( 9 ) : Part 1
CHAPTER V: Analysis of the politics of Abdul-Aziz in his Dealing with the Najd Brothers Opposition M

CHAPTER V: Analysis of the politics of Abdul-Aziz in his Dealing with the Najd Brothers Opposition Movement


Introduction: about real greatness and Machiavellian greatness in politics:


Firstly: types of greatness between ethics and politics:


1- Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud was a 'great' politician, a 'great' State founder, and a 'great' historical figure in terms of the Machiavellian criterion. Any historian has to acknowledge this fact; yet, does historical greatness based on the Machiavellian criterion constitute everything? In this introduction, we tackle the types of greatness between politics and ethics.


2- There is a positive, constructive ethical and moral greatness that change reality for the better via reform, while avoiding bloodshed as much as possible; all prophets of God had such greatness.


3- In our modern age, there are great persons who served humanity via their peaceful, positive, intellectual, realist change and reform; such as literary figures Leo Tolstoy and Tagore, reformist thinkers and politicians such as Sun Yat-Sen, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela, and humanists like the nun Mother Teresa.   


4- Within the culture of tyranny, despotism, injustice, and enslavement, the criterion of greatness is centered on the haughty, arrogant, affluent persons who monopolize power, authority, and wealth. The oldest, earliest example of this is the people of Noah, who refused to join Noah because his followers were poor; the affluent ones declared this to him as a reason for not joining him, and they asked Noah to drive them away, but he refused: "They said, "Shall we believe in you, when it is the lowliest who follow you?" He said, "What do I know about what they do? Their account rests only with my Lord, if you have sense. And I am not about to drive away the believers." (26:111-114). "The notables who disbelieved among his people said, "We see in you nothing but a man like us, and we see that only the worst among us have followed you, those of immature judgment. And we see that you have no advantage over us. In fact, we think you are liars."" (11:27). "…And I am not about to dismiss those who believed; they will surely meet their Lord. And I see that you are ignorant people." (11:29)


5- The Quran significantly describes leaders of disbelief, of injustice, and of sham greatness as ''retinue'', ''notables'', ''affluent ones'', and ''arrogant ones''. We recall that the affluent ones in Qorayish envied Muhammad, as an ordinary man who eats food and walk into markets, because he received divine revelations; they used to say: "…If only this Quran was sent down to a man of importance from the two cities" (43:31). Thus, the affluent ones in Qorayish admitted that Muhammad was a truthful and honest man who had high level of morals and ethics, but they felt he was no great man, because their criterion of greatness was the ability to commit injustices of all types to reach supreme power and full authority and to attain the largest wealth.   


6- It is a bad habit within human history that such class of the affluent, arrogant ones in this transient world confiscates 'greatness', thinking it would go on with them even in the Hereafter. God says about this generality about humanity: "We sent no warner to any town, without its affluent ones saying, "We reject what you are sent with." And they say, "We have more wealth and more children, and we will not be punished."" (34:34-35).


Secondly: Machiavellian greatness:


1- Machiavelli, who died in 1527 A.D., writes in his book, ''The Prince'', the famous motto "the end justifies the means", and his book contains the summary of his political life in Florence, plus useful lessons drawn from history, as well as his personal experience with his master Savonarola, the reformist friar, who was put to death in 1498 and his corpse was burned, as he was the stubborn foe of the corrupt Catholic Pope, Alexander VI, who died in 1503 A.D. Savonarola's ethical and reformist endeavors were of no avail before the power and authority of the corrupt pope. Machiavelli learnt a lesson from the tragedy of Savonarola; greatness in this life has nothing to do with high moralistic and ethical attitude; rather, it is directly linked to discarding and disregarding it by submitting it to political ends.


2- Machiavelli drew 'useful' lessons from human history as well; he makes in his book a comparison between the false, fabricated character of Jesus, as a defeated crucified figure as per the Christian point of view contrary to the Quran, and the false, fabricated character of Muhammad, unlike his real character described in the Quran, as an invader and victorious military leader that his companions established an empire that, two centuries after his death, seized some parts of Italy itself and threatened Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantines.


3- Machiavelli witnessed during his youth the flourishing and greatness of Florence as an Italian power ruled by the House of Medici, which fell out of power in 1494 A.D. and Florence was made a republic that lasted until 1512 A.D., a period during which Machiavelli held several positions. He paid the price of such positions when the House of Medici regained power, accused him of conspiring against them, and imprisoned him for a while. He self-exiled into a rural region, to dedicate his time for extensive readings and to his famous book, "The Prince".    


4- Machiavelli used his readings in history and his life experiences in politics, especially the story of the reformist friar Savonarola and the corrupt pope Alexander VI, to derive his political principles that he thought that any ruler should follow to achieve 'greatness'. His famous motto ''the end justifies the means'' is supported in his book with other phrases drawn from his readings in history of the world such as the following: (…only armed prophets succeed in bringing lasting change as they invaded and achieved victory…unarmed prophets failed…religions are necessary for governments not for the sake of virtue, but to enable governments to control people…a prince ought to support one religion or the other, even if he thinks it is a corrupt one…one draws great benefits from the appearance of being virtuous…it is no use for one to be always ethical on all issues…one had better make people fear him instead of to love him…).  


5- Based on the above, we can say here that Machiavelli was a faithful student of the Arabs who committed the crime of the Arab conquests, once Muhammad died, by manipulating, misinterpreting, and misusing Islam, the great religion, to establish a  huge empire; a 'great' on as per the Machiavellian criterion. The only difference between Machiavelli and the Sunnite theologians and sheikhs serving the caliphs coming from Qorayish is that such sheikhs forged and fabricated hadiths to urge people to blindly obey rulers and to kill renegades and 'apostates', with a focus on the notions related to the lower parts of the female and male bodies, whereas Machiavelli put in his book principles, for achieving political greatness, that manipulate the morals, ethics, and God's religion at the service of rulers by making them religion and morals underneath their feet. In short, Machiavelli put rules of how to manipulate and abuse religion to establish a state; this was what Qorayish managed to apply and realize centuries before Machiavelli was born.   


6- Abdul-Aziz never read or needed to read ''The Prince'' to achieve the Machiavellian 'greatness'; he had a more than enough source in letters written by M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab, whose teachings were applied before by the prince Muhammad Ibn Saud to establish the very first KSA and by Abdul-Aziz to establish the third, current KSA, when he made good use of the Najd Brothers and got rid of them when they posed a threat and a veritable danger to his nascent kingdom, without reading the mottoes and phrases of Machiavelli: (…the end justifies the means…only armed prophets succeed in bringing lasting change as they invaded and achieved victory…unarmed prophets failed…religions are necessary for governments not for the sake of virtue, but to enable governments to control people…a prince ought to support one religion or the other, even if he thinks it is a corrupt one…one draws great benefits from the appearance of being virtuous…it is no use for one to be always ethical on all issues…one had better make people fear him instead of to love him…).


Thirdly: Downward steps of Machiavellian greatness:


1- Such steps are not upward but rather downward ones; as we talk about a downfall fluctuating between rock bottom and bottomless abyss.  


2- The rock bottom of Machiavellian greatness is when a secular ideology is used to reach the throne/rule to be a tyrant or a despot, who would be 'great' and mentioned in history, such as by the racist nationalism of Hitler and by trading with and manipulating dreams of the poor like Lenin and Stalin. The thing worse than that rock bottom is  the bottomless abyss; when religions are used to establish a theocracy to allow tyrants/despots to control and enslave people by corruption and monopoly of power, authority, and wealth, especially when such tyrants would consider themselves as 'owners' of their subjects in the name of God! Theocracies are the worst type of rule based on the worst types of injustices, as established by the caliphs coming from Qorayish and Abdul-Aziz and his forefathers and successors.   


3- The veritable danger of the bottomless abyss of theocratic rule lies on the following points:


3/1: theocratic rule tarnishes the reputation of God's religion and creates a false god made of tyranny and hatred who loves bloodshed. Such horrid image is the one seen by people of the West and many orientalists about Islam; they imagine this bad image of God when theocratic tyrants manipulate God's name and religion to justify, legalize, and allow room for their crimes and atrocities, shouting 'Allahu akbar!' (i.e., God is the Greatest!) as they massacre the innocent peaceful ones, forgetting that God has sent Muhammad as a mercy to humankind, not to fight and murder humankind! The theocrats made Islam a personalized creed adapted for their purposes to massacre and loot all humanity! 


3/2: As theocratic tyrants and despots claim falsely to belong to Islam, monopolizing its interpretation as well, the theocratic ideology would remain for some duration, deceiving people in the name of Islam. This is exactly what has happened when the ideology of Wahabism spread. Its millions of victims continue to increase in number since the very first KSA in 1745 A.D. until this very moment as we write this book (2000 A.D.). Such increase is inevitable unless Wahabism is not faced and refuted to show how it contradicts Islam (i.e., Islam is the Quran alone).     


3/3: Ordinary criminals or even murderers might repent; in contrast, those massacring others within Wahabi jihad as a religious duty might never repent; devils make their sins appear good deeds to them, as God has told Muhammad: "What of him whose evil deed was made attractive to him, and so he regards it as good? God leads astray whomever He wills, and He guides whomever He wills. Therefore, do not waste yourself sorrowing over them. God knows exactly what they do." (35:8). As such sinners chose to stick to misguidance, god increases their misguidance: "Among the people are those who say, "We believe in God and in the Last Day," but they are not believers. They seek to deceive God and those who believe, but they deceive none but themselves, though they are not aware. In their hearts is sickness, and God has increased their sickness. They will have a painful punishment because of their denial. And when it is said to them, "Do not make trouble on earth," they say, "We are only reformers." In fact, they are the troublemakers, but they are not aware." (2:8-12). Those forsaking the Quran are deceived by devils that make their sins appear good deeds to them: "Whoever shuns the remembrance of the Dominant, We assign for him a devil, to be his companion. The devils hinder them from the path, though they think they are guided." (43:36-37). Those sinners will see those companions in the Hereafter, disowning them in vain after it is too late: "Until, when He comes to Us, he will say, "If only there were between me and you the distance of the two Easts." What an evil companion! It will not benefit you on that Day, since you did wrong. You are partners in the suffering." (43:38-39) 


4- Sadly, history, especially in the Middle Ages, never care for real great persons, and it may distorted their image or tarnishes their reputation if they were famous enough. History has been – and until now still is – written within processions of sultans and rulers, making them appear 'great'. They are 'great' only within the Machiavellian criterion, but in the Hereafter, they will be tormented and mocked in Hell: "The Tree of Bitterness, the food of the sinner, like molten lead; boiling inside their bellies, like the boiling if seething water, seize him and drag him into the midst of Hell! Then pour over his head the suffering of the Inferno! Taste! You who were powerful and noble!" (44:43-49). The Machiavellian 'great' ones will hear in Hell 44:49, and in their eternal suffering will realize after it is too late the fact that: "His wealth did not avail him, nor did what he acquired." (111:2). 


A word on the art of politics between the possible and the impossible: trying to evaluate policies of Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud:




1- It is an error to say that politics is the art of the possible; doing the possible is never a political act of cleverness or shrewdness. Politics is a distinguished field/art that only few people could engage into it successfully. Real politicians practice the art of politics within the relation between the possible and the impossible within real-life dominant climate and temporal conditions and circumstances and within a framework combining reality and a measure of imagination that help change reality within possible means, where stable facts and possible realizable dreams are merged. 


2- Each region on our planet has its own stable facts pertaining to it exclusively, and politics had to deal with such permanent facts. The Middle East has its permanent geographical and historical facts that created some impossible elements that imposed a sort of politics to create new reality and change within suitable conditions, to achieve the possible in the time of the impossible. 


3- Let us imagine this example to elucidate the last point: if a postgraduate student in the History Department is making a thesis about a certain historical phenomena in modern Egypt, and this student gathered al Egyptian and Arab authentic documents on the subject to analyze them thoroughly to present a realist image in the thesis to discuss. This student cannot possibly submit this thesis as it lacks a vital element: documents from Europe, Russia, the USA, etc. from their ministries and embassies. The reason: sadly, it is painful to admit that most of our real and authentic modern history has been formed by foreigners in their capitals and embassies, whereas Egyptians took 'pride' in reactions and NOT making actions and history, in most cases. We mostly never create our own policies; they are dictated on us by others!       


4- The coming article/research on the art of between the possible and the impossible was published in the Cairo-based leftist independent Al-Ahaly Newspaper, on 1st of June, 1994, and we re-publish it here in order to evaluate the Machiavellian policies of Abdul-Aziz that enabled him to establish his Saudi state.


Firstly: the possible and the impossible in the art of politics:


1- There are three types of the art of politics: 1) the possible in the time of the possible, 2) the impossible in the time of the impossible, and 3) the possible in the time of the impossible or the impossible in the time of the possible. Human movements on earth have three dimensions: the temporal, the spatial, and the human dimensions. There is status quo (i.e., the spatial dimension), the dominant culture (i.e., the temporal dimension or cultural climate), and the human beings that had to deal with current reality, conditions, and circumstances of this dominant culture, which is prevalent either by unanimous agreement or by force within certain authorities. Typically, any status quo or current regime is compatible and copes with the prevalent culture and the spatiotemporal aspects. Politics is the art of either retaining the status quo or current regime or destroying it; i.e., to revolt against it or to maintain it. The art of politics which is dealing with reality within its frame is deemed the art of politics of the possible in the time of the possible. Such politics is created rather than creating or creative, and it never struggles against anything and never seeks change as it retains stability, compromising, and settlement of disputes. Struggles and conflicts have to do with the politics of revolting to change the status quo and the prevalent climate or dominant culture. This second type of the art of politics is subdivided, in its turn, into two sections: A) one seeking to destroy and change the status quo but does not understand the culture of the age and its inevitable facts linked to the human elements and the prevalent climate; it fails accordingly, and we name it the art of politics of the impossible in the time of the impossible, causing much trouble in vain before, after, and during its defeat, and B) one seeking to destroy and change the status quo and it understands fully the nature and the possibilities of the climate and culture as well as the current status, using the impossible here or there against the impossible here or there. This politics succeeds in creating or causing change, making a new reality, climate, and culture, emerging victorious in its endeavors.


2- The willingness to change begins with an idea preached until people approve of it and feel enthusiastic enough to defend it and to bear any harm for its sake. People usually approve of such ideas when linked to religion, nationalism, the general good, or the fulfillment of dreams of the impecunious and the impoverished classes, as they represent the majority in all human societies in all eras. Such classes are the fuel of any revolt or revolution, and regrettably the victims of revolutionaries and politicians. Such classes of the silent majority are the arena, scene, or background of any struggle. People of new thought or notions resort to this silent majority to try to convince and revolutionize them by telling them that their benefit (in this life or the Hereafter) entails sticking to the new thought or notion and to defend it to realize it in real life after destroying a status quo that brought nothing but injustices. In contrast, tyrannical regimes stick always to the mentality of following the forefathers, hating and fighting any new thought by confiscating it to nip it in the bud by persecuting and oppressing free thinkers who preach new ideas. The struggle here begins with a confrontation with rulers/tyrants who control all supported by the dominant culture, climate, and elements of power, oppression, media, economy, etc. which make change very difficult unless leaders calling for change adopt the art of politics of the possible in the time of the impossible or of the impossible in the time of the possible.  


Secondly: the art of politics of the possible in the time of the impossible and the politics of the impossible in the time of the possible


1- Both are considered the best types of politics that combine realism with creativity and political imagination within the frame of being knowledgeable of real facts of the status quo and the limits of changeability. Politicians here deal with reality and its facts realistically while allowing room for political imagination that makes the impossible possible, as much as they can, to create new reality by making use of gaps and mistakes within the status quo in terms of the local, regional, and international aspects. Politicians here try to use all potentials and powers within reach to be active and influential in serving their cause and to change the climate as per their political vision or project, thus making a new reality within a practical frame of complicated process. This type of politics requires the consolidation of all gathered information, analyses, data, etc. that allow a fully drawn map of alternatives, solutions, and ways of progress, with costs and possibilities of success along with mental boldness in the will of change and forcing change for the better any time convenient. Thus, this way, politicians create new statuses or events of change that cause waves of new ideas and people who think relatively and enact their visions, bearing in mind the dominant culture and climate to change it for the better within gradual steps. This entails dealing wisely with all powers in the scene so as to avoid as many losses as possible and lowering as many costs as they can, within a frame of evaluating the possible and the impossible and how to direct one's endeavors and efforts rightly to lessen sacrifices as much as possible. Each era or age has its unique dominant culture and climate controlling it. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions or panacea; politicians had to realize and discern facts of the real-life situations within their age and country, which might have nothing to do with older eras. Their political abilities must be used to create a new reality, using weak points of the old regimes to incite all the silent powers to be more influential and active and to neutralize or contain foes as much as possible to defeat them eventually. This takes place a lot and initiated by founders of States, leaders of revolts, revolutionaries, and leaders of intellectual, political, and economical changes of all tendencies.           


2- Of course, we must be reminded here that the above has nothing to do with ethics, moralistic values, or God's Quranic sharia and the proper way to apply it. We write about it to analyze the state of affairs in real life and how politics can change status quos and create new reality. Thus, the political arena of successful politicians has ample room for the good, ethical persons as well as corrupt, evil persons. For instance, prophets of God changed status quos of their eras and created new reality with patience and suffering. The reality the created was based on rights of God and rights of human beings as per justice ordained by the celestial messages; see 57:25. Usually after prophets died, people after them destroyed their work by establishing earthly, man-made religions that contradict the call of the dead prophets they ascribed themselves to them. Both the calls and the earthly creeds belong to the same category of the art of politics of the possible in the time of the impossible and the politics of the impossible in the time of the possible. Both changed reality and created a new one using gaps in a status quo. Thus, political scenes allow room for good and bad founders of states and leaders of all sorts and tendencies that caused upheavals and revolts: Prophet Muhammad, Mu'aweiya Ibn Abou Sufyan, Abou Jaffer Al-Mansour (very first Abbasid caliph), Abdul-Rahman Al-Dakhil (Hauk of Qorayish who was the Umayyad caliph of Andalusia), leaders of Arab conquests in the 7th century, crusaders, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mandela, Hitler, Mussolini, David Ben-Gurion, and Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud. They are historical examples of politicians and leaders who changed reality as per the art of politics of the possible in the time of the impossible and the politics of the impossible in the time of the possible. 


3- There is one major difference between the art of politics of the possible in the time of the impossible and the politics of the impossible in the time of the possible, despite their being one type of politics that includes the struggle between the possible and the impossible; let us quote the following examples.



  Prophet Muhammad established his democratic state of Islam within an impossible dominant climate of tyranny, especially despotism exemplified in the Byzantine and Persian Empires and their control of the south of the Levant and Iraq. The tyranny of Qorayish controlled Arabia and trade routes between Yemen and the Levant that were linking India and Europe. Qorayish used its hegemony and control of the Kaaba to protect is trade caravans and to grow filthily rich. Within such milieu of injustice and political and religious tyranny, it was impossible to establish a city-state based on justice, freedom of religion, speech, and thought, citizenry, and human rights. Qorayish at the time were led by two factions: the Hashemites and the Umayyads, who were share paternal uncles, with the formers, led by Abbas the paternal uncle of Prophet Muhammad, overseeing pilgrimage activities and care of pilgrims and their idols around the Kaaba, thus leading Arabs religiously, and the latters, led by Abou Sufyan, controlled trade caravans in winters and summers. Both Abou Sufyan and Abbas stood against Islam, the burgeoning religion at the time. Abou Sufyan was leading the trade caravan that caused the battle of Badr. Abbas was among the Qorayish disbelievers who fought early believers in the battle of Badr. Both men fought against Islam and resisted its call until they suddenly converted to Islam upon the conquest of Mecca by the early believers. Thus, the climate at the time would not have possibly allowed the Islamic city-state to be created in Yathreb, as reality was based on tyranny, corruption, injustice, and the false belief in saints as sanctified persons and things made of stone like idols and tombs. This was the time of the impossible, but it contained gaps that allowed the possibility of changing that reality, especially the silent vast majority of the oppressed ones. These gaps allowed room for religious and intellectual reform to make Arabs discern the futility of worshipping stones and tombs that make Qorayish reign supreme over them controlling trade and religious life, and never allowing anyone to attack its caravans and making profits of pilgrimage. Such mental reform and change has been initiated by the Quran that incited the vast majority, consisted of oppressed impecunious ones, to defend itself against hegemony of tyrants and to reject idols and 'holy' tombs, and rising to retrieve lost rights. Confederates of disbelievers, after being militarily defeated many times, realized later on the impossibility to destroy and militarily crush the Yathreb city-state. Arabs outside Qorayish knew that the tribe manipulated them for its advantage to live in prosperity and leaving them needy, while deceiving them by idols around the Kaaba. Ironically, the persecution of Qorayish toward the early believers and its expulsion of them out of Mecca led to the creation of the Yathreb city-state as Muslims had to immigrate to avoid persecution. As Qorayish tried to attack Yathreb several times, the Quranic commands of military self-defense were revealed in the Quran; see 22:39. Military confrontations led eventually to the defeat of Qorayish and the conquest of Mecca, and Meccan leaders Abbas and Abou Sufyan felt obliged to convert to Islam, as the climate of the impossible was crushed to allow room for the possible state of Islam; see 110:2. Hence, Muhammad was a success story and a good example of the arts of politics of the possible in the time of the impossible.          



  Things and conditions changed for the worse once Prophet Muhammad died because the defeated leaders of Qorayish, with their defeated culture they represented, readily occupied the void after Muhammad's death, making use of the tribal fanaticism and the stature of Qorayish, as most immigrants to Yathreb among early believers were from Qorayish. Thus, the Yathreb city-state collapsed gradually as the dominant culture in the world in the Middle Ages did not suit it. Arabs who committed the crime of the Arab conquests got to know and draw near affluent ones and their lifestyles in Persia, the Levant, and Egypt, within the countries controlled previously by the Byzantine Empire. Thus, the struggle was between the Islamic culture of the Prophet embodied presumably by Ali Ibn Abou Talib, his paternal uncle's son, and later on the Shiite supreme murdered deity, and the man who represented the culture of Qorayish of invading other countries to loot and rule: Mu'aweiya Ibn Abou Sufyan. The dominant rules and culture of the era led to the defeat of Ali and the victory of Mu'aweiya, who established the Umayyad caliphate as per the art of politics of the impossible in the time of possible. Thus, the prevalent culture of tranny dominant in Iraq and the Levant allowed Mu'aweiya, ruler of Damascus, to win and to defy new Quranic values set by Islam in the Yathreb city-state, which was defeated and replaced by hereditary theocratic monarchy that raised the banner of Islam but it contradicted it of course. The Umayyad Empire coped with the dominant culture of its era of tyranny, and it manipulated Islam in politics though the empire contradicted Quranic teachings. The Quran, being intact and preserved in its entirety by God Himself, has carried the real notions of Islam until now. Rebellions against the Umayyads were initiated by the Arabs of Al-Khawarij group, who lacked experience in politics and thus failed to achieve anything but sabotage and terror that soon passed. The ones who defeated the Umayyads were their Qorayish relatives: the descendants of Abbas, who belonged to the same climate and culture and made use of it to their advantage and within deeper ways than in the case of the Umayyads; as the Abbasids called for their meritocracy to rule based on their being descendants of the paternal uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, i.e., Abbas, and their right to be sort of ''knights Templars'' who preserve clergymen and faith, making use of the assassination and persecution of Ali and his descendants (i.e., his progeny whose great-grandmother was Fatima, daughter of Prophet Muhammad). Thus, Umayyads succeeded previously as they had excellent experience in trade and in military prowess (as leaders of trade caravans of Qorayish in winters and in summers) and they based their empire on tribalism and tribal fanaticism while raising banners of Islam falsely. The Abbasids defeated them later on as they manipulated religion and made use of the logic of tyranny that dominated their age to create another theocracy based on clergymen who claim to defend 'true' faith, though their Sunnite faith contradicted Islam in the Quran. Religious tyranny of the Abbasids defeated the Umayyad tribal fanatics, though both Dynasties shared the culture of hegemony, monopoly, and tyranny. People supported the Abbasids s the climate at the time favored religious tyranny that made use of religious notions of the defeated Ali family and massacres. People felt at the time that the Umayyads defied Islam as some of the caliphs violated and desecrated the Kaaba Mosque and massacred people of Yathreb to quell them. Thus, the Abbasids defeated the Umayyads because the formers used the art of politics of the impossible in the time of the possible; their age and culture supported them more than the Umayyads, the current rulers at the time. The Umayyad Dynasty lasted for about 90 years (41:132 A.H./661:750 A.D.) and died out soon enough, whereas the Abbasid dynasty went on for nearly five centuries (132:658 A.H. / 751:1258 A.D.).             


Thirdly: the art of politics of the possible in the time of the possible:


1- This is the worst type of politics as per the Machiavellian criterion, because political activism entails a measure of creativity and specialty more than ordinary work or endeavors. Thus, the art of politics of the possible in the time of the possible is akin to bureaucratic governmental work of administrations, with its statutes and regulations that revolve round the possible, with no imagination or ambition to change reality for the better or to create new, improved reality. Within this type of politics, compromising and piece-meal solutions are repeated to please all partied concerned and the retained policy is to create balances and to discard radical solutions for problems and crises that escalate with no hope in the foreseeable future. This created a volcano-like situation that might explode anytime, and despots would imagine their being safe and enjoying stability. Such politics reflects the reality and expresses it, maintain stagnation in all aspects. Mubarak's Egypt is the best example of this; it has raised mottoes of stability for a long time while postponing finding radical solutions to any crises that accumulate and no longer settle for temporary painkillers. Thus, the future carries explosions to come. Mubarak has adopted the same politics for a long time, thinking it is best for his family and ruling junta of businessmen. He never employed a vice-president, as he built his reputation by attacking his predecessor, Sadat, who in turn built his reputation by attacking his predecessor, Abdel-Nasser. Let us remember that Mubarak came to power suddenly and unexpectedly in 1981, as he was the vice-president before, and he showed off his being an 'honest' president unlike Sadat and his family who, he claimed, stole by corruption some millions of Egyptian pounds. Mubarak never tried to appoint a vice-president in order to curb off any danger or threat of betrayal. Mubarak as a despot has ruled with tyranny, and corruption soared to thousands of billions, with the family of Mubarak involved; Mubarak had to protect himself and his family by campaigning for his eldest son to succeed him. Such bad decisions were the possible in the time of the impossible, and Mubarak could not do this until now; he merely hints of it, while guiding the ship of Egypt into the unknown, as no reforms are possible now on all levels.                          


2- The same tragic fate awaits any ruler who would link his fate and the fate of his people to a foreign controlling power; he would be a mere puppet in the hands of such power that might be dethroned later on and lose everything, as happened to Al-Sharif Hussein in Hejaz as he allied himself to GB and to Sheikh Khazaal in Arabstan, both contemporaries to Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud.  


3- We see features of the art of politics of the possible in the time of the possible in histories of those inheriting thrones after establishing a new state; for instance, Abdel-Malik Ibn Marwan had firmly stabilized the monarchy within the Umayyad Empire, established by his grandfather Mu'aweiya. The endeavors of Ibn Marwan were the art of politics of the possible in the time of the impossible. Ibn Marwan's descendants inherited a monarchy that they never strove hard to establish; they would spend their times in debauchery, affluence, and idleness until their state would collapse. This occurred as well to the descendants of Abou Jaffer Al-Mansour, who established the Abbasid Dynasty, the descendants of Al-Moezz Ledeen-Elah the founder of the Fatimid Dynasty in Egypt and the Levant, to the son and heir of Saladin, Al-Aziz Othman, and the descendants of the Ayyubid sultan Al-Adel, the brother of Saladin. In the 20th century, Abdul-Aziz founded the third current KSA within the art of politics of the possible in the time of the impossible, leaving to his sons a stable kingdom dependent on GB and later on the USA. Hence, his descendants abandoned themselves to life of debauchery, affluence, idleness, and dissipation, following the art of politics of the possible in the time of the possible. Thus, once such royal family was frightened by Saddam Hussein when he occupied Kuwait, they shouted in fright and beseeched the help of the USA, opening their kingdom to the American marines; hence, the affluent 'soft' descendants of Abdul-Aziz are not like him in his boldness, bravery, shrewdness, horsemanship, and political acumen.                


Fourthly: the art politics of the impossible in the time of the impossible:


1- This type of politics is the opposite of the above one, but it shares its result: failure and inability to change. This type of politics simply means disregarding the facts of a status quo or state of affairs, while sticking to dreamy, unrealistic targets and impossible ideological mottoes that can never be applied one day. Foolish rulers or politicians of that type might fight against the windmills in vain and would lose everything: just as the Najd Brothers failed to occupy Iraq and were killed off by realities they ignored and like Saddam Hussein who occupied Kuwait in a moment of folly and sheer madness.    


2- Politicians of that type might use empty slogans, campaigns, and propaganda without ever attempting to apply them, and thus, they remain isolated from events taking place in the political scene, causing their enemies and friends to mock them. Examples of this include the Salafists in the Arab world, Kaddafi of Libya, and advocates of Pan-Arabism.  


3- Those who belong to this type of politics commit political suicide and rulers of such type drive their people to ruin; the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza strip exemplifies this, as they raise empty mottoes of destroying Israel to throw it into the Mediterranean Sea, while knowing quite well that this is impossible with their modest means and arms. Instead of using realpolitik, as Hamas cannot possibly face the Israelis militarily, Hamas terrorists fights windmills in vain, and never suffer for it; as ordinary, impoverished, innocent Gaza dwellers are the ones suffering very much because of the folly of Hamas.   


Fifthly: the overlapping between the possible and the impossible in circumstances and climate:


1- Political life is ever-changing: no foes or friends remain so forever, and there are no permanent interests, as the circumstances and conditions change with the passage of time. Cultural and political climates do change constantly. Shrewd politicians or rulers move within the right timing and conditions, or else, they would lose valuable chances that must be seized before it is too late to change reality for the better, taking into consideration full knowledge of their potentials and abilities within international, regional, and local conditions, so as not to fail; it is a very complicated process filled with details, and setting plans should always include alternatives to make room for any surprises. Below, we give examples of successes and failures within modern history.  


2- Muhammad Ali Pacha made good use of political gaps among GB, France, and Russia to try to establish a strong State similar to the Ottoman Empire, especially when the Ottoman caliphate grew weak and Turkey was named the sick man of Europe. GB had to stop him as he reached coasts of Arabia, so as not to pose a threat to her route to India, and all European powers had to stop him so as to divide the countries of the Ottoman Empire among one another. Europe forced him to sign a peace treaty as his Egyptian armies reached Istanbul. He managed before to conquer the Levant; he coveted more and was shortsighted enough as to never know when to stop in the right timing and place, and he lost all and kept only Egypt as a monarchy for him and his descendants. Abdul-Aziz managed to take advantage of World War I that distracted Europe and GB to conquer Al-Ahsa; yet GB forced him to let go of Kuwait, and he backed off to preserve his conquered lands in Arabia. When the Najd Brothers, his sole military power, rebelled and wanted to raid Kuwait and Iraq, he left them to be killed off by GB, as he knew his limits well enough; he scarified them to save his nascent kingdom. John Philby urged him to conquer Yemen, but he refused so as not to lose everything. In contrast, Abdul-Nasser of Egypt got involved in Yemen wars and lost many soldiers and the gold of the Egyptian Treasury.         


3- European colonial powers created borders, endorsed by the UN, of the Arab countries in a manner that might incite troubles and disputes within neighboring countries that might escalate to wars. Thus, this put an end to countries united together within empire as done by Saladin, Muhammad Ali Pacha, and Abdul-Aziz. Saddam Hussein tried to ignore this new reality when he invaded Kuwait: this was impossible in the time of the impossible. Saddam never drew the lesson of Abdul-Nasser when Baathists of Syria got their country out of the union with Egypt. Abdul-Nasser ignored the insult and never tried to revive the union; yet, he forgot this lesson when he sent the Egyptian army to Yemen, as he forgot that union among Arabs or Pan-Arabism should be done willingly and peacefully within the approval of all peoples, not by military force. He never understood that the age of unifying countries under one bloc or entity was gone forever in the age of democracy, and enthusiasm of Egyptians and Arabs never availed him anything when he was defeated in 1967, when a tiny nascent democratic state (i.e., Israel) invaded Sinai, taking it from a tyrannical Egyptian regime, though Egypt is 3000 years old, at least.     


4- Thus, it is impossible in our modern age that a tyrant would militarily defeat a democracy. When two tyrannical countries fight, both would never achieve victory (like the Iraq-Iran long war), and Arab-Arab conflicts always end in the defeat of both parties, especially when international powers interfere to maintain the status quo or borders: such as disputes over borders between Egypt and Sudan, the KSA and Qatar, the KSA and Yemen, and Algeria and Morocco. A powerful tyrant always loses war if he would fight a democracy, as we read about the defeat of Hitler, Mussolini, and Japan in World War II when democracy reigned supreme in the 20th century in the West. Even Israel, established in 1948 in Palestine, began its existence with democratic elections, and defeated three Arab countries in 1967: Egypt, Syria, and Palestine. Israel still defeats Arab in the fields of technology, military, and economy (probably because of the USA generous aid to Israel), despite its tiny land, little natural resources, and less population in comparisons to Arab countries.      


5- Yet, no democracy, however powerful it is, can defy the international climate: the USA made a terrible mistake in Vietnam; Israel after 1967 grew arrogant and blind, ignoring the international community and the UN resolutions, and thus could not keep Sinai as Egypt managed to retrieve its land. Resentment against Israel by the international community allowed Sadat to enlist the help of the USA to urge her to impose a balance in its policies in the Middle East, allowing room for the 1973 war with favorable climate for Arabs and hostile climate for Israel, but as long as a tyrant and a democracy defied the international community fought in that unique war, that would have been a loss-loss situation: the Egyptian army managed to get into Sinai, but the Israeli army managed to create a breakthrough namedOperation Abirey-Halev that threatened Suez city and part of the Egyptian army. Thus, this stale-mate obliged both parties to negotiate under the auspices of the USA, and Egypt retrieved the whole of Sinai, while Israel gained normalization, and acknowledgment, and a peace treaty with Egypt. This was the art of politics of the possible in the time of the possible. Of course, Egypt has been the leader of all Arabs in victories and defeats, and Arabs never emerge victorious on all levels if Egypt would get into a downfall, and so far, this is the state of affairs since Wahabism controls the cultural and political life in Egypt.    


6- Changing a status quo and creating a new status might occur within the politics of the possible in the time of the possible, provided that conditions are ripe for this and all circumstances would affirm it. This often occurs during the old-age state of a state on the verge of collapse, and some might seize the chance to achieve the desired change; let us quote some examples of this. Arab coup d'états used to occur within the politics of the possible in the time of the possible in the 1940s and 1950s, in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, as the masses were filled for the desire to change the regime to defeat Israel and to achieve union of all countries within Pan-Arabism. Syria had more share of coup d'états even in the 1970s, but coup d'états are impossible to happen now in the Arab world as conditions and circumstances have changed and the mentality of the masses has changed as they grow disillusioned. Another reason for this is that several Arab regimes had turned into military, police regimes that torture and oppress and kill people who have to submit, as we see in Syria. Likewise, the 1952 coup d'état in Egypt succeeded easily within the politics of the possible in the time of the possible; monarchy in Egypt grew old and was about to collapse anyway, and the Egyptian street and political scene were filled with trends of angry youths looking for a place under the sun. The Egyptian liberal period of 1920:1950 could not contain the new Egyptian youths of the middle and lower classes, who, being educated, were filled with looking forward to a better political and economic status, but such youths were shocked to find barriers of class and lack of social justice. Such frustrated youths were subdivided into many trends: communists, the terrorist MB organization, nationalists, etc., and sadly, the terrorist Hassan Al-Banna, the head of the terrorist MB assassinated in 1949, managed to gather most youths as he formed 50.000 overt branches of the terrorist MB organization all over Egyptian governorates. It was often said that some elements of the terrorist MB organization might have infiltrated into the Egyptian army in the 1940s, forming the Free Officers movement that led a successful coup d'état in 1952 that circumstance's favored and helped it to succeed and to be re-christened as a 'white revolution' – one without shedding a drop of blood. King Farouk hastily left his throne and left Egypt to Italy, and the military leaders of the Free Officers movement controlled and ruled Egypt. In 1954, they had disputes among one another, and the very first Egyptian president, Muhammad Naguib, who called for the officers to go back to the barracks to perform their military duties, was deposed in order to make room for the ambitious officer, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, to rule Egypt within a tyrannical regime that has controlled Egypt until now by subjugating and oppressing Egyptians, especially when Sadat made the army fire at people in the uprising of January 1977 and when the Mubarak regime did the same crime over and over on several occasions.    


7- Within the politics of the possible in the time of the possible, good luck might serve some people unexpectedly; for instance, Abdel-Nasser hastily nationalized the Suez Canal in an act of defiance against the British and the French, leading them, along with the Israelis to attack Egypt within what came to be known as the Tripartite Aggression in 1956 (a.k.a. the Suez Crisis). Such aggression was also a political rave error of the UK, France, and Israel: it was no longer possible to act like former colonial powers anymore while disregarding the international community. The USA and the USSR agreed to oppose the Tripartite Aggression, driving all countries to do the same, forcing the UK, France, and Israel to withdraw their forces. Yet, Israel was slow in such withdrawal; it had to gain anything, and it occupied the village of Umm Al-Rashrash and renamed it Eilat, to have a port on the Red Sea. As per subsequent agreements, Israel had the right to move within the Straits of Tiran in the Red Sea with its ships, making it reach Ethiopia and the River Nile sources to threaten Egypt and its source of water and life: the River Nile. When Abdel-Nasser committed the error of ignoring the international community and formal agreements, by closing the Straits of Tiran in 1967, he defied the modern world and its climate while the Egyptian army was weak after the war in Yemen, giving pretext to Israel to invade Sinai in 1967, as the military rule was too bust oppressing Egyptians and left Sinai with little military protection. Kaddafi of Libya crushed monarchy and became president, but he committed the mistake of trying to meddle in the world affairs around him using his country's wealth and his love of conspiracies to cause changes to happen in the international scene to serve his purposes, and so, he faced the impossible and lost billions.           


8- The stable, stubborn, stagnant climate imposes its culture even when circumstances change throughout Egyptian history, since the centralized tyranny was established in Egypt in the dawn of civilization. As a rule, he who owns military power will have power and authority to rule and would lose them if his military power is lost. People of Egypt usually have no say on the subject, as occurred during the Pharaonic era and foreign invaders. This rule applies to the military rule in Egypt that has begun in 1952 until now. Let us cite other examples. Within the Abbasid caliphate, the Tulunids in Egypt had established their state, which collapsed later on, and this made the Ikhshidid state rise to power temporarily before its downfall, allowing the Fatimids to conquer Egypt without fighting. When the Fatimids grew weak, Saladin established instead in Egypt the Dynasty of the Ayyubids, which grew weak decades later, and the era of the Mameluke sultans began afterwards without fighting as well. Such successive dynasties came within the politics of the possible in the time of the possible, because the dominant climate at the time was the culture of slavery and tyranny. We personally think this culture still dominates in Egypt until now, and the Mubarak military regime is making use of it within the politics of the possible in the time of the possible, and the military regime confiscates power, authority, and wealth by asserting the culture of slavery and tyranny to subjugate the Egyptians, who accept and submit to the status quo; in some cases a despotic ruler was deified by Egyptians, like Abdel-Nasser, and we personally lived within such morbid climate of deifying this president, within the period of our adolescence, and we wonder very much as some Egyptian thinkers until now worship him and call themselves Nasserites! May God forgive and cure them of that ailment!          


9- Disturbed climate would stir upheavals, disputes, conflicts, and political unrest within the local, regional, and international levels. Let us cite some examples. The West made the whole world get rid of the Middle-Ages culture of monarchy linking itself to feudalism, knighthood, and clergymen, and moved within phases of overlapping cultures: from nationalism, communism, bourgeois, colonialism, capitalism, until human rights and globalization, and from the age of vapor to discoveries of the outer space and the internet. Such fast-paced changes have occurred within three centuries of human existence on the planet, after tens of centuries of theocracies and tyranny. Such phases of modernity and scientific advances overlap and never took place easily or smoothly, since the West went through these phases of history: the Magna Carta, the French Revolution, Freeing slaves in the USA, American civil war, ending racism, etc. Such changes were never easily done; humanity suffered tens of regional wars and two world wars and forming blocs and treaties and pacts, with massacres committed in Asia and Europe, the rise of Nazism, anti-Semitism, the rise of the USSR, and racist strife within Eurasia of Kurds, Armenian, and in the Balkans. France is the best examples of such upheavals and radical changes; the time was ripe for the downfall of Louis XVI, and the motto of the revolution controlled the masses: liberty, equality, fraternity. The Bastille fell into the hands of the revolting masses, and the motto never realized soon afterwards, when monarchy fell. The reason: the European culture an climate at the tie did not allow its application. Hence, France entered into a phase of massacres and coups until Napoleon came to power raising the banner of freedom but practicing tyranny. Napoleon was defeated by the cultural climate and by GB and Russia. But in retrospect, values of Napoleon defeated tyranny after his death, as liberty came to be the supreme value in Europe, especially in France, within the democratic transition that followed decades later. When Napoleon died, the royal family of Bourbon came to power, with the old traditions, as Talleyrand the prime minister said that they never forgot the old ways and never learnt anything new. Because they were not coping with the climate, they went into the dust pin of history soon enough, and values of democracy and the republic have been asserted. Within gaps and decisive moments of European history, some genius politicians achieved the impossible: Bismarck unified Germany, and Italy was unified by Mazzini and other leaders. The Holy Roman Empire was about to collapse, and the cultural climate was favorable to the phase of nationalism in Europe. Yet, political circumstances in Europe opposed this, but unities occurred despite all odds, as per the politics of the impossible in the time of the possible. When German and Italian nationalism went to an extreme, Hitler and Mussolini turned nationalism into Nazism and fascism within tyrannical rule that defied the West climate of democracy. Eventually democracy of GB and the USA defeated such tyranny. Let us cite another example; when the USSR emerged, communism was seen as the best remedy for the savage nature of capitalism. Communism spread within many countries after 50 years of the rise of the USSR, and the inevitable collapse began. The reason: the cultural climate changed, and the USSR can no longer lean on its military power and scientific advances alone, because the West applied the cultural of human rights, democracy, and rights of workers as capitalism learnt from past mistakes and stopped partially its being manipulative and reformed itself. Revolution of communications infiltrated the iron curtain and the communist camp had to surrender within this new climate, and the USSR fell down without shooting even a single bullet. Yugoslavia collapsed after being unified under Tito, the legendary communist leader, and the Serbs tried to restore the nationalist vein by reviving ethnic strife and tensions, an act of defiance to the dominant cultural climate of democracy and human rights in Europe that avoids armed disputes and re-defining borders. Hence, everyone opposed the Serbs to put an end for their hegemony over former Yugoslavia.                                     


Lastly: what about the future of Arabs:


1- The modern age of today's world has two main features: 1) scientific advances that know no barriers and limits, especially in means of communication that made the planet a small global village, and 2) the century-ago dominant cultural climate of human rights and democracy. The second element is being spread all over the world by the first one, changing mentalities of people and making them aware of their rights and exposing tyranny covered with religious, racist, and nationalist calls. The international community no longer tolerates tyrannical rulers who oppress their people. Countries that run contrary to this climate will soon disappear in the 21st century, with no future for any tyrannical country; it will collapse soon enough.    


2- As for Arabs and Muslims, there is no room for tyrannical and military regimes especially monarchies similar to theocracies. There is no future for Wahabism and its political and terrorist movements like Salafists, Al-Qaeda, and the MB terrorist organization. Such historical garbage can no longer talk with the language of our age; the Wahabis live in the past and try to deceive people, but they never deceive anyone but themselves on the long run, as the internet is raising awareness and Wahabism, as an ideology, cannot defend itself against criticism for long; such defense will be in vain in the 21st century.    


3- Yet, some gaps and pits are still there in the Islamic and Arab world because of the Saudi Wahabism spread for decades that infiltrated into regions that suffered decades of oppression and the culture of slavery. We fear that any democratic transition in the Arab world might bring about civil strife; tyrants will not hesitate to unite and commit all crimes to maintain their existence. This occurred in Iraq, central intelligences of many countries, especially the American CIA, conspired to such the democratic transition of Iraq, ending in turning Iraq into bloodbaths. Iraq has a long route ahead to put itself on the way to democratic transition gain.  


4- Democratic transition entails reforming education, media, and houses of worship to build the mentality of human beings, the best of God's creature on earth. The Arab mind must be freed from all sorts of confiscation and censorship to enable Arabs to be active participants in political and social life within freedom of speech and expression, creativity, and human rights that enable citizens to enjoy their share in the national wealth as per public services and free trade.  


5- Tyrannical regimes must realize that it has no future in the 21st century and that tyranny enroots the culture of terrorism all over the world: i.e., to pollute the global village within its ethics, morals, civilization, and environment, and this will no longer be allowed in the 21st century. Thus, tyrannical regimes will inevitably disappear sooner or later, either peacefully or by military strife. Tyrannical regimes had better disappear peacefully to pave the way for the democratic transition without losses while keeping dignity; otherwise, the International Criminal Court will disgrace tyrants and history will curse them in its pages forever. 


The cultural climate in the reign of Abdul-Aziz within the frame of the possible and the impossible:




Firstly: the Machiavellian greatness of Abdul-Aziz within the frame of the possible and the impossible: 


1- Some might claim simply that Abdul-Aziz realized his life-dream of reviving the monarchy of his ancestors and to achieve this dream, he established the Najd Brothers. When they revolted against him to share power and wealth with him, he killed them off to rule his nascent kingdom to which he gave his family name, the KSA, alone along with his progeny that will inherit the throne. Such claims might be true overtly, especially in relation to the ongoing struggle between the founder of a state and his chief leaders. Yet, within the field of analysis the Saudi experience has its own unique features within temporal and spatial aspects as well as in relation to the character of the founder of the KSA. 


2- The Saudi experience of unifying Arabia achieved early the unfulfilled dream of Arabs to unify all Arab countries as per the model of EU, a dream invoked by Abdel-Nasser (within the period of 1955:1966) with media and political momentum when he united Egypt with Syria for a short time, a dream shared by theoreticians of Pan-Arabism and nationalism, especially Baathists in Iraq and Syria. The Saudi experience was the establishment of a Sunnite theocracy that is still the dream of the fundamentalists in the Arab world, such as the terrorist MB group that imitates the model of the Najd Brothers and sticks to the Sunnite Wahabi Ibn Hanbal doctrine that they helped spread via Saudi money. They managed within social, cultural, media, and propaganda level to spread Wahabism all over the Arab world using oil-revenues of the KSA; yet, no MB state was built, the MB and Salafist terrorists caused nothing so far but an unstable MB rule in Sudan, civil wars in Afghanistan, and carnages and massacres in Algeria and Egypt in the 1990s. This means that both types of Wahabis, the MB and Salafist terrorists, have repeated the methodology of the Najd Brothers, but they lack the genius of a figure like Abdul-Aziz. The establishment of the KSA combined Arabism and theocracy, who could have imagined a Bedouin unifying all warring Bedouins to conquer Arabia? He managed to do it in the times of defining borders, while Saddam Hussein failed 50 years later to annex Kuwait and parts of Iran, thus wasting the future of Iraq for about the next 50 years.


3- Few people in history managed to establish viable states, even in the Middle-Ages period of the mobile and stable monarchies. Even fewer ones managed to do so in the modern history, such as Napoleon, Muhammad Ali Pacha, Bismarck, Lenin, Mao Zedong, and Tito. We can say that Abdul-Aziz surpassed them all and was more distinguished; he managed to found the KSA amidst impossible circumstances, but he dared and defeated the impossible and made it possible in the time of the impossible, and he created a new reality called the KSA, destroying on the way the kingdom of the AL-Sharif family in Hejaz and the kingdom of Al-Rasheed family in Al-Shamar area as well as killing off the Najd Brothers, to put them all in lines of history.    


Secondly: the cultural climate dominating the political climate was the biggest challenge for Abdul-Aziz:


1- The cultural climate was the biggest challenge faced by Abdul-Aziz; the previously mentioned types of politics are legitimacies that ensure varying measures of success, but the best one is how to deal best with the dominant cultural climate to change it for the better while controlling and manipulating the existent powers and factors to succeed in introducing change with the least amount of losses within the possible an the impossible factors. Abdul-Aziz managed to discern what is really impossible and must be avoided (e.g., annexing Yemen and the Levant) and what seemed impossible for others but possible for him with great efforts and the least losses.         


2- Each age has its dominant cultural climate; it is wrong if we apply givens, factors, and elements of our age now to the era of Abdul-Aziz. Our age has certain features: globalization, human rights, mass communications, global village, civil societies, and Americanization of the globe based on the USA and its hegemony as a sole pole until now, and modern inventions. This new world order imposes itself on the Third World countries that suffer tyranny, backwardness, regressive powers, manipulation, corruption, and lack of human rights. As for the age of Abdul-Aziz, GB and France as colonial powers used to control the Arab world, and such colonialism was the last vestiges of dictatorship, whereas the Islamic world had the ideal of the 'just despot', heralded and preached by the writings of Muhammad Abdou as the best possible solution (1). GB was occupying Egypt and controlling the rest of the lands of the Ottomans in the Levant, the Gulf, Mesopotamia, and India. France was controlling Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and vie with GB to inherit Europe's sick man. Thus, at the time of Abdul-Aziz, GB and France manipulated all leaders, kings, opposition figures, and even Al-Sharif family (that claimed to be descendants of Ali Ibn Abou Talib) in the Arab and Islamic world. Colonial powers incited revolts against the Ottomans everywhere, divided the Levant and Mesopotamia, gave Palestine to the Jews, and defined borders of all countries as per their interests and in accordance to Sykes-Pico agreement after the World War I.          


3- Within such cultural and political climate, Abdul-Aziz emerged and faced the impossible, whereas Al-Sharif Hussein, who served his British allies, lost everything to colonial powers. Abdul-Aziz managed to build his KSA despite of GB and other colonial powers; he achieved the impossible in the time of possible or the possible in the time of the impossible, subjugating the political and cultural climate of his age to serve his purpose.    


Thirdly: the impossible in the cultural climate in the reign of Abdul-Aziz:


1- The Sunnite Sufism was the dominant religion under the banner of Sunna (as opposed to the Shiite creed) in the Sunnite Islamic world. Sunnite Wahabism was an exception to this dominant rule; it had at the time few supporters in North Africa, especially Egypt. Wahabis resented, and therefore hated, Shiites and Sufis, because both groups worship and deify mortals and dead persons in mausoleums and tombs. Of course, in fact, such deification of mortals and worship of buildings are against the Quran. Shiites and Sufis in their turn resented, and therefore hated, Wahabis for their massacring innocent Muslims and permitting bloodshed in their cruel creed as well as their demolishing of mosques and 'holy' tombs. Of course, in fact, committing such violence and massacres and demolishing of 'sacred' mosques and 'holy' buildings are against the Quran.


2- Imam and head of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Abdou, who died in 1905 A.D., was a brilliant reformer who criticized both Sufism, for its backward and primitive notions and practices and the mental retardation of its adherents, and Wahabism for the fanaticism, extremism, and violence of its followers based on their corrupt notions. M. Abdou put certain fundamentals of Islam that refute and oppose the Wahabism ideology, which are as follows: 1) faith and belief are based on the reasoning mind, 2) the reasoning mind has priority over the texts of sharia in case of contradiction between the mind and the texts, 3) no one is allowed to declare anyone as an apostate or an infidel, 4) intellectual thinking must be directed to science and nature and God's creation, 5) all religious authorities or institutions must be demolished; there is no theocracy in Islam, it rather favors civil rule and authority, and Islam is not a ruling policy or regime of persons or groups, but a faith and a religion of God used in judgment, 6) protection of the Islamic call to stop any sort of religious persecution, as fighting is for self-defense and to deter foes, not for coercing others in religious matters or to declare others as infidels, 7) having good relations with those others who hold different religious beliefs, and 8) combining interests of this world and the Hereafter, as Prophet Muhammad never said that we should renounce the world to follow him, and extremism in religion is a bad lifestyle; one can enjoy the permitted and the legal in Islam without fearing any violation of the Quran (2).


3- What M. Al-Assad writes about Abdul-Aziz falls within the scope of what should have been in terms of Islam and in terms of just politics; he expresses himself and his culture NOT those of Abdul-Aziz and his dominant cultural climate and the impossibilities he had to deal with. Hence, the pieces of advice of Al-Assad to Abdul-Aziz would never have been applied; no ordinary Muslims would welcome the pieces of advice offered by a foreigner who converted recently to Islam and wanted to teach others the true creed, let alone Abdul-Aziz as a king. Abdul-Aziz liked, respected, and honored Al-Assad, and he felt him to be a true faithful Muslim, whereas he despised Philby and cast doubts on his conversion to Islam, as he thought that Philby was an opportunist hypocrite who sought to rise by flattering the king. Yet, for Abdul-Aziz, Al-Assad, as a non-Arab Muslim, could not possibly teach Arab Muslims their creed.


4- We quote paragraphs from the writings of Al-Assad to comment upon them: (…The king's expansions reached their zenith in the period 1924/1925 when he conquered Hejaz…driving out Al-Sharif family that assumed the rule of Hejaz after their revolt against the Ottomans in 1916 with the aid of the British. Invading this holy land, the king emerged before the eyes of the outer world, and he was 45 years old at the time…this was unprecedented feat, as most Middle East countries were occupied by Western powers…King Abdul-Aziz filled the Arabs with hope of an Arab state led by an Arab leader that might free all Arabs from their slavery to the West, even many Islamists in many groups were looking forward to revive the caliphate that raise the banner of the Quran alone, but their hopes were dashed; Abdul-Aziz was a mere king who aimed to rule a monarchy with absolute power and authority…Despite the fact that he was mostly a just king in private matters with his supporters and friends and a generous man with his foes with a genius mentality far above his followers, he never ventured to be an inspired leader with ambitions outside Arabia. He secured his kingdom in an unprecedented way in the last 1000 years, with strict laws and severe punishments, not by making his governors feel responsibility toward civilians…He sent a group of youths to study medicine and the wireless abroad, but never urged his people to educate themselves in any way; he left them in their ignorance that lasted for centuries. He talked a lot about the greatness of the Islamic way of life, but he did nothing toward a progressive society based on justice and self-expression within freedom. He was a simple, modest man, with zeal for work, but he would allow those around him to indulge in carnal pleasures. He was very religious in terms of rituals and duties of Islamic sharia, especially long night prayers, but he seemed never to perceive the essence of Islam; he never realized that prayers are a means to a spiritual end, not an end in itself. He loved to talk a lot about his responsibility toward his subjects, quoting hadiths about that topic, and when he was asked why he would not organize government in the KSA to make his heirs rule easily with less personal imprint on the State by giving it the name of the royal family, he simply said that he established his kingdom with his genius, sword, and endeavors, and his heirs are to exert their own efforts to maintain it and to introduce any necessary changes later on after his decease. His personal power and authority relied on his strong character and personality, not on organized government and learned officials…He was moderate in manner of talking and in his actions, with democratic modest spirit that allowed him to talk to Bedouins who came to him in tattered dirty clothes as if he were one of them, allowing them to address him by his first name, and yet, he would be so arrogant while talking to persons of high stature and to despise them when they submit to him as he used to despise all the low-class people who became suddenly nouveaux-riches…) (3).


5- We notice here that Al-Assad refers to the crisis of the Sunnite creed in its focus on religious duties, rituals, and commands as ends in themselves and not as means to attain piety, despite the fact that their end is piety and righteousness as per the Quran; see 2:21, 2:183, 2:194, 2:197, and 29:45. To make rituals and acts of worship the only focus is to make them pretext or justification to commit crimes and prohibited acts in the Quran, as one becomes victim of extremism. This occurred in the Sunnite Wahabi tutelage of the Najd Brothers in the colonies: they focused on killing and fighting, overlooking that fighting must be for the sake of God only; i.e., in cases of self-defense and to stop persecution, especially religious one, and NOT to commit aggressions and to raid and loot others to invade their lands or for any worldly ends. Hence, Al-Assad has cleverly discovered the root of evil and contradicted the dominant religious trend in the KSA and mainstream Muslims; moreover, he has shed light on the cultural gap between Abdul-Aziz and his subjects, and how he refused to educate all his people. Abdul-Aziz within these stances reflected the cultural and political climate dominant at his era.


6- Such dominant cultural and political climate was deeply rooted for centuries before, and such accumulations had to be explained in this research to show how the steps taken by both Abdul-Aziz and his Najd Brothers were inevitable, and the same goes for mainstream Muslims at the time inside and outside Arabia. Such cultural and political climate was the result of accumulated religious rituals, customs, traditions, tenets, and creeds that could not be possibly change overnight, even within the modern world, because such heritage became synonymous with religion itself, especially in a closed region like Najd, and even so in the more open Hejaz; as its former ruler Al-Sharif Hussein fought all innovations and novelties to the extent that he prohibited watches, cars, and eating while sitting on chairs! We can imagine the luck of Hejaz as the Bedouin desert-Arab Abdul-Aziz conquered it and expelled Al-Sharif Hussein and his family; he would turn Hejaz into another Najd region, as per words of Abdul-Hameed Al-Khateeb who sang the praises of the king and lauded his personality (4).



Fifthly: the cultural climate in Al-Azhar at the time:


1- It was a famous debate that occurred between Al-Zawahiri, the head/sheikh of Al-Azhar, and Abdul-Aziz in the Islamic conference held to discuss the fate of Hejaz after 1926. The head of Al-Azhar defended his Sufi stance or division to which most people all over the Islamic world at the time adhered; namely, protesting against demolishing of 'holy' tombs and mausoleums. Of course, sanctifying and worshipping such 'holy' tombs and mausoleums contradicts the major Islamic fact/tenet: There is no God but Allah. The conference failed, and most Muslims admired the stance of Al-Zawahiri, which in fact contradicted the Quran. All of them admired immensely the replies of Al-Zawahiri to Abdul-Aziz, as they expressed the dominant cultural climate at the time. 


2- Al-Assad later on met sheikh Al-Maraghi, years before the latter assumed the post of the head of Al-Azhar. In order to know the dominant cultural climate at the time in Al-Azhar, after putting an end to the reformist endeavors initiated by Muhammad Abdou, we quote from the writings of Al-Assad his description of the knowledge of Al-Azhar and the stance of sheikh Al-Maraghi toward this type of knowledge: (…Within our endeavor to get a better image of Islam and its Truth, we perused many writings of interpretations provided by our Cairene Muslim friends…Chief among them was sheikh Mustafa Al-Maraghi, one of the most famous scholars of Islam at the time, who headed Al-Azhar later on, and he was in his mid-fifties, with stout body, joyful spirit, and deep knowledge…He was a disciple of the great Egyptian reformist Muhammad Abdou, and a friend of Jamal-Eddine Al-Afghani, and he was a thinker inclined to critical thinking, with taste and judgment. He constantly made me feel that Muslims in the modern age did not heed much their religion; the potential and traits in the message of Muhammad were not manifest in the life of Muslims of today, as much as there is little love among Christians, despite that love is the higher value in the message of Jesus, he told me. I entered inside Al-Azhar Mosque along with sheikh Al-Maraghi, noticing students in their uniform and headwear, perusing their books and manuscripts in low voice, sitting in a circle around one column and under each column a teacher/sheikh would instruct them in low voice, while they were listening attentively, never missing a word, to gain more knowledge. Yet, sheikh Al-Maraghi dispelled my awe at such sight when he told me they were like cattle of holy cows in India, eating as many ancient books and manuscripts as they can, never understanding these writings fully, as they never taught to think for themselves; they memorize and learn by heart, one generation of students after the other…I interrupted him by asserting that Al-Azhar is the most ancient university in the world, and a center of Islamic branches of knowledge that housed many thinkers and scholars within the last ten centuries. Sadly and bitterly, sheikh Al-Maraghi told me that this no longer happens, and that I exaggerate; Al-Azhar now is devoid of independent thinking, as it suffers intellectual sterility as most of the Islamic world now, and that its former glory is gone forever. Even its brilliant thinkers never thought that their ideas would be memorized by heart instead of being used and applied and developed; it is as if their ideas were infallible and irrefutable facts of Islam! If such ideas would be changed or developed, we must encourage free thinking instead of worshipping traditions and repeating them… I realized that sheikh Al-Maraghi by confiding in me such ideas, he wanted to tell me that the cultural degeneration and social sterility that sadden me everywhere in the Islamic world is because of the cultural stagnation of Al-Azhar…) (5).    


3- When sheikh Al-Maraghi became the head of Al-Azhar, sterile curricula remained pretty much the same; as he failed to introduce any change in it, and the political and cultural climate did not allow this. When the head of Al-Azhar, M. Sayed Tantawi, under the Mubarak regime in the late 1990s, tried to change Al-Azhar curricula and to shorten them, everybody criticized him severely, nearly accusing him of apostasy; he had to swear before the Egyptian Parliament that he took such a decision for the sake of Islam.    


4- If this happened in Egypt which is open to the outside world, then the challenge was bigger in Najd; we can now imagine how Abdul-Aziz faced and crushed the impossible in the cultural and political climate, as we will quote Wahba below as he writes about the dominant cultural climate in Arabia at the time, and how it was changed gradually, wisely, and calmly.




1- Abdou (Muhammad), "Islam between Science and Modernity", Enlightenment Series, GEBO Publishers, 1993, Cairo, 2/pages 101:124.

2- Abdou (Muhammad), ditto, 2/pages 151:174.

3- Al-Assad, ditto, pages 291:223.

4- Jalal Kishk, ditto, page 42.

5- Al-Assad, ditto, pages 231:233.



The cultural climate in Najd in the reign of Abdul-Aziz between the possible and the impossible:


 We quote below excerpts of an eye-witness about the impossible cultural climate in Najd in the reign of Abdul-Aziz.


Firstly: Wahba writes the following:


(…With the exception of few houses of scholars inside Najd and Al-Ahsa, the whole of Arabia had no schools of any type, and illiteracy dominated…In Hejaz in 1326 A.H., M. Ali Reda established two schools to teach youth reading and writing within the old way of learning by rote; one in Mecca and one in Jeddah, after facing opposition by the Al-Sharif family and the Ottomans at first…some Indians established similar institutes in Yathreb and Mecca, in addition to sessions of religious teaching in Kaaba Mosque, following the pattern of Al-Azhar, but on a smaller scale. At one point, some religious scholars in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Najd vehemently opposed the notion that Planet Earth moves and shaped like a ball and opposed the idea of learning foreign languages…Modern age prevented such scholars from exacting Middle-Ages punishments, like European Catholics centuries ago, on those asserting the roundness of Earth and those learning foreign languages. Hejaz suffered ignorance within Ottoman rule and Al-Sharif rule, and some schools never taught anything actually. King Abdul-Aziz endeavored to revive schools but his efforts were less than expected from a great man like him; he only allowed primary schools that rely on rote learning and memorizing by heart without thinking… Extremist scholars in Mecca in 1927 A.D. opposed the decisions of the Ministry of education concerning teaching foreign languages, drawing, and geography books that assert the roundness of planet Earth…The king assigned me to discuss the matter with the scholars and sheikhs. Me: His Royal Highness assigned me to explain to you the truth about the curricula you opposed; you know how much I admire and love your support of Sunna and how you vehemently refuse anything against the Quran and Sunna, but the time of blind following of scholars has ended, especially that your views about education have no evidence to support them at all from the Quran and Sunna. A sheikh: Perhaps you are right, but we have explained to our king and imam Abdul-Aziz the harms of such curricula. Drawing is absolutely forbidden as it consists of copying God's creation, and foreign languages will lead to the perusal of corrupt writings and religions of the European infidels, endangering morals and faith of students. As for geography, its heresies are taken from the ancient Greeks, and such heretical views were refused by our ancestors the ancient scholars. Me: Drawing is not against Islam; there is no evidence to support this view, and drawing is a skill needed for maps of geography and for geometry, among other sciences. As for foreign languages, many companions of Prophet Muhammad used to talk in several languages. We are compelled in our age to deal with many foreigners and we need translators we trust. We take from European knowledge what suits our needs and never contradicts our faith, and such books of knowledge was translated into Arabic before in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. Fearing for Islam is to accuse our faith of being weak that it might not stand a chance before European knowledge. In fact, our faith is solid and firm; it will not be shaken by European knowledge. Lastly, geography has nothing to do with creed and it does not contradict it; we will teach pupils about facts of other countries and regions, their locations, trade, and economy, etc. You cannot prevent evil altogether by declaring ordinary things as forbidden; one cannot stop eating grapes and dates because both are used to produce wine, right? No companions of Prophet Muhammad destroyed trees of grapes or palm trees of dates, right? A sheikh: We have expressed our views to the king and he might heed them or discard them as he did before. The king stopped such discussions later on, and he supported my view that there is no evidence to support the views embraced by the scholars concerning the curricula. The ministry of education increased the number of primary, elementary, and secondary schools after the decease of King Abdul-Aziz. Many brilliant students were sent abroad to learn in European universities to teach in the KSA later on…Scholars of Bahrain and Al-Ahsa opposed the same subjects in the curricula, and opposed reading of newspapers by ordinary people! Such scholars repeated views of the ancients without thinking, especially writings of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Al-Qayyim, revered by M. Ibn Abdul-Wahab, and they never cared to adopt innovative, creative thinking…scholars of Riyadh hated all inventions coming from Europeans, calling them as infidels, and hated new ideas in creed, and most people honored them and were convinced with their views…In 1928 A.D., I was with the supreme judge and one of the highest scholars Abdullah Ibn Hassan, inspecting Yathreb, and on our way, we stayed near water wells to dine, and we were joined by Philby before his conversion to Islam. I invited him to dine with us. When Ibn Hassan knew that Philby was a British Christian, he condemned my greeting and shaking hands with him, and he asked me why I invited him to join us. Philby was embarrassed and left the tent at once. The sheikh continued to rebuke me. I told him to wait; I wanted to appeal to the man to urge him to convert to Islam, and even Prophet Muhammad used to talk sweetly and leniently with unbelievers and used to invite them to dine with them at least to ward off their evil. I reminded him of the verse 3:159. Ibn Hassan delivered a speech to me about how the king never listens to the pieces of advice of any scholars anymore, despite their opposition to teaching certain subjects and their hatred of foreigners. In fact, most scholars knew very little outside Sirah of the Prophet and his companions; few of them knew sufficiently about the Arabic tongue, Quranic interpretation, history of Arabia, etc. yet, the heirs of king Abdul-Aziz began to take interest in books o law, history, and Arabic literature. The king was hindered by such ignorant scholars; he could not reform and spread education and schools as much as he wanted, and he had to adopt gradual steps in that respect to apply reforms in all aspects and fields. He spent ten years trying to introduce wireless and telephones scholars and trying to convince the scholars of such modernization…Once, the king sent me to Yathreb in 1928, and I went there to inspect the city along with one sheikh, who talked about the wireless as a diabolical invention that ran by the Jinn! He confided to me that the wireless never works unless with cattle sacrificed at its feet, while glorifying Satan! It was of no use to try and scientifically explain to the sheikh how the wireless works, and I reluctantly remained silent…I accompanied this sheikh a few days later to the wireless station and made him communicate with the king and receive his telegrams, showing him that no remains of sacrificed cattle were to be seen. The sheikh wondered very much, and came to visit the wireless station outside Yathreb alone many times, without telling anyone, to make sure we did not deceive him. He confessed to me, on our way to Mecca, that he was on the wrong, regretting the bad views he harbored against the king and myself…I seized the chance to convince him of the roundness of earth, an idea contrary to ancestral views held centuries ago. He shouted at me that I uttered words of disbelief! The king told me in 1932 in Riyadh that a group of scholars entered the palace to protest when they knew he would build wireless stations inside Riyadh and major cities in Najd. They told the king that he was mistaken and deceived by foreigners and that Philby would bring nothing but disasters to the kingdom! They feared GB would occupy the KSA and that Philby was a mere spy! The king told them that they were indeed mistaken; he was not the type of kings to be deceived that easily by anyone, and he threatened them by telling them that he honored them, but if they went on with their insults against him, he would stop paying their salaries and shun them forever or banish them out of Riyadh. He asserted to them that no hadith prevents cars and the wireless and any other modern invention…When thee wireless stations were established in Riyadh eventually, the scholars sent many men unexpectedly to inspect if there were any sacrifices offered there to Satan! Of course, they found nothing of the sort. They even bribed the workers there to tell them about devils in the station! Workers there tried in vain to assert to them that this is modern technology and that it has nothing to do with devils…) (6). Thus, Wahba describes Abdul-Aziz as a lenient king in almost everything, except in things related to his own personal hegemony or detracted his government; when scholars opposed him in 1930 as he celebrated the day in which he was enthroned in Hejaz, contrary to the Sunna in their beliefs, he feigned being on their side and view of things, but he never cared for their opposition to modern inventions introduced to the kingdom. He would be infuriated if anyone manipulated religion to protest against any reforms introduced by the king himself.   




  An American report mentioned in 1944 that Abou Baz, the preacher and sheikh, once delivered a sermon inciting the masses against the king who brought American experts to develop agricultural projects in the KSA. Abou Baz feared that the Americans, who began to irrigate and farm lands, would occupy the KSA gradually and Saudis work under them. He wondered why infidels were doing so in the KSA. The king sent for him many times to attend a meeting in the palace, but he refused to come several times and insisted on being treated with respect. The king sent for him his private car, and he eventually came to meet with the king. The king met with him in the palace, along with his retinue, princes, guards, scholars, and judges. The king told him that Islam entails to face rulers not to level accusations against them behind their backs. Abou Baz complained to the retinue that the king had sold the KSA to the infidels, violating his duties as a Muslim king. When the king asked him if he had delivered the whole of his speech, Abou Baz answered in the affirmative, and the king told him that they must resort to judges of sharia, not as a king and one of his subjects, but as two equal Muslim men. Scholars asserted to both the king and Abou Baz that Prophet Muhammad employed several polytheists among Jews and Christians to do work for him on several occasions, and consequently, the king did not violate sharia laws. The king sat again on his throne and asked Abou Baz if he believed scholars or not. Abou Baz said that he would obey them, but he was not convinced fully. The king gave him a period of 24 to apologize for such insult to the scholars, or else, his head will be cut off by the sword! Guards accompanied Abou Baz to a prison cell. Next day, he brought Abou Baz alone to the palace and talked to him coaxingly that his stance was offensive to Islam, and sent him home with many gifts (7). Thus, Abdul-Aziz made himself the sole reference to all scholars in matters of religion, so that they would never dare to stop his modernizing the kingdom by introducing progress and modern inventions to achieve welfare. He insisted that he took from the West what will benefit his subjects as far as scientific progress and advances were concerned (7). Abdul-Aziz struck a balance about what to get from the West to modernize the KSA, as the solution he offered was not at all an enlightened version of Islam that copes with the modern age (M. Abdou came with it but could never impose it on a more open Egyptian society), but imposing modernization by rulers while maintaining Wahabism as an ideology for the KSA. Even sheikh Al-Zawahiri, disciple of M. Abdou, worshipped 'holy' tombs, though M. Abdou mocked such practice. The solution lies in changing the cultural climate by science and education gradually, and mixing religion with science and to be open to the outside world (Arab and non-Arab) to a certain degrees. Abdul-Aziz knew after he got rid of the Najd Brothers that all power and authority must be in his hands alone, and even scholars must derive their power from him lone. The committee for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice had to submit to him totally (8). Abdul-Aziz formed this committee in 1926 to replace the Najd Brothers before he made GB kill them off, and this means that he was planning ahead for the future.         






6- Wahba, ''Arabia in the 20th Century'', page 283.

7- Jalal Kishk, ditto, pages 30, 31, and 64.

8- Umm Al-Qura Magazine: No. 111 and No. 115, 3rd year, in Feb., 1927.



Abdul-Aziz and his openness to Egypt to defeat the impossible:




  From the above, we conclude that the creed of the Najd people was based on 'hearing' and not reading. They would listen to any sheikh and believe him at once, as if his words were eternal, unquestionable facts of religion and of life. Abdul-Aziz felt that his deep-seated practice must be destroyed with great efforts. This oral-auditory culture has dominated within Sunnites in general until this very moment, because hadiths are based on listening and memorizing and spread by the word of mouth. Even the Quran would be memorized by heart by some Sunnites without understanding and reflecting upon it, thus forsaken by them. Such climate of utter ignorance made the Sunnites (especially Wahabis) tend to listen attentively to lies, falsehoods, and myths just like errant Jews and Christians; see 5:41-42, and like hypocrites in Yathreb; see 9:47. This applies to most human beings when they listen attentively to hadiths fabricated by evil ones who claim that such hadiths were divinely revealed, leading people to commit sins. "Likewise, We have assigned for every prophet an enemy-human and jinn devils-inspiring one another with fancy words in order to deceive. But had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. So leave them to their fabrications. So that the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter may incline to it, and be content with it, and that they may perpetrate whatever they perpetrate. "Shall I seek a judge other than God, when He is the One who revealed to you the Book, explained in detail?" Those to whom We gave the Book know that it is the truth revealed from your Lord. So do not be of those who doubt." (6:112-114). Abdul-Aziz dealt with such corrupt cultural climate using patience and gradual change introduced by him, after he made use of such cultural climate in naming his kingdom the KSA, in 1932, as if the kingdom were an estate of lands and people owned by his family! Abdul-Aziz made use of the Egyptian strategic depth, which was more open than Najd, as stagnation was confined to Al-Azhar institution, with its few institutes and schools at the time. (N.B.: Al-Azhar gradually later on led countless of its schools to mushroom all over the Egyptian soil especially in rural areas, to spread ignorance disguised in the form of the Wahabi creed). Egypt in the 1930s was in its liberal secular period, and Abdul-Aziz made use of that to plant countless Wahabi organization all over Egypt. Abdul-Aziz discerned that the KSA would never go on and thrive without Egypt under his control, as history of the royal family of Al-Saud shows this fact clearly.  We personally think that this is a historical strategic fact: the KSA cannot thrive without allying itself to Egypt. In order to make room for the KSA to lead all Arabs and Muslims, Egypt must deteriorate and be controlled or ridden by the Saudis to take Egypt's place of leadership. Thus, if Egypt one day retrieved its leadership and pioneering role of enlightenment and liberation as it used to be in former decades, the KSA will collapse either gradually or suddenly. Abdel-Nasser faced the Wahabi ideology with the motto of Pan-Arabism and by modernizing Egypt, but his projects and plans were thwarted by the KSA and its chief ally, the USA, and Abdel-Nasser was defeated in the 1967 war, and died of poison in 1970. He was succeeded by the Saudi agent and spy, Sadat, in 1971, and since that date, Egypt has fallen and deteriorated to an unprecedented lower level. Wahabism expanded in Egypt and ruined it and brainwashed its people and their mentalities. Let us focus in more detail on how Abdul-Aziz opened channels with Egypt.



Openness to Egypt:

Firstly: the importance of Egypt to the Saudi state of Abdul-Aziz:


1- Abdul-Aziz felt that spreading Wahabi ideology outside Arabia, especially in Egypt, was beyond the abilities of the Najd scholars; he felt the immediate urge to 'reform' Wahabism by introducing it to Egypt, as Egyptians could modernize and change its ideology for the better to cope with future challenges. Egypt must be made a strategic depth for his nascent kingdom. Wahba, his Egyptian consultant, played a role in openness to Egypt and in forming close relations between the KSA and Egypt. 


2- Wahba cared very much to form close relations between the KSA and Egypt, and for instance, he writes the following about this: (…When the head of Al-Azhar, sheikh Al-Maraghi, came in 1925 with a letter from the Egyptian king to the Saudi one, on the occasion of the former's intention to perform pilgrimage in Mecca, we told the king that this is a suitable time to consolidate relation between Najd and Egypt, as Egypt is the pioneer and leader of culture and modernization in the Arab world…) (9).


3- As per the way of thinking of Abdul-Aziz regarding the future plans and gradual conversion of Egypt to Wahabism to spread Wahabi ideology all over the Arab world later no, in 1926, before the king got rid of the Najd Brothers, he established the committee for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice, while he spread Wahabism in Egypt at the same time via certain organizations and certain agents working for him there. Abdul-Aziz wanted to develop and modernize the Wahabi ideology to make it get rid of its rigidity and stagnation; this was impossible in Najd, but possible in Cairo, the capital of culture of all Arabs at the time.     


4- Egypt posed a problem for Abdul-Aziz; it used to control Hejaz region since the days of the Fatimids and the Mameluke and later under Muhammad Ali Pacha. The Egyptian influence in Hejaz was abruptly stopped when the Najd Brothers attacked the Kiswah caravan coming from Egypt. Thus, the king cared very much to have Egypt as his ally soon enough, to make it a friend, not a foe, to the new authority. Abdul-Aziz knew very well that Egypt caused the downfall of the very first KSA, and managed indirectly to introduce factors that led to the collapse of the second KSA. Hence, the fate of the third, current KSA is directly linked to its relation with Egypt. Egypt is the most ancient state in the Middle East, whereas the KSA was a nascent state in the 20th century, before Israel, and Abdul-Aziz feared that the Egyptian strategic depth cannot possible be left alone to be a base of hatred and animosity toward the KSA, eventually fighting it to remove it from the map of Arabia, especially that Abdul-Aziz had enemies in Jordan and Iraq, as both ruled by kings from the Al-Sharif family. Abdul-Aziz had enough enemies in Yemen and the Shiites of Al-Ahsa, Hejaz, and Iran. If Egypt would join forces with his enemies, this will be to the detriment and ruin of the KSA.      


5- in contrast, this Egyptian strategic depth might be a treasure for Abdul-Aziz to face all his foes in the east, north, and south. He had to win over the Egyptian side in the west at any cost. He endeavored to do this along with his Egyptian consultant Wahba and managed on the formal level to stop problems arising from the Kiswah caravan coming from Cairo. Within the cultural and popular levels, Abdul-Aziz began in 1926 to change gradually the Egyptian religious nature from Sunnite Sufism into Sunnite Wahabism, to make Egypt an extension of the Wahabi call to protect the KSA. The agents or spies that helped him in such project in the Egyptian soil were two Levantine sheikhs: Moheb-Eddine Al-Khateeb and Rasheed Reda. 





Secondly: the spread and propagation of Wahabism in Egypt:


  Rasheed Reda helped in the establishment of the following organizations to make Wahabism infiltrate gradually into Egypt:

A)   Al-Gameiyya Al-Shareiyya (i.e., the Sharia Society) was established by a sheikh called Mahmoud Khattab Al-Sobky in 1913, based on absolute submission to Sufism. Al-Sobky authored his four-volume tome titled ''Al-Mahmoudiyya Ways of Sufism and Fiqh Verdicts''. Later on, Al-Sobky began to write in defense of the Sunnite creed, by criticizing Sufism in the Wahabi way. He wrote 26 books within that subject until he died in 1931. His son, Amin Al-Sobky, went on in the route of his father, writing nine books on the Wahabi call until he died in 1968. Hence, within the Saudi influence that began to infiltrate in empty via Rasheed Reda, the mosques of the Sharia Society spread all over Cairo and other governorates later on. It is now the biggest religious society in Egypt that controls more than 2000 mosques, thousands of imams and preachers, and millions of followers. Now (i.e., 2000 A.D.), this Sharia Society is under control of the terrorist MB group, spreading the Salafist/Wahabi thought all over the Egyptian society.

B)   Gameiyyat Ansar Al-Sunna (i.e., The Society of Supporters of Sunna) was established in 1926 by an Azharite sheikh called Hamid Al-Fiqi, for whom Abdul-Aziz built a grand house in Abdeen, a Cairene district, which became a center for the Wahabi call. This society specializes in propagating Wahabi though and publishing books authored by Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Al-Qayyim, and it has its weekly magazine issued first in 1936 and until now (i.e., 2000 A.D.), named ''Al-Hadey Al-Nabawi" (i.e., the Guidance of Prophet Muhammad), which spread Salafist/Wahabi thought under the pretext or banner of Sunna.

C)   Gameiyyat Al-Shobban Al-Moslimeen (i.e., The Society of Muslim Youths) was established in 1927 by Moheb-Eddine Al-Khateeb, the fellow sheikh of Rasheed Reda, the Levantine Salafist sheikh. Its first head was Dr. Abdel-Hameed Saeed. It was established to gather as many male youths as possible to convert them to Wahabism secretly. Chief among its members was Hassan Al-Banna, who headed the terrorist MB organization, named as such to imitate the Najd Brothers of Abdul-Aziz. The terrorist Hassan Al-Banna used to frequent this society a lot to preach the youth, and he was assassinated in 1949 at its gate as he was getting out of it to his car.

D)   The terrorist MB group was established in 1928 as an armed political movement, and Rasheed Reda oversaw its formation carefully and closely according to his instructions to Hassan Al-Banna, his disciple, and it is noteworthy that Rasheed Reda introduced Hassan Al-Banna to the Saudi elite and the pillars of Wahabism in the KSA, and made him meet Abdul-Aziz and Wahba as well as Muhammad Naseef, whose family controlled and who son, Abdullah Naseef, headed the Islamic World Association, a body specializes until now in infiltrating the Saudi influence all over the Islamic countries, and this body helped to recruit and militarily train youths to fight in Afghanistan.                    


Thirdly: Rasheed Reda the Saudi agent:


  His endeavors were successful even outside the scope of the four preciously mentioned bodies; he established a school to graduate and train preachers and imams in the Cairene district Al-Rawda in 1912, beside Al-Zahraa organization founded by the Levantine Salafist sheikh Moheb-Eddine Al-Khateeb. The magazine launched by Rasheed Reda to a great success and popularity was named ''Al-Manar'' (i.e., the lighthouse) and it specialized in propagating Wahabism and praising the KSA as the leader of the Islamic world. Besides, Rasheed Reda authored many books about the notion of caliphate, the Sunnite creed notions, and refuting the Shiite creed, and he calls in his writings for the restoration of the caliphate ruling system, headed by the caliph Abdul-Aziz Ibn Al-Saud. He established Al-Manar publishing house to publish books of Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Al-Qayyim, and Ibn Abdul-Wahab. Rasheed Reda died after he saw off Saud, the heir and crown prince, and son of Abdul-Aziz, in the port of Suez in 1935, leaving the torch-bear, the terrorist Hassan Al-Banna, to continue his endeavors within the terrorist MB group. 


Fourthly: Hassan Al-Banna the Saudi agent:


  Hassan Al-Banna confesses in his autobiography titled ''The Call and the Preacher" that he held good relations with Wahba and the Saudi circles. His younger brother, the Islamic thinker Gamal Al-Banna, confesses this relation between his older brother, and their father, and the Saudi authorities, in his book titled ''Letters of the Young Hassan Al-Banna to his Father''. There is a well-known photo of Hassan Al-Banna kneeling to kiss the hand of Abdul-Aziz. Dr. M. H. Heikal, the famous Egyptian historian, politician, and literary figure, who died in 1956, mentions in his autobiography that he first met the youth Hassan Al-Banna in the pilgrimage season in Mecca in 1936 and that Hassan Al-Banna was closely linked to the Saudi authorities, taking financial aid from them. Hassan Al-Banna used to keep the budget of the terrorist MB group as a secret. Some former terrorist MB members at the time accused Hassan Al-Banna of financial fraud and hiding sources of financial aid from leading members of the Guide Council of this terrorist group. Using the Saudi financial aid, Hassan Al-Banna, the simple impecunious teacher of primary pupils, managed to establish 50.000 branch of the MB terrorist group all over Egypt, from Alexandria in the north to Aswan in the south (10). Hence, Abdul-Aziz replaced the rebellious Najd Brothers with loyal and submissive terrorist MB group members who spread Wahabi ideology all over the Arab and Islamic world and could use violence any time – this had occurred and still occurs until this very moment in Egypt and elsewhere – and the MB members seek to reach the rule of Egypt and all Arab countries soon. If this happens, the Saudis will be ruling Egypt without military conquests. Abdul-Aziz used military conquests in Arabia in spite of the stance of international powers, another impossibility that he faced and crushed by making use of their being busy during World War I.       




 Before we write some lines about the last impossibility that Abdul-Aziz faced and crushed (i.e., the will of international powers at the time), we summarize in the following points how he dealt with the first impossibility: the cultural climate.


1- Abdul-Aziz got rid of the military danger or threat posed by the Najd Brothers easily and with least cost, efforts, and losses, and their remnants turned into part of the defensive military submissive to him as a king, and he made peace with the rest of his foes. 


2- As for Wahabi scholars, Abdul-Aziz controlled them fully by putting a certain level or ceiling to their freedom of criticizing and protesting, so as to prevent them from impeding the way of modernization and progress. He made it his policy to make use of advanced technology of the West and the openness of Arabs everywhere, especially Egypt, without injuring the Wahabi ideology. Hence, a new trend in Najd was created that sought to travel abroad to learn and to come back to teach and build the culture and life in the KSA. Thus, Abdul-Aziz dared the impossible in Najd: changing stagnation of fossilized traditions sanctified as creed. Later on, the kingdom has been filled with cars, motorbikes, bicycles, radios, telecommunications, wireless stations of telegrams, and other inventions.   


3- Thus, despite preserving the Wahabi ideology in the KSA, Abdul-Aziz led his kingdom into spacious horizons when he focused on Egypt and made use of the terrorist MB group to spread Wahabism all over the Islamic and Arab world. The Egyptian religiosity or religiousness level has been transformed gradually in the 20th century from Sunnite Sufism into Sunnite Wahabism, and the Wahabi ideology gained momentum in the 1970s in Egypt after the fall of other ideologies such as Pan-Arabism and Marxism among other Leftist ideologies. In sum, Abdul-Aziz moved his problem of modernizing Wahabism into Egypt and prevented the terrorist MB members from ever coming to the KSA to preach, so as not to have his problem with the Najd Brothers repeated. Abdul-Aziz limited and curbed the influence of the Wahabi scholars and sheikhs so as not to oppose modernization, and the Saudi markets welcomed all products of the West, no longer considered devilish products. Meanwhile, the Wahabi ideology infiltrated gradually into the Egyptian soil, and Egypt was naturally open to the West and the Arab world. Saudi scholars had to exert efforts to gain fame and authority outside the KSA in a wider scope in the Arab world, especially in Egypt. The signs if this were shown in the 'sudden' spread of Wahabi extremism and bigotry in the 1970s in Egypt, when the terrorist MB and Salafists (two wings of the Wahabi ideology in Egypt and elsewhere) repeated what the Najd Brothers did 50 years ago in prohibiting countless things.                




9- Wahba, ditto, page 268.

10- Mansour (Ahmed Subhy), an article titled "The Egyptian Religiousness and the Najd Religiousness", published in ''Humankind and Development" Magazine, issue No. 61, April and June 1998.



The impossible in dealing with international greater powers:


1-Abdul-Aziz never dreamt of limitless expansions in Arabia; he knew his limits very well, unlike dreamy overambitious leaders who lose everything in the end. Abdul-Aziz knew how to deal realistically with real-life situations, knowing very well what was possible, what was unattainable, and what was impossible that will turn into possible in the foreseeable future with lots of endeavors and efforts exerted. Hence, he defeated and dared to face the impossible of international greater powers like GB; he expanded his kingdom step by step and kept good relation with GB, while never caring to please the British by fighting on their side against the Ottomans or taking their opinions in his military conquests. Yet, the British were his allies and gave him a monthly salary for a long time. Abdul-Aziz managed to ally himself to GB, while his foes were forced to ally themselves to weaker and losing parties. When Abdul-Aziz realized that the USA began to rise, he allied himself to it before GB lost its grip on the Middle East. It is the same policy adopted by Israel now, whereas Arabs allied themselves with losers (the USSR) that led them to the 1967 defeat. Thus, Abdul-Aziz preceded the Zionists in allying himself to the USA to establish his kingdom about 20 years before Israel was established.    


2- Of course, Abdul-Aziz had permanent interests and never permanent international friends, and hence, his stances varied as per his interests. Several Arab rulers are confining their visions to the idea of the two poles: the USSR and the USA, and in all cases, they work against the interests of their Arab people. This does not apply to Abdul-Aziz; he formed his kingdom during World War I and left Arab rulers to ally themselves to the Ottomans, and they lost. He left Al-Rasheed and Al-Sharif families and Arab nationalists to ally themselves to GB and France, but both powers let them down in Sykes-Picot agreement and the Balfour promise that made all Arab lose everything. Abdul-Aziz allied himself not to GB, but to the British interests and ambitions; he annexed Al-Ahsa and Hael and GB could not protest, as Abdul-Aziz depended on his own military power (i.e., the Najd Brothers at the time) and he owed nothing to GB. Rulers of Yemen, during their dispute with Abdul-Aziz over borders, allied themselves to Italians and lost their wager. Abdul-Aziz wagered over the British fears of Italian influence, and he won this battle of borders. During World War II, some Muslim leaders allied themselves to Germany and Italy, such as the Shah of Iran, Rasheed Al-Kilany in Iraq, Amin Al-Husseiny in Palestine, and King Farouk in Egypt, and all of them lost their wager. Abdul-Aziz allied himself to GB and won. When Hashemites who ruled Iraq allied themselves to GB and never paid heed to the rising USA, they lost the throne, whereas Abdul-Aziz allied himself soon enough to the USA and used oil revenues to consolidate and cement such relations to preserve his kingdom.       


3- Abdul-Aziz was shrewd enough as a Bedouin man or a desert-Arab; he knew his way through the desert and through the route of his political ambitions. He knew when to stop, when to wait, and when to seize a chance. Abdul-Aziz knew the limits of the possible and the impossible and how to change reality. Abdul-Aziz made use even of the recklessness of the Najd Brothers to measure the reactions of the international powers. When the Najd Brothers exceeded their limits and thought themselves as independent agents not pawns with the king, he disowned them and let GB kill them off. He made use of their power, fame, and savagery to conquer Hejaz without battle. When he realized that their raids on Iraq and Jordan would involve him in facing GB, he let the Najd Brothers down and enlisted the aid of GB to kill them off to defend its colony and the route to India: Iraq.   


4- Such political shrewdness of Abdul-Aziz in dealing with GB led the British to build the fortress of Boseih in spite of their treaty with Abdul-Aziz, and they used warplanes to kill off the Najd Brothers. Abdul-Aziz feared that Feisal Al-Daweesh would present himself as an alternative to Abdul-Aziz to the British, but his recklessness made GB realized that Abdul-Aziz was a better ally to maintain stability in Arabia, and happily shot the Najd Brothers to massacre most of them, and GB handed over Al-Daweesh, and other rebel leaders, to Abdul-Aziz. 


5- The terrorist Hassan Al-Banna in Egypt made use of the political genius of Abdul-Aziz in dealing with the terrorist MB members; Al-Banna made the group into two subsections as to fit the Egyptian conditions at the time; one overt group for preaching and recruitment of youths, and one secret terrorist group of assassinations that Al-Banna would disown its members when they would commit their crimes and got arrested! He would deny their being members of the MB!      


6- On the contrary, Al-Daweesh never benefited from the example of his master Abdul-Aziz; Al-Daweesh was busy with his ambitions and prowess and arrogance, never to discern the true facts of situation around him, and he contradicted himself on several occasions. He once attacked and raided Kuwaitis as 'infidels' and later on sought refuge in the palace of its ruler who refused to help him of course. Al-Daweesh accused Abdul-Aziz of being an apostate as he dealt with the British, and he sought the help of the British himself, but they headed him over to the king. Al-Daweesh felt that the British must chose him as king instead; but they knew they could not trust him, and eventually they favored Abdul-Aziz after they used Al-Daweesh to threaten Abdul-Aziz to make him knew his limits. 


7- Within disputes over borders with Yemen, Abdul-Aziz showed his political genius; Ahmed Ibn Al-Imam Yahiya, the son of the ruler of Yemen, Al-Imam Yahiya, conspired against the life of Abdul-Aziz by sending assassins to kill him in the Kaaba Mosque in Mecca. When the assassination attempt failed of course, Abdul-Aziz took revenge by enlisting the help of the terrorist MB group of Hassan Al-Banna in Egypt, as it branched in several countries as well. The Algerian terrorist MB member,Fodil Al-Ouartilani, was among the mysterious assistants of the terrorist Hassan Al-Banna. The MB branch in Yemen used Fodil Al-Ouartilani under orders of Al-Banna and his in-law, Abdel-Hakeem Abdeen, to interfere in the Saudi-Yemeni conflict, causing trade projects, upheavals, and political alliances to occur in Yemen, transformed into a full-fledged revolt (a.k.a. Al-Waziri coup) in 1948, led by a man called Abdullah Ibn Al-Wazir, and Al-Imam Yahiya was killed. Ibn Al-Wazir negotiated with Abdul-Aziz, and the latter retrieved regions of Aseer, Najran, and Jizan within the Saudi borders. When Yemeni tribes revolted against Ibn Al-Wazir and his coup, he tried to enlist the aid of Abdul-Aziz, who refused to help him by sending any troops or warplanes, and thus, the coup ended soon enough; and Fodil Al-Ouartilani fled Yemen and the KSA authorities refused to receive him. It is noteworthy that during the stay of Abdul-Aziz in Jeddah, he heard Philby weeping outside the king's royal tent, and Philby blamed the king for not conquering Yemen when he had the chance, and this false step would make him lose the KSA later on. Abdul-Aziz told him that no Saudi king ruled Yemen before, and security was never guaranteed there, with much sectarian and tribal unrest that would end the KSA if Yemen was annexed to his kingdom, and that his dispute with Yemen was over the regions of Aseer, Najran, and Jizan who were Saudi territories retrieved at last (11). This shows that Abdul-Aziz knew his limits regarding the notions of the possible, the insurmountable impossible, and the impossible that might change later on. He never ventured to conquer Yemen, so as to avoid its quagmire; on the contrary, Abdel-Nasser fell into that quagmire and did not get out of it until the 1967 war broke out.          


8- New realities imposed themselves on the relation between Abdul-Aziz and Jordan and Iraq; unlike the case during the Middle Ages, the modern age specifies defined borders between countries, allowing no room for Bedouins to graze cattle and animals freely anywhere, as they used to do before. This marked the end of the age of conquests, invasions, and annexing. Yet, Abdul-Aziz seized the chance of certain gaps in this new reality and conquered regions to form his kingdom while GB and other powers were busy in the World War I. yet, he knew his limits very well; annexing Jordan and Iraq was an insurmountable impossibility. He preferred to define borders with them in a way that allowed his taking as much desert areas as possible inside the KSA, to the north and to the east. He knew that circumstances of limitless conquests that were available during the reign of his ancestors are no longer there. Abdul-Aziz gained as many advantages as he possibly could by allowing GB to define borders within his whole-hearted agreement. One advantage was to gain international acknowledgment of his nascent kingdom, plus GB promising him financial and military aid. He knew he had to make the international community recognize the KSA, as part of the international political affairs and its culture and protocols. Thus, he readily made the treaty of Al-Akeer with GB, and once the Najd Brothers were killed off with their Middle-Ages culture, the interests of all parties dictated that they acknowledge on another: a protocol of friendship was signed between the Hashemite-ruled Iraq and Abdul-Aziz in 1930 (12). Normalization between the KSA and Jordan followed soon enough, as the Middle East began to know the era of separate, independent political entities. In Ta'if conference, Abdul-Aziz declared that his kingdom was to be named the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on 10th of Aug., 1932, as per his royal decree, and ordered that constitution be written with a system of inheriting the throne and how governments would be formed. He made all Saudis swear fealty to his heir, crown prince Saud Ibn Abdul-Aziz on 11th of May, 1933 (13). Yet the steps of writing constitution and how governmental and political bodies would be formed never took place during the reign of Abdul-Aziz, and this reluctance or laziness has shaped the opposition movements in the post-Abdul-Aziz era.         




11- Mansour (Ahmed Subhy), ditto, page 28.

Kishk, ditto, pages 50, 51, and 81.

12- Umm Al-Qura Magazine, No. 308, 7th year, on 31st Oct., 1930.

13- Umm Al-Qura Magazine, on 23rd Sept., 1932.

Kishk, ditto, pages 691, 692, and 693.


The huge gap between Abdul-Aziz and his contemporary Arab rulers:


  The huge gap in the mentality and shrewdness of Abdul-Aziz in comparison to his contemporary Arab rulers especially in Arabia is a topic that will make us return here to the idea of the impossible within a given dominant cultural climate and how this influences the political vision. We quote Wahba here as he was the one to live in Arabia and knew its rulers, enabling us via his writings to know their mentalities and how Abdul-Aziz was distinguished among them and surpassed them all. Below, we quote an excerpt from the writings of Wahba: (…I will demonstrate to readers here the governmental systems of Arabian regions and how they were ruled and governed; it is an image derived from what ordinary Arabs and Muslims would understand from the notion of government as seen by Arabian rulers...I will mention here two stories to explain these facts…The first story occurred in the winter of 1915, as I was talking to Jabir Al-Sabah, the brother of ruler of Kuwait, Mubarak Al-Sabah, trying to convince him to talk to his brother about heavy taxes and the way such money was spent. Mubarak Al-Sabah in his last days discarded religious and Arabian traditions as he squandered money on himself to live luxuriously by imposing heavy taxes on houses. I reminded his brother, Jabir, of the hadith about every caretaker is responsible or his people, never forgetting to praise Mubarak Al-Sabah and his other good traits and how he defended Kuwait and cared for the interests of Kuwaitis and made trade flourish…Jabir told me that I understood subjects of the king Mubarak very little, and I should not repeat words of the scholars. He told me that subjects of the kingdom are like cattle that must have their wool shorn every once in a while. I told him that even cattle needs care to breed, and shearing them must not reach to their skin to get their wool. He told me that an absolute ruler must control fully all his subjects, bodies and souls, as well as all the lands and all things on it, and if the people were wealthy, they might revolt against the ruler. I refuted his claims and asserted that Kuwaitis loved their country and ruler, and they were not enemies to him, and that tyranny breeds animosity. He told me that it is no use to argue; they as the royal family members understood their subjects and the best way to rule them, and that he grew tired of my sermonizing him…the other story happened 19 years later, in 1932, as a Bedouin old man visited me and asked me about Europe and its men, kings, climate, military troops and so on. He asked me that if the European kings and rulers were like King Abdul-Aziz, and I told him about the British king whose kingdom was vast enough around the globe. He asked me if delegations visit the British king and if he would give them money and gifts or not. I told him that he meets only with high officials and men of high ranks, giving them medals and honors of merit, while people within the British army and its ranks receive salaries. The Bedouin man asked if the British king is very rich with treasuries filled with gold and precious stones. I told him that the king and his royal family had their high salaries and the treasury is under control of the Minister of Finance to spend on the salaries of governmental officials, military men, the fleet, etc. and then education and other ministries, with budgets known to all. He asked me if the British and European people would kill under orders of their king, and I told him that European kings do not manage their work by themselves, and courts would sentence men to death, and kings would change the sentence into imprisonment, but the kings could not order the hanging of someone without court sentences…The Bedouin man told me that they were no real kings if they would not confiscate the treasuries of their kingdoms, as Arab kings do… Arabian rulers never cared very much about foreign affairs, and some countries (e.g., Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain) signed treaties with GB that would not allow them to communicate with any other foreign country. No region of Arabia held good international relations except Hejaz at the time…The ruler of Bahrain once asked me if King Abdul-Aziz appointed a consul or an ambassador in Al-Ahsa or Qatif, but I refuted this rumor at once, and I asked him if it were true, why should we do this to care for the British interests or those of any nationalities of people working inside the KSA. The ruler of Bahrain mocked me and said that if the British raised their flag anywhere, they would occupy and invade it, and this would endanger the KSA. I told him that the KSA might one day have embassies in India and GB and would raise the Saudi flag there as well. He told me that the British stopped all influence of the rulers of Bahrain in the last 50 years, and I retorted that Bahraini rulers should have taken care for the interests of their people, so as not to allow GB to interfere in Bahraini affairs and that GB would not endanger its interests and subjects residing there, as Bahrain suffered for a while from misadministration. The ruler of Bahrain told me that GB would give pieces of advice only, not to control everything in Bahrain and that King Abdul-Aziz must take care and never would let off his guard regarding the British influence inside the KSA and never to allow embassies to be built there. This Bahraini ruler represented the mentality that dominated at the time all over Arabia…Once, people of Dubai and Oman refused to install quarantine in their coasts in 1928, despite the fact that the epidemic of cholera at the time struck Iraq, and they just refused that Iraqi ships would come near their ports…they refused for a long time to build airports inside their countries so as to avoid British interference in their countries similar to what occurred in Bahrain at the time…) (14).  




14- Wahba, ditto, pages 139, 140, 146, and 147.

The Wahabi Opposition Movements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Twentieth Century
The Wahabi Opposition Movements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Twentieth Century

Authored by: Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour
26th of June, 2001
Cairo, Egypt
Translated by: Ahmed Fathy


We publish here the complete book titled "The Wahabi Opposition Movements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Twentieth Century", after writing it previously in a series of successive articles before on our website. We authored this book in 2001, and it is published here online after omitting an introductory chapter about Wahabism and its origins and roots; we have omitted this chapter because it repeats what we have written in hundreds of articles about Wahabism, Salafism, and the Sunnite Ibn Hanbal doctrine. We have decided to confine this book to the rest of this research, whose details are summarized in the new introduction, and we consider this research or book as adopting a neutral historical viewpoint of events. Parts of this book have been published before separate