Ka’abah closure by the authorities of Saudi Arabia to curtail the aggressive spread of the deadly Coronavirus contradicts neither Islamic principles nor historical experiences….
Ka’abah was shut 3 times before now – Sheikh Pakistan
By Musa Ahmad Tijjani and Umoru Ibrahim
The recent closure of the two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah by the authorities of Saudi Arabia to curtail the aggressive spread of the deadly Coronavirus contradicts neither Islamic principles nor historical experiences regarding the management of the two most important religious houses in the world.
This is because the recent closure of the two holy houses, especially Ka’abah, marked the fourth time it is subjected to closure in order to protect the lives of the Muslim Ummah. With this development therefore, those criticising and condemning the ruling elite in the Kingdom for the closure appeared to lose touch with the historical reality as far as the management of the religious edifices is concerned.
These facts were disclosed to The Triumph during an exclusive interview with one of the renowned Islamic scholars in the State, Sheik Abdullahi Sale Pakistan who is also the Chairman, Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board (KSPWB).
Sheik Pakistan who has been the Chairman of Kano State Council of Izalatul Bidi’a Waikamatul Sunnah of Nigeria for nearly three decades, said the option left for the Muslims during this global crisis such as the one the world is currently confronted with in respect of Coronavirus, is to pray for Allah’s intervention and listen to leaders for directives on religious activities.
Giving historical background of the previous closures of the Ka’abah, the Islamic scholar said 72 years after Hijrah of the Holy Prophet (PPBUH), war broke out in Makkah between Hajaj Ibn Yusuf and Abdullahi Ibn Zubair. During this period he said, the Ka’abah was closed to worshippers for a long time.
According to him, the second time the Ka’abah was subjected to closure was 317 years after Hijrah when a group of Shi’ites called Khawarij carried out devastating attacks on Makkah and killed a lot of people leading to a total closure of the Holy Mosque. During this crisis as he said, the Zam-Zam well inside the Ka’abah was filled with slaughtered human beings, just as the black cloth of the Ka’abah was taken away as well as the black stone (Hajral-Aswad) by the rebels for 23 years.
The third in the series of the closure of the Holy Masjid was in 1979 when a group of Shi’ites again, led by a Saudi national called Jamalabulayny planned to attack it.
According to the scholar, it took a good two months to normalize the situation and get the Ka’abah reopened. With these historical facts, the current closure which is aimed at curtailing the spread of Coronavirus cannot be out of place, he said.
He is of the opinion that the present situation makes it imperative for various Muslim Ummah to listen to their leaders for guides in order to save the lives of majority of the people, saying the only option for the Muslims is prayers for God’s intervention since there has not been any vaccine discovered or produced to cure the disease caused by the virus. It is also imperative according to him, for the Muslims to increase acts of generosity by giving alms to the needy for God to atone our calamities.
As for the state’s preparation for the 2020 Hajj exercise, Sheikh Pakistan said though the Board has put to a hold the ongoing training of the intending pilgrims because of the Coronavirus crisis, a perfected strategy to continue their training has been mapped out through designated radio stations selected to air the training programmes to which the intending pilgrims will be mandated to listen.
Besides, he said, audio clips containing the training and other activities of the Hajj would be sent to every intending pilgrim through his or her GSM number to enhance their knowledge of Hajj commitments.
Concerning the welfare of the intending pilgrims while in Saudi Arabia, the Chairman said the Board is providing decent accommodation which are very close to the Ka’abah.
According to him, all the accommodations selected for Kano pilgrims are trekking distances to the Ka’abah, all of which are aimed at making life very easy for the pilgrims while in Saudi Arabia.