Soon after the passing of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was announced on September 8, 2022, Arabs and Muslims from all over the world shared posts offering prayers for divine mercy on her soul, postponing entertainment events, and even performing Umrah on her behalf in the holy mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. These actions were not well-received by Muslim hardliners, who have angrily rushed to condemn their co-religionists for offering prayers for mercy for a non-Muslim, saying that Muslims should instead celebrate the passing of the Queen, whom they accused of being hostile toward Islam and Muslims.
Using hashtags in Arabic, such as "Queen Elizabeth" and "Goodbye Queen Elizabeth," Arabic-speaking Twitter users mourned the queen and prayed to Allah to have mercy on her. On September 9, 2022, user Reem Ali shared a photo of the late queen and the late Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said and wrote: "Oh Allah, forgive and have mercy on those hearts are eager to see."
On the same day and under the same hashtags "#Elizabeth," 'Goodbye Queen Elizabeth," and "Queen Elizabeth," Twitter user Saif Bin Saleh Al-Harasi wrote in English: "Sadness descended on the world with the death of Queen Elizabeth on the United Kingdom in particular and in general on the whole world. She was one of the great leaders who won everyone's love."
Saudi Twitter user Dhafir Shiban shared a photo of the late Queen and wrote: "News that saddened us all. May Allah have mercy on her and forgive her."
Canada-based Twitter user Mus'ab Mohammad Al-Flaikawi wrote in Arabic: "Do you know that those who become Canadian citizens swear on the Quran or any divine book of their allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen played a major role in the liberation of Kuwait from the belligerent Iraqi invasion that we will not forget. May Allah have mercy on her."
In a rare expression of admiration to the late queen, a Yemeni man named Malik Al-Yafi'i published a short video on September 12, 2022, claiming that he had performed Umrah in Mecca for the late queen. In the video, Al-Yafi'i appeared wearing white garment and holding a banner saying: "Umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II. I ask Allah to grant her paradise and accept her among the righteous."
Shortly after the video trended on Twitter, the Saudi authorities announced that the man had been arrested for "violating the regulations and instructions for Umrah" and that "legal measures were taken against him and he was referred to the public prosecution."
In addition to these prayers, at least two top Arab artists announced the postponement of the release of their new videos in honor of the late Queen. On September 10, 2022, Egyptian artist Mohamed Ramadan published a post on his Instagram account in which he announced that he will postpone the release of the video clip for his new song "Dosha" for three days, to mourn the death of the queen.
Ramadan's announcement came a day after UAE-based Iraqi-Moroccan artist and actress Mariam Hussein announced on her Instagram account the postponement of the release of her new song Hadiyya from September 9, 2022 to September 16, 2022 "out of respect for the death of the great Queen."
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Reactions To The Prayer For Mercy Offered To The Queen, Postponement Of Events, And Umrah
Angered by these acts of sympathy, Muslim hardliners shared tweets stressing that offering such prayers for non-Muslims is impermissible in Islam. Many went further, accusing the late queen of being hostile to Islam and Muslims and undeserving of attention.
Expressing her astonishment on those who prayed for the Queen, user @addicted_to_uae wrote on September 10, 2022: "I am shocked by those who asks for mercy for the late Queen. It is impermissible to ask for mercy for unbelievers. Was she an angel?" Palestinian user Atef Nassar condemned those who prayed for the queen: "Why do we ask for mercy upon the death of the criminal Queen Elizabeth, who destroyed my country and contributed in the displacement [of its people] all over the world. She was the the one who gave my homeland to the Jews to build their deformed country on our land and the skulls of our children and women. She provided all the support to the occupier Jews and she does not deserve mercy and she is now with Allah to be punished for her crimes against my people."
On September 9, 2022, Mauritanian cleric and social media influencer Ahmad Al-Hassani Al-Shinqiti wrote: "In summary, my dears: Islamically, it is impermissible to pray for mercy for Queen Elizabeth II because she is not Muslim. Prayers for mercy are limited to those who bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."
Using the hashtag "Queen Elizabeth II," Kuwaiti preacher and imam in the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf Dr. Khaled Abd Al-Aziz Al-Mirdas tweeted: "Should we cover up our religion and conceal knowledge because of the life and death of so and so? Praying for mercy or entry of paradise are only allowed for Muslims." Al-Mirdas then cited a hadith that states: "There is nobody in this Ummah, be they Jewish or Christian, who hears of me and then dies without believing in what I was sent with except that he will be among the people of Hellfire."
The artists, Mohamed Ramadan and Mariam Hussein, who postponed the launching of their songs out of respect for the passing of the queen have been trolled and mocked on social media. On September 12, 2022, Egyptian Twitter user Khaled Mohey wrote: "Oh Mohamed, this Queen Elizabeth was the one who colonized Egypt and other countries and attacked us during the Tripartite Aggression. Wake up my dear and forget about the mourning and I hope that you do your homework before speaking."
Commenting on a news report about Hussein's postponement of her new song, Facebook user Jwan Ahmed wrote: "Why darling? [The queen] is behind the destruction of Iraq and you postpone your song." Moroccan Facebook user Abderrahim Ett wrote: "You are mourning the one who gave the Jews land in Palestine; the one who allied with the U.S. to kill thousands of Iraqi people."
The Yemeni who performed Umrah for the soul of the Queen has been harshly condemned on social media. On September 14, 2022, Twitter user Imane Nedjai wrote: "Performing Umrah for Queen Elizabeth is an unprecedented level of stupidity and ignorance. Do you know my dear ignorant man that the jewelry placed on top of the Queen's crown was stolen from India and Africa and the first to offer Palestine to the Zionist entity was Elizabeth."
Aside from these condemnations, there were voices that called on Muslims to celebrate the death of the queen and accuse her of being hostile to Islam and Muslims. On September 11, 2022, Egyptian Islamist YouTuber Khalid Al-Alfi published a video in which he said: "Why should we praise Allah and celebrate...? Firstly, this devil... was an unbeliever and hostile against Islam and Muslims... therefore, we should thank Allah that he took her. This is a glad tiding to all of you and to Muslims."
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