Umrah pilgrims
Umrah pilgrims in the Grand Mosque in a file photo. Image Credit: Saudi news agency SPA

Cairo: Worshippers and visitors to Islam’s two holiest mosques have been urged to abide by rules at both sites.

Head of the General Presidency for Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Abdul Rahman Al Sudais said the two sacred places are only for worshipping, not for raising slogans or placards.

“Al Haramain Al Sharifain have their sanctity that must be respected,” he said, referring to the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet Mohammed’s Mosque in Medina. “They are places of worship where raising slogans or phrases alien to Islam will not be tolerated,” Al Sudais added in media remarks.

“The one coming to them must do this for performing rituals and worship away from diversions,” he added.

The official’s remarks were made after media reports that a man had been arrested after appearing in a video clad in a white pilgrimage robe holding a cloth banner in Arabic and English reading that his Umrah or lesser pilgrimage is undertaken in rememberance of UK Queen Elizabeth II who died last Thursday.

Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that special security forces at the Grand Mosque had arrested a Yemeni resident, who had appeared in a video carrying a sign inside the mosque in violation of Umrah rules.