[Host:] The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, paid a visit to the Holy Mosque in Mecca, and took a walk on the roof of the Noble Ka’bah together with a number of his entourage, after that the courtyard and surrounding areas of the Ka’bah were cleared of Umrah pilgrims and prayer attendees. Saudi media reported that the crown prince’s visit to the Holy Mosque today was to oversee the expansion projects and the services offered to Umrah pilgrims. He performed circumabulation (Tawaf) of the Ka’bah and climbed on its rooftop.
The photos published by the Saudi media showed the head of the General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, Abdur-Rahman As-Sudais as well as other officials together with Mohammed Bin Salman, during the latter’s visit to the Ka’bah. The photos and videos posted on social media also showed the crown prince kissing the Black Stone and praying inside the Ka’bah and climbing on its roof. Standing on top of the Ka’bah and climbing on its rooftop is a rare occurence and an unusual act in the way Muslims have treated it throughout history, out of reverence and respect for it.
While the Saudi media and the supporters of the Saudi crown prince have celebrated this visit, and considered it as proof of the care and consideration that he show for the two Holy Mosques, this has caused indignation among many on Twitter, who saw this as an attempt to whitewash Mohammed Bin Salman following the widespread condemnation of him as the one responsible for the assassination of Khashoggi and the arrest and torture of a number of scholars, sheikhs and women activitsts. Dr. Massari, do you have any comments on the crown prince’s visit to the Ka’bah and him climbing on top of the Ka’bah in the way that we just saw?
[Dr. Al-Massari:] The commentary is obvious. This is an attempt to bolster his image in the eyes of simple-minded and naive people, especially outside Saudi Arabia. Inside the country, most people are aware of this, and only a few are fooled by this. I don’t think anyone is fooled. But, in India and Pakistan, and the different regions of the Islamic world, (they respect) ‘King Faisal’ etc, and they venerate them, (thinking) “They are the ones that built the Ka’bah. Look at the white marble and the white minarets.” They can be bamboozled by these simple tricks.
But, even now, I think people have started to come out of this phase of befuddlement and deception. As for climbing on top of the Ka’bah, this is a strange thing. Even the Prophet Muhammed [pbuh] did not climb on top of the Ka’bah when he entered Mecca. Instead, he went inside and prayed there, and commanded Bilal (Prophet’s companion) to climb and give the call to prayer from its top, as a form of retribution and humiliation against the Quraish (tribe), in that this negro slave in their eyes was now a leading personality and was capable of standing on top of the Ka’bah and call to prayer. This is a compelling reason, because the call to prayer had to be given from a high position so that everyone could hear it, in addition to humiliating Quraish.
I don’t know of anyone throughout islamic history who tried to climb on top of the Ka’bah except that criminal, Al-Walid Ibn Yazeed Ibn Abdul Malik, when he wanted to drink wine on top of the Ka’bah together with his companions. Others said to him that if he did so, “People would kill us immediately, regardless of how many guards you have.” So, he abandoned the idea, which otherwise he wanted to do. Of course, Bin Salman cannot dare to drink wine on the roof of the Ka’bah. Things haven’t gotten to this point yet. But, he could engage in such things in the near future..
[Host:] But, Dr. Massari, sorry for interrupting you. As you’re speaking now, we’re showing these images that appeared on social media sites about Mohammed Bin Salman’s visit to the Noble Ka’bah. Perhaps the issue that caused some to be angry was the climbing on top of the Noble Ka’bah. Has there ever been in the modern era, during the era of the Al-Sauds, any leading figure or king or crown prince that did such a thing, i.e. climbing on top of the Ka’bah, Dr. Massari, or did that never occur?
[Dr. Al-Massari:] To my knowledge, no one has ever climbed. What I can recall in all of history is only when Bilal [r.a.] climbed to give the call to prayer on the glorious day of the Conquest of Mecca. That’s the only instance. Other than that, I do not know of any instance other than when cleaners need to climb, or attendants, or when there is rain, for cleaning. This is necessary work in these cases. Other than that, I don’t know of any.
As for overseeing the projects, it doesn’t require one to climb on top of the Ka’bah. You can climb on one of the minarets, which are higher, or use a crane to oversee the projects. [Host:] In your view, why did he climb on top of the Ka’bah? What was he thinking, or what’s the purpose? [Dr. Al-Massari:] He might have thought that this would show his attention and concern and portray himself as a leading and prominent figure. There is no doubt that the person who advised him to do that is stupid and foolish. This is an act of stupidity that cannot come from a sane person. A sane person knows how to act. If he wanted to oversee the projects and have a look at them, he could have used a crane to climb up and see from above, accompanied by the cameras, while he inspects the projects and look at Mecca from a bird’s eye perspective, such that he would be able to see the projects around the Holy Mosque and even those in Mina, which can be seen from a crane, or from Mount Abu Qubais, and not from the rooftop of the Ka’bah. The Ka’bah’s rooftop is low, and it’s impossible to view outside the Holy Mosque in our current time, with the existence of the two floors that have been built as well as the roof of the Sa’y (running area). This is a stupid and meaningless act.
But, these people are failures who are deprived of (divine) help. They’re not good at even doing symbolic gestures properly. For example, earlier, we talked about Saud Al-Qahtani going to the UAE. There was no need for him to do such things at all. It was just to put on a show of force, and the ‘Great Saudi Kingdom’, etc. All of this will backfire on them, because there is no real substance to the ‘Great Saudi Kingdom’. Your army is being decimated in Yemen. You have no strategic industries. Your army is ineffective. You don’t have the capability to manufacture weapons. What, then, is the ‘Great Saudi Kingdom’? For whom are you flexing your muscles? Even the Yemeni people are inflicting defeat on them.