CAIRO – Just a few steps away from Makkah’s Al-Masjid Al-Haram, Saudi authorities are planning to demolish a site believed to be the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as part of the ongoing expansion plans.
“The last remaining historical site in the kingdom is the birthplace of the Prophet Mohammad, probably the most important site to the Muslim and Shiite community around the world,” Dr Irfan al-Alawi, a historian and executive director of the UK-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, told the Independent.
“Most people are not even aware there are plans now to destroy it.”
New plans to raze the remaining archaeological site at Al-Haram, on which a small library stands currently, in order to make a way for the imam’s residence and the adjacent royal palace, have been proposed.
The library which was built in 1950s is situated right above the site believed by scholars to be the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
In 2013, the Kingdom’s royal family rejected earlier plans to replace the historical site with a metro rail station that would serve pilgrims or new library dedicated to King Abdul Aziz.
Yet, the construction company confirms that the new modern complex would include a presidential palace and imam’s residence, the independent newspaper reported.
The kingdom’s rulers, who deny that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born in what is known as the House of Mawlid, are opposed to preserving relics of the Prophet.
According to many scholars, this would encourage shirk, the sin of worshipping idols other than God.
According to Muslim scholars, attributing supernatural powers to any entity other than Allah is considered shirk, which is considered in Islam an unforgivable sin.
Over the past decade, the holiest site in Islam has undergone a huge transformation, and this has resulted in dividing the opinion of Muslims all over the world.
Some Meccans are even comparing their city to Las Vegas.
Going through a number of projects to expand the area of Al-Masjid al-Haram, many historic building have been demolished to give space to the new projects.
The latest expansion, approved by King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, would cover an area of 400,000 sq. meters to accommodate 1.2 million worshippers.
The total area of the existing Haram Mosque is 356,000 sq. meters accommodating 770,000 worshippers.
Around the mosque, the city now soars above its surroundings with a glittering array of skyscrapers, shopping malls and luxury hotels.