SAUDI IS A HOLY LAND – WHAT’S MY OWN WITH QATAR?
I have been questioned privately by friends, colleagues and associates about my concern on the imbroglio between the state of Qatar and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Someone even claimed that my sympathy for the state of Qatar is informed by my loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Well, in a situation like this, assumptions and accusations cannot take the place of facts and axioms.
I am not a member of the Brotherhood movement and I have no any interaction with the Nigerian groups that claim allegiance to the movement, beyond the mere fraternity that exists amongst brothers of the same faith. All the teachers of Islamic creed in Nigeria are my brothers. I respect them. I admire them, and I have always interacted with all of them, including those in the Salafi class and the haraki trend!
I have greatly benefited from the work of Shaykh Yuusuf Alqaradawiy, particularly his research on different areas of Fiqh Waaqi’ and the contemporary Islamic thoughts. But there is hardly a contemporary scholar whose love has completely overwhelmed my heart like the distinguished scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Saalih Al-Uthaymin. You can check it out by comparing his works with those of his contemporaries in the same school, you’ll find a conspicuously unique scholar in all areas of Islamic thoughts!
However, my love for these scholars shouldn’t deprive me of my own personality as Abdur Rauf Saheed, a Nigerian Muslim researcher in global politics; a dawah activist, whose interest cut across all areas of Muslims’ concern; a business man, whose occasional sojourn traverses the Middle-East and its environ, particularly the gulf. No! My respect for the holy sanctuaries, Bn Baaz, Al-Uthaymin and even Al-Qaradhawi shouldn’t becloud my mental space. I am “me” and they are “themselves”, they’ll not render my own account in the day of judgement. May Allah be pleased with them all.
I really sympathize with all my brothers whose role models are the Saudi’s scholars. I can feel their pain, they are indeed embarrassed by this Saudi’s shameless dance in the market place, more so that the Mufti Shaykh Ibrahim AlShaykh had to legitimize the shameful act with a spurious verdict. It’s a pathetic situation which no any reasonable person, with a sense of modesty, can ever defend. So, my brothers have no any option in this regard than to resort to calling the crisis a fitan that requires our collective silence.
Even lately, a brother I love so much had said the crisis (which has already divided the Ummah) does not concern us. Then, what’s our concern with the world around us if this doesn’t concern us? Was it the Americans’ election of Trump which attracted our attention last year that really concern us? I can feel your pain, brother. Who would ever pray to be put to shame by his blind allegiance to a kingdom that is foolishly subservient to the enemies?
Those who are well conversant with the contemporary history of Islam will boldly testify to how the kingdom has been consistently manipulated by the West. From the era of the fall of caliphacy till date, it has always been a story of back-stabbing, betrayals and deceits in the peninsula. The West knows how foolish we are, they only fear the progressive Muslim thinkers amongst us – Those who think beyond the rudiments of the five daily obligatory prayers, those who seek Islamisation of the polity are not cordoned by the West.
I am not therefore surprised if the Brotherhood movement is the ultimate target of the whole crisis. At what stage did a movement that partakes in democratic processes become a terrorist group? Can a movement with a large parliamentarian representation in Jordan and Bahrain be called a terrorist group? Is it possible that members of a terrorist group would fold their arms and watch themselves killed; their wealth and property confiscated and their wives and children thrown into deadly dungeons as it happened in Egypt? Allah will definitely judge this Saudi’s claim!
And about the Shaykh, I still marvel at the Muslim world’s thought system. What could have ever made a distinguished scholar whose major “fault”, as always analysed by the Saudi clergy, is his liberal approache to jurispudential issues, a terrorist? You call Qaradhawi a liberal scholar who trivializes serious jurispudential facts, and yet you call him a radical. Nothing radicalises as much as the Saudi’s teachings of pristine Islam. Give someone the right Tawheed, and watch him stand against anything but Allah. What a commendable radical phenomenon!
Qaradhawi has been teaching Islam in Qatar for more than three decades, and no one (single) Qatari has ever partaken in any major terrorist act. From the 9/11 disaster, to Al-Qaeda networks and the ISIS camps in the Levant, thousands of Saudis are involved. On several occasions, I have been told by the exuberant Saudi youths, who drive their parents’ luxury cars as taxicab during vacations, of how much they love Bn Laden and how much of hatred they bear against the state. I always wonder if those boys were not taught in school to be absolutely loyal, even in distress!
By Allah, in whose hand is my soul, the United States’ administration, as well as the CIA is not unaware of this little fact, including the difference between the Saudi’s anti Bidi’ah, Tawheedi orientation and Qaradhawi’s fiqh waaqi’. They know which one has the potential of radicalising the Muslim minds and which one is dangerous to their own global political hegemony. The CIA has the records of the Qatari’s annual budget on both social and scientific research and it is equally aware of how subservient is the Saudi kingdom to the American authority. It is just a matter of finishing with one before annihilating the other!
Definitely, Trump has his own mission. During his campaign, we all heard him saying that Saudi Arabia hated America so much and was behind 9/11. We’ve however just heard a new pop music from the white supremacist who now sees the kingdom as the bedrock of regional security and moderation, America’s best friend and foremost ally in the “war on terror”. In a similar approach, less than two weeks after calling Qatar a “crucial strategic partner” in his Riyadh speech, and boasting of selling it some “beautiful” American weapons, he suddenly began to jeer against it, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.
But, is Qatar truly a terrorist state? Some guys are bittered for whatever reason and they wouldn’t mind bringing the entire human race to an involuntary halt, if nobody is prepared to give a listening ear. They’ve tried it on several occasions. They collapsed skyscrapers, killed people in millions in different operations. Whether they are wrong or right, the world must feel secure. It all seems crazy, but they are not mad. They have families like you and I – wives, children, parents, cousins, uncles and aunties. Thus, they would probably listen if someone reasonable is also willing to give them a listening ear, and Qatar did. Does that make it a terrorist state?
In the words of the analyst, Marwaan Bisharah, “Qatar has $30bn worth of investments in the United States and stands out as the host of the largest American military base in the Middle East, from which much of the “war on terror” is being fought in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus, most of the trumped up charges against Qatar are either demonstrably thin, false or totally irrational. For example, the Saudi monarchy accuses Qatar of supporting the Taliban because it opened an office for the Afghan insurgency, when in fact it did so at the behest of the US administration to facilitate peace talks”.
Would you call the United States a terrorist nation for hosting the same Taliban leaders in Washington immediately they flushed out the northern alliance from Kabul? It sounds so ridiculous when I heard that Qatar is also accused of backing the anti-regime militants in Syria, and I wonder if Saudi Arabia was not the major financier of An-Nusra, a significant part of which had later collapsed into ISIS. General Joseph Vogel, chief of the US military’s Central Command, had once written that Qatar is indeed a “key and critical” ally that could be of much help in facilitating a sustainable deal in Syria”.
I have not found any of these allegations as stupid as the one that bothers on Qatar’s diplomatic ties with Iran. This allegation is so nauseating that it provokes my vomit, as it clearly stupifies most of us who claim to be Sunnis in creed, but with strong acrimony against the Iranian Shites. We know of Fiqh, a’qeedah and ma’malaat, but how much of siyaasat Al A’lamiyah do we know? And then easily, we fall for any political deception orchestrated by the Saudi monarchy.
I must clearly affirm from the onset that I hate that sick ideology called Shiism. I am not comfortable with those who curse and ridicule my symbols of faith and piety, my heroes and models – the companions of the holy Prophet Muhammad. I fought to the last, with all my strength, a certain Shiite Imam in my neighbourhood in Lagos, not because I hated him, but simply because he was a Shiite. He was indeed a man I respected, and he reciprocated in kind, until his creed became my object of attack!
However, the Saudi’s politics with Iran is not about this ideology, but rather, it is a regional politics of the power play, involving the US. In the region, Saudi Arabia is never secure with the Iranian military might. But if Iran could just play the diplomacy of humility in its relationship with the Saudi kingdom, the game will change. We had a similar example in the days of Khatami, the liberal president of Iran who came on board with a campaign for dialogue among civilization. On this basis, he was able to reach out to the United States, hitherto called the Great Satan by Khomeini; the Vatican, the European Union and the Sunni enclave, Saudi Arabia,
It was of course not by any means astounding to some international politics analysts that president Khatami could easily win the diplomatic loyalties of these avowed enemies of his country, with his liberalisation policy, but it indeed baffled every watcher of Saudi’s foreign policy that the house of Saud could easily be swayed into befriending the enemies of the companions. Nevertheless, the whole scenario was, to me, very interesting, because I know the Saudis too well.
It is interesting to know that, the United States, amongst the historic aftermaths of this iranian policy, gladly welcomed president Khatami on a state visit to Washington and the Saudi kingdom also enjoyed the diplomatic ties with Tehran, with an astronomical boost in trade and social interactions. They knew that Khatami was a Shiite, an ayotollahi professor of philosophy, and that his subjects, the unrepentant Iranians, were still predominantly the Shiites who cursed the companions; but the monarchy shifted its gaze away and no scholar could dare the state power.
However, something occurred in the era of this unusual diplomatic romance which many observers, especially Muslims, had thought would shatter Iran’s diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia. Of course, I was in Umrah and i did withness it. It was during a ziyaarah procession at the prophet’s grave inside the holy sanctuary in Medina, a notorious Shite cleric from Iran after saying his salaam to the holy Prophet, walked towards Abubakri and Umar’s graves and then spat heavily on them in disgust. The organized queue of the belivers was enraged and the cursed iranian cleric was almost lynched, but for his immediate rescue by the Saudi police.
The day after was a Friday which the Saudis and other visitors to the Prophet’s mosque would not forget in a hurry, as the famous Imam Hudhaifi climbed the pulpit to deliver a powerful, historic Friday sermon, tongue-lashing the kingdom’s leadership for its newly found satanic friendship with the Shites who came visiting, desecrating the two leading companions’ graves. The khutbah was so severe, and immediately after he said his tasleem, which heralded the two rakat prayer to an end, he was whisked away by the state security agency for interrogation. Yet, this infuriating event didn’t frustrate the ties!
Therefore, if Qatar is pressured by Saudi Arabia to disengage with Iran, it’s not about the creed of Shiism. In fact, the Saudi monarchy doesn’t love Islam as much as its ultra conservative scholars do. It’s all about the kingdom’s interest and a foreign policy engendered by regional politics. Of course, in the region, Iran is right now winning, with a strategic military support from Russia, as it now diplomatically superintends over both Iraq and Syria, the two Shia dominated countries that ordinarily cut the interest of both the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Unfortunately, in spite of the kingdom’s abundance of wealth and its goodwill of Muslim solidarity, the virtual lack of experience in international diplomacy on the part of its new crown Prince, Muhammad Bn Salman, under whose ego lies the entire crisis, the kingdom has become a losing giant in the region as much as it is frustrated!
Thus, going through the newly released list of those thirteen demands sent to Qatar, as well as the ten day ultimatum attached, it doesn’t take much technicalities in the knowledge of diplomacy and global poolitics to conclude that the kingdom is far removed from matching its counterparts in the game of power-play. Its demands are smacks of total hypocrisy, sans a touch of diplomacy!
Abu Mazeedatil khayr Bn Sa’eed
This is an opinion of the author and does not reflect knowislam.com.ng policy.