Saudi authorities have arresed a Yemeni man who raised a banner in the Grand Mosque in Makkah saying he was performing Umrah on behalf of the late British Queen Elizabeth II, in violation of local regulations and the teachings of Islam, Anadolu reported.
The man published a video of himself on social media on Monday standing at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and holding a banner saying “Umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, we ask God to accept her in heaven and among the righteous.”
Later that evening, the Saudi Public Security said a Special Force tasked with securing the Grand Mosque had arrested a Yemeni man who had “appeared in a video clip carrying a sign inside the Grand Mosque” for violating Umrah regulations and instructions.
القوة الخاصة لأمن المسجد الحرام تقبض على شخص ظهر في مقطع فيديو يحمل لافتة داخل المسجد الحرام pic.twitter.com/PrwCywSsFw
— الأمن العام (@security_gov) September 12, 2022
Saudi Arabia prohibits raising any banners or slogans during the performance of the Hajj and Umrah rituals, and the teachings of Islam do not allow for pilgramage to be dedicated or completed on behalf of non-Muslims.
A scholar in Egypt’s Al-Azhar, Ashraf Al-Najjar, said Umrah is a sacred ritual for Muslims and is not obligatory for non-Muslims.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday at the age of 96, after 70 years in power.