Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“Praying on land not owned by the mosque is legally invalid”

From today’s Al Watan:

Furor over mosque demolition a ”political ploy”
Staff Writer

KUWAIT: The newest attempt to demolish a mosque located on stateـowned property gave raise to several concerns from the populace.

Prominent Shiite cleric in Kuwait Mohammed Baqir AlـMahri stated that praying on land not owned by the mosque is legally invalid.

He also condemned demands for the prosecution of the Chairman of the State Property Violation Committee, Mohammed AlـBader, who, he said, “must be honored for honoring the law and meeting the request of the Ministry of Awqaf for the removal of all mosques in violation.”

He went on to state that all the turmoil surrounding the removal of the mosque was “a ploy to gain votes,” in case of the dissolution of the council.

Member of the Municipal Council and the Chairman of the Development and Reform Commission Khalifa AlـKhorafi agreed with AlـMahri”s views and stated that Kuwait is suffering from a major crisis that reeks of a general lack of confidence and faith in most matters that concern the state.

He warned against hasty decisions and explained that the mosque was not a heritage monument and that it was mainly used as a storage space.

He pointed out that before the demolition of the mosque the council had ensured the availability of another mosque in the same area and that the permission of many preachers and scholars was taken long before the attempt to demolish the holy structure. He went on to state that all had agreed that it was illegal to pray in the mosque, a fact agreed to by Dr. Ajil AlـNashmi.

Meanwhile, lawyer Nawaf Sari praised the act of MPs against the demolition of the mosque and referred to it as a “glorious stand.” He said that there was no justification for the elimination of the mosque and that people should protect Islamic and religious beliefs whenever possible. He also demanded the persecution of Mohammed AlـBader and blamed him for the deterioration of the political system in the country.

I don’t understand. How can this be an issue? An old, run-down mosque was erected – illegally – on public property. Before the mosque was demolished, authorities informed and had consensus from the local clerics, and the mosque was only used for storage? What is furor about? Why is tearing down an old mosque an attack on Islamic beliefs? I see mosques torn down around Kuwait all the time – usually just before a newer, bigger mosque takes its place. In this case, they insured sufficient mosques were available before they demolished this one.

March 10, 2009 - Posted by | Building, Bureaucracy, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Social Issues


  1. “Why is tearing down an old mosque an attack on Islamic beliefs?”… It`s not. The MP who turned this into a big issue may have his own political agenda. I`m saying “may” because he`s not that smart!
    The whole thing is just exaggerated!

    Comment by noura | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  2. Noura,
    “I`m saying “may” because he`s not that smart!”

    Huh?! What was your criteria to judge his ‘smartness’ or lack of? loool

    Comment by nbq | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  3. nbq,no criteria, it`s just my opinion. I had this impression by following this MPs news and statements.

    Comment by noura | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  4. “They tore our diwaniya’s down!” “Now they’re tearing the mosques down!”

    This is just an extension of the episode of absurdity that started when Albader’s team demolished violating state-property diwaniyas. They’ve had it for him since then and now they have something else to release their fake outrage.

    Comment by G.E&B | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. The whole thing just strikes me as absurd, GE&B. I can understand why the state is tearing down all the encroachments – they probably waited too long, and now people who squatted on public land are outraged. It’s not their land!

    I also thought it was funny that prayers might not be legally valid? I’m sorry, I cannot imagine that a sincere prayer would not be listened to, even from jail or from some terrible place. OOps, you’re in a mosque encroaching on public land so God won’t listen to your illegal prayer – that struck me as funny, too.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  6. Now i have to put on my turbine on to shed some light on the issue of prayer acceptance on land grabbed or taken by force or occupied .

    first time i heard this fatwa was during the iraqi invasion of kuwait , Some iraqi Mulla i think it was Alkhoie ( A sheiat ) issued it and it was followed by some Iraqi officers , they said they knew their prayer is not proper because the Kuwaiti land was occupied by them by force .

    Now fast forward to the Kuwaiti current mosque situation , i think it is totally different situation in the way that the land was not taken by force but rather it was not used by the sate and there was a need for it as a prayer area by the people ,therefore no harm was done.

    However since there are new mosques being built then the need for a prayer area has been fulfilled and nicely so by the state or by donors then the old temporary kirby sheet buildings must be removed , this Also goes if people build mosques haphazardly just for the sake of everyone having a mosque close to his residence especially when some of the mosques don’t look suitable for the purpose it was built for .

    So you have same land in two different situations One under Iraqi occupation and One in normal legitimate situation but the prayers circumstances are different . In the first case the ban on prayers by the occupiers and their non acceptance is designed to discourage transgression on other people’s land , and in the second situation i think it was acceptable until the point where the land owner the state has made an alternative , and the old building is no longer needed .

    So the intention is what determines the action which is a famous islamic rule .

    Turbine off

    Comment by daggero | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  7. Ahhhh! I thank God for your turbine, Daggero. I understand much better now. And I can comprehend why prayer in the first situation could be considered unfit, unacceptable. Very interesting, and thank you.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  8. HandyMan is curious to know who hands out the “Illegal Prayer” Tickets? And where would one pay the fine? lol

    Comment by DaisyMae | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  9. LLLOOLL, Daisy Mae.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 12, 2009 | Reply

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