The Saudi Arabization of Islam

Source:Countercurrents.org, by Sazzad Hussain.

The discovery of oil in 1934 made Saudi Arabia to gain prominence among the western colonial powers and with the British-US oil companies, corporate world and arms producers, it emerged as a powerful country. After taking up of the custody of the holy mosques of Mecca and Medina from the Ottoman appointed local rulers, Saudi king proclaimed to form an absolute monarchy in the name of Allah by misinterpreting some verses of Holy Quran. It is the only country in the world to be named after a royal family (al-Saud) and does not have any constitution, parliament, opposition party, media freedom, women’s rights and minority rights. Its exchequer is the personal bank account of the king. The official religion of this oil rich kingdom is Wahhabism or Salafi Islam. When the pan Arab nationalism of Gamal Abdel Nasser swept Egypt , Syria , Iraq , Libya , Algeria and Yemen bring socialism and modernism in the 1960s, it was the Saudi regime and other oil rich gulf monarchies which panicked at that public awareness. Since then Saudi Arab has been exporting this Wahhabism to outside world to serve the global dominance of the US . The Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan-al-Muslimeen) in Egypt was the outcome of this Saudi export of Wahhabism.

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6 replies

  1. I agree with the author of this article.
    First, Islam spread in many parts of the world, like Sub Sahara and West Africa, South East Asia and Central Asia by the exemplary character of saints, traders and travelers of Muslim origin. They brought to those areas that Islam which preaches peace, inter-religious harmony and respect for other faiths and cultures.
    Secondy, there is a concept in Islam called Ijtihad, meaning the endeavor of a Muslim individual or a scholar to consult the Koran and Hadith and form an opinion without relying on the views of other scholars. Unfortunately, by the end of the 10th century theologians decided that debate on such matters would be closed and Muslim theology and law were frozen. That is where freethinking, interpretation and progression in Islam were damaged. Many reform-minded Islamic scholars believe that reopening Ijtihad is a prerequisite for the survival of Islam.
    I also believe in that theory because the so-called religious leaders, or village Imams especially those who are funded and supported by Saudi Arabia have high jacked the true spirit of Islam and turned it into an anti-Shia, anti-minorities and anti-progress crusade. I see that in Pakistan, in Middle East and even in Europe and the USA.
    When it comes to women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, if we just look away from superficial statistics, the simple fact that 5 0% of the population in that country can not even drive a car, go out of home with a male escort or sit in a university class with their fellow male students.
    Is that what the Prophet taught us that we treat women as third class citizens? He was a pioneer in women liberation and we have totally ignored his teaching.
    If we wish to be a part of the civilized world, we Muslims should come out of this sheepish mindset, leave behind old-fashioned male dominated interpretations of our beautiful religion and stop blaming others for our ignorance and backwardness.
    Last but not least, Saudi Arabia is the least Muslim country in the entire Muslim world for a number of reasons but first and foremost for fermenting Fitna among Muslims for its own geo-political aims and pseudo religious purity.

    • Mr Quraishy, you said ” They brought to those areas that Islam which preaches peace, inter-religious harmony and respect for other faiths and cultures.”

      I think documented history will disagree with you. You seem to forget that those times were marred by violence irrespective of religious “origin”. You have forgotten the painful history of Arab slavery of African people which by far exceeds the white mans slavery of the US, but the latter is all we hear about whereas the former is silenced.

      Go to Persia and read up on their history before and after the introduction of Islam. I assure you it was not all as peaceful as you portray it. Just because we quote hostory accurately does not make us traitors of Islam. Islam in fact promotes truth.

      I just thought I should correct you on your theory. The rest I agree with more or less, however, Ijtihad is not really promoted among mainstream Muslims, not without severe costs to those who propose that. Most Muslims unfortunately blindly follow what they have been told, indoctrinated by peers, mosques, the local imam, scholars, friends, family and society. Usually people find it hard to even understand that a simple Muslim is fully entitled to interpret Islam according to their own understanding. Afterall we are not robots. How can we be expected to read a book and then have the exact same understanding of it as 1,8 billion other believers? It defies logic.

  2. SAUDI Arabia is misnomer.
    Who rules a country does not change the name of the country.
    We do not have OBAMI US, ZARDARI Pakistan,not even TUDOR’s (THE ruling dynasty of the Queen)UK.
    I sincerely request all world Muslims to call it MUHAMMADI Arabia.

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