|code: 360165||Date: 2012/10/27 - 20:07||source: FNA|
Muslim World Stunned by S. Arabia's Plan to Destroy Prophet's Mosque
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Saudi Arabia plans to destroy three of the world's oldest mosques in a multi-billion-pound expansion of Islam's second holiest site, a plan which has shocked the Muslim community worldwide, Independent said.
Work on the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, where the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) 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 people.
But the Saudi plan to raze Islam's historical and most revered sites has stunned the Muslim world. Saudi King Abdullah's apparent disdain for preserving historical and archeological heritage of Mecca, the holiest city in the country and the world of Islam, has already fueled outrage.
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 the first two Caliphs of Sunni Islam, Abu Bakr and Omar.
Also Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs published a pamphlet in 2007 prepared by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz al Sheikh who called for destruction of the mosque's dome and flattening the graves of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Abu Bakr and Omar.
Dr. Irfan al-Alawi of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation who has spent much of his past 10 years activities on highlighting the destruction of early Islamic sites said, "Muslim silence over the destruction of Mecca and Medina is both disastrous and hypocritical."
"The recent movie about the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) caused worldwide protests... and yet the destruction of the Prophet's birthplace, where he prayed and founded Islam has been allowed to continue without any criticism," he added.
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