Citing experiences of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) Imam-e-Kaaba advises Muslims for better relations with Israelis, faces criticism

‘Prophet Muhammad () was so good to his Jewish neighbours’

New Delhi: Imam-e-Kaaba, the head cleric of the Grand Mosque in Makkah Abdul Rahman-Ibn-Abdul Aziz-al-Sudais, has said that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was so good to his Jewish neighbours that they converted to Islam and Muslims must follow the same footsteps.

On Friday, reports said that during a sermon Sudais said, what is being interpreted by some Arabs and Muslims as a prelude to normalization with Israel, that Islam requires Muslims to respect non-Muslims and treat them well.

He pointed out that Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) “performed ablution from a polytheistic water bottle and died while his shield was mortgaged to a Jew.”

Stating that there is a need to correct and purify the Islamic faith from false and suspicious beliefs, the head preacher said that Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) was so good to his Jewish neighbour that the latter converted to Islam.

The imam had previously called for peaceful inter-faith dialogue and preached Islam’s opposition to “explosions and terrorism.”

The report added that Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow Israeli flights into its airspace as its Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan recently said the kingdom was open to establishing relations with Israel on condition that a “peace agreement is reached between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Sudais’s words, according to reports, have sparked a wave of protests on social media, where many Arabs and Muslims claimed he was paving the way for Saudi Arabia to follow suit with the United Arab Emirates and establish relations with Israel.

“He is paving the way for normalization and treason,” Egyptian Islamic scholar Mohammed al-Sagheer, according to the report, said while accusing the Saudi cleric of hypocrisy.

Sadais, was also accused by Islamic cleric Muhammad al-Shinqiti of Mauritania of “exploiting the podium of the Grand Mosque in Mecca to promote normalization with Israel.”

Abdel Fatah Fayed, Egyptian affairs editor at Al-Jazeera, said the bottom line of the Friday sermon was that “submission, normalization and loyalty to Israel” are permitted, the report mentioned.

He added: “Al-Sudais does not have the right to tamper with Islam. Nothing can justify treason.”

Algerian Twitter user Mohamed Mestour posted a picture on the social media platform of Sudais with the caption: “I’m a rabbi, not an imam.”


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