Petition to Preserve Historical Sites in Makkah and Madinah

To King of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,

Assalamu ‘Alaykum,

I hope and pray that you are well

In recent decades the Expansion of the Two Holy Mosques and the new Property and Infrastructure Developments in Makkah and Madinah has led to the destruction of many of the Historical Sites associated with the early Development of Islam in the region.

Sites such as the blessed House of Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) in Makkah, the old House of Arqam (may Allah be pleased with him), the house of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and the House of Hamza (may Allah be pleased with him) have all been destroyed to make way for the expansion and development of the areas surrounding Masjid Al Haram. Madinah faces the same fate with some of the historical Homes and Mosques around Masjid Al Nabawi either removed or marked for removal under future development plans.

Our request to the King and the Authorities in the Two Holy Cities are as follows:

1) Our leaders and governors from the early Islamic period up to the Ottoman period have all tried to preserve the Historical Sites associated with the early Development of Islam and associated to the Life of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). We respectfully request that you do the same and where possible preserve the sites that are known to have a historical significance so that future generation can see where some of the events from the Life of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) took place.

2) We appreciate that no every historical site can be saved from destruction and that due to the needs of the ever increasing population of pilgrims to the region that expansion and development have to take place to cater for this. However, we would recommend that where historical sites have to be removed or destroyed to make way for hotels, shopping complexes, roads and infrastructure projects that you place a marker in the place where those sites used to exist so that visitors can at least see where the old buildings stood and appreciate where historical events took place. This is done in many of the western countries where you will see markers on new buildings stating that here stood such and such an historical structure or here lived such and such an historical person. I do not see why this isn’t done as a matter of course in the Two Holy Cities.

There are many eminent scholars in your country that can help to identify and locate these historical sites and make recommendation for the markers.

We thank you for your consideration and pray that you can take seriously our recommendations above. Most modern cities are proud of their historical heritage and try to preserve as much of it as possible. We should be the same and preserve as much of our heritage as possible.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.

Abu Zaynah