In northern Aleppo, an affiliate of the Al-Qaeda linked “Al-Nusra Front” (Jabhat Al-Nusra) entered the Kaltawiyyeh Mosque in the village of Bab Al-Hadeed (The Iron Door) and destroyed the tomb of Sheikh Mohammad Al-Nabhaan. The militant group, “Jabhat Ansar Al-Deen”, posted photos of their fighters utilizing a pickaxe to penetrate through the stone tomb and subsequently removing the remains of this Sufi scholar.
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Nabhaan was a famous Sufi scholar in the 20th Century from the city of Aleppo that dedicated the majority of his life to religious education. Sheikh Al-Nabhaan would travel from city-to-city, preaching the Quran to the masses in religiously imperative cities like Mecca, Medina, Damascus, and Jerusalem. He would pass away in 1972; in his honor, the Sufi Order had his remains entombed in the 13th Century Kaltawiyyeh Mosque.
Sufi religious sites have been targeted by radical groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and the Al-Nusra Front in the past. These radical groups view these Sufi religious sites as “unholy” because they are labeled by the former as “murtadeen” (apostates) due to their beliefs and alleged “anti-Islamic” practices.