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Is Riyadh Building a ‘New Ka`bah’?

Angry reactions trail a new development program in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia plans to build a large cube-shaped structure as part of a re-development project in the capital, Riyadh, have triggered angry reactions from Muslims on social media, saying it resembles the Ka`bah.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) announced the launch of the New Murabba Development Company on Thursday, Middle East Monitor reported.

According to Arab News, the New Murabba will include green and pedestrian areas, in addition to a museum, technology and design university, a multipurpose theatre and other entertainment and cultural venues.

📚 Read Also: Why is the Kabah Covered in Black?

Saudi Arabia has announced its newest gigantic megaproject: New Murabba. The idea? Build the largest “modern downtown” in the world, an entire 19 sq km (1/2 the size of Jersey City) to be developed onto Riyadh. But you might be wondering: what is that giant cube in the center?” Séamus Malekafzali wrote on Twitter.

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“This is conceptually reminiscent of the Kaaba during the period of ignorance.The fact that it’s being revived as a pilgrimage site to house todays modern day idols and gods is nothing short of satanic,” Najashi of Aksum wrote.

Academic Dr Muhammad Al-Hachimi Al-Hamidi “Is Mohamed bin Salman building his own Ka`bah in Riyadh? This is the design he has chosen for his latest project; a new ‘Ka`bah’ of entertainment!!”

Intercept reporter Murtaza Hussein observed that “Building a new Kaaba exclusively devoted to capitalism is a little too on the nose.”

📚 Read Also: What’s Inside Ka`bah?

Just Cubic Shaped Building

However, other social media users, notably from Saudi Arabia, responded to the criticism.

“Why are foreign Muslims so easy to manipulate?” asked one user. “If every cubic shaped building is ‘a new Ka`bah’ then you will find millions of Ka`bahs in Riyadh since we have a lot of building in a cubic shaped”.

The Ka’bah is the holiest site in Islam with thousands of people circumambulating the sacred building 24 hours a day.

The Black Stone, an ancient sacred stone, is in the eastern corner of the Ka’bah, 1.5 meters above the ground.

Muslims do not worship Ka’bah or its surroundings.

All Muslims around the world face the Ka`aba during daily prayers as their qiblah, the direction Muslims face when praying. Therefore, it serves as a focal point.