The Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, is that tiny black cube—can you spot the not?—dwarfed by the imposing 2-billion-dollar clock tower built as a commercial complex, making the holiness of the Kaaba, which was built by the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) eons ago, seem rather paltry in capitalistic terms. This monstrosity was built at a cost that could have fed—forget about the rest of the world—those non-royal Saudi citizens who have neither sufficient food nor appropriate shelter, estimated at about 20% of the Saudi population.
Those impoverished citizens live in dwellings without roofs or doors, sometimes eating nothing but bread and water for extended periods of time, the mere mentioning of which caused those who did to be imprisoned, possibly tortured as well, as the Saudi human rights record is abysmal. But for the “royal” Saudi regime, capitalism, which they think means making lots of money, is King, and money is God, hence they have spent some their vast hoarded wealth to build a trophy building to impress their idols in the so-called West, and maybe even give a little wink to Muslim-persecuting China too. Make no mistake. This clock-tower is using the name of Allah the Exalted, placed close to the spire at the top, as the ultimate advertising tool: it says “God approved of this building and see, in return we even named it after Him!”
Take it from the regime itself, referring to the Hajj as any dedicated capitalist would:
…it has been described by a Saudi Arabian Minister of Hajj as resembling “twenty Super Bowls in one stadium, when two million will come, and . . . these two million people will actually be taking part in playing the game.”
No hesitation by this discreetly unnamed Minister of Hajj to equate the Hajj, a sacred rite of Islam enjoined by Allah on all Muslims, with a game, the ultimate capitalist trophy game no less, the Superbowl. And to him the Muslims who go there and struggle to make this pilgrimage are not worshiping Allah but rather “playing” a “game.”
O you who have believed, do not take as allies those who have taken your religion in mockery and amusement from among the ones who were given the Scripture before you nor from the disbelievers. And fear Allah, if you should [truly] be believers.Surat Al-Ma’ida 5:57
And when you call to prayer, they take it in ridicule and amusement. That is because they are a people who do not use reason.Surat Al-Ma’ida 5:58
Thus Muslims are in effect not only taking such people as allies, but granting them the honor and responsibility of administering the sacred Hajj and the most important holy places in Islam! Think about that for a minute.
The Kaaba is so boring to those in power of the Al-Saud family they took it upon themselves to build something more worldly and ostentatious than that little cube (not so little if you stand next to it, where it is quite imposing). They just can’t understand the value of a religion they do not live by in any discernible way. You’d think that even as worshipers of money they would value it more, considering their profits from the Hajj:
Experts have in fact estimated that by 2022, Hajj revenues will have exceeded £117 billion – that’s not even a drop in the Saudi royal family’s oil-fueled ocean.
Meanwhile, they also flex their muscles, restricting pilgrims based on the Saudi elite’s personal likes and dislikes, among the latter being Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Filipino Muslims, who are frequently hired as domestic workers and subsquently abused and essentially enslaved, or Yemenis, whom they have engaged in a lopsided “war” which is more a wholesale slaughter of innocent Muslims including children, causing deadly famine. Admonitions from the Quran mean nothing to such people.
The Covid pandemic is a legitimate reason for restricting access, but provided it is administered equitably, not used to restrict all Muslims who are not Saudis, and of those only the 60,000 they approve. Before there was a pandemic, with human overpopulation some restrictions were also necessary for the safety of the pilgrims, but these restrictions again were never administered equitably, but rather they prevented pilgrims from specific countries for political reasons, like Yemen (whom they were busy killing in an unjustified war), Qatar (whose truthful journalism they disliked), and Iran (thousands of whose pilgrims were killed in suspicious “accidents” in prior pilgrimages). Decades earlier, Egypt was the restricted country. For the Saudi “royals”, the sacred Hajj indeed is a game, but a political one.
The Kaaba does not and should never belong to any one country, countries being in essence arbitrary political entities, because the Quran states the Kaaba and the Sacred Mosque surrounding it belong to “the people”, even emphasizing that those who live near the Kaaba and those who live “outside” the region are to be given “equal” access:
Indeed, those who have disbelieved and avert [people] from the way of Allah and [from] al-Masjid al-Haram, which We made for the people – equal are the resident therein and one from outside; and [also] whoever intends/ desires [to commit] therein perversion [of Allah’s way] or oppression/ bad deeds – We will make him taste of a painful punishment.Surat Al-Hajj 22:25
A major theme of the entire Hajj is, in fact, equality between people. Men and women may both perform the Hajj rituals in the same place; it’s presumed they will respect one another and fear Allah in this most sacred of collective rituals. Men must wear only sheets wrapped a certain way to cover themselves, demonstrating that no one of them is better than another, and in religion, all Muslims are equal. The sacrifice of animals, commemorating the story of Prophet Abraham, also is intended to feed meat to the poor, who in most of human history were more likely to be deprived of meat, an important source of protein, thus exemplifying the equalization of resources needed for survival. It is not slaughter for its own sake, and to waste the meat of a sacrificial animal by not giving it to the poor would be a grave violation. The spirit of equality is thus violated by the Saudi regime’s administration of the Hajj, its disrespect for people of particular nationalities, such prejudice being prohibited in Islam, and its indifference to the abusive behavior of Saudi security guards in such sacred places. The Quranic verse above specifies All these violations make it glaringly obvious why the Kaaba should be owned by no one. Certainly, of all people, not by the Saudi regime.
Allah has appointed the Kaaba, the Sacred House, standing for the people and [has sanctified] the sacred months and the sacrificial animals and the garlands [by which they are identified]. That is so you may know that Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth and that Allah is Knowing of all things.Surat Al-Ma’ida 5:97
Now this has come to fruition in the Saudi crown prince known as MBS, famous for his “bone-saw murder” of Washington Post journalist and Saudi citizen Adnan Khashoggi. He probably barely tolerates the regime-threatening notion of Muslims coming from all over the world to worship Allah and unite as one body visiting the Kaaba for Hajj. The only good he sees in it is as a moneymaking scheme, and it shows in the discrepancy in treatment of rich vs. poor pilgrims, the raising of rates to attend the Hajj to begin with, making Hajj pilgrimage impossible for ordinary citizens of less capitalistically-focused nations with a lower standard of living in terms of money as defined by the “successful” capitalist nations. Generosity, for MBS, or even charity, is a thing of the past.
Are these the people we need or want to administer the Hajj?? Are these the ones representing the values of Islam?? Such actions are clear signs of dedicated enmity to Islam. Far from being “protectors” of the Kaaba, the current Saudi regime led by the notorious MBS, going downhill from even their not-so-illustrious predecessors from said regime, is actually desecrating the sacred House by using it as a come-on, a marketing tool in order to gouge money from those whom they consider “dupes,” those believers in Allah and the last day, blinded to the fact that they themselves are dupes, selling their own people, their religion, their hearts and souls, and their very power and resources to the lowest bidder, that lowest bidder being their ardent enemies among the Zionists and covert agencies who “play” them like a drum, the sound of which drowns out their own cheap, momentary “pleasures”. These are the true deniers, rejecters of faith, Kafireen, enemies of Allah, and his angels, prophets, believers, and all of humanity for whom this Sacred House was dedicated as a place of reverence and peace and security. After all, the Quran states it is standing for, that is “representing,” the people, humankind, anyone who comes with a humble and reverent heart seeking God and His forgiveness. It should always be respected, not defiled. It should not be treated as a game, nor any pilgrims dishonored or abused. There needs to be an international body to administer the Holy Place. Not the regime that slaughters Yemeni Muslims out of desire for their ports or resources. Not the regime that kills children. Or has tortured Muslims on any pretext to maintain political power; a power they are incapable of administering with justice for one single hour. Not a regime that has bankrolled brutal military dictatorship and repression throughout the Middle East. Not a bone saw murderer and his lackeys. The picture of the towering Western-imitative clock and its shopping malls, luxury hotels, and helipads obliterating the humble human-equalizing Hajj to the Kaaba, built before there was recorded history, says it all.