Why cleaning staff at Masjid al-Haram don’t kill insects?

Yesterday, while performing Umrah with my mother-in-law in Masjid al-Haram, I notice something amazing. During my first round of tawaf, I saw one of the cleaning staff in Mataf playing with his cleaning brush.

I noticed a Haram cleaner doing some abnormal acts

I noticed his abnormal acts from far behind and when I reached near to him, I saw that he was playing with an insect. I cannot specify the species perfectly but it was some kind of insect with the size of a cockroach.

What was he doing?

I slowed down the wheelchair of my mother-in-law to observe what he was trying to do with the little insect. He was not touching it with his brush but only directing it by blocking its way to go to an isolated place within the Mataaf on the second floor.

It was quite amazing for me as I was not able to understand the reason he was doing this. I mean, he could kill it very easily and drain its body into the gutters but he didn’t do it. As he was still busy with the little creature, I decided not to disturb him and moved forward.

The second round of Tawaf

My mind was in a dilemma to ask him the reason for doing it or just close the topic in my mind. While making the second round of Tawaf on the second floor, I found the same guy again on my way. This time he was standing still, cleaning the floor just like any other cleaner in the Haram.

Out of curiosity to know the reason, I parked the wheelchair of my mother-in-law and approached him with the question. He looked at me with suspicious eyes for a portion of a second followed by a smile.

Why don’t you kill insects at Masjid al-Haram?

There are 2 kinds of insects we normally see at Masjid al-Haram. The insects which are harmful to human beings like snakes, scorpions, and centipede, we don’t give them a moment to escape. We are instructed to kill them immediately as they may harm the pilgrims in the Haram.

3 reasons we don’t kill insects

There is another category of insects that are not directly harmful to human beings. We don’t kill them due to the following reasons.

  1. As we know out of the things that are Haram for people wearing Ihram is killing insects. Although we are not in the state of Ihram, to keep the respect of the place we are working in, we don’t kill them.
  2. As we have stated earlier some lesser-known facts about Jinns, it has been quoted from a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. that some snakes are Jinns. If they can come into the shape of a Jinn, why not any other insect? We don’t want to kill an insect that is not actually an insect.
  3. Masjid al-Haram or the Holy Kaaba is the House of Allah but it is not designated for human beings only. You never know the reason this kind of insect comes to the House of Allah. Allah has created them and there is a risk that we might end up killing something which was a guest of Allah!

My reaction

I was really impressed by the answer he communicated to me. How sensitive he has been while performing his duties. He is just a cleaner in the Masjid al-Haram but has greater values than many so-called educated people in the outer world.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.