ghunum who said, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever desires to advise a sultaan (leader/ruler/the one with authority) then he should not do so openly, rather he should take him by the hand and take him into seclusion (and then advise him). And if he accepts (the advice) from him then (he has achieved his objective) and if not, then he has fulfilled that which was a duty upon him.” (Musnad of Ahmad, as-Sunnah of Ibn Abee Aa’sim. Authenticated by al-Albaanee may Allaah have mercy upon him).

      On the authority of Shaqeeq (may Allah have mercy upon him) that it was said to Usamah bin Zayd (may Allah be pleased with them both): “Will you not enter upon Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) and talk to him?” So he (Usamah bin Zayd) said: “Do you see that i don’t talk to him except that I make you to hear (what I say to him)? By Allah I have spoken to him in manner which was between me and him without opening an affair that I do not love to be the first one to open it.” (Reported by Bukharee and Muslim).

      Imam Nawawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim in reference to Usamah’s statement “without opening an affair that I do not love to be the first one to open it” that it means to be the first in openly criticizing/advising the ruler in public, meaning that no one used to do so before him and he (Usamah bin Zayd) didn’t want to be the first to start this affair of openly speaking out against the ruler in public.

      As for the story where a woman stood up in public and openly objected to what Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was saying about the issue of mahr/dowry, then that story is not authentic.

    • Sayf

      May 25, 2010 at 7:49 PM

      I’m not a fan of urban sprawl either, but you have to take into consideration more and more pilgrims are arriving every year, you either build further out, or further up, although I would have done it differently.

      • Muhammad

        June 4, 2010 at 3:24 AM

        I agree that the pilgrims arriving need to be accommodated but is the way to do it by building 7 star hotels that literally overshadow the kaaba? There are many ways to get around the need for more hotel rooms that don’t involve levelling mountains, breaking centuries old fortresses and rooms for pampering and luxury.

    • Hassan

      May 26, 2010 at 11:21 PM

      Whoever built awsome jamarat complex, may Allah put that in their scale of hasanaat.

  13. Muhammad

    May 26, 2010 at 1:47 AM


    Then is also the story of when one of the sahaabas stood up and objected to umar (r) having 2 sheets of cloth as opposed to the one from the war booty also a fabrication?

    or the incidence of the sahaabas wanting to fight a pitched battle at uhud rather than defending medina from the trenches – a debate they had with the prophet (SAW) himself?

    or the time when the caliph was openly criticised by a great muhaddith and scholar?

    The truth is not so one-sided as you would like to point out.

    • elham

      May 26, 2010 at 12:37 PM

      I thought that the Prophet’s (saws) action was based on an ayah such as this:

      “Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance”

      I don’t remember that it was debate but a shura initiated by the Prophet?

      • WAJiD

        June 4, 2010 at 3:21 AM

        What is a shura if not a debate between people to decide a mutually agreed outcome?

  14. bigahk tks

    May 26, 2010 at 9:52 AM with u.

  15. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    May 26, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    A lot of times in the heat of argument people write wat they would not write if they paused to reflect.

    If the cost of performing Hajj. and Umrah were intentionally raised to the point of preventing the poor from attending, that would be at least something to hate. But Umrah and even Hajj are not fard upon a person who lacks the financial means.

    And there is absolutely no injustice in that. Just as there is absolutely no injustice in the amount of rizq in your possession, or mine, nor in anyone else’s, excluding only a dhaalim’s and it would be dhulm for me to pass judgement on the builders of this hotel or their hosts or their guests. Dhulm because this really is an issue where judgment is only for Allah, and because we do not see their hearts, and because our perspective on their actions is tainted by whatever taints our own hearts.

    People have always surmounted the “obstacles” to performing Hajj, from evading visa requirements, to walking across the border, to running under the cover of night past checkpoints. :) I have seen “undocumented” run across the highway in the glare of my slowly crawling bus’s headlamps. And I have not begrudged them their turn as guests of Allah.

    Laa hawla wa laa quwwata,illah billah, and there are truly no exceptions to that.

    • Hassan

      May 26, 2010 at 11:23 PM

      What is amazing that the amount of rip off companies in poor countries do. Honestly they spend same amount as we do from west, and yet we get good accomodation, and they do not.

  16. Muhammad

    May 27, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    Walaikum asalaam,

    I feel that there is another side of the argument that tends to get buried by those who are apologists for a certain type of mentality. A mentality in which it is impossible to say that anything is wrong or right unless it is stated word for word in the quran and spelt out. An attitude that ignores the societal, long-term and other effects on the ummah. An attitude that is removed from history and reality.

    This mentality is seen clearly in this debate. Despite the Prophet (SAW) saying clearly and unequivocally that the blood of a Muslim is more valuable than the walls of the Kaabah, those that subscribe to this mentality will defend those who either take part in the spilling of this blood or facilitate it directly or indirectly.

    This mentality leads people to reduce Islam to a set of rituals and forget the spirit as if the faith of Muhammad (SAW) was a set of do’s and don’ts rather than a way of life. I do not mean that the rituals and how they are performed are unimportant (on the contrary – they are extremely important), but when someone can stand up and try and defend chocolate rooms, saunas and one of the worlds largest shopping malls being built NEXT to the Haram then something is clearly wrong in their thought processes that no hadith or ayah will cure.

    Despite most likely having the means and the ability to go on umrah and hajj themselves whenever they so feel like, they have the shamelessness to defend poorer Muslims being priced out of being able to perform the pilgrimage that is the dream of every Muslim. SubhanAllah – i believe this is the very definition of twisted logic. The mind with this twisted logic cannot see that the ultimate outcome of their way of thinking is that eventually hajj will only be the playground for the mega-rich and that the poor could not hope to go whether they save their whole lives or not.

    It just this kind of logic that allows one Muslim to justify the destruction of the institution of the Caliphate even if it was only in name (the islamic system of governance) and uphold the institution of nationalism and kingship (when we all know what the Prophet (SAW) said about Asabiya and Kingship.) It is just this kind of twisted logic that allows the same Muslim to justify the destruction of legitimate Islamic heritage sites in the name of bidaa knowing full well that the scholars of the past including ibn taimmiyah did not call for it or sanction it. It is the same twisted mentality that delights in “aerial views of the kaaba” as if it were some tourist destination for happy snappers whilst ignoring the plight of those Muslims that laboured to build these towers of vanity, ignores those Muslims that are forced to live in hotels miles away from the haram because they cannot afford anything nearer and cannot afford to eat at any of these restaurants attached to them, ignores those Muslims who cry tears of sadness because they cannot dream to afford the money to even travel to Makkah because of the prevalence of just the kind of hotel that gives you views like these.

    If you feel offended at what I have said about this “mentality” then I hope you are prepared to explain to the widow in Gaza, the shoemaker in Lagos and the Orphan in Dhaka how they are all your brothers and sisters in Islam but when it comes to having the chance to chillout in a 7 star mini-paradise with the Kaaba far below you, well – your sure they would understand.

    My words may sound harsh and I may sound angry – but the overwhelming mood is one of sadness.

    • Abd- Allah

      May 27, 2010 at 5:09 PM

      Brother Muhammad, while I appreciate your concern for your fellow Muslims who are poor and want to go for Hajj, however I think while you perceive this problem you are talking about to be caused by this new building, but in reality the construction of this building doesn’t affect things as much as you think. Who said that the price for Hajj is going to go up? There still are many other hotels in Mekkah and around the Ka’bah which are affordable.

      Another thing which that same Saudi government (which is being criticized here for this building) does every year is distribute free Hajj packages through their embassies in many different countries for those who can not afford to go for Hajj on their own. That is in addition to the many local organizations which help people go to Hajj for free if they can’t pay for it. May Allah reward them for the good that they do. They might not be perfect, but let us give them credit where it is due.

      King Abdullah to host 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims
      November 18, 2009
      The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Abdullah bin Abdulaziz will host at his own expense 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims, 1,000 from the West Bank and 1,000 from the Gaza Strip, to perform the Hajj this year.

      Crown Prince sponsors 205 disabled Yemeni pilgrims
      October 23, 2009
      Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz will invite 205 disabled Yemenis to perform the Hajj pilgrimage this year at his own expense. The initiative was praised today by Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Disabled Children Association, who noted the Crown Prince’s long-running interest in the issue of disability.

      So honestly brother, I think that you are making a bigger deal out of this than it actually is. This big building isn’t going to make it more expensive to go for Hajj.

      Another thing to add is that although we might not like or recommend the construction of tall fancy buildings next to the Ka’bah, but it is not really something impermissible. Anyone who claims that it is haram to do so, then the burden of proof is on him to provide evidence from the Quran and authentic sunnah that it is not permissible to build a tall building next to the ka’bah. Just because we don’t like it and don’t support it doesn’t mean we can prevent others if it is not impermissible.

      I also find the argument that “cultural and historic sites and heritage” are being destroyed to make place for these buildings a pointless claim, because Islam did not give any importance to such sites which people often do go to extremes about them and turn them into holy sites where they perform innovations and other acts of shirk. This is similar to what Umar may Allah be pleased with him did when he found out that there are some people who are going and praying (for extra blessings) near the tree underneath which the Prophet peace be upon him took the pledge from his companions, so Umar ordered that this tree is cut so that it is not taken as a holy site by some people.

      Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: I found with Ibn Sa’d a saheeh isnaad from Naafi’, saying that ‘Umar heard that some people were going to the tree and praying there, so he warned them (not to do that), then he ordered that it be cut down, and it was cut down. End quote from Fath al-Baari, 7/513

      I don’t think that anyone would dare object and say that Umar may Allah be pleased with him destroyed “cultural and historic sites and heritage.”

      • WAJiD

        May 27, 2010 at 6:04 PM


        The incidence of Umar (R) cutting down the tree in Fath Al Bari has some features that need to be taken into account:

        1) The people were going to the tree and praying there.
        – There is no evidence that people were going to the house of abu hurayra (r) or the birthplace of the prophet (SAW) and praying there, or the ajyad fortress that was closed for decades so people could not even visit. Those that claim that shirk takes place there by many people need to be very careful of what they allege and how widespread they seem to suggest it is.

        2) Umar (R) clearly warned the people first – i.e. he took the step of education.
        – This step is palpably missed out nowadays and instead things are destroyed simply because it is alleged that ignorant muslims are performing bidaah there.

        3) Umar (R) was the undisputed leader of the Muslim community and had certain authorities that are permitted the Caliph. This does not apply today to the people breaking these sites.

        4) It is not entirely accurate to say that Islam does not give any importance to these sites. If you mean that they do not have a significance in terms of ibaadah (i.e. praying in the house of abu ayyub ansari (R) has no islamic benefit) then you are right. If you mean that a persons Iman cannot be strengthened by seeing these places from our history, or that people cannot be made to be form a closer bond when seeing the seerah in reality then you are wrong.

        5) This also does not take into account the arch discrepancy that almost all these sites survived intact for 1330 years and only in this present time have they been destroyed. Now only one of two things can be true if you are correct…
        a) all scholars and muslims in the past were not as brave as those who ordered the destruction of these instruments and were ignorant of their inherent uselessness
        b) that the muslims have become especially prone to bidaah and worshipping these sites in the last 70 years and hence the justification for breaking them now…
        both points are quite a leap to make.

        6) The life of Umar (R) can equally be used to show his care for the preservation of the same “cultural and historic sites” that you seem to detest. When asked by the Bishop of Jerusalem to pray in the church of the holy sepulchre Umar (R) refused as he did not want later generations of muslims to build a mosque on top of the church and hence justify the erasure of this site. On the same trip, the same Umar (R) made efforts to locate all areas of historic interest to muslims and upon finding “the rock” form which the prophet (SAW) ascended to heaven, he proceeded to clean it up. That rock has no inherent value whatsoever but Umar (R) was not only interested in it but cleaned it with his own hands. Why? Perhaps because its association with the Prophet (SAW) made it a “cultural and historic site and heritage.”

        7) Some historic and cultural sites have mosques built over them. The places that the sahaabas, the umm al mumineen and the prophet (SAW) variously patrolled the ditch in the battle of the trench have small musallas. Likewise the place the prophet (SAW) read quran to Jinns. Why the dichotomy of preserving some sites of “cultural and historic signficance” and not others? Equally, the same government pays for the upkeep of various historic sites in other muslim nations.

        Finally… Those that attempt to cut all ties with the history of Islam usually do so with an ulterior motive. It is worth investigating what this motive is.

        • Abd- Allah

          May 27, 2010 at 6:52 PM

          Brother Wajid, you seem to have misunderstood what I said and completely missed the point I was making! You make it seem as if I am encouraging the destruction of such sites, when in reality I neither encourage their destruction nor their preservation, unless there is benefit in removing them if some people are taking them as holy sites, or if the space is needed for something else which brings benefit to the people. However, I do disagree with you regarding your statement that “Umar (R) was the undisputed leader of the Muslim community and had certain authorities that are permitted the Caliph. This does not apply today to the people breaking these sites.” Even though we might not have a caliphate established right now, but the ruler of the land does in fact has the right and authority to do what he sees fit in the land which is under his own rule and authority. So if the Saudi government decides to remove one of these sites because they see benefit in doing so, whether because some are turning them into holy sites or whether they need to use the land for something else, but if they see benefit in removing such a site then they do in fact have the authority to do so. As for why these sites have remained for so many years, well the obvious reason is that the space/land wasn’t really needed in the past. As you can see, the number of people going for Hajj each year is increasing (currently a couple million I believe) where as in the past the number was far more less. Another thing that you might want to think about is that the early generations of Muslims were the best, so yes as time goes by, people are going farther away from the true teachings of Islam. I am not saying that innovations have only been recently introduced into Islam in the past decades, but they are increasing in number over time, over all. This is something that is even mentioned in several hadiths of the Prophet peace be upon him, and we all know how things are getting worse with time, including in matters of religion. So that is one of the factors that needs to be considered, along with the need for the land to accommodate for the increasing number of people. And your accusation that some people want to “cut all ties with the history of Islam” and their motives… I really think you need to be careful when making such claims which are really baseless, because removing a few sites because you might need the land does not make them “cut all ties with the history of Islam.” I also do not agree with a few other things that you mentioned, some of them aren’t really accurate fact-wise, but I won’t address them because this discussion does seem to be heading off topic and there doesn’t seem to be much benefit coming out of it, and I think we all can use our time doing more useful things.

  17. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    May 27, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Shaykh Mehmood Abdelhady said something just last weekend that I did not apply when I was writing earlier: in discussing the hadith of the man who had demanded more money from the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam, in which the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam took the man into his own house to give him until he calmed down. It is a famous hadith, but a beautiful one.

    The shaykh emphasized for us that the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam was calm with him because at the moment of the man’s outrageous conduct, the man’s iman was in jeopardy. He had just laid hands on the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam and accused him by inference of not being just in distributing the wealth. If he had been met with harshness, the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam knew that he might become more rebellious, might insist on his point, and thus might lose his Islam.

    Even the sahabah were in danger of pushing the man out of Islam with their understandable outrage. So the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam was calm and generous, literally in wealth and in kindness, and that forbearance paid off because the man relented and became embarrassed at his own actions.

    To paraphrase the shaykh, the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi exemplified setting the best priorities:
    * RasoolAllah sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam was secure in his own faith.
    * The sahabah were strong in their faith, but might in their vehemence have driven the man into rebelliousness.
    * And the man was in deep peril of losing his Islam from his actions.

    So the person who needed the most attention and kindness from the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam was the man who had been rude to him. Then when that situation was resolved, the sahabah who needed to be told that their reaction was like a crowd who want to catch a stray camel but in their manner would drive the camel farther away.

    Advice to us all and a reminder to myself: Be kind, and do not let your feelings become a justification for denying forbearance to your brothers in Islam, and do not be harsh with them for your own sake.

  18. Muhammad

    May 27, 2010 at 5:03 PM


    In the spirit of brother Abu abdullahs post above, I too am reminded of the story of the scholar who confronted a tyrant caliph about his actions. Once he was finished rebuking him, the Caliph asked the scholar if he was done. When he replied in the affirmative, all the rest of the court thought that the scholar would lose his head for his outspoken words.

    Instead the Caliph replied that even when Allah told Musa (A) to give dawah to Firawn, he told him to do it with wisdom and patience. The Caliph went on, “Neither I am as evil as Firawn nor are you as good as Musa (A) so am I not more deserving of your advice with wisdom and patience?”

    When I last went for Umrah I met more than one poor Muslim who was literally starving outside the haram, not because he was a beggar but the burger joints were out of his budget. They were too poor to afford the upmarket prices of the shops within walking distance and had too much dignity to trawl through the trash like a few others were doing. When I spoke to them they were full of stories of how they had scrimped and saved for decades to be able to come and prayed only for the chance to bring their mother or their father (they could not afford to bring both.) My eyes were opened and my heart was filled with regret at what was happening.

    It is with this background, in the heat of the moment, I replied in a manner that was indeed not adequately taking into account the feelings of those who I was debating. For this I apologise. My views still stand, but inshaAllah on more humble and respectful grounds.

    • Hassan

      May 27, 2010 at 7:56 PM

      Hmm interesting, I found food for less than 5 riyals during hajj time near haram. Mattabaq is good option. No need to eat 20 riyal burger. Also omelette + paratha as well.

      • Muhammad

        June 4, 2010 at 3:35 AM

        The fact that you “found” one or two sites that give you what you consider an affordable meal does not negate the fact that within the vicinity of the haram these sites are becoming less and less.

        And of course, 5 riyals may seem nothing to you but it is almost $2 – a whole lot of muslims living in the rest of the world make that much money in a week. And what happens if they have children to feed and a wife. Suddenly your “cheap” 5 riyal meal doesn’t seem so cheap anymore does it?

        In the past for 3 riyals you could buy enough food to feed 3-4 people reasonably well. I’m not against their being expensive places, but I am against the rapidly diminishing options that are available to muslims around the haram.

        I spoke to a brother involved in the hotel industry in the middle east and he was equally disgusted by the total lack of sensitivity in opening such a giant mega structure towering over the haram. He also said that now the flood gates are open and it is only a matter of time before another prince will compete to build an even taller even more luxurious hotel next to the haram until eventually what we’ll have is a manhattan skyline of 7 star hotels with the kaaba stuck somewhere at the bottom…. like a glorified food court. But of course, that won’t bother many of you since it is “not haraam.”

  19. sumayah s

    August 8, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    muhammad i totally agree with everything you have said. As a new revert I have performed umrah twice and feel it’s a total shame what’s been done. These buildings are a monstrosity

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