On the evening of July 4, 2016, one day before Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, a suicide bomber carried out an attack outside the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The attack shocked the Muslim world because the Prophet's Mosque is the second holiest place in Islam after the Ka'ba in Mecca. On the same day, three more attacks took place: Two on a Shia mosque in the Saudi city of Qatif, and a third near the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah.
After the attack, Pakistani religious scholar Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi published an article titled "The Attack in the Prophet's City and the Responsibility of the Muslim Ummah" in Roznama Jang, the largest Urdu-language newspaper in Pakistan. In the article, Ashrafi alleged that there was a global conspiracy against the entire Islamic world. He also called on the heads of Islamic countries to convene in order to meet this geostrategic challenge.
Following are excerpts from the article:
"How Did The Organization Named Daesh [ISIS] Become So Powerful That It Could Muster The Audacity To Play With The Peace Of The Land Of Harmain Sharifain [Saudi Arabia]?"
"On the 29th of Ramadan, when the Muslim Ummah was in supplication before Iftar [fast-breaking at sunset], in those very moments Muslims received the news of a bomb blast at the Mosque in Medina, which is [more important] than their lives and wealth and respect and honor. For any Muslim, this news was not immediately believable. A few moments after the blast, media organizations around the world clarified that bomb explosions took place in other cities in Saudi Arabia but the smoke seen in Medina is due to some other cause, not a bomb blast.
"Even before this anxious situation ended, the real situation became clear, which was no less [severe] than the Day of Judgement for the entire world of Islam. The weakest Muslim loves the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina more than his own life... And this is the reason that when the news of the blast in the Prophet's Mosque at Medina came, the day of Eid [the first day after Ramadan] became a day of sadness and worry. There was not an eye that was not uncontrollably shedding tears. And there was not a hand that did not rise in supplication; in every direction, there was a single prayer: Allah, protect the Harmain Sharifain [the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina].
"The Takfiri [one who declares others infidels], Khariji [one who is considered expelled from Islam] and Majusi [Zoroastrian] who committed this crime in the pious night of Ramadan and his patrons knew that for Muslims, the Medina mosque is the last limit, and if unity and alliance does not come even after crossing this limit, and Muslims do not enter a state of worry, then their [the patrons'] next target will become easy. The matter worth consideration and concern is that during the past few years, terrorism and extremism have strengthened and Muslim youths have been held hostage in the name of Islam, jihad and the Koran. [Therefore,] why is no serious effort being made to counter it?
"How did the organization named Daesh [ISIS] become so powerful that it could muster the audacity to play with the peace of the land of Harmain Sharifain? The situation is serious and also warrants introspection: How could the movements emerging in the name of revolution in the strong countries of the world of Islam such as Libya, Iraq and Syria, be held hostage? The government of Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi was ended by external attacks on Libya and Iraq, while on the other hand, in Syria, protection was made available to Bashar Al-Assad. The real objective was to reach the land of the Harmain Sharifain after ending the peace in these countries and to destroy the peace of the pious lands of Muslims."
"Iran And The U.S., In The Name Of Jointly Fighting The Islamic State, Are Targeting The Majority Areas Of A Particular School Of Thought Of Muslims [i.e. Sunnis In Iraq]"
"If we look at the past two years, then it is clearly visible to us that the bad blood between Iran and the U.S. that grew after the Iranian Revolution [in 1979] has not only ended but inside Iraq... Iran and the U.S., in the name of jointly fighting the Islamic State, are targeting the majority areas of a particular school of thought of Muslims [i.e. Sunnis]. Sanctions on Iran are ending, and the worst is that now statements are being made to begin an armed war in Bahrain too.
"But the institutions of the entire world, including the United Nations, are silent, which is clear evidence that all conspiracies are being readied for the destruction of the Muslim Ummah. Turkey, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are continuously targeted. And it is clear to the world that Turkey and Pakistan from a military angle, and Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries from an economic angle, are stable so long as the stability and integrity of the land of Harmain Sharifain cannot be interfered with. And the land of Harmain Sharifain is a symbol of the unity and alliance of Muslims.
"In this entire context, there is need for a conference of the heads of the Islamic states [meaning the Organization of Islamic Cooperation] to be immediately convened. The international Islamic military alliance must pay attention to intellectual and ideological unity, and those forces that are dividing Muslims by interfering in Islamic countries and dreaming of the destruction of Islamic countries must be stopped immediately. If for any reason, the Muslim Ummah remains silent in this entire situation and the Muslim leaders do not wake up even after the attack on Medina... then the Muslim public will have to decide how to protect and defend the land of Harmain Sharifain.
"The Muslim Ummah should consider the bomb explosion in Medina as a trial. Nothing is dearer to Muslims than the mosque in Medina and the Ka'ba in Mecca. In these circumstances, it is also the responsibility on the Iranian leadership to make an effort to improve its relationships with Arab countries and adopt a serious attitude towards resolving matters. And if Iran has any complaints and grievances against Arab countries, then that too should be discussed, because it is clear as daylight that fire does not have any sect and belief.
"The fire based on sectarianism that is being attempted to be lit today in some Muslim countries will tomorrow head towards the homes that are celebrating this fire and are stoking it as well. The weakest of Muslims remains ready to sacrifice his everything for the protection, defense and integrity of the land of Harmain Sharifain..."
Source: Roznama Jang (Pakistan), July 19, 2016.