Home/ News / World/  No Umrah for non-Muslims: Man arrested for offering it on Queen's behalf

A Yemeni national was arrested by Saudi authorities for offering Umrah on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, reported the Independent.

He was arrested after he posted a video on social media dedicating his pilgrimage to Elizabeth II. The video appeared to have been shot inside the premises of Mecca’s Grand Mosque, where non-Muslims are prohibited.

The video shows the Yemeni national holding a banner which said, “Umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, we ask God to accept her in heaven and among the righteous."

The footage went viral on social media and prompted anger from some. He was reportedly arrested for “violating regulations and instructions" for the pilgrimage, according to the Saudi police.

Saudi Arabia has strict rules against carrying banners, chanting slogans or performing Umrah on behalf of non-Muslims.

Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry was reported saying: “He was arrested, legal measures were taken against him, and he was referred to the public prosecution."

After Queen Elizabeth II's death, several Yemenis remembered their relationship with the Queen who had visited Aden nearly seven decades earlier. A Yemeni matriarch, 80-year-old Kulthoom Muhammad Saeed told Reuters: “Honestly, we were comfortable in the British colonial days. We weren't suffering. When we were under colonialism, we were in God's grace and safety."

However, in that intervening decade the goodwill on display during the queen's visit dissolved. A four-year uprising, during which hundreds of people were killed, drove out British troops.

A few years ago, a theory had gone viral on social media which claimed that Queen Elizabeth II was a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad or his Hashemite clan in the Arabian Peninsula, which was picked up by many British outlets.

The theory claimed that the monarch’s bloodline joined the Prophet’s through 11th Century Princess Zaida of Seville. However, there’s scant evidence to back that claim.

According to a report in Middle East Eye, the finding had been attributed to Burke’s Peerage – a British genealogical publisher and authority on the Royal family, but the claim was denied by Burke’s Peerage who said: "Unfortunately, we have no genealogical information relating to this. We were not the original source."

Queen Elizabeth died last week aged 96 after a 70-year reign. She was Britain's longest-serving and most travelled monarch.

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Updated: 15 Sep 2022, 05:21 PM IST
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