Al Saud and the Big Bidah
Millions of Muslims leave annually for the once in a lifetime trip, known as Hajj. It is supposed to be a spiritual adventure for atonement and one should leave, feeling reborn as well as refreshed. One should feel a new lease of life and one’s strength of belief in Allah (Imaan) should be increased, ready tackle the challenges of the new world. It should also be a journey to see, relate and sense where our forefathers stepped, in order to establish Islam and eradicate injustice once and for all.
Sadly, many Muslims are not even aware of the heritage of Islam which should form our identity. Due to colonialism, history has been rewritten in order to make us Muslims feel inferior, as if Muslims have contributed nothing positive in the world. In all honesty, the history taught in many schools globally is extremely Euro-centric, with little mention of what went on outside of Europe. Even in non-European lands, the syllabus usually taught revolves around the British, French or American system of learning; all three systems are colonial adoptions and have left deep wounds where they have cut, that still bleed till today.
It is therefore depressing that Al Saud (Family of Saud) feel the need to destroy our historical sites, claiming that people are committing bidah (innovations) and shirk (polytheism), both of which are undeniably forbidden in Islam. One has to wonder where the bidah and shirk have been for centuries before Al Saud jumped onto the scene. It is also interesting to note that before one enters the motorway to Mecca, one sees a sign diverting non-Muslims away from Mecca as they are by law, not allowed to enter Mecca and Medina.
With Al Saud and their clerics obsession with condemning historical sites as bidah and shirk, why are they then not silent about the massive corporations that have quite frankly, destroyed the landscape of Arabia? I find it ironic that non-Muslims are not allowed in the holy sanctuaries and yet, their businesses thrive from Muslims. Indeed, I am talking about Hujjaj (pilgrims) drinking the blood of their Palestinian brothers (Coca-Cola) and eating McDonalds, consuming Nestle products inter alia. Why are the clerics not screaming about this?
Essentially, this means that Al Saud and their clerics are prepared to destroy our heritage via razing historical sites but conversely, they allow corporations who worship the dollar to invade our holy sites; isn’t this the greatest combination shirk and/or bidah possible? It is tragic that like dumb sheep, we flock to the holy sites, take photographs of the giant phallus-of-a-building they call a clock tower, gawk and gasp at its construction, without realising what the building represents; it represents we are occupied in our holy sanctuaries! We do not need non-Muslims to physically enter our holy sanctuaries when they are already there, giving us food, a state of the art gym and spa, thousands of shops, among other pointless luxuries for a spiritual adventure. No, we do not expect pilgrims to live in a Bedouin tent before you ask; what we don’t expect is pointless expensive luxuries, created by the destruction of our heritage to take precedence in what should be a spiritual retreat.
In order to understand how we have destroyed our own heritage and identity, we must first know the history of what became known as Saudia Arabia. An abridged version of the creation of Saudia Arabia takes us back to the early 20th Century, where the British built a relationship with a man named Abdul Azeez ibn Saud. In order to control the Muslims, the holy sanctuaries were taken and Abdul Azeez was their agent. For £5000/month, Abdul Azeez in 1916 signed an agreement with the UK and they made him a military ally in Arabia. When he was questioned by his army about this payment, Ibn Saud lied by telling them that it is Jizya (tax for non-Muslims living under the protection of the Caliphate). We swallowed Ibn Saud’s lies and invaded the Hijaz, the region where the sanctuaries lie. By 1919, while the Ottoman Empire was falling, General Allenby of the British army, supported by many colonial Muslims, attacked the sanctuary of Al Quds and “liberated” it from the Ottoman rule.
How can one be supportive of the regime of Saud, who attached their name to Arabia and destroyed Islam? How can we, as Muslims call this regime Islamic when oppression in their infrastructure is so rife? Whilst many are celebrating that so many people are going to Hajj, it is rather poignant that many do not realise and notice the oppression that is occurring right in front of them. All the sanctuaries now need are a couple of casinos and we have Las Vegas in the Middle East.
The purpose of this piece is to remind you of the fact that our holy sanctuaries are under occupation, right down to their core. Unfortunately, too many Muslims are unaware or do not understand this. We can’t talk about removing oppression if we cannot recognise the oppression and occupation happening on our own doorsteps.