Grand Mufti denounces violence against embassies

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Updated 05 October 2012

Grand Mufti denounces violence against embassies

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, yesterday denounced attacks on diplomats and embassies as un-Islamic after deadly protests against a US-made anti-Islam film swept the Middle East.
At the same time, he called on the international community to take steps to criminalize any act of abusing great prophets and messengers such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them).
In a statement issued yesterday, Al-Asheikh also appealed to world Muslims to react to any attempt to denigrate Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by strictly adhering to the values advocated by the Prophet (pbuh) instead of unleashing violence against innocent people, the SPA reported.
“Condemnation of the attempts to abuse the Prophet (pbuh) should be within the Law of Allah and Sunnah of the Prophet. The Muslims should not shed the blood of innocent people, or vandalize properties or of public institutions,” the Grand Mufti said.
The mufti said the hatred of Islam through such movies would not harm the great personality of the Prophet (pbuh) or any aspect of Islam but would only backfire on the people who spread venomous ideas.
"Such animosity only helps in spreading the glory of the Prophet (pbuh) with greater vigor,” he said.
The mufti also warned that the enemies of the Prophet (pbuh) and Muslims achieve their goals when Muslims resort to violence. “Muslim rage is playing into the hands of their enemies when Muslims attack innocent people and set fire to public or private institutions. Such acts, in fact, damage the image of Islam, a situation the enemies of Islam seeks to create. Such acts go against the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) and are deplorable,” the mufti said, while reminding the faithful that all Muslims are willing to sacrifice their lives and properties for the cause of their dear Prophet (pbuh).
“The goal of those who abuse Islam and Muslims is to divert the energy of Muslims from building their nations and efforts for unity and development,” the mufti warned.
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal yesterday reiterated the Kingdom’s strong disapproval of the film and also stressed the principles of interfaith dialogue in a telephone talk with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The prince condemned the attack on the US diplomatic missions.
Meanwhile, the Taleban claimed responsibility for an attack on a base that killed two American Marines, saying it was a response to the film.
Hundreds of Muslims took to the streets of Sydney, some throwing rocks and bottles in clashes with police.
Police stormed into Cairo’s Tahrir Square and rounded up hundreds of people early yesterday after four days of clashes and demands from protesters for the US ambassador’s expulsion.
Libyan authorities said they had identified 50 people who were involved in the attack in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens died.

 


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 30 min 18 sec ago

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.