Merriam-Webster defines Apologetics as:
: systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine)
: a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity
Amongst the Muslim community, there are those who defend the Saudi regime as if defending their religion or a doctrine. These apologists either have financial interests in doing so, or at the very least, subconsciously seek to soothe their hidden guilt at allowing an anti-Islāmic force to rule the sacred soil of Arabia. They are not bothered at the broader issues and crises of Islām as long as they can continue their lifestyle as they please.
The arguments they present are patently naïve and never refer to the Qurān or Ḥadīth, for indeed the sacred texts of Islām cannot condone the existence of a tyrannical, treasonous regime devoted to Ghayrullāh. To even call these arguments “apologetics” is a kindness, for apologetics is defined to be “systematic,” unlike the statements of Saudi apologists.
1. The excesses of the Saudis are to be balanced against their great service to the Muslims
Okay, so the Saudis have made the Maṭāf marble when previously Ṭawāf was more physically taxing. They have installed air-conditioning and many other material amenities. This is not in dispute. What I do dispute is firstly, this argument presents nothing of a scriptural basis. It is pure concocted defence. Secondly the defence is invalid.
- The apologists pretend that the Saudis have spent of their own personal wealth in the cause of Allāh and deserve recognition for this supposed selfless sacrifice. How many minutes of honest labour have the Saudis engaged in and how many millilitres of sweat have they perspired to acquire this wealth of “theirs”? Unless the apologists wish to stoop to unheard of levels of shamelessness, nobody is able to deny the fact that the thousands of Saudis who call themselves princes are nothing but parasites leeching off the wealth of Allāh and the Ummah. When they do engage in work, it is in the fields of drug trafficking, stealing property from commoners, taking loans and not repaying and the like.
- When the Jews offer the Palestinians some scraps of amenities, we are not impressed, and rightfully so. The wealth is stolen and if a portion is thrown back, why should the victim show gratitude? What is the difference between Jewish and Saudi theft?
- The amounts spent on the Ḥaramayn should be weighed against the mind boggling billions which the House of Saud lavishes not just on extravagant lifestyles, palaces and yachts, but Allāh alone knows the incalculable amount spent on gambling and prostitution. Consider just two facts – ABC reported in 2004 how Saudi princes paid prostitutes of both sexes in the French Riviera up to $50,000 per session; and consider that in 1969, i.e. just two years after the loss of al-Aqṣā, Fahd gambled 5.6m USD away in a single night. Adjust that to current values and ask with what face do the apologists ask us to be grateful to this house?
- Even if the wealth came from the personal funds and generosity of the Saudis, I would advise the apologists to read the Qurān, at least once in a while. Remember that Pharaoh had raised Mūsā ‘alayhis salām since he was a baby. He not only paid for his food, clothing and the roof over his head, even the mother’s milk which Mūsā ‘alayhis salām drank was not for free. Pharaoh paid his mother to breast-feed him. The Qurān describes how the now Nabī Mūsā ‘alayhis salām denounces the shirk and tyranny of Pharaoh. Pharaoh responds in the same vein as the apologists and reminds Mūsā ‘alayhis salām of his past generosity to him. I shall limit myself to quoting the reply of Mūsā ‘alayhis salām. If an explanation is needed on comparing the two scenarios then may Allāh have mercy!
وتلك نعمة تمنها علي أن عبدت بني إسرائيل
And that is the favour which you flaunt against me despite your enslaving Banū Isrāīl? [ash-Shuara: 22]
2. If Allāh was unhappy with the Saudis He would not allow them control over the Ka ‘bah
If not for the fact that I have heard this argument many a time, I would feel it a sheer waste of time to even respond to it.
- Three centuries before Rasūlullāh صلى الله عليه و سلم ‘Amr bin Luḥayy al-Khuzā‘ī ruled Makkah. It was this wretched person who defiled the Ka‘bah and introduced idolatry to Makkah. According to the Saudi apologists, control of the Ka‘bah is indicative of Allāh’s sanctioning a ruling. By this reasoning, Allāh sanctioned the rule of ‘Amr and the idolators for the next three centuries. Note that the Saudis have not yet completed a century of ruling Makkah, as opposed to the three centuries of idolatrous rule. If we extend the strange reasoning of the apologists, this would mean that Allāh is triply more pleased with the idolaters than with the Saudis.
- Again, if Allāh is pleased with whoever rules Makkah, what was the purpose of Rasūlullāh militarily صلى الله عليه و سلم opposing the government of Makkah and conquering Makkah?
- During the Islāmic period Makkah has been ruled several times by the Shī‘ah. These included the Qarāmatīyah and Fāṭimīyah, both whom subscribed to Ismā‘īlī heresy i.e. ‘Alī رضى الله عنه is God incarnate! So… was Allāh pleased with these governments?
- Rasūlullāh صلى الله عليه و سلم has informed us that Ẓū Suwayqatayn will conquer Makkah and demolish the Ka‘bah. Indeed, by the reasoning of the Saudi apologists, Allāh’s pleasure not only encompasses pious rulers such as Abū Bakr رضى الله عنه, but a host of tyrants and disbelievers who have ruled and will rule Makkah.
- I again ask the apologists to refer to the Word of Allāh. Al-‘Abbās رضى الله عنه is honoured as both a Ṣaḥābī and uncle of Rasūlullāh صلى الله عليه و سلم , notwithstanding his relative late entry into Islām. In fact he fought on the Quraysh side at Badr. He held a post in the Quraysh government and could be termed as the Minister of Ḥajj and Custodian of al-Masjid al-Ḥarām. He defended his perceived honour in regards the early Muslims by saying, “You may have preceded us in Islām, Hijrah and Jihād, but indeed we maintained the building of al-Masjid al-Ḥarām and gave water to the pilgrims and spent on the needy.” Allāh’s reply in the form of the 19th verse of at-Tawbah should be well heeded by those who defend the House of Saud:
أجعلتم سقاية الحاج وعمارة المسجد الحرام كمن آمن بالله واليوم الآخر وجاهد في سبيل الله لا يستوون عند الله والله لا يهدي القوم الظالمين
Do you make the giving of water to the pilgrims and building the Sacred Masjid equal to those who believe in Allāh and the Last Day and strive in Allāh’s way? They are not equal in the Sight of Allāh! And Allāh does not guide the wrong-doing folk.
Although the scum of kufr seems to be overwhelming the pure river of Islām, inshāllāh Allāh’s Dīn will soon triumph. Islām’s triumph is guaranteed, Allāh alone knows when. The question each Muslim should ask, is whether he or she wishes to sell his or her religion and associate with the scum for the sake of temporary worldly pleasure, or whether he or she wishes to be amongst Allāh’s party. May Allāh guide us all.