MAKKAH – The Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Makkah wants 14 historic sites in Makkah eradicated or shut down so that visitors, mostly “unaware” pilgrims from across the globe, would not indulge in un-Islamic rituals there.
The Civil Defense has also called for implementation of safety regulation at those sites or immediate closure of them.
Sheikh Ahmed Al-Qassim, chief of the Commission’s branch in Makkah, said the Makkah Mayoralty has been requested to shut down those heritage sites that have been luring visitors to attach religious significance to them.
The Commission has supported its argument for the removal request on the eradicated “Tree of Al-Bay’ah” where Al-Ansar (the people of Madina) gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him). The second Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) had ordered the cutting of the tree to put an end to un-Islamic practices anticipated by some visitors.
Sheikh Al-Qassim said a fence should be built around the sites to prevent some worshippers from visiting them and practicing heresies.
He called upon the Umrah and Haj companies to acquaint the pilgrims with some history on those sites that do not carry any religious significance. He said the Commission has been requesting for years to demonstrate to the visitors some facts about those historic sites and their relevance during the early days of Islam. So far those Haj companies have not responded to the Commission’s suggestions.
Meanwhile, Col. Jamal Al-Arba’een, chief of the Civil Defense in Makkah, has called for implementing safety measures at those sites including construction of safe passages and walls around them. Otherwise, he said, the sites should be closed down.
He said more than 21 people have died so far in their attempts to reach those sites, urging an immediate closure of them or finding a radical solution to the problem.
An official at Makkah Mayoralty said a meeting would be held to discuss the studies conducted in this regard to find a viable solution in collaboration with the commission, colice and civil Defense. – Okaz/SG