Nasiha li Ikhwanina ‘Ulama’ Najd
Shaykh as-Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifa‘i
(English Translation by Dr. G.F. Haddad)
SAUDI DESTRUCTION OF ISLAMIC HERITAGE
Pious Graves Destruction and Desecration
You destroyed the sign-posts by which we knew the sacred graves of the Companions, the Mothers of the Believers, and the members of the noble Family of Prophet (SAWS) . You left them a vacant lot, the grave-posts scattered stones so that we no longer know whose grave is where. Gasoline was even poured on one of them. Truly there is no change nor power except with Allah Most High, Most Great. Leave stone superstructures intact for they are allowed! Leave the hand-span elevation for it is allowed, together with the two grave-posts! It is established that the Prophet placed a rock on top of ‘Uthman ibn Maz‘un’s grave saying: “With it I shall designate the grave of my [milk-]brother and later bury in it whoever dies among my relatives.”Kharija ibn Zayd said: “I can see myself when we were young men in the time of ‘Uthman [ibn ‘Affan] . The strongest one of us in high jump was he who could jump over the grave of ‘Uthman ibn Maz‘un and clear it.”
Razing of the Mosque of Abu Bakr
You allowed a generous donor from Madîna to raze and rebuild the mosque of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq in Jabal al-Khandaq at his expense. Once the building was razed, you cancelled the rebuilding permit for you consider it an innovation to visit the seven Mosques at the site of the Battle of the Trench, concerning which was revealed Surat al-Ahzab! In fact, you wish to destroy them all.
Destruction of Our Historical Vestiges
You have wreaked destruction on the historical vestiges of the Prophet and those of his most honorable Companions in Madîna al-Munawwara especially and the two Sanctuaries generally. Nothing seems to remain of these vestiges anymore except the Prophetic Mosque itself. Yet, in our time, the nations of the world pride themselves in and preserve their historical vestiges as a memento, a lesson, a meaningful sign of their time-honored past. But you consider that every vestige that is stopped at for perusal or visit, is a partner [worshipped] together with Allah . But Allah Himself ordered us to travel the earth to see the vestiges of the idolaters and derive lessons from them, such as ‘Ad and Thamud, found at Dîyar Salih, al-‘Ala’, near Madîna al-Munawwara, which are still visited sites, as Allah said: [Systems have passed away before you. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for those who did deny (the messengers)] (3:137). [Have they not travelled in the land to see the nature of the consequence for those who disbelieved before them? They were mightier than these in power and (in the) traces (which they left behind them) in the earth. Yet Allah seized them for their sins, and they had no protector from Allah. That was because their messengers kept bringing them clear proofs (of Divine sovereignty) but they disbelieved; so Allah seized them. Lo! He is Strong, Severe in punishment] (40:21-22). [Has not the history of those before you reached you: the folk of Noah and (the tribes of) ‘Ad and Thamud and those after them? None but Allah knows them. Their messengers came unto them with clear proofs, but they thrust their hands into their mouths, and said: Lo! we disbelieve in that wherewith you have been sent, and lo! we are in grave doubt concerning that to which you call us] (14:9). Why then do you deprive the Muslims from witnessing the sign-posts and vestiges of the battles of Badr, Uhud, Hudaybiya, Hunayn, al-Ahzab, and others of the Days of Allah in which He gave victory to His Messenger and righteous servants, routing idolatry and the polytheists? Fear Allah, and be among those endowed with hearts so that, perhaps, you will be granted mercy!
Erasing Poetry in Praise of the Prophet (SAWS)
You take advantage, every year, of the opportunity of maintaining, polishing, and refurbishing the Prophetic Mosque in order to eliminate many of the emblems of Islam [still] found in the inner hall of the Mosque such as historical vestiges and praises of the Prophet . Thus you painted over many of the verses of al-Busayri’s poem on the Prophetic Mantle (al-Burda) You have also tried to cover up the famous two verses – inscribed on the windows of the Mosque – quoted in the story of al-‘Utbi as mentioned by Ibn Kathir in his Tafsîr: “O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth, and from whose fragrance the depth and height have become sweet! / May I be the ransom for a grave in which you dwell,where one finds purity, bounty and munificence! If the Custodian of the Two Sanctuaries – King Fahd – had not stopped you when the news reached him then ordered you to restore them as they were…! But what is the reason for this disrespect and obstruction of your most noble Prophet e, the means of access between you and your Lord? What has transpired between you and him? You seem to have forgotten His saying: [Those who vex the messenger of Allah, for them there is a painful doom] (9:61) and [Lo! those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah has cursed them in the world and the Hereafter, and has prepared for them the doom of the disdained] (33:57).
Asking to Demolish the Green Dome
You allowed a man by the name of Muqbil ibn Hadi al-Wadi‘i – known through his books and tapes for his propensity to insult and disparage those of the Ulema who disagree with him, those who call unto Allah, and the pious of this Community of Islam – to produce some research at the end of his studies at the Islamic University of Madîna titled “About the Dome Built over the Grave of the Messenger ” sponsored by Shaykh Hammad al-Ansarî. In this paper he demands openly and without shame that the Noble Grave be brought out of the Mosque, deems the presence of the Grave and Noble Dome there major innovations, and asks that they both be destroyed! On top of this you granted him high marks and a passing grade!
Do you honor those who challenge the Messenger of Islam, the Beloved of Allah, the Mercy to the Universes and His Intimate Friend?! Then this man directed hundreds of his followers, imitators, and their kind among those influenced by your School, bearing arms, to destroy and unearth the graves of the pious Muslims in Aden, Yemen, a few years ago. They roamed the land spreading corruption and ruin, digging up the graves of the dead with picks and spades until they brought out the bones of some of the dead and violated their sanctity. They caused a deaf and blind dissension. We heard they even used dynamite in some places! All this is part of the record of your deeds.
Attempting to Close Down al-Baqi‘
You strove to commit a major innovation in which none preceded you, not even those who adhered to your doctrines and methods before you: striving to close down the noble Baqi‘ cemetary, prevent burial in it, and redirect the burial of the new dead to another spot “far from the place of idolatry and innovations,” as you put it, so as to stop people from entering al-Baqi‘ and visiting whoever is in it of the Prophetic relatives, the Companions, the Successors, and the rest of the Righteous. Allah brought your endeavors to nought, causing someone to inform King Fahd, the Custodian of the Two Sanctuaries, of this plan. Whereupon he rejected what you were planning and ordered that al-Baqi‘ be enlarged so as to eliminate your pretext that it became too full to accommodate more Muslim burials.
Replacing Khadija’s House with Latrines
You approved, without the least objection, the razing of the house of Khadijat al-Kubra – the Mother of the believers and First Beloved of the Messenger of the Lord of the worlds – Allah bless and greet him and his Family. That place is the spot where the Revelation descended upon him for the first time from the Lord of Might and Majesty. You did not raise a peep when this destruction occurred, satisfied that washrooms and latrines took its place! Where is fear of Allah? Where is shame before his most noble Messenger?
Eradicating the House of his Mawlid
You tried and continue to try – as if it were your goal in life – to destroy the last remnant of the historical vestiges of the Messenger of Allah , namely the noble place where he was born. This house was razed then changed into a cattle market, then some pious people used ruse to transform it into a library which became “Maktabat Makka al-Mukarrama.” You began to pry at that place with evil stares and vengeful threats, trying to entrap it with the official departments. You openly requested that it be destroyed and have shown hostility to the authorities, pressing them hard to effect such destruction after the decision taken to that effect by the organization of your major scholars a few years ago. I have an explicit taped recording of this decision. But the Custodian of the Two Sanctuaries, King Fahd – the prudent and wise man who is aware of next-worldly consequences – ignored your request and froze it indefinitely. Alas, for shame! Such disrespect and disloyalty against this noble Prophet by whom Allah brought us out and yourselves and your ancestors into light! What shamelessness in his presence the Day we come to drink from his blessed Basin! Alas, woe and misery for a Sect that hates its Prophet whether in word or in deed, holding him in contempt and trying its best to eradicate his traces! Yet Allah says to us: [Take as your place of worship the place where Ibrahim stood (to pray)] (2:125). And He said, bestowing on the Israelites the gifts of Talut, Musa, and Harun: [And their Prophet said unto them: Lo! the token of his kingdom is that there shall come to you the ark wherein is peace of reassurance from your Lord, and a remnant of that which the house of Musa and the house of Harun left behind, the angels bearing it. Lo! herein shall be a token for you if (in truth) you are believers] (2:248). The Ulema of Quranic commentary said that these vestiges consisted in the staff of Musa , his sandals, etc. Read also, if you like, the sound and authentic hadîths that pertain to the physical and personal relics of the Prophet and the true concern of the Companions over them as mentioned in the pages of Sahîh al-Bukhari. There is enough evidence [for him who has a heart or gives ear with full intelligence] (50:37) and ample provision for those who think and reflect.
Recent Elimination of a Vestige
There was a vestige at the spot where the Prophet’s camel alighted in the mosque of Quba’ when he emigrated to Madîna, at which location was revealed the verse [A place of worship which was founded upon duty to Allah from the first day is worthier that you should stand to pray therein, wherein are men who love to purify themselves. Allah loves the purifiers] (9:108). You eliminated this vestige which we used to see until recently.
Defacing Masjid al-Qiblatayn
There used to be, in the Mosque of the Two Qiblas, a marker indicating the old qibla and the abrogated direction of prayer towards the Farthest Mosque [in al-Qudus, Sham], so you eliminated it on the grounds that you consider it an innovation.
Razing the Gardens and Wells of the Companions
You eliminated the garden of the Sahabi Salman al-Farisi which contained a datepalm-tree planted by the Prophet and you destroyed the well of al-‘Ayn al-Zarqa’ near Quba’ and the well of Aris – the “well of the ring.” You also forbade sighting of the well of Ruma which ‘Uthman had bought from a Jew and turned into a permanent endowment for the Muslims in the way of Allah . There are many other important vestiges that were either eliminated or defaced and changed.
Razing Abu Ayyub al-Ansarî’s House
You wreaked destruction on the house of the great Companion Abu Ayyub al-Ansarî who hosted the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him and his Family – upon his arrival in Madîna al-Munawwara before the building of his noble apartments. All the periods that preceded yours have preserved this vestige, including your immediate predecessors. But you destroyed this most noble vestige which used to be in the qibla of the most prayer-niche (mihrâb) of the noble Prophetic Mosque on the pretext that “the polytheist Muslims” derived blessings from it!!
Destroying an Invaluable Library
You destroyed, near the house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansarî , the library of Shaykh al-Islam ‘Arif Hikmat which was filled with priceless books and manuscripts. Its fine Ottoman architecture was unique. You destroyed all of the above when it was far from the enlargement of the Sanctuary and had nothing to do with it.
You also destroyed the well of Bir Ha’ inside the enlargement area, leaving no trace of it nor marker indicating its former existence. The Prophet entered it as mentioned in Sahîh al-Bukhari and elsewhere.You spared none of the vestiges of al-Mustafa and his Companions in Madîna, only the Prophetic Mosque.
 The grave of Amina bint Wahb the Prophet’s mother.
 Narrated from an unnamed Companion by Abu Dawud and al-Bayhaqi in al-Kubra (3:412) with fair chains cf. Ibn Hajar, Talkhis al-Habir (2:134); Ibn al-Mulaqqin, Tuhfat al-Muhtaj (2:29). The complete report states that the Prophet asked a man to place a rock on top of Ibn Maz‘un’s grave; when he was unable to move it, he rolled up his sleeves and helped him and the whiteness of his arms was visible. Ibn Maz‘un was the first of the Muhâjirûn buried in Baqi‘ al-Gharqad. Ibrahim, the Prophet’s son, was buried next to him. [T]
 Cited by al-Bukharî without chain in his Sahîh chapter-title, “[Placing] a Stalk on Top of the Grave.” Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Bari(3:256=1959 ed. 3:223): “Al-Bukharî narrated it with its [sound] chain inal-Tarikh al-Saghîr (1:42)… It contains a proof for the licitness of raising high the grave and elevating it above the surface of the earth.”
 On their destruction of Albanian Kosovar religious monuments, graveyards, and Ottoman-style mosques, see Stephen Suleiman Schwartz, “Letter from the Balkans” in The Muslim Magazine vol. 3 (1-2 Winter/Spring 2000) p. 25-26, section titled, “Reaction to Wahhabi Reconstruction.” [T]
 Ibn Kathir, Tafsîr (2:306) and al-Bidaya (1:180). [T]
 First among them Îmam al-Habib al-‘Aydarus al-‘Adani [Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abd Allah (d. 911)] the blessing of Aden and Hadramawt, Allah have mercy on him! Allah thwarted their plans and his shrine was renewed and blessed dome rebuilt.
 “The Beast shall come out and with her is Sulayman’s seal-ring and Musa’s rod…” Narrated from Abu Hurayra by al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharîb)and Ahmad. [T]
But see Ibrahim Rif‘at Basha, Mir’at al-Haramayn (1:397). [T]
Ibn ‘Umar: “The Prophet wore a silver ring on his hand … [that] fell in the well of Aris. (Al-Bukharî). See also Ibrahim Rif‘at Basha, Mir’at al-Haramayn (1:398-399). [T]
Shaykh Mustafa ibn al-Sayyid Ibrahim al-Basir al-Maghribi told the translator of this book that the entire holdings of this library was whisked off by the truckloads to a remote desert location and burnt. [T]
 Cf. al-Bukharî, book of zakât, from Anas ibn Malik: “Abu Talha was the largest owner of datepalms among the Ansar in Madîna and the dearest of all his plantations to him was Bir Ha’. It lay opposite the Mosque and the Messenger of Allah used to enter it and drink from its water, which was fresh and sweet…” Also in Muslim, book of zakât.
copyright 2004 – Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order/Islamic Supreme Council of America.