Grand mufti slams Iran for Haj ‘mischief’

Grand mufti
slams Iran
for Haj
‘mischief’
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh
Updated 03 June 2016

Grand mufti slams Iran for Haj ‘mischief’

Grand mufti
slams Iran
for Haj
‘mischief’

JEDDAH: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has slammed Iran for what he described as attempts to create mischief at Haj and divide Muslims.

Speaking on the Makkah radio show “Fatwa Fountains,” and reported by a local publication here, he said that “any policy to derail the holy Haj rituals is totally unacceptable in Islam,” and amounted to “criminal behavior.”
“Our Islamic religion established the Haj rituals as worship and obedience to God the Almighty, not as a platform for ignorance, and to spread heresy and for political purposes.”
Al-Asheikh said there was “no place” for those wanting to spread falsehood, and referred to several attempts by Iran to cause chaos at the Grand Mosque over the years. He said there were also sects that had been involved in taking the black stone “for 22 years until the will of God the Almighty returned it to its place. It is unacceptable to politicize Haj.”
The grand mufti said that Allah has entrusted Saudi Arabia with the responsibility of serving the Two Holy Mosques. “Saudi Arabia has assumed this responsibility and has the right to put in place regulations and laws for the safety and comfort of pilgrims. Everyone must obey and abide by such regulations and laws,” he said.
Al-Asheikh’s comments come in the wake of Iran refusing to sign an agreement with the Saudi Haj and Umrah Ministry last week, which would have allowed 63,000 of its citizens to perform the pilgrimage this year.
The Iranian delegation had been involved in lengthy meetings in Jeddah last week and had reached agreement in principle on several contentious issues. However, on Friday the delegation said it wanted to leave the Kingdom and not sign the minutes of the agreement. The Haj and Umrah Ministry said it was saddened by their refusal to do so, and that they were now answerable to Allah for the decision.
The ministry said that there had been intense discussions on all issues, including having visas issued for Iranian pilgrims by the Swiss Embassy in their country, acting on behalf of the Saudi government, and equal division of pilgrims between the Saudi and Iranian national airlines.