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They Do Not Hate the Truth, But They Are among Hell Dwellers!
Faults and Errors of Prophets
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The Salafist epidemic in Algeria
Religious freedom between Islam and fanatic Muslims
: Fanatics during establishing the current Saudi State

Part two:  Part Two: Fanatic Muslims violate the religious freedom in Islam                                            

Section one: Muslim History in brief glance

Chapter 3: Fanatics during establishing the current Saudi State

Firstly: General view

1-      The first Saudi State lasted for about a century (1745-1818). Conditions were ripe for acceptance of Wahhabi mission, especially after the escalation of Western interference with the French expedition and the British resistance to it, but the massacres committed by Saudi Wahhabis in the Arabian Peninsula and in Iraq, fomented opposition to and fear of them. Eventually, Mohammad Ali Pasha, Governor of Egypt, destroyed the first Saudi State in 1818.

 

2-      In spite of that, Shiite and Sufi propagandists could not rout Wahhabism ideologically, for their argument islamically, was very strong in showing the contradiction between Islamic doctrine and the Shiite and Sufi doctrine of sanctifying graves and saints. The Wahhabis’ weak point that contradicts Islam is exemplified in religious coercion and bloodletting of peaceful people. Their opponents, the Shiites, the Sufis, and even moderate Sunnis could not exploit this weakness, because coercion and bloodletting is institutionalized by the Wahhabis in Hadiths attributed falsely to Prophet Mohammad, adopted first by Sunni religion and its rulers, and carried to extremes by Sunni Hanbali branch before. That is the reason why their opponents failed to defeat them intellectually from within Islam, and that is why the Wahhabi mission was not expected to be routed out after the collapse of their first Saudi State, rather it was able in a short time, to re-establish the second Saudi State (1821-1889), but inter-family strife within the Saudi family hastened the demise of this second State.

 

3-      Finally, the current third Saudi State was established in the period (1902-1932), led by Abdul Aziz, father of the current king. To secure longevity for his state and to avoid the same fate that had befallen the previous two states, Abdul Aziz worked on infiltrating Egypt with the Wahhabi ideology where Egypt would not turn into a foe and destroy his state as it happened with the first state, moreover, to have Egypt as a strategic depth to aid Saudi Arabia in dominating the Muslim World. The consequence was the success of Abdul Aziz Al Saud in transforming Egypt from a moderate, tolerant Sufi Sunni affiliation since the Middle Ages, to a strict Wahhabi order even in the age of human rights.

 

4-      What makes it more deplorable is the fact that Egypt produced the progressive, enlightened Islamic thought capable of defeating and overcoming Wahhabism from within Islam. That reformative thought was represented in the work of Imam Mohammad Abdu (1849-1905). After the Shiite Imams and Sunni Sufi Scholars failed in combating Wahhabism, opportunity presented itself in Mohammad Abdu’s reformative movement and in his writings, but Abdul Aziz, founder of the current state, managed to sway Mohammad Abdu’s student and heir apparent, Resheed Reda, to his side, who turned against his teacher’s ideas, and became the ringleader in forming Wahhabi societies and organizations, the last one of which was the Muslim Brotherhood. By doing so, Mohammad Abdu’s reformative school withered and vanished, and Wahhabi influence, thanks to the Muslim Brotherhood efforts, increased and spread, inside Egypt and outside, and under the sponsorship of Saudi Influence, and Saudi petrodollars, Wahhabism spread throughout Muslim World and within Western Muslim communities as true Islam.

 

5-      As a reaction to the Wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood influence, the Quranists movement appeared on the scene, to revive Imam Mohammad Abdu’s thought, build on and develop it islamically, and to wage a war of ideas against Wahhabism from within Islam. But the Saudi influence, within Egypt and without, keeps chasing defenseless, helpless Quranists, who are armed with nothing more than common sense, reason, evidence and specialization in Islamic knowledge.

 

6-      It was very well feasible for the current Saudi State to collapse internally during its inception (1902-1932), when the largest segment of its supporters, The Nejdi Ikhwans (Brotherhood), revolted against it, were it not for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, who replaced the Nejdi ones. Those (brothers) were the first of the young Bedouins that Abdul Aziz assembled and established settlements for, called (Al Hojar), where they would train for military combat and learn Wahhabi thought as true Islam. With the help of those, Abdul Aziz established the current state, but they held a grudge against him for not implementing Ibn Abdul Wahhab thought in regard to Jihad against idolaters (Non Wahhabi Muslims, especially Egyptians), and against disbelievers (Non Muslims, especially British).They objected to his dealings with the Egyptians and the British, even his usage of contemporary Western innovations like the Telegraph and the Motorcycle. This objection turned into a political opposition, and in time into a war that ended with Abdul Aziz’s triumph over his former soldiers in 1930. Has it not been that Abdul Aziz, founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, his state would very likely been abolished by the same Nejdi Brotherhood that helped establish it then rebelled against it. Before the schism between the Nejdi Brotherhood and their master, Abdul Aziz deteriorated more and more, he managed to remove them away , along with their leaders,(Faisal E-ddeweish, Ibn Bejad and Ibn Hutheileen), back to Nejd, after the massacres they committed in conquering Al-Hejaz, and after he annexed ,using their swords, Al-Hejaz and the Sacred Places in 1925, Abdul Aziz founded a replacement for those disorderly, riotous Bedouin Brotherhood, the replacement was the Egyptian (Muslim Brotherhood) and the young Hasan El-Banna, leader of the Brotherhood, founder of the group and student of Resheed Reda, the Saudi agent.

 

7-      The significance of Nejdi Brotherhood is that they represent the contradiction between Wahhabism and its implementation in our times. It was not uncommon or unusual implementing Wahhabism during the first Saudi State, by conducting massacres of civilian populations according to the norms of the Medieval Ages, for the Ottoman State itself conducted massacres for Armenians and others, but conditions changed for Abdul Aziz with the presence of England and its influence, and the presence of Egypt and its prominence, he was compelled to implement what he can of Wahhabism, in light of power struggle around him, and postpone the rest to a future date. Furthermore he was in need of other (Brotherhood), educated Egyptians who were capable of refining outwardly Wahhabism to hide its canine teeth, render it more acceptable to Muslim masses, he was in need of Egyptian minds to explain in simple Arabic contemporary terms, Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s writings, from its original fundamentalist expressions to more digestible format to contemporary minds, he was in need of somebody able of infiltrating the Muslim and Western Worlds to propagate Wahhabism, able of interacting with (the disbelievers and the idolaters), to deceive and bluff them rather than accuse them of blasphemy and be confrontational. He needed those Egyptians to fine tune Wahhabism to better suite urban environments compared to that harsh inhospitable Bedouin desert atmosphere, and he found his goal in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood-The perfect substitute for the Nejdi Brotherhood.

 

8-      We will give a brief review of the (Nejdi Brotherhood), not only for their role in the establishment of the current Saudi State, but more for, in their opposition and war against their master Abdul Aziz, exemplifying the genuine original Wahhabism of their Sheikh Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab. Those same Nejdi Brotherhood, even today, represent the highest form of extreme Wahhabi opposition against the Saudi State, starting with the movement of Juheiman Al-Uteibi who took over the Sacred Mosque in 1979, to the current Saudi opposition movement which began after the second Gulf war and Saddam’s occupation of Kuwait, led by Mohammad Al-Mes’ri, Sa’d Al-Faqeeh, Safr Al-Hawali and Salman Al-Awda, to eventually produce bin Laden.

 

Secondly: The Formation of Nejdi Brotherhood and their role in founding the Saudi State

Creation of Al-Hejr (Settlements for Bedouin)

Abdul Aziz’s goal for transforming Bedouins into Brotherhood

 

Abdul Aziz aimed at winning the Bedouins’ continuous loyalty to him, by changing their nature from see-sawing among rulers according to material gains, to Brothers strongly attached to him through a religious bond, ready to sacrifice their lives for him under the banner of jihad. He opted to house them in settlements where they would be educated with Wahhabi ideology to become loyal troops for him and for that ideology, naming those Wahhabi settlements as (Al Hejer).

·         Was Abdul Aziz the first to try this method, the settlements?

History of local region points to the fact that during the Medieval Ages, the Qarmatians, in the early stages of their existence, took up a residence they called it (Dar Al-Hijra), in a village close to Al-Kufa, in southern Iraq named Mehimazad, they fortified it around year 277 Hijri. Abu Sa’eed Al-Genabi the Qurmatite, used to gather youngsters, raise, train and educate them on the basis of his mission, becoming loyal to him, teaching them warfare and blind obedience to himself, and with that army, he was able to conquer Al-Ahsaa’ and all of Al-Bahrain regions until he was killed in 301 Hijri.

·         The meaning of (Al Hojar), (Al Hijra) and (The Brotherhood)

The reason for naming those settlements Al Hojar derives from the Hejra of the Prophet Mohamed( peace be upon him),(Immigration or migration), and as the first Muslims left their wealth, their homes and their families behind in Mecca, Abdul Aziz would tell the Bedouins(Sell off your sheep, your camels, your dwellings and follow me)…Sheikh Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab considered migration a condition for genuine faith of his followers, he made that clear in his treatise (six subjects conveyed from the Prophetic Sunnah). Migration came to mean charging others with apostasy, shunning and staying away from them, and transforming from disbelief to Islam. Consequently, migration is followed by an act of fraternization among the migrants, becoming brothers, hence the term Brotherhood. The term or title Brotherhood became an accepted expression within the literature of religious movements in contemporary Muslim history, (The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the rest of the Arab World).

·         Most famous Wahhabi Settlements and dates of settling activities

The first migration (Hejrah) or a Wahhabi settlement was the (Artaweyya) in 1911; its inhabitants were a mixture of (Harb) and (Mateer) tribes. Then there was (Al- GhetGhet) settlement, its inhabitants from (Uteiba tribe)…then (Dekhna), and most of its inhabitants were from (Harb tribe)...then (Al Ajfer) and most its inhabitants were from (Shummer tribe).

·         Management of Al Hojar (Settlements)

Careful planning was employed in choosing location of a new settlement. Choice of Caravans’ routes, (relatively away from them, where the Bedouins would gradually shed the habit of marauding the caravans), abundance of water and secrecy, especially in the early stages of constructing the settlement Abdul Aziz specified a system for building the settlement, starting with the mosque, and a square in the center surrounded by homes, flags would be hoisted in the square indicating the summoning of the Brotherhood for jihad. A system for water distribution was established, records were kept for names of dwellers and weapons were handed out.

·         Life within the settlement

Life was characterized with seriousness and solemnity, from prayers, to worship, to listening and attending religious educational sessions, to indoctrination, to military training, which instilled in their psyche that before them was an important sacred mission, to fight to convert idolaters and disbelievers to the true religion. Combat was their only opportunity to escape the monotonous life of the settlement, to garner spoils of war, victory, martyrdom and to carry out God’s commands as taught by their Sheikhs.

·         The Brotherhood’s military reputation

British records described them as undefeatable, like Cromwell’s tanks, or German panzers troops, terror and fright of them spread all over the Arabian peninsula and around it.

·         The Brotherhood and the founding of Abdul Aziz’s rule                                

Saudi Arabian Kingdom, with its almost present borders, was drawn by the swords of the Brotherhood, whether during the periods of conquest and annexation, or the period of stabilizing the borders with its neighbors in Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan. Militarily, The Brotherhood burst on the scene with the battle of Hirab in 1914, leading to a fundamental change in the balance of power in the region. Sherif Hussein, governor of Hejaz with his modern army was defeated before them. Also, Ar-Rasheed army, mainly from A-Shummer tribes was defeated; they triumphed over all their enemies by their ability to move swiftly, mastering desert warfare, and their ideological indoctrination that instilled in them the love of sacrifice and martyrdom in return for victory or Paradise. By the swords of the Brotherhood, Abdul Aziz was able to re-establish the third Saudi state as follows; Annexation of Al Ahsaa’ (Eastern region) in 1913, the first stage of fighting with Al Ar-Resheed in Haa’l in1915, utter defeat of Sherif Hussein, governor of Hejaz in battle of Turba and Kherma in 1919, conquering Hae’l and its annexation in 1921, after the defeat of its rulers of Al Ar Resheed, conquering Aseer in 1921, then:

·         Final capture of Hejaz and the start of public conflict between Abdul Aziz and the Brotherhood

In 1924, Abdul Aziz prepared his army and headed towards At Taa’ef laying siege then storming it on Friday September 7th 1924. The famous massacre that ensued exposed the barbarism of the Brotherhood, condemned by Muslims at large, forcing Abdul Aziz to justify and defend their actions. Because of that massacre, the Meccans were forced to surrender without fighting, allowing Abdul Aziz to enter Mecca on October 18th 1924. He sent an army most of its constituents were of the Brotherhood, to capture Jeddah and Al Medina Al Munawwara, the branch heading towards Al Medina was led by Faisal Al Duweish, who wanted to repeat At Taa’ef escapade, so Abdul Aziz dismissed and replaced him with his own son Mohammad Bin Abdul Aziz, Al Duweish withdrew from the battle, along with some of his supporters, and headed to Al Artaweyya. This move by Abdul Aziz led Al Medina to sue for peace on condition that the Brotherhood is banned from entering Al Medina. On December 5th 1924, his troops took Al Medina, followed by Yenbu’. Jeddah was the only one left besieged with King Ali son of Sharif Hussein sill inside, who eventually surrendered through the good offices of Britain, with the promise not to let the Brotherhood enter the city. On January 3rd 1926, Ali abdicated and joined his brother King Faisal in Iraq, thereby, Abdul Aziz becoming King of Hejaz and Sultan of Nejd and its territories on January 8th 1926, abbreviating that name to Saudi Kingdom in 1932.

[We relied, in gathering information about the Brotherhood, on the Arabic version of John Habib’s book, (The Saudi Brotherhood), translated by Dr. Sabri Hasan, and on our unpublished book, (Saudi Opposition during the twentieth Century)]

Thirdly:The Brotherhood’s opposition to Abdul Aziz in a brief historical report

·         Dissension and conflict over work and idleness, and the scholars’ conference in 1919

The Brotherhood were differentiated from the rest of average Wahhabis by living in Al Hojar (The settlements) and by wearing turbans as  Mohammad Bin Abdul Wahhab did two centuries earlier, instead of ( The Kofi), the customary style in Arabia during the early century. According to what they have been indoctrinated with of Ibn Abdul Wahhab ideas, they wanted to implement what they thought true Islam, confronting Abdul Aziz with that, sensing the urgency of their demands, he convened the first meeting for Wahhabi scholars to address their concerns which were formed as asking (Fatwa) or religious questions:

1-      Is it permissible to call them (Kafirs), those steadfast Muslim Bedouins who follow the commands of religion, the obligatory as well as the prohibitions? In other words is it permissible to accuse Wahhabi Bedouins, adhering to Wahhabism, with disbelief?

 

2-      Is there a difference between those who wear a Kofi and those who wear a turban if their belief and creed is the same? In other words, is it permissible to accuse those Wahhabi who wear Kofi with disbelief?

 

3-      Is there a difference between the urbanites and those who migrated? In other words, would those Wahhabis who did not migrate still be considered Muslims?

 

4- The slaughtered animal of the Bedouin or the urbanite that did not migrate, is there a difference between them? In other words, are they still considered Muslims, Lawful to eat their slaughtered animal?

5-   Is there a legal permit for those settlers (who migrated) to forcibly have those who did not to do so?

That was the most important question precipitated by all the prior questions; which was, would it be permissible to shed the blood of other Wahhabis who were not from the Brotherhood? would it be permissible to beat, punish and force them to migrate?

 This is the original, pure, unadulterated Wahhabism in its dealings with others, even within Wahhabism itself.

Here, Abdul Aziz compelled the scholars to rule ( Fatwa) ( verdict ) against the wishes of the Brotherhood, hence, the scholars gave fatwa that was decisive in proclaiming that raising those issues were contrary to religion, and whoever raises them, to be admonished first, if he repented and admitted his fault, then he is forgiven, but if he were to return, then he should be punished, and that the political and religious authorities are the ones to decide who is a Muslim and who is a disbeliever, and whoever does not abide by those decrees would be considered on a different path than the rest of Muslims, meaning he would be a disbeliever (Kafir).

·         Al-Artaweyya Conference in 1924 and what ensued:

The Brotherhood opposition did not cease then, they held a conference in Al Artaweyya in 1924, headed by Faisal Al-Duweish, to pressure Abdul Aziz into fulfilling their demand to capture Al Hejaz, eager to massacre its inhabitants, as they later did in (At Ta’ef), putting Abdul Aziz in an awkward position, causing him to order them to stop. When the Egyptian, Syrian and Iranian press published reports about those massacres of killing women and children in (At Ta’ef), Abdul Aziz sent messages to those papers condemning the publication of said news.

Consequently, to avoid repetition of such massacre, Abdul Aziz opted to lay siege to and negotiate rather than attacking using force and outright warfare in Al Medina and in Jeddah and that is when the split occurred with the Brotherhood and their leaders accusing him of cowardice.

To publicize his insurrection against Abdul-Aziz, Faisal Al-Duweish seized and plundered the village of Al-Awali nearby Al-Medina murdering its inhabitants and pillaging their properties, then proceeded on his way to Al-Medina to storm and bombard it, were it not for Abdul-Aziz who hastened to save the city by ousting Al-Duweish from his command post, prompting him to leave, along with some of his followers to Al-Artaweyya, incensed and angry over Abdul-Aziz’s actions.

·         Annexation of Hejaz and sending the Brotherhood back to Nejd

With Al-Hejaz coming under the control of Abdul-Aziz, his relationship with the Brotherhood took a detrimental turn, to the worst; it started with political opposition before military mutiny. Abdul-Aziz’s political objectives were achieved by then, and he did not need the Brotherhood’s might, and could no longer tolerate their problems, so he sent them back to Nejd, with plentiful rewards of pensions, lands and spoils of war. But they wanted to continue their Jihad and expansion, and did not realize that they reached their limits allowable internationally, and matters now shifted to British and other powers domain. The Brotherhood abhorred and agonized, seeing Abdul-Aziz favorably treating the British (disbelievers) and the (polytheists) in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Hejaz. It pained them even more that they brought victory to Abdul-Aziz, and he rewarded them with ingratitude, sending them into retirement even at the height of their strength and the zenith of their military ambitions.

True, they could no longer expand land wise, after demarcation of boundaries with Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait, but they could still exhaust their military prowess internally with their mortal friend Abdul-Aziz, and since it was arduous and complicated in the beginning, it was necessary for a period of conferences and political maneuvering, meaning opposition utilizing policy of conferences.

·         Opposition by Means of Conferences

 

Al-Artaweyya Conference in 1926

On the first day of Al-Fitr feast (End of fasting month of Ramadan), in the year 1343 Hijri corresponding to April 25th 1925, Faisal Al-Duweish sent Abdul-Aziz an ultimatum that the Brotherhood will carry on in their Jihad against those who create obstacles in their way, a subtle accusation for Abdul-Aziz of disbelief. In the following year, he held a conference at Al-Artaweyya in which he directed the following criticisms to Abdul-Aziz:

1.      He sent his son Saud to Egypt and his son Faisal to London, both are lands of Polytheism

2.      Egyptian Pilgrimage Procession entered Mecca armed.

3.      Usage of telephone, automobiles and telegraph, knowing they were products of Magicians

4.      Demanding an explanation why trade with Kuwait was banned. If they were Muslims we traded with them, and if they were disbelievers, we fought them.

5.      Fees and taxes in Nejd and man-made laws.

6.      Why keeping silent about the Shiite of Al-Ahsaa’ and Al-Qateef and not trying to impose them to convert to the religion of the Brotherhood

7.      Why allow the Bedouins of Iraq and Transjordan to graze their cattle in the land of Muslims(meaning Wahhabis)

8.      Demolishing of graves (considered by some as source of blessings)

 

Ar-Reyadh Conference in 1927

 

Abdul-Aziz moved swiftly from Al-Hejaz to Nejd to confront those accusations. He convened a meeting attended by leaders of the Brotherhood, heads of tribes and about 3 thousand persons. The conference lasted from 25th of Rajeb till the 8th of Sha’ban 1345 Hijri, in which Abdul-Aziz emphasized his loyalty to Sharee’a, and that he did not change. The conference ended with a Fatwa signed by 15 scholars, in which the Brotherhood’s objections were addressed, the Fatwa stated:

1-      Cessation in giving a verdict concerning Telegraph, since it was an issue developed in later times, we do not comprehend its truth and we have no reference to go by from previous knowledge.

 

2-      Hamza’s and Abi –Rasheed’s mosques, we decree that both be demolished.

 

3-      Any man–made laws ,if still in existence in Hejaz, to be annulled

 

4-      As for the Egyptian pilgrimage precession entering Mecca armed and by force, we decree that they be prevented from doing so, even if resorting to arms and force, and to ban them from displaying any appearance of polytheism and all disavowed practices, as for Al-Mehmel (The Ka’ba’s ornamented cloth coverings), we decree that it be banned from entering the Sacred Mosque, and to prevent people from touching and rubbing themselves with it(seeking blessings), and whatever those people commit of distasteful acts  and diversions is to be banned.

 

5-      As for the Shiite, we gave permission for the Imam( meaning Abdul-Aziz),to force them to give allegiance to Islam, and to prevent them from displaying publicly the rituals of their false religion, and for the Imam to request his deputy in Al-Ahsaa’, to bring them in front Sheikh Ibn Bishr, to give their pledge of allegiance to Allah and to His messenger, and to give up seeking blessings and support from the pious of Ahl-Albeit(people of the prophet’s household) and others like that, and to give up all innovations like gathering at times of funeral ceremonies, to prevent them from visiting memorials in addition, they are to be brought for the 5 daily prayers, to be led in congregational prayers by Sunni Imams and Sunni Callers for prayers. Also for the Imam to force them to teach the Three Fundamentals(Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s books), and if they have places and buildings for innovative practices, all to be razed, and to prevent them from indulging in any innovations in mosques, and whoever refuses to comply, to be expelled from the lands of Muslims.

 

6-      As for the Shiite of Al-Qateef, the Imam is to send Sheikh Ibn Bishr to them with the above instructions.

 

7-      As for the villages and districts that entered the realm of Muslims, we decreed the Imam to send them teachers and scholars to teach them the tenets of Islam, prevent them from committing the forbidden and to have their representatives and deputies assist them in their endeavor.

 

8-      As for the Shiite of Iraq who mingled and mixed with the Muslim Bedouin, we advised the Imam to expel and prevent them from entering Muslim lands.

 

9-      As for as excise tax, we decreed it was an obvious unlawful, if the Imam were to ignore it, it is his duty, but if he did not, it is not permissible to revolt and disobey him because of it.

 

10-  As for Jihad, it is left up to the Imam to decide about it, and it is incumbent on him to consider what is best for Islam and Muslims as the Sharee’a dictates.

 

Based on all above, the king was forced to refuse the (Mehmel), razed Hamza’s mosque and discontinued using the telegraph (Wireless), thereby avoiding hostilities or at least, postponing it.                                                      

Interlude between the 2 Riyadh’s conferences 1927-1928

 

England was charged with Iraq’s defense after its political formation. It built (Beseyya) fortress in southern Iraq to repel the Brotherhood attacks, who considered it a threat, depriving them of fairly easy attacks on southern Iraq. Armed with that fatwa preventing the Shiite of Iraq from entering the lands of Muslims delivered previously by the scholars of Wahhabism, Faisal Al-Duweish attacked the (Beseyya) fortress in October 1927; consequently, the British forces did some aerial reconnaissance, warning the Nejdi tribes on the border to stay away. Those tribes sent delegations to Abdul-Aziz demanding that he sends a military expedition to Iraq which he strongly refused to do, and ordering the Emir of Haa’l to monitor the border, stopping temporarily the allowances he doled out to the Brotherhood and finally ordering Faisal Al-Duweish to stay put at Al-Artaweyya until the king decides his matter. He officially informed the Iraqi Government with those measures and asked them to comply precisely with treaties in the future.

But the British interfered and informed Abdul-Aziz that they will punish the Brotherhood from Al-Duweish tribe to force them to obey their king. Abdul Aziz protested in advance those actions on part of England, which will have a tremendous ripple effect with the Brotherhood. England totally ignored Abdul-Aziz’s protests and three months later, their planes strafed the (Shummer) tribe, then rebuilt (Beseyya) fortress. Negotiations between Abdul-Aziz, his aids and British officials led by Clayton and Globb on May 7th 1928, fell apart due to the Saudi’s insistence on dismantling the fortress.

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood propaganda against Abdul-Aziz intensified, they accused him of selling himself off to the British, allied himself with them against his Islamic commitment, prompting Abdul-Aziz to summon Faisal Al-Duweish, but he refused to comply. He agreed to convene a meeting in (Bureida) in 1928 to calm the Brotherhood, but they had their suspicions, and each party doubted the other’s intentions, so they saw fit to postpone the meeting until after the negotiations between Abdul-Aziz and the British concerning the Brotherhood had ended, and after the failure of said negotiations in Jeddah, their threat to Abdul-Aziz increased, and it became obvious that the driving motive behind the Brotherhood leadership( Faisal Al-Duweish, Ibn Bejad and Ibn Hutheileen) was POWER.

The Brotherhood took up raids to their likings; Abdul Aziz could not publicly afford acknowledging their revolt against him, so he took responsibility for their actions, sensing the Brotherhoods leader’s success in fomenting and agitating emotions against him, he called for a general assembly of the Brotherhood, naming it Ar-Riyadh’s Elites conference.

General Assembly: Public conference in Riyadh November 5th 1928

The conference started in an atmosphere of mistrust, and few days later it ended with the apparent strengthening of Abdul-Aziz’s position. On the agenda, the attendees were to discuss the dangers of the British violating the (Al-Aqeer) treaty, and their violation of Nejd with their aerial attacks, but the real issue at hand was the animosity between the Brotherhood and Abdul-Aziz.

Thousands of Bedouins, urbanites, scholars, tribal sheikhs and Brotherhood arrived in Ar-Riyadh, numbering between 12 and 16 thousand. It was impractical for everyone to voice their opinion, so the overseers of the conference drafted a list of 800 representatives.

Ibn Saud addressed the meeting, relating how he along with 40 of his friends, with the help of Almighty God, took over Ar-Riyadh, and how God guided him to gather those 40 helpers and supporters, and how he assembled the Brotherhood and brought them glory, and then he offered to resign his position, knowing beforehand, that they will not agree to this unexpected offer, since they do not trust each other, and if they were to agree to it, former dissension and conflict  would re-ignite among them, so his proposal was totally rejected.

Representatives for the absentees (Faisal Al-Duweish and others), stood up and acknowledged the contributions of Ibn Saud and their respect for him, and that their swords and their blood brought him victory. They put forth few questions before Ibn Saud and the scholars, and promised to abide by what the scholars come up with. These were the issues:

1-Telegraph is a form of sorcery and magic, and since Islam forbids sorcery, is it permissible for a true Muslim to use it without infringing on religion?

2- The Quran exhorted believers to do good and inhibit evil, Did Ibn Saud send missionaries to guide those who claim to be Muslims? Or was he lenient with respect to that?

3- The issue of fortresses built by the British on the border between Nejd and Iraq, which the Brotherhood exhausted all their patience dealing with; is it of Islam that Ibn Saud gives them the right to demark the border, thus depriving Nejdi tribes of their age old rightfully owned properties? And after Ibn Saud enacted that treaty of border demarcation with the Christians, how can he tolerate or permit them to violate it by building those fortresses in the water wells region? The issue of those fortresses cannot be ignored no more; they were ready to accept his conditions provided that the scholars, absolve them (The Brotherhood) of responsibility before God and people, if they were to keep silent. Also, for Ibn Saud to personally guarantee, that no harm would befall them, their religion or their country due to building of said fortresses, and that if he could not guarantee them this, they would never allow the fortresses to exist.

4-Halting people from performing Jihad; why did he do that ? , thereby stopping the spread of the word of Allah.

The scholars supported the Brotherhood on the issue of the fortresses, saying that it represents a danger for Arabs and for Muslims especially the Nejdi, and that Abdul Aziz should exert all his efforts to remove them, because it not just a matter of Jihad, but it transcends it to defending the religion. Abdul-Aziz promised to clear the border areas of fortresses through negotiations, and if not militarily, and to accommodate the Brotherhood on the issue of Jihad. By doing so, Abdul-Aziz gained the support of scholars against the Brotherhood.

Transforming Brotherhood opposition to military confrontation caused their demise

 

The brotherhood continued attacking the Bedouins of Iraq, challenging Abdul-Aziz, embarrassing him and accusing him of disbelief and allegiance to the disbelievers, and in the name of Jihad, Al-Duweish attacked Wahhabi Nejdi villages forcing them to pay tribute. He also started attacking Nejdi caravans, most notable of which, was his attack on Nejdi camel traders at Al-Jemeema in December 1928, slaughtering them. After that, The Brotherhood could no longer claim Jihad against disbelievers only, and Ibn Saud could no longer tolerate attacks against his subjects and subordination to his authority, so Abdul-Aziz managed to defeat the Brotherhood at (A-ssebla) battle in March 1929, which was a prelude to their final elimination, and for Abdul-Aziz to become the sole power. Later, he subdued the Wahhabi scholars to his sway, after they were leaning towards the Brotherhood, because they were the ones literally applying Wahhabism, unlike Ibn Saud.

Fourthly: Some analysis:

·         Symptoms of Ibn Abdul-Wahhab thought on the differences between the Brotherhood and Ibn Saud.

·         The allegiance between the scholars and the Brotherhood.

 

1- We revisit some of the principal issues that turned problematic between him and the Brotherhood; we will see the thought of Ibn Abdul-Wahhab ever present in the presentation of the Brotherhood at the scholars’ conference, convened by Abdul-Aziz, which addressed the 5 complaints all of which represent the prevailing mentality:

Do you label as Kafir (Disbeliever), those Bedouins and Muslims who are steadfast in their beliefs following God’s rules?

It is obvious that the Brotherhood condemns and charges with disbelief, other Wahhabis who support Abdul-Aziz and his state, but did not migrate to (al-Hojar) or new settlements, which means the ordeal of (accusations of disbelief), extended and spread out to include the same within the creed and the ones in the same defensive trench, all because they did not migrate like the Brotherhood to the new settlements.

Naturally, the Brotherhoods were confused in understanding the Quranic evidence quoted by Mohammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhab in augmenting his ideas of accusations of disbelief and considerations of lawfulness. Those Quranic verses were describing believers under the yoke of oppressors in an oppressive society, Chapter 4-75

 ( And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper)   

Here, migration is mandatory on those who are capable, and He forgives those who cannot, as stated in Chapter 4-98

 (Except the weak from among the men and the children who have not in their power the means nor can they find a way (to escape)

But for people to migrate without being subjected to oppression, just for combat training, raiding, hatred for others and preparing for their invasion after accusing them of disbelief, then their migration has nothing to do with the migration of the prophet Mohamed and early Muslims who were oppressed in Mecca.

Ibn Abdul-Wahhab called for migration, but the Mutawwe’a (the enforcers) and scholars of (Al-Hojar) understood it to be, whoever does not migrate then he is a disbeliever, even if he is a Wahhabi, and that is how it became a problem.

To that, another problem was added, and that was related to wearing the turban of the Brotherhood, as worn by Mohammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhab, versus the customary Kofi.

Because they considered themselves to be the only genuine Muslims, it was easy to accuse others, who do not wear the turban as disbelievers, even if they were Wahhabis like them. So, if other Wahhabis outside the realm of the Brotherhood are considered disbelievers, can you imagine about others?

Because of the gravity of these issues in laying the groundwork for a civil war between the Brotherhood and the rest of Wahhabis, the conference of scholars faced the dilemma with firm resolution, especially since most of those scholars were urbanite, who had never lived in (Al-Hojar). They decreed with what it almost would be considered as an act of blasphemy, those who accuse other Wahhabis with disbelief. They also made loyalty to just one combined political and religious authority, meaning that Abdul-Aziz and his scholars are the only ones who can decide disbelievers who are candidates to commit aggression against in this life, and those candidates to enter hellfire in the hereafter, as long as they held the measurements for divine law. In this respect, the scholars sided with Ibn Saud, though their evidence was more political than religious, despite those issue superficially appeared to be the opposite way.

2-Consequently, the scholars’ conference concluded to prevent the interaction between the Brotherhood and the rest of Wahhabis. After their return to Nejd disappointed, having successfully aided Abdul-Aziz in annexing Hejaz, their Leader, Al-Duweish, threatened to use the sword, if Abdul-Aziz followed in the footsteps of Sharif Hussein.

In the following year in 1927, they directed 8 criticisms personally to Abdul-Aziz. We observe in them, the features of Wahhabi jurisprudence they learnt in (Al-Hojar), we sample them here:

They resented him sending his son Saud to Egypt, land of Polytheism, and his son Faisal to London, land of Disbelieve

Which means that those two types, the polytheists and the disbelievers should be boycotted, abiding by what Abdul-Wahhab had preached, hence, the Egyptian (Mehmel) coming from Egypt,( the land of Polytheism), should not be allowed to enter the sacred places armed and accompanied with instruments of buffoonery and clowning.(Second objection). Also, it is unbecoming to import those new modern innovations and inventions coming from (the land of Disbelief), like automobiles, telegraph and telephones, because it is forbidden sorcery (Third Objection),

As for the (Fourth Objection), a demand to explain banning trade with Kuwait,(If they were Muslims, we traded with them, and if they were polytheists, we fought them), meaning, either this or that, no middle ground, if they were Muslims ,we will trade with them, and if they were polytheists, we will fight them, either white or non-white, either a Muslim with doctrine like ours, a denomination like ours, clothes like ours, or different than us, then we will fight him, which is the natural formulas for the thought of accusing others of disbelief and making them lawful for plunder and pillage. Then the (Fifth Objection) denouncing and refusing man-made fees, tributes and taxes not known during the Abbasid period, hence they are not considered part of Sharee’a.

The (sixth objection) is the denunciation and condemnation over keeping silent about the Shiite (disbelievers) and not including them (by force and coercion) in the religion of the Brotherhood, meaning that the doctrine and religion of Wahhabism is the religion of the populace.

(The seventh objection) condemns allowing Bedouins in Iraq and East Jordan to graze their cattle in Muslims’ pastures (meaning Wahhabis), knowing that those grazing pastures on both sides of the border have always been open and free for grazing by Muslims’ cattle, Wahhabi and Non-Wahhabis for centuries. Then the final objection or rather question about leveling graves.

All these objections or accusations concern Abdul-Aziz and his policies only, and do not include the scholars’ positions regarding the previous objections or questions that encompass Wahhabis outside the Brotherhood. The scholars took this opportunity to delve into Abdul-Wahhab’s ideas, especially since quite few of the 15 scholars were from the family of Sheikh Ibn Abdul-Wahhab, and more likely than not, those members were more prone to preserve and articulate his thought.

Here we relate their Fatwas and their answers:

They stopped short of giving a fatwa in the case of the telegraph; they did not say it is lawful or forbidden, because they did not find or read a legal opinion in the books of Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Taymiyyah or Ibn Abdul-Wahhab about it, and also because they did not understand its concept, and this is a clear admission on their part to their failure in producing a legal opinion about something trivial in nature.

They gave a fatwa to Ibn Saud to raze and level so-called sacred graves, agreeing thus with the Brotherhood. They agreed with them to stop enforcing modern man-made laws, and that there is no authority except for the pure Hanbali law, meaning extremism in venerating the ideas of Ibn-Hanbal as a Holy Shareeah. Also, they agreed with the Brotherhood in banning the Egyptian pilgrims from entering the sacred places armed, banned the (Mehmel) and banned the public display of symptoms of (polytheism) and (reprehensible) acts.

·         Persecution of Shiite:

 

The Shiites were the lawful owner of the land in the eastern region, After Abdul-Aziz seized their lands they became foreigners in their own homeland, it became the lands of (Muslims), meaning Wahhabis after they conquered it from the disbelieving Shiites. In confronting them, the scholars and the Brotherhood are in agreement to pressure Abdul-Aziz and his cousin Ibn-Galawi, governor of that region on behalf of Abdul-Aziz, for he seems to be lenient towards the Shiites not forcing the issue strong enough. For the brotherhood were wondering why turning the other way instead of bringing the Shiites in Al-Ahsaa’ and Al-Qateef into the religion of the community, the answer to their wonderment from the scholars was more extreme than they expected, as if the scholars were dying to have somebody raise the issue, to clarify to   Ibn Saud what he ought to do in that regard, the fatwa says (As for the Rejecters-The Shiites, We instructed the Imam ( Abdel Aziz ) to force them to give allegiance to Islam,( meaning Wahhabism) and to prevent them from displaying the rituals of their false religion), which is no more than coercion to abandon their belief, and describing it with falsehood. And they, meaning the Shiites, hold the same sentiments and feelings towards the Wahhabis, but the one with power and sway is heard well.

The fatwa continues to add and stress, to a compulsory level, not just for the Shiites, but also for Imam Ibn Saud himself:

 (It is mandatory for the Imam to have his deputy over Al-Ahsaa’, bring them(Shiite) to Sheikh Ibn Bishr, to pledge allegiance to him, to follow Allah and his messenger, and to abandon calling upon and depending on the pious among the members of the House of the Prophet and others, and to abandon all ( religious ) innovations like, gathering on the occasion of the death of one of them,(Day of Ashoura’-commemorating martyrdom of Al-Hussein, grandson of the prophet, and other rituals that they practice their false religion with)…We notice here the attention paid to elevate the status of Ibn Bishr, the jurist, above the status of the governor of Al-Ahsaa’, Abdullah Bin Galawi, the king’s cousin, who played a major role in strengthening the newborn state. The source for this attention is to insinuate Ibn Galawi’s laxity in handling the Shiite in his region.

The scholars’ fatwa did not stop at what they labeled Shiite with, rather they set up a program to eradicate it, and replace it with Wahhabism, the fatwa says:

(They are to be prevented from visiting religious sites, meaning venerated sacred tombs; also they are to be forced to participate in the 5 daily prayers along with others at the mosques), meaning to prevent them from going to their mosques, and restrict them to Sunni, Hanbali, Wahhabi mosques, (and they are to be assigned, leaders for congregational prayers, Muezzins, and representatives for them from among the Sunni followers), which leads to preventing their sheikhs from leading them in prayers meeting with them. The fatwa also requires that they be taught Ibn Abdul-Wahhab books, (Also, they should be made to study the 3 principles, and if they have any buildings they practice innovations within, to be razed and leveled), meaning, their mosques and sacred places, to be demolished, because in the religion of Wahhabism, it is innovations.

What if they were to practice those innovations inside Sunni and Wahhabi mosques? As if the fatwa is but ready to pounce on with an answer, it says bluntly (They are to be prevented from performing innovations in mosques…and…elsewhere), meaning even in their homes, if they were to practice their rituals secretly.

Then, what is the ruling if some Shiite refused to abide by that coercion in religion? The fatwa is ready with an answer,(and whoever does not abide by it, he is to be exiled from Muslims’ land), which means, Al-Ahsaa’ becomes the land of Muslims, that is Wahhabis, and those from the Brotherhood, and the original inhabitants of Al-Ahsaa’, if they refuse to become Wahhabists, then they should be evacuated.

The fatwa looks upon the (Rejecters-Shiite) of Al-Qateef with the same (kindness), the scholars demand of Imam Abdul-Aziz to carry out and enforce on Al-Qateef people, the same commands and prohibitions imposed on Al-Ahsaa’, the blessed fatwa says (As for the Rejecters-Shiite of Al-Qateef, The Imam, may Allah give him aid and support, is to ask sheikh Ibn Bishr, to travel to them and compel them with the aforementioned commands.), in other words, the scholars require from the Imam, and the Imam require from Ibn Bishr, and Ibn Bishr require  from the Shiite of Al-Qateef, which indicated indirectly that those scholars are the real power brokers even over the ruling Sultan.

The fatwa touches up on a point that was not brought up within the Brotherhood questions, yet there is no objection to raising it, (desert areas and villages that became part of the Muslims’ domain, we gave fatwa to the Imam, to send missionaries and instructors, and demand from his deputies, meaning the governors, to assist them in enforcing the practices of Islam and preventing (those Rejecters) from indulging in prohibited practices). This fatwa concerning an area, no one questioned them about, gave the scholars more political power and prestige than the governors in newly acquired lands.

The fatwa tells about the Rejecters or Shiite of Iraq, (as for the Rejecters of Iraq, who spread among and mingled with the Muslims in the desert, we gave fatwa to the Imam to stop and prevent them from entering the pastures of the Muslims and their lands).About taxes they said (It is clear violation of the lawful, if he (Imam) abandons it, it is a duty upon him, but if he refused, it is unlawful for Muslims to create dissension and disobey him because of that. As for Jihad, it is up to the Imam to consider it, taking into account the interests of Islam and Muslims, according to the tenets of the Sharee’a.)

It is noticeable that the fatwa avoided embarrassing king Abdul-Aziz in addressing criticism lopped at the king about his one son that he sent to Egypt, and the other he sent to London. As it avoided answering clearly about the people of Kuwait, are they Muslims lawful to trade with or disbelievers to fight against?, as for Jihad, the fatwa answered in generalities leaving the issue up to the discretion of the Imam, as long as he observed the Sharee’a position, more accurately the scholars’.

By doing so, they always put themselves in positions of power as much as they could.

·         Abdel Aziz resumed his authority

It was evident that King Abdul-Aziz did not forget that stand by the scholars, and may be he realized that they were conniving behind his back, especially since Faisal Al-Duweish, right after the conference, attacked (the Beseyya) fortress, relying on a fatwa by those scholars  preventing the Shiite of Iraq from entering Muslims’ pastures.

The Al-Duweish rebellion intensified to the extent that he refused a summon by Abdul-Aziz to meet him, the Brotherhood’s propaganda against him became harsher, chances of the (Al-Mutawwe’a-Enforcers) of Al-Hojar’s participation in the rebellion increased, since their accusations for Abdul-Aziz came close to declaring him a disbeliever, because of his collaboration with and allegiance to the British, against what they thought his Islamic commitments.

At the general conference held in Riyadh on November 5th 1928, it was obvious that Abdul-Aziz had tried to control, as much as possible, his scholars to stand by him, after realizing the gravity of the situation. And since they were in his clutches, and the matter for them became a matter of life and death, their position shifted to accommodating Abdul-Aziz, their tone became more apologetic and justificatory for their hinting at accusing him of disbelief in the previous meeting, swearing that they did not sense any abatement in his Islamic fervor, and if he did make a mistake, that does not give anyone the right to turn his back to the king, and to avoid being accused of fear of Abdul-Aziz, (it was very clear that they were afraid of him), they insisted that they were not talking like that out of fear, rather out of concern, and for the sake of advice and guidance.

The Brotherhood representative could sense the change in the scholars’ position, so they insisted on cornering them by asking the same questions, knowing in advance the scholars’ answers that coincided with the Brotherhood’s, and different than Abdul-Aziz’s, since both parties(the scholars and the Brotherhood) held similar ideas derived from Ibn Abdul-Wahhab’s writings that were never modified, modernized or updated. That is why they posed those questions and promised to abide by the scholars’ answers:

Islam’s position on Telegraph, commanding good and forbidding evil, and Abdul-Aziz leniency in this matter, the issue of the fortresses and preventing the Brotherhood from Jihad. What was noticeable that those questions were drafted in a religious, legal fashion to put the scholars on the spot, like, “People were stopped from engaging in Jihad, why then stopping the propagation of the word of God?”

These four issues were almost the essence of (Al-Artaweyya) conference in December 1926, to which the scholars replied to in January conference of 1927, in a satisfying way to the Brotherhood, going beyond what the Brotherhood was hoping for.

For example, the scholars forced Abdul-Aziz to take a firm stand against the Shiite in Al-Ahsaa’, took a decision in what he should do, giving them authority superseding the political clout of Ibn Galawi, governor of Al-Ahsaa’, perhaps overcoming Abdul-Aziz’s authority himself. Then the Brotherhood came the year after, asking the same questions, molded in a religious format that no one can argue against like, “Quranic exhortation for commanding good and forbidding evil”, and the extent of Abdul-Aziz’s leniency in this matter, which constituted one of the most important elements of allegiance between Mohammad Bin Abdul-Wahhab and Prince Mohammad Bin Saud.

To them, commanding good and forbidding evil, meant the implementation of those items in the scholars’ fatwa  to Abdul-Aziz, the year before, that non of it was implemented, because Ibn Galawi protects the Shiite in Al-Ahsaa’ at the same time that he prevents the brotherhood from dominance in his state. When Abdul-Aziz asked for a resolution for those issues, the scholars were more progressive this time around, especially related to the telegraph issue, for after they stopped short of allowing or prohibiting, they held their position this year, but added a new directive to the Brotherhood, which states that, (since the objectors could not produce a substantive evidence banning it then they see no harm in using it.), meaning that the ball now is in the Brotherhood’s court.

Abdul-Aziz replied on behalf of the scholars on the issue of (commanding good and forbidding evil), saying that he already sent missionaries, and if there were any shortcomings on the part of officials, he should be notified of that. As for the fortresses, he claimed that they were built because of Faisal Al-Duweish’s excursions, and fearing the Brotherhood, in other words, they were defensive fortresses, and not for attacking the Brotherhood, rather for fear from the Brotherhood’s attacks. They insisted on their position, and consulted with the scholars who sided with them, so Abdul-Aziz was obligated to abide by that.

As for the issue of Jihad, or invading neighboring countries, Abdul-Aziz met with 50 of their leaders, a special meeting to convince them with his point of view. Yet, with the superficial acceptance, the meeting was, in reality a prelude for the political opposition to transform to a military rebellion, resolved at the battle of (A-ssebla)

In this transformation, the (Al-Hojar) and its religious leadership, played a major role in the anti Ibn-Saud propaganda and in recruiting supporters for the Brotherhood. The Al-Duweish stressed the issue of conquest and Jihad to embarrass Abdul-Aziz more, and to accuse him of disbelief, building on the previous accusation of allegiance to the British, or that he sold himself off to them, saying to him,( Now, you deal with us with the sword, yet you overlook the Christians and their religion).

After the victory at (A-ssebla), Abdul-Aziz bared his teeth to both the scholars and to tribes’ heads, and threatened them in a very firm stance, with the same destiny of the Brotherhood, if they repeated what have happened.

In the ensuing conferences, the (Dawadmi) and the (Shu’ara), it was noticeable, the disappearance of the scholars influence, no one would ask for their fatwas, or seek them as arbitrators between them and the king, rather the king became the one who talked about religious law, threatening his adversaries with stern tone.

At the end of the second mutiny of the brotherhood, the sway and influence of the scholars ended too, giving Abdul-Aziz the freedom in political application distant from religious insolence represented by scholars and implemented by the Brotherhood’s swords. Thereby, Abdul-Aziz put an end to a system that he himself helped bring about, the system of Brotherhood and the mechanism of educating the Bedouins with the Wahhabi mission.


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