Libya’s Grand Mufti Sadiq al-Ghariani has urged Muslims to abstain from traveling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage more than once, saying the kingdom uses Hajj revenues to commit crimes against ” fellow Muslims.”
While able Muslims are required to go on Hajj once in their lifetimes, Ghariani said anyone going on a second Hajj or on the optional Umrah pilgrimage would be committing “an act of sin rather than a good deed.”
The reason for his fatwa is that the money paid would “help Saudi Arabian rulers to carry out crimes against our fellow Muslims,” the grand mufti said in a televised address on Ean Libya.
Depending on the pilgrim’s nationality, Hajj costs thousands of dollars per person. Hajj and Umrah make up 20% of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil-related GDP.
“Nowhere in the world hasn’t been thrown into havoc by Saudi Arabia,” Ghariani said, adding the money paid to the monarchy would contribute to the “massacre” of Muslims in Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, and Algeria.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies have been waging a devastating war against Yemen since March 2015 with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Houthis.
Alongside the United Arab Emirates, Riyadh is also a key ally of General Khalifa Haftar, who earlier this month began an offensive on the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.
Last year, the top cleric accused the UAE of stimulating hostilities in Libya with the help of the “Zionists’ room” which he said existed in the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE and Egypt have in the past helped Haftar with airstrikes and provided his forces with military equipment such as helicopters, even building an air base for them.
Haftar has been waging a deadly campaign since April 4 to seize Tripoli from troops aligned to Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Earlier this month, Ghariani said the Libyan people should resist and fight against Haftar’s forces in Tripoli. He also called for jihad on France and the UAE in response to their backing of Haftar.
Ghariani issued a fatwa calling for jihad against Libya’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 before being appointed the country’s grand mufti a year later.