Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen about the Saudi Arabian government

Scholar: Imâm Muhammad bin Sâlih bin ´Uthaymîn
Source: Liqâ’ al-Bâb al-Maftûh (128 A)
Date: 1417-02-04/1996-06-20
Reference: Darulhadith.com
Audio and Translation courtesy of aFatwa.com (site is down)

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymîn:

As for this government, you know that the country rules by Islâmic Sharî’ah. The judges only judge by Islâmic Sharî’ah. The fast is maintained. The pilgrimage is maintained. The lectures in the mosques are maintained. As for the one who errs or is liable to fall into a tribulation (fitnah), then both the evil and that which leads to the evil has to be prevented.

If we (take a) look at our country, we neither see buildings upon the graves, Tawâf around the graves or Sûfiyyah’s and others innovations publicly. However, it is possible that some [people] possess the innovations of Sûfiyyah and the like that they keep for themselves. On the other hand, all societies have some form of corruption.

If we consider this and compare it with other adjacent countries outside of Saudi Arabia, we see a very big difference. Alcoholic drinks (Khamr) are sold openly in the stores in some adjacent countries. The restaurants are open in daytime during Ramadhân so that one can eat and drink as much as one wants. There are prostitutes in public. Some who travel to these countries as tourists told me that one is asked as soon as one arrives at the airport:

“There are boys and girls. What do you want?”

This is taking place publicly. One has to face the facts concerning one’s government and one’s country. He should not disseminate the bad sides that the ruler might be excused for and completely ignore the good sides. It is as if there is nothing good at all in the government. It is not fair. Allâh (ta’âlâ) said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ لِلّهِ شُهَدَاء بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى

” O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allâh and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allâh.” (5:8, interpretation of the meanings)

If someone were to ask why something like this happens, then the answer is primarily an unrestrained vigilance. It is neither curbed by the Sharî’ah nor the common sense, which is due to ignorance. Secondly, it is due to the desire. Thus, all of it is due to two things: Ignorance about the Sharî’ah or the wisdom or also the desire. Although he knows that it is wrong he (still) disseminates these things that entice the people away from the rulers and fills them with hate towards them. He does it only because he has something against the rulers and wants to vent his anger on them.

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