“Saudi Arabia has built the world’s first underwater mosque off a northwestern coast close to the Jordanian border, according to reports in an Arabic newspaper. The mosque was built by a group of private divers from Saudi Arabia, who used plastic pipes filled with sand under the sea off the coast in the north-western city of Tabuk, Almadina Arabic language daily reported. “One of our colleagues came up with this idea last summer and we decided to carry it out,” diver Hamadan bin Salim Al Masoudi told the Emirates 24/7 website. “We have just completed the construction of the mosque… when we put the final touches on it, it was time for afternoon prayers, so we performed group prayers in the first underwater mosque in history………………..”
My first inclination was that they wanted to convert Western scuba divers, before I remembered than non-Muslim scuba divers are frowned upon, especially inside a mosque. Yet, it would be interesting to see the King of Saudi Arabia and his princes diving toward the mosque on opening day. I bet they can sell tickets for that opening event and recoup the cost of the under-water mosque.
maybe it is built for all these madrassas of fish that the Red Sea is famous for. I am not sure how the Wahhabi Salafi zealots feel about all this. These guys are obsessed with wtf the very early Muslims did: they pretend they would do exactly as these ancient gentlemen did, some even famously rumored to eschew the modern toothpaste in favor of scented toothpicks (miswak). I’d love for them to give up other infidel things the ancients never cottoned up to: like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
of miswak: I half expect the Wahhabis in my hometown may pass a law banning toothpaste, making it as illegal as pigskin (talking four-legged swine here, exclusively four-legged). There is no doubt that the very early Muslims (Sahaba and the others) had no interest in either toothpaste or scuba-diving, not even to get to a mosque. They even had a famous Arab verse around that time about a fear of dissolving in the sea (as in man being made of mud which dissolves in water).
We can chalk this one under “culture” category, I think. Or maybe “religion”. Or both.
(I think I shall soon post something Freudian about this mad race to “erect” the world’s tallest tower in Mecca or was it Dubai or was it Abu Dhabi………..)