Grand Mosque Imam, Sheikh Abdurrahman Abdul Aziz Al-Sudais said he was very happy with the well-organised Malaysian congregation during Haj, and described Malaysian pilgrims as special.
“The Malaysian pilgrims are very organised, well mannered and always respect the sanctity of holy sites,” said the grand imam during a meeting with three senior Malaysian editors who visited his office here.
Sheikh Al-Sudais also announced the good news that the guardian of the two holy cities had agreed to provide live translation of the Friday sermons in Makkah, Medina and Padang Arafah (during the Hajj Season) into Bahasa Melayu.
He said Bahasa Melayu was one of the 10 languages included in the project.
Sheikh Al-Sudais who is also president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia said the the project would benefit the Muslim community from Southeast Asia to better understand the sermons.
He was also delighted with Malaysia’s good response given to imams of the Grand Mosque and Nabawi Mosque during their visit to Malaysia.
He said the cooperation and spirit of unity shown by the Malaysian government with Saudi Arabia was very important in preserving the well-being of the Muslim ummah in the world.
At the international level, he said Malaysia was the best example to highlight moderate and true Islamic teachings.
Sheikh Al-Sudais said Saudi Arabia and Malaysia would also work together to combat terrorism.
Saudi Arabia is currently engaged in a conflict with Houthi militants in its southern neighbour Yemen, who have launched ballistic missile attacks towards several locations, including the capital city Riyadh.
Sheikh Al-Sudais also explained the project to expand the Grand Mosque and revive the well of Zam Zam had reached the final stage, and could be utilised very soon.
A check on-site found that most of the new space could be used by Ramadan this year, with an additional capacity of 1.6 million pilgrims.
The new ‘tawaf’ (circumambulation of the Kaaba) area is expected to accommodate about 100,000 people at all times.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Al-Sudais dismissed allegations from certain parties, who questioned Saudi Arabia’s obligations in preserving the sanctity of the holy land.
He said the parties were trying to spread fake news aimed at disregarding all the efforts made by the Saudi Arabian authorities so far.
In this regard, he stressed the importance of the role of the media today in conveying the true message of Islam.
On the spread of fake news, Sheikh Al-Sudais said Islam had provided guidance on how to accept a certain piece of news through the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah.
For example, he said Surah al-Hujurat, verse number 6 mentioned that: “If there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.”