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Terrorism forbidden in Islam: Grand Mufti

The hands of a Muslim pilgrim are seen as he prays on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat, outside the holy city of Makkah.—Reuters

MAKKAH: Terrorism is forbidden in Islam and such acts should not be reciprocated at any cost, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah said in his Haj sermon at Mount Arafat on Monday.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz said since Allah had bestowed humans with reason, it was binding on them to differentiate between good and evil.

“Islam believes in coexistence and disapproves of all acts which aim at sowing strife in society. Spilling the blood of human beings amounts to invoking the wrath of God.”

Around two million Muslims converged at Mount Arafat as the Haj, the world’s largest annual pilgrimage, peaked at the site of the Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon him) last sermon.

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz had said last week that he could not rule out the possibility of a sabotage attempt by Al Qaeda during Haj.

But Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said on Sunday it was against targeting the religious gathering.

“We assure our Islamic nation that we are against any criminal action aimed at the pilgrims,” it said in an online statement.

In his sermon, the mufti said peace and harmony were needed not only for worldly activities, but also for worship. “God willed Muslims to be the best nation on earth.

Once Muslims start following the sharia in their collective lives, the end of trial and tribulation will be nigh.”

MAKKAH TO MINA Chanting the Talbiyah, “O God, here we come, answering your call”, pilgrims set off from Makkah before dawn on Monday in a bid to reach the top of the Jabal al-Rahma, the hill that dominates the plain of Arafat.

Those who managed to jostle their way through the heaving crowds to the top of the hill sat on the rocky edges, reciting Quranic verses and praying. Others lay down on straw mats spread over the rocks.

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