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Ex-imam of Makkah’s Grand Mosque appears in Saudi TV advertisement

Al Kalbani attacked by social media users

MAKKAH: The former imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Adel Al Kalbani, has sparked a controversy on social media after taking part in an entertainment advertisement as part of the Riyadh Season 2021.

Al Kalbani appeared in a military uniform as he led a battle in a promotional clip for the famous virtual game “Field Combat”, which is one of the main event areas for the Riyadh entertainment season currently taking place in the Saudi capital.

A large number of people participated in the advertisement, performing combat scenes within the Japanese game, including the artist Khaled Abdul Rahman, the famous Saudi goalkeeper Muhammad Al-Deayea, and the former player Saeed Al-Owairan, before Sheikh Al-Kalbani appears as a leader in that battle, while soldiers stand behind him.


The promotional video achieved more than 1.6 million views within just four hours of its publication, while the social media users started criticizing Al Kalbani. Some say that what Al Kalbani was doing “contravenes the orders of Allah and His Messenger.”

Some asked, “Is it appropriate for a former imam of the Meccan Grand Mosque to appear in this view when Al Kalbani is supposed to be a role model?”

However, Sheikh Al-Kalbani seemed happy with that experience, and sarcastically indicated that he was going to act in Hollywood, before the Sheikh’s family responded to him welcoming his appearance in the advertisement.

From the beginning, Al-Kalbani supported Saudi plans in the past few years to open up to international culture and arts, and in 2018 he participated in a tournament for the game “Balout”.

In addition to his former Imamate of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Sheikh Al-Kalbani held the same position in the Muhaisin Mosque in the Ishbiliya neighborhood, northeast of Riyadh, and before that he assumed the leadership of a number of mosques in Riyadh, the most prominent of which was the “King Khalid bin Abdulaziz” mosque.

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