The Story of the Opening of Ibn Baaz’s Mosque in Makkah
February 17, 2014 § Leave a comment
“What is more amazing than all of this is that the Shaikh would not set himself above others even though people’s hearts were overflowing with love for him, and their intellects compliant to his opinion, and ready to carry out his orders. [On the contrary] he would walk amongst the people as though he was one of them, never boasting of his knowledge, nor looking at others with contempt, and he would not look at his great rank and the various titles that he had.
As an example, the Shaikh, may Allaah have mercy on him, always used to pray in the first row directly behind the Imaam, but if, due to something unexpected, he was slightly late in getting to the first row, he would not allow the person sitting in front of him to get up from his place for him and he would become angry if that did happen.
An amazing story which shows the Shaikh’s distance from distinguishing himself from others is that when any mosque was built the Jumu’ah prayer would not be held in it until a fatwa had been issued from His Eminence [Ibn Baaz]. So when we set up his Jaami’ mosque in Makkah al-Mukarramah I asked for his permission to hold Jumu’ah there, so he said, ‘No, not until the fatwa is issued!’
So I said, ‘O Shaikh, you are the Mufti [of all of Saudi Arabia].’ He said, ‘Even so, this process must follow its official due course and must go before the council just like any other mosque does.’ So we followed his order.
[Then] on the Friday of the week in which the mosque had opened, hoards of people arrived successively to the mosque thinking that the Friday prayer would be held there [i.e., when a mosque is initially opened in Saudi, the regular daily prayers are held there but to start the Jumu’ah khutbah consent is needed], since it was the mosque of the Mufti and [thus] it’s not possible that there would be a delay caused by waiting until a fatwa was issued allowing the Friday prayer.
So when I left half an hour before the [start of the] Friday prayer, [on my way] I saw that the mosque was jammed with people and so I felt very perturbed and went straight to the mosque in which the Shaikh was going to pray Jumu’ah, and it was his habit to go early for the Friday prayer, he would go about two hours before it, so [when I got to the mosque he was in] I crossed the rows to get to him, may Allaah have mercy on him, and said, ‘O Shaikh! The mosque is jammed with worshippers—they opened the doors and went in, so what should be done?’
He said, ‘Go and tell them to go to another mosque.’ So I said, ‘Yaa Shaikh, it’s [very] awkward! What do you think if I were to give them a short sermon to ease this difficult situation for them?’ So he said, ‘The fatwa [for the permission to hold the Friday sermon] hasn’t been issued yet. Go and apologise to the people.’
So I went back carrying a mountain of grief on my back, Yaa Allaah, a very difficuly situation, people ready [for prayer], perfumed, ready and waiting for the new Imaam to ascend [the pulpit] and delight their ears with a khutbah, and now I was to stand in front of them saying, ‘Jumu’ah prayer will not be held,’ I almost fled and left it, but then I worried about the negative effects that would have, so there was no option but to carry out the Shaikh’s order.
So I stood before the people and said to them, ‘Yaa ikhwaan, apologies, Jumu’ah prayer will not be held here because the fatwa has not been issued yet, so go to another mosque close by, and your reward is with Allaah the Most High.’
So they stood up, losing their temper in my face and raising their voices and one of the Shaikhs there said, ‘I will lead you in the Jumu’ah prayer, call the iqamah, call the iqaamah for the prayer.’
So I said, ‘Yaa ikhwaan, these are not my words nor my opinion, this is the order of His Eminence Shaikh ’Abdul-’Aziz ibn Baaz!’
And so all of a sudden the situation calmed down, the people settled, the red faces disappeared and the voices became humbled so that you could just hear a whisper, and they departed in peace and with good.
And all praise is for Allaah.”
Imaamul-’Asr, pp. 106-108.