The recent bogus article in ‘The Independent’ regarding the alleged plan to move the blessed grave of the Prophet (SAW) is another sad indication of how sensationalist media can be.
Firstly, this particular newspaper, and especially the journalist Mr. Jerome Taylor, seems to have an unnatural obsession for smearing the Saudis and their relationship with the Holy Sites. See this brief history:
Secondly, the alleged ‘plan’ turns out to be an academic paper submitted to a government committee. Anyone who is aware of the nature of these things realizes that the submission of a paper is in no way, fashion, or form approval of an actual plan by that committee!
Thirdly, the paper itself does not actually state that the blessed grave should be touched. No sane Muslim would ever suggest that. Rather, what it suggests is that the masjid itself should be re-planned in the new construction so that the blessed grave would be outside of the new masjid boundaries. So, what the author suggested was to change the boundary of the masjid, not that of the grave.
Fourthly, this view is a minority view and has been soundly rejected by mainstream Salafi and all non-Salafi scholars. Historically, there has never been any serious opposition to the Umayyad inclusion of the blessed grave into the Prophet’s masjid (which occurred in 88 AH), and no major scholar of any madhhab has ever called for the Prophet’s (SAW) masjid boundaries to be redrawn.
Lastly, this is NOT a defense of Saudi construction policy around the two Harams: that topic requires an entire article, not just a FB post! There is much to criticize, and yes much to praise as well.
The purpose of this post was merely to point out how sensationalist the media continues to be, and how easily Muslims seem to *want* to demonize another group. And help is sought from Allah alone!