On Monday, Saudi authorities arrested Allama Nazir Abbas Taqvi, the Additional Secretary of the Shia Ulema Council, in Mecca. The arrest occurred after he completed the Umrah pilgrimage.
The Story Behind The Arrest
Taqvi reportedly held a flag that read “Ya Ali Al Murtaza (Alayhis Salam)” at the time of his arrest. Ali Ibn Abi Talib is revered in Islam as the Muslim community’s fourth Caliph, or leader, after the Prophet Muhammad’s death. The use of “Alayhis Salam” in reference to Ali has sparked debate because it is typically reserved for prophets and is interpreted by some as an attempt to declare Ali a prophet.
According to Taqvi’s social media post, the arrest took place in Mecca, but no official reason for the detention was given. On the other hand, supporters of the religious leader have taken to Twitter to claim that he was arrested for raising the flag of Amir-ul-Momineen Ali Murtaza at the Kaaba.
Shia Ulema Council, a prominent Shia religious organization, has not stated in response to their additional secretary’s arrest. The arrest, however, has infuriated the Shia community, with many taking to social media to express their support for Taqvi and demand his release.
Saudi Arabia has a strict policy regarding religious symbols and actions within Islam’s holiest sites, including the Kaaba in Mecca. Many Muslims consider the raising of a flag in front of the Kaaba to be a controversial act.
The situation is still being monitored, and updates will be provided as they become available. The Islamic Information will continue to monitor the status and provide updates as they occur.