A Saudi cleric has found himself in hot water after he publicly made a prayer for 'servant of Allah' Donald Trump to advance the interests of Muslims.
Saad bin Ghoniem said on Friday that he hoped God would take Trump under his wing and steer him in the right direction towards ending injustice against Muslims, prompting an online backlash.
O Allah, Trump is one of your servants, you control him and his fate. Command him – willingly or not – to serve the best interests of Muslims and eliminate oppression done to them. Spare us from his evil deeds and guide him on the right path
The cleric's invocation for Trump to aid the Muslim world did not go down so well on social media with dozens of users harshly criticising the post.
"I spit on your beard all you have left to do is pray he goes to heaven. Even the devil would be too ashamed to do this," one Twitter user replied to the sheikh, sharing a report about civilian casualties in a US-led coalition air raid in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
Another user said: "You think that Trump the Zionist, who is battling Islam, will do good for the religion. Shame! You will be held accountable for your words."
Other users told Ghoniem he should rather pray for the hundreds of Yemeni children who have been killed during the Saudi-led military intervention against the Houthi rebels.
Trump made several controversial comments about Islam and its followers during his election campaign last year. Despite this and a "Muslim ban" being put in place by Trump, Gulf states appear to have warmed to the new president. The US President announced this week that Riyadh would be the first stop on his overseas tour later this month.
Trump has reportedly intensified negotiations for arms deals with Saudi Arabia ahead of the visit, despite growing concerns over the kingdom's military campaign in Yemen.
This article was first published by The New Arab.