News of theatres in Madinah spark outrage across India & Pakistan

“We welcome all the reforms of modernization under the bounds of the Islamic Sharia by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, but the city of Madinah is where we draw the line.”

Hyderabad: After news of 10 cinema halls being built in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, spread on social media following the tweet of a Pakistani scholar, outrage and anger rapidly spread across conservative Muslim circles in India and Pakistan. The scholar re-tweeted an old tweet of the civic body of Madina from 2020.

Madinah is the most sacred city for Muslims alongside Mecca. It is believed that Prophet Muhammed migrated to Madinah following 13 years of persecution in Mecca, and founded the city-state subsequently. The final resting place of Prophet Muhammed is also located in Masjid e Nabawi, Madinah.

Mufti Taqi Usmani – chief Mufti of Pakistan who also has a huge following amongst conservative Muslims of India, on 3rd September, re-tweeted an old tweet of AmanaAlMadina, the municipality of Madinah from late November 2020 which made the announcement.

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The Tweet stated that in the next 14 months(from November 2020) 28 shops, 10 cinema halls, 32 restaurants, 2 locations for entertainment, 19 open areas along with others things will be opened at the King’s road in Madinah.

Mufti Taqi Usmani said in his tweet “Now there’s a conspiracy to establish 10 Cinema halls in Madinah! Words fail to describe the shock at the news.”

The Pakistani scholar went on to quote a verse from the Quran which read “Isn’t there a rational man amongst you?”

Speaking to siasat.com, a famous scholar from Mumbai, Mufti Yusuf Asad, remarked “We welcome all the reforms of modernization under the bounds of the Islamic Sharia by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, but the city of Madinah is where we draw the line.”

He further added that Madinah is not the private property of the Saud family, it belongs first to Allah and His messenger, and then to the entire Muslim Ummah (a group of people who come together for a common objective). “No Muslim will tolerate any kind of immorality or objectification of women in the city Madinah,” he said.

“We are highly disappointed and strongly condemn this immature move by the Saudi government,” said Mohammed Ziyauddin Nayyar, President of All India Majlis Tameer e Millat and Iqbal Academy Hyderabad. He questioned if the Saudi government even knows the significance of the final resting place of Prophet Muhammed.

Further, he said, “Either the Saudis are now blindly following the west or are being controlled by them.”  

Maulana Ahsan Bin Hamoodi, the Imam of Shahi Masjid in public gardens, Hyderabad clarified and shed some light on the issue saying that the cinema halls are being built outside the boundaries of the city of Madinah.

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