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The Paradigm Shift of Holy Land Arabia- Muslim World as a Whole Must Take Notice

By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

4 July 2022

Saudi Arabia Kingdom Came Into Existence In Mid Eighteenth Century, Purely As Political Activism By Abdul Wahhab And With The Help Of The British, To Oust The Ottoman Out Of Arabia

Main Points:

1.    Generally the media and Muslims' in particular refer erroneously to Saudi Arabia as the birth place of Islam.

2.    The strict interpretation of Islam, not only of Wahhabism but also the Salafism, the ancestors of the times of the Messenger has taken a paradigm shift.

3.    Conversion of non-Muslim to Muslims is emblazoned across Muslim Media when a celebrity converts, but there is hardly any mention of the traffic the other way.

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It is common to refer to a place on earth as the original specific birth place where the Person who originated the specific Ism/ philosophy was born.

Generally it is noticed that the media and Muslims' in particular refer erroneously to Saudi Arabia as the birth place of Islam. Erroneously, because they treat Islam as a Religion, like every other Church organised, priestly propagated and administered theology; and where the Messenger Muhammad was borne, in the mid sixth century CE. Whereas Saudi Arabia Kingdom came into existence in mid eighteenth century, purely as political activism by Abdul Wahhab and with the help of the British, to oust the Ottoman out of Arabia. The Religious theology of Abdul Wahhab, which was used to muster the Arabs under its banner for this purpose is called Wahhabism.

The additional emphases or stamp “Muhammadur Rasullullah” helped the cause enormously by adopting it on the flag of the regime as Laaillaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasullullah”; not given in Quran. Yet it embedded in concrete the Vatican of Religion of Islam in Saudi Arabia. This was, however long established as the Qiblah--Focus of Islam for prayers facing towards it and the annual pilgrimage place, for the simple argument that the messenger Muhammad was born there.

( A young American Muslim writer twitted that she has stopped writing about boy-meets-girl novels, instead would like to send them into space and let them argue which way is the Qiblah!)

This same strategy was later used in Sudan too, to rid itself of colonial rule; under Mehdism in mid nineteenth century to defeat the Egyptian-British under military command of General Gordon of Khartoum, who is also referred to as Gordon Pasha and by few other accolades.

To use such religious activism is the modus operandi of all Muslim activism even today, where Islam in its various religious forms is used to suit the purpose and Messenger Muhammad and his birth place Makkah as the Qiblah/focus.

The above is argued here as being misguided and as contrary to the scripture Quran's teaching. A few articles in this vein have been presented on this forum.

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Also Read:  Let’s Redeem the “Benefits” of Hajj!

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The issue here is the much touted drive by the young Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman, commonly referred to as MBS to “Modernise” the Kingdom allegedly in line with modern understanding of Islam!

This move of the Crown Prince must have put the heat under the Muslim Clergy the world over. The strict interpretation of Islam, not only of Wahhabism but also the Salafism...that is, going back to the drawing board of the Salaf... the ancestors of the times of the Messenger has taken a paradigm shift. The salient point however being the aspect of the shifting economic and political paradigms and consideration of the Kingdom's future.

Economic shift from the declining oil requirements and to the very existence of the Kingdom. Sustainable and alternative energy sources and looking just across the borders ... the demise of the mighty Shah of Iran. (In this context The deposed King Farooq of Egypt had once said that there will remain only five kings... one of Britain and four of the playing cards! It is to be seen if he is right in his prophecy?).

MBS perhaps is living in a more healthier circumstance; as the immense income from the Vatican Islam, practices and now tourism is not going to diminish any time soon, as the other side of the coin of this issue is the much touted “fastest growing Religion of Islam”! Much touted because there is hardly any researched statistical evidence of it. Conversion of non-Muslim to Muslims is emblazoned across Muslim Media when a celebrity converts, but there is hardly any mention of the traffic the other way.(interesting point to consider is that in the recent Australian Census, those declaring themselves as non-religious has sharply increased. Muslims should not take solace in assuming that it refers only to Christians and other religions only). However that should not be taken as there is decline in morality and dilution of human values.

Therefore MBS's drive can also be seen to be ready to capture tourism trade that this shift will bring. The construction of five and mega stars hotels, not to mention the so called biggest clock in the world, right in the heart of the Islam's Vatican, is the evidence of that preparedness for the economic future.

Quite a few Muslim countries have declared Islam as their State Religion, far more than other non-Muslim countries. Hence, Arabian entrepreneurship cashing in on human frailties of holy spirituality has been often referred to here and it is not difficult to analyse it in conjunction with the teaching of Quran. The entire religious enterprise, going back centuries soon after the passing away of Muhammad the Messenger has drained the Muslim world of its “Intellectual Thinking Faculties” meant for the benefit of humanity for its progress as a whole; is usurped and submerged in the ritualistic spiritual Religion of Islam of which there are many versions. Since then for most of the time, the Arabian version has been enduring. The pious high moral ground that has been the hallmark of that endurance is now under threat of “liberalism “and the Clergy will find the heat unbearable.

Similar scenario, of the past struggle of power blocks, such as the State and the Church is not new and Muslims have to take notice of it to strike a path that is appropriate to the changing times and norms of its followers in view of the diaspora in particular.

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Also Read:  Trackings to the Spiritual Holy-woods

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On the personality cultism of the Messenger Muhammad the extremist too will be uncomfortable with the changes taking place in the holy land. The Holy Messenger being an Arab, born in Arabia, was more than enough to construct his prophetic mission in peninsular Arabia and for Arab enterprises. And so the saying that translates as: “You may criticise God, but God forbid you say a word against Muhammad”, may have to be diluted, particularly for the diaspora in Europe! And it must be so, because it is the Muslims who chose to make their home there voluntarily knowing, or should know that the religious values there are different to theirs and are changing.

The common denominator of the Muslim world is of course the Person and persona of the Messenger Muhammad of Arabia; at the exclusion of the all previous Messengers who form essential part of Iman- the Faith as given in Quran. Yet for the Messenger Muhammad exclusively, the 'Mujahideen' will go to any length to protect his name and honour, as has been demonstrated by recent events, notwithstanding any provocation real or imaginary. The Muslim diaspora must remember that the Previous Messengers are Messengers revered by the locals too but not necessarily treated as that.

It will be an interesting scenario for the younger generation to witness the changes initiated by MBS followed in his step by other Muslim majority countries and the dilemma of the organised Muslim Churches and their Clergy – the Ulama!

It is now the urgent turn of the free thinking scholars to prepare the younger generation for the eventuality to fit in the ever changing demographics and to create the “thinking” for the peaceful world...to quote the scripture:

Lee A'malee Walakum A'amalukum”---Basically saying “Live and Let Live!

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A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is an Indian-origin Engineer (Retd.) based in Australia for over forty years.


URL:    https://newageislam.com/islamic-society/holy-land-arabia-muslim-world-wahhabism/d/127398


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