Saudi Academic Proposes Moving Maqam Ibrahim

December 4th 2014 / Destruction of Holy Sites

maqam-e-ibrahimA professor at the Makkah-based Umm Al-Qura University has alarmingly called for the Maqam Ibrahim in the Haram in Makkah to be moved from its present location “to the outer edges”, reported the Saudi Gazette newspaper.

Abdulaziz Al-Harby said shifting the Maqam Ibrahim would ease movement of pilgrims performing the Tawaf and there is no Islamic text saying it cannot be moved. He added that it used to be situated closer to the Kaaba.

The newspaper also cited Ahmad Bin Qassim Al-Ghamdi, a researcher and consultant at the Qur’an and Sunnah Research Centre, who said the Maqam was moved to its present location by the Second Caliph Omar Al-Khattab as part of a project to expand the Haram.

However, Jamal Shaqdar, a Makkah-based engineer, was critical of the proposal. He said relocating Maqam Ibrahim would affect the entire Islamic world, not just Saudi Arabia. “The current location of the monument is actually quite strategic in crowd management. We should make use of this and conduct a strategic study on crowd management and facilitate pilgrim movement accordingly,” said Shaqdar.

Sami Angawi, a Hijazi architect and advocate for retaining the cultural and historical heritage of Makkah and Madinah, hit back saying this is the last untouched structure in the Grand Mosque.

This view is shared by Faez Jamal, a journalist and author, who said that the Maqam Ibrahim does not hinder pilgrims performing the Tawaf. “What needs to be done is to regulate praying behind it as pilgrims start to clutter and restrict movement,” he said Jamal.

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