by Zafar Bangash (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 43, No. 8, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1435)
The Saudis have repeatedly brought up the subject of destroying the Green Dome over the Prophet’s (saws) tomb and relocate his body from there. How diabolical can they get?
It is not the first time that the Saudi regime has brought up the idea of destroying the green dome over the Prophet’s (pbuh) tomb in al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Madinah. Aware of the Saudis’ true nature, most Muslims understand that the dome destruction plan is a prelude to destroying the Prophet’s (pbuh) tomb itself that is currently surrounded by prayer space in the masjid. The Saudis allege that Muslims pray to it, when in fact they are doing tawassul, which according to them is shirk (accepting power rivals with Allah (swt) in the area of governance and dominion). No Muslim worships the Prophet (pbuh) or his tomb; what they do, however, is express love for him as commanded by Allah (swt) in the noble Qur’an but the Saudis want to impose their reductionist, and therefore half-baked, interpretation of Islam on the rest of the Muslims under the pretext of preventing shirk.
The real reason is that the Saudis want to relocate the body of the noble Messenger (pbuh) and bury it in an unmarked grave in the nearby Baqi‘ Cemetery. Behind this “real” reason is the age-old motivation of pharoahs, presidents, kings, and princes to obliterate all symbols of morality and social justice whose potential to revitalize the suffering masses spells doom for those who want to rule in perpetuity without having to deal with the sting of accountability. And no one represented this justice in practice and this accountability on the street better than Muhammad (pbuh). What better way to justify effacing restraints on the hereditary monarchs in Arabia, the elected tyrants in Washington, and their bankster enablers in Tel Aviv than to destroy the legacy of Muhammad by “Wahhabizing” the Qur’an and to erase his visage from history by destroying his final resting place on earth. There are Uncle Toms in the White House and coolies in the King’s White Palace, all of whom are being given their marching orders by the Yahudi plantation owners in the white squatter suburbs of occupied Palestine. These Yahudis (Zionists), mushriks (imperialists), and munafiqs (Saudis) hated the Prophet (pbuh) when he was alive 14 centuries ago and they hate him today when the committed Muslims want to bring his message back to life.
The Saudis have already removed all identification markers from the graves of the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) and Ahl al-Bayt (members of the Prophet’s family). Prior to Saudi occupation of the Hijaz where the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah are located, the Turks had built simple but elegant structures over the graves of the well-known companions and of Ahl al-Bayt in order for Muslims to easily identify them. Muslims offer fatihah (the opening chapter of the Qur’an) on the graves of the deceased, in conformity with the Sunnah of the noble Messenger (pbuh). When the Wahhabi hordes arrived in the Hijaz in 1924, they started wholesale destruction of these structures. They also leveled the graves. Today, it is virtually impossible for an average Muslim to know where a particular companion of the Prophet (pbuh) is buried, or his wives (declared as “Mothers of the Believers” in the Qur’an), children or other members of his family.
The latest proposal to destroy the green dome as well as the chambers surrounding the Prophet’s (pbuh) tomb is the brain-child of one ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Shabal, a professor at Muhammad ibn Saud University in Riyadh. His 61-page document has been circulated among the supervisors of al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Madinah. The chambers (or rooms) were the dwellings of the Prophet’s family. Again, the Saudi regime, its court ‘ulama and other hangers-on are imposing their narrow views on Muslims.
The contents of al-Shabal’s document were referred to by the British daily, The Independent newspaper, in its report of September 1. These were brought to the attention of the London-based daily by another Saudi scholar, Dr. Irfan al-‘Alawi. He has lived in Makkah and has endured long periods of house arrest because of his exposure of Saudi plans.
“[Once relocated to Baqi‘], the Prophet’s [grave] would be anonymous,” Dr. Irfan al-‘Alawi, director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, told the British daily adding, “Everything around the Prophet’s mosque has already been destroyed. It is surrounded by bulldozers. Once they’ve removed everything they can move towards the mosque.”
While a final decision about demolishing the Green Dome and relocating the Prophet’s (pbuh) body has not been taken, the fact that the Saudis would even consider such a possibility is extremely disturbing and is bound to inflame Muslim sentiment worldwide. Under the pretext of expansion of the two masjids — al-Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Madinah — the Saudis have demolished many Islamic historic sites in the two holy cities. In their place have emerged such Western monstrosities as five- or even seven-star hotels, American fast-food chains Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s as well as the coffee shop, Starbucks. It is revealing that Starbucks’ symbol is the sun goddess (picture of a woman in the sun) that sticks in one’s face upon exiting al-Masjid al-Haram. The Saudis see nothing wrong with the display of this American idol, and indeed worship it since people flock to Starbucks as if they have never had coffee in their lives. The Saudis appear to be directing Muslims toward the worship of materialism and grotesque Western-style structures. A huge clock tower dwarfs the Ka‘bah in Makkah. This might explain why they have such intense hatred for Islamic symbols.
Saudis have brought up the idea of destroying the green dome and relocating the Prophet’s (pbuh) body from its current resting place since the day he passed away. For more than 1,400 years of Islamic history, nobody even dared to think of such a blasphemous act, much less act upon it. The Saudis, however, feel they are a superior breed and can do what they like because the Muslim Ummah has paid scant attention to their destructive policies. Some Muslims unfortunately have been compromised by petrodollars while others are too engrossed in the dunya to pay much attention to what the Saudis are doing.
Saudi preachers have on numerous occasions expressed anger at the presence of the Prophet’s (pbuh) grave in al-Masjid al-Nabawi. Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen, the late Saudi preacher, went so far as to declare in a khutbah in al-Masjid al-Haram that the green dome and the Prophet’s (pbuh) tomb should be destroyed because these are symbols of shirk! For 14 centuries, Islamic scholars did not see shirk; only the Saudi preachers have discovered that Muslims are indulging in it.
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi has been expanded and naturally the Prophet’s (pbuh) grave has over the years become surrounded by additional space for salah. It is, however, the Saudis’ allegation that Muslims pray to the Prophet’s (pbuh) grave that is completely false and based on malevolence. If the intention is to expand the masjid, is it necessary to target the Prophet’s (pbuh) tomb that lies in the northeast corner? In Madinah, Muslims face toward the south. The masjid can be expanded in other directions where currently huge five-star hotels have been built that rake in billions of dollars for the Saudi “royals.” It is also revealing that the court ‘ulama have issued fatwas saying the Saudi princes can take money from Bayt al-Mal to build these hotels because they are “providing services to the hujjaj.” Yet the same preachers are silent about why the princes should be charging exorbitant sums when people book into these hotels.
The overwhelming majority of Muslims, in conformity with the teachings of the Qur’an show great love and respect for the noble Messenger (pbuh). In the Qur’an, Allah (swt) says, “The Prophet has a higher claim on the commited Muslims than [they have on] their own selves, [seeing that he is as a father to them] and his wives are their mothers…” (33:06). The noble Messenger (pbuh) himself is reported to have said, “It is not possible for any of you to be securely committed to Allah unless I am dearer to him than his father, his child, and all of mankind.” (Reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Anas ibn Malik; there are similar versions of this in other hadith compilations as well).
The Saudi/Wahhabi literalists, unfortunately misinterpret the love the Muslims show for the noble Messenger (pbuh) as a bid‘ah (according to them, an innovation in matters related to the ‘ibadat) and shirk. The fact that the Arabian Peninsula, so named by the noble Messenger (pbuh), has been renamed “Saudi” Arabia, as if the primitive clan owns the land, is the biggest form of bid‘ah and shirk. This simple fact, however, seems to have escaped the court ‘ulama and the equally obliging “professors” at some of their universities, because they do not consider the name of a territory to fall under the purview of what they in a reductionist fashion consider to be the ‘ibadat. Instead, their narrow interpretations are applied to ordinary Muslims who wish to follow the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the noble Messenger (pbuh).
The recently planned destruction of the green dome and the Prophet’s (pbuh) tomb is not the first time the Saudis have brought up this subject. Only a few years ago (2007), the Municipality in Madinah changed the color of the green dome to silver. There are numerous other silver domes on the roof of Masjid al-Nabi. There is only one Green Dome; its color was changed in preparation for destroying it. The alleged plan was that Muslims would not identify a silver dome with the Prophet’s (pbuh) dome if it were destroyed since there are so many of them.
The Saudis may have succeeded in this sacrilegious act but for the fact that the people of Madinah realized what was planned and came out to protest. This was a rare example of courage in the face of the regime’s extreme brutality toward any form of dissent. The municipality was forced to repaint the dome back to its original green color under public pressure.
The Saudi regime has appointed ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sudais, who performs the duties of imam in al-Masjid al-Haram, to oversee the expansion project in Madinah. This is done on the pretext that huge numbers of pilgrims visit Makkah and Madinah each year and many Muslims have become attached to al-Sudais because of his Qur’anic recitation. The idea seems to be that most Muslims would not think that a prominent shaykh like al-Sudais would do something against Islam. But what does al-Sudais know about architecture? He may be a good qari but that does not confer upon him any special privilege in terms of architectural work or preserving the historic sites of Islam.
The Saudis have used the pretext of the expansion of al-Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid al-Nabi in Madinah to indulge in the wholesale destruction of Islam’s historic sites. There are alternate ways to expand the facilities without destroying such important sites. The Saudis and their court ‘ulama, however, are motivated by very different considerations.
Muslims should ask themselves whether the artefacts of Ibn Saud are more important than the final resting place of the noble Messenger of Allah?
They actually do want to eliminate these important historical sites — 95% have been destroyed in Makkah, according the Washington-based Gulf Institute. That is why they are busy targeting the Prophet’s Masjid and tomb. It is revealing that everything related to ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Saud, founder of the Saudi “kingdom” has been preserved. Even the tip of the spear that he used to attack the Mismak Fortress and that broke and got stuck in the door, has been preserved. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz’s shoes, swords, and robes, etc. are all preserved. This is obviously neither a bid‘ah or shirk as far as the House of Saud is concerned but anything related to the noble Messenger (pbuh) that the Muslims respect is immediately denounced as bid‘ah and shirk.
Muslims should ask themselves whether the artefacts of Ibn Saud are more important than the final resting place of the noble Messenger of Allah (pbuh)? And who gave the Saudi regime the authority to make decisions on behalf of the entire Muslim Ummah? After all, the Haramayn (the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah) do not belong to the Saudi clan from Dar‘iyyah; these are the common heritage of the Ummah.
Would the Saudis succeed in their nefarious designs to destroy the Green Dome and desecrate the grave of the noble Messenger (pbuh) by relocating his body to Jannah al-Baqi‘? Let us glance at an episode from Islamic history. In the year 1162ce, Nuruddin Zangi was the ruler of Aleppo (part of present-day Syria). He was gallant, just and muttaqi. One night after performing tahajjud salah, he saw the Prophet (pbuh) in his dream. The noble Messenger (pbuh) pointed to two persons with fair skin and blue eyes, and said they were bothering him (the Prophet) so he (Nuruddin) should deal with them. He had the same dream three times consecutively.
Nuruddin called his trusted advisor Jamal al-Din and narrated the dream to him. The advisor told Nuruddin to immediately go to Madinah but to not mention the dream to anyone. Accompanied by a small contingent, Nuruddin hastened to Madinah and told the governor to gather all the inhabitants of Madinah for a feast in Masjid al-Nabi. Everyone was called and Nuruddin looked at each person’s face but could not find the two pale-skinned, blue-eyed people he had been shown in his dream by the Noble Messenger (pbuh). Upon further inquiry, it was discovered that there were two “pious” individuals that lived in a house not far from the Prophet’s (pbuh) tomb. Nuruddin went to the house but found only a few utensils there. He was perplexed but walked around until he stepped on a carpet under which the ground moved somewhat. Lifting the carpet, he discovered a tunnel that had been dug under the house and led to the Prophet’s (pbuh) grave. The two culprits, from Europe pretending to be “Muslims,” had come via Morocco and settled in Madinah. Their plot was to take the body of the noble Messenger (pbuh) away from its final resting place.
For this act of sacrilege, both were executed. Nuruddin then had a deep trench dug all around the grave of the noble Messenger (pbuh) and filled with molten lead so that in future nobody would be able to indulge in such a nefarious act. The two Europeans were non-Muslims; the Saudi rulers claim to be Muslims yet they dare to contemplate such insult to the Prophet’s (pbuh) body. There is little doubt that before they proceed with their sacrilegious act, they will be destroyed. The fact that they can even think of such a diabolical plan, however, exposes their hatred of Islam and the noble Messenger (pbuh).
The Saudi ideology of hatred has given the world such monstrosities as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and now the takfiris of ISIS (the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) who have gone on a rampage in Syria and Iraq beheading and murdering innocent people. The takfiris are doing what the Saudi regime has done for decades inside the Kingdom: beheading ordinary people for minor offences while the thieving “royals” get away literally with murder. Human rights activists are also facing extreme oppression with more than 30,000 languishing in Saudi prisons after kangaroo trials.
The Islamic movement must take serious note of the latest Saudi outrage before it is too late. Muslims should also give serious consideration to the removal of this corrupt regime and its thieving members from power. The regime has brought nothing but shame to the name of Islam and Muslims.
The primitive clan that emerged from the darkest regions of Najd follows a narrow literalist interpretation of Islam that the overwhelming majority of Muslims completely reject. Yet by illegally occupying the entire Arabian Peninsula, including the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, the clan has shown visceral hatred for the noble Messenger (pbuh), nastaghfirullah, and Islam. Muslims are duty bound to rise up for the honor of the Prophet (pbuh) and Islam.