Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Civil War in Saudi Arabia?


بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

The Arabian peninsula is central to Islamic prophecy. For this reason, Muslims with an apocalyptic worldview should pay particularly close attention to events unfolding in Saudi Arabia. The current monarch, king Salman, is an ailing old man in his 80s. Real power rests with his donkey of a son, the notorious MBS. According to a fresh report from Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institute: “Fearing for his security, the crown prince is said to spend many nights on his half-billion-dollar yacht moored in Jeddah...If the king dies suddenly and soon, the succession may be disputed and even violent.” This is certainly in keeping with my earlier prediction based on Islamic prophecy that Saudi Arabia will soon be engulfed in a civil war: “Saudi Arabia is currently going through some major changes for the worse. This movement away from conservative Islamic values and toward moral corruption in the name of modernization and reform is being spearheaded by the crown prince Muhammad bin Salman. His father is the king of Saudi Arabia, but being extremely advanced in age, he may die anytime now and be succeeded by his devilish son who is relatively young and ambitious. It is not inconceivable that upon the death of king Salman Saudi Arabia will be plunged into conflict with squabbles within the House of Saud rising to the surface. Remember that the emergence of the Mahdi will be in an atmosphere of turmoil and dissension, with the princes of the ruling family fighting each other for the throne.”

The internal divisions within the Al Saud family are bubbling to the surface. When MBS was initially named crown prince, it seemed nothing could stand in his way. He enjoyed a celebrity in his own country and on the international stage. He was cheered on for his Vision 2030 and for wanting to reform Saudi society away from the rigid “Wahhabism” to a more “moderate” interpretation of Islam. But the true, ugly face of MBS was exposed quickly after he made serious miscalculations in relation to Yemen, Lebanon and Qatar. His recent crack down on Saudi religious leaders, businessmen, and human rights activists have soured his international reputation. He is now regarded as nothing more than a self-serving autocrat by many of those who once hoped he would be the much needed reformer of the Arab world.

In the Hadith of Thawban collected by Ibn Maja the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) reportedly said:

يَقْتَتِلُ عِنْدَ كَنْزِكُمْ ثَلاَثَةٌ كُلُّهُمُ ابْنُ خَلِيفَةٍ ثُمَّ لاَ يَصِيرُ إِلَى وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَطْلُعُ الرَّايَاتُ السُّودُ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ فَيَقْتُلُونَكُمْ قَتْلاً لَمْ يُقْتَلْهُ قَوْمٌ

“Three will fight one another for your treasure, each one of them the son of a caliph, but none of them will gain it. Then the black banners will come from the east, and they will kill you in an unprecedented manner.”

(Sunan Ibn Maja #4084)

Although there might be a slight weakness in this Hadith due to some issues of tadlis, there are some shawahid (supportive narrations), and if it is to be taken as authentic, then it is quite tempting to apply this Hadith to the situation in Saudi Arabia today. By “caliph” is meant a ruler and not necessarily a just Islamic ruler or khalifa rashid, and therefore can apply to the father of the current Saudi rulers, namely, Abd ul-Aziz (d.1953). When the current Saudi king, Salman (one of the many sons of Abd ul-Aziz), ascended the throne in January 2015, the crown prince was his brother Muqrin. Then Muqrin was replaced as crown prince with his nephew, Muhammad bin Nayef, a grandson of Abd ul-Aziz, in April of that year. Only two months later, the position of crown prince rotated once more, this time to king Salman’s young son Muhammad, known as MBS. It is not too difficult to see a clash between these three families (Muqrin, Nayef and Salman) should the current king suddenly die, or any other of the prominent families in the Al Saud clan, such as that of the previous king Abdullah. Another Saudi prince, Ahmad bin Abd ul-Aziz, recently issued a public and scathing criticism of both the king and his son MBS. It is not to far-fetched to say that when the current king dies his own brothers and their children will fight for the throne, leading the country into a bloody civil war. In such a scenario, with the Saudi kingdom destabilized, an army shall come from the east, probably Khurasan (modern-day Afghanistan) with black banners, pledging its loyalty to the Mahdi, who will have emerged by then. This army shall naturally be resisted by the various Arab regimes, and so fight them with ferocious, religious zeal, which is why the Hadith says “they shall kill you in an unprecedented manner”, as the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) was obviously addressing the Arabs. A similar Hadith states:

يَكُونُ اخْتِلاَفٌ عِنْدَ مَوْتِ خَلِيفَةٍ

“Disagreement will occur at the death of a caliph”

(Sunan Abi Dawud #4286)

The Hadith is weak due to an unknown narrator, however, it is interesting because it goes on to describe the appearance of the Mahdi in the Hejaz at that time. The “caliph” may then be a reference to the current Saudi ruler (again, who is a “caliph” in the linguistic sense of being a ruler who has succeeded the ruler before him, and not a rightly-guided Khalifa). When this king dies, the “disagreement” is none other than the anticipated civil war within the House of Saud, destabilizing the country and paving the way for the disclosing of the promised Mahdi of the Ahl al-Bayt. Of course, time will soon tell whether this interpretation is correct or not. I suspect it is (more or less), meaning the time for the Mahdi’s appearance is at hand. Saudi Arabia is about to be destabilized due to the internal divisions within the House of Saud, owing especially to the reckless behavior of MBS and the stupidity of his foolish father. Allah knows best.

1 comment:

  1. The catalyst for any civil war in Saudi Arabia will undoubtedly be a succession war for the throne within the House of Saud, especially given the resentment MBS has triggered in the other princes. However, once such a war breaks out, it is quite likely that other forces which have long standing grievances with the Saudi rulers will seize the opportunity to jump into the fray as well, i.e., the Shiites of the Eastern Province, al-Qaeda, ISIL and various other "Jihadist" and "Islamist" factions, and possibly some Arab tribes which want greater autonomy. The Huthis of Yemen, who are already engaged in a war with the Saudis, will be emboldened by such a development too, and no doubt try to penetrate their own forces into Saudi territory bordering Yemen (such as Najran and Asir). All of this will serve to speed the collapse of Saudi rule and pave the way for the Mahdi's emergence.

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