We must do something about this! I cried when I read this article even though I had known about this before from other presentations. We will loose our heritage because of the greed of the Saudi government. Their authoritarian rule has already destroyed the Prophet’s (saw) birthplace and the house he lived in with his beloved Khadija.
They long ago destroyed Jannat al Baqi because of their misguided misinterpretation of Islam. This is already lost, these important historic places must be preserved. There are many ways to do this and still expand the Masjid. Muslim and other historians, archaeologists and conservators should petition the UNESCO to make both Medina and Mecca world heritage sites!
These places should be preserved for humanity – they are the birthplaces of Islam, a religion now practiced by 1.6 billion people around the world, certainly these people deserve to have the heritage preserved! Read the article here or use the link below to get to the original article in the Independent, UK.
the Authorities are building a mosque so big it will hold 1.6m people – but are demolishing irreplaceable monuments to do it
Three of the world’s oldest mosques are about to be destroyed as Saudi Arabia embarks on a multi-billion-pound expansion of Islam’s second holiest site. Work on the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, where the Prophet Mohamed is buried, will start once the annual Hajj pilgrimage ends next month. When complete, the development will turn the mosque into the world’s largest building, with the capacity for 1.6 million worshipers.
But concerns have been raised that the development will see key historic sites bulldozed. Anger is already growing at the kingdom’s apparent disdain for preserving the historical and archaeological heritage of the country’s holiest city, Mecca. Most of the expansion of Masjid an-Nabawi will take place to the west of the existing mosque, which holds the tombs of Islam’s founder and two of his closest companions, Abu Bakr and Umar.
Just outside the western walls of the current compound are mosques dedicated to Abu Bakr and Umar, as well as the Masjid Ghamama, built to mark the spot where the Prophet is thought to have given his first prayers for the Eid festival. The Saudis have announced no plans to preserve or move the three mosques, which have existed since the seventh century and are covered by Ottoman-era structures, or to commission archaeological digs before they are pulled down, something that has caused considerable concern among the few academics who are willing to speak out in the deeply authoritarian kingdom.