VIDEO: Friday sermon in Makkah hints on Saudi normalization with Israel

The normalization deal between the UAE and Israel has raised concerns about the sensitive status of Al-Aqsa, the third-holiest site in Islam. 

Sheikh al-Sudais delivering the Friday prayer sermon at Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah on 4 September 2020 (Twitter/Screenshot)

A sermon by Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudais, the Imam of Makkah’s Grand Mosque, has caused a stir on social media after some interpreted it a prelude to Saudi normalization with Israel. 

Sudais conveyed a Friday sermon in which he preached dialogue and kindness to non-Muslims, making specific reference to Jews.

The comments came less than a month after Israel and the UAE announced plans to normalize diplomatic ties amid speculation about whether Saudi Arabia would follow suit.

The imam stressed upon worshippers to avoid “any misconceptions about correct beliefs in the heart, coexisting with having healthy dealings in international relations and interpersonal exchanges.”

He mentioned several stories from the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ’s life in which he maintained good relations with non-Muslims. 

These consisted of the Prophet ﷺ performing wudhu from the bottle of a non-Muslim woman, forming a peace agreement with the Jewish community of the Khaybar region, and dealing so remarkably with a Jewish neighbor that he ultimately converted to Islam.

“When the course of healthy human dialogue is forsaken, parts of mankind’s civilizations will clash, and the language that will become prevalent is one of hatred, violence, exclusion,” Sudais said. 

The Imam stressed the importance of remaining obedient towards authorities and leaders and being aware of “misguided groups and factions.”

The remarks were met with criticism on social media, with many netizens accusing Sudais of misusing Islam’s holiest mosque platform.

Sudais also used his sermon to talk about the Al-Aqsa Mosque status in Jerusalem, which he said had been “taken as prisoner.” 

“This is an issue that is of highest priority to the Muslims, and it must not be forgotten amid new struggles that appear,” he told worshippers. “It must be kept in mind, yet without exaggerations in the media or battles on the internet.”

The normalization deal between the UAE and Israel has raised concerns about the sensitive status of Al-Aqsa, the third-holiest site in Islam. 

At the end of the sermon, Sudais prayed to Allah to “rescue Al-Aqsa mosque from the clutches of the aggressors” and grant it to be “a revered location until the Day of Reckoning.”

His stance was seen as contradictory by netizens, many of whom accused him of betraying the Palestinian cause.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • DR. Israr sb yeh tu frmaya krty thy.
    Arb tbahi k dhany pr khry hain.
    Ab yeh ahl e emaan ko dushmn ar yhood o nsara ko dost smjhy gy.
    Allah pak hum sb ko hidayat ataa frma. Aamin

  • What about having friendly relations with Iran why doesn’t he says this during his sermons. Hypocrite

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