An Open Letter to King Fahd on the Occasion of the Recent Cabinet Reshuffle

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An Open Letter to King Fahd from Osama bin Laden  (1995) 
by Osama bin Laden
Sent on August 3rd 1995, this letter from Osama bin Laden attacks the Saudi monarch King Fahd for "moral and administrative corruption", and quotes extensively from the Quran and renowned scholars. Translation provided by The Pentagon.

An Open Letter to King Fahd on the Occasion of the Recent Cabinet Reshuffle

Usama bin Muhammad bin Laden
Board of Advice and Reformation

In the name of God the most compassionate and the most merciful

Grace be to God, and prayer and peace upon the Messenger of God, his companions, and all those who followed his righteous path.

To the king of Najd and Hijaz Fahd bin ‘Abd-al-Aziz. Peace be upon he who followed the righteous path. We send to you this open letter void of royal formalities and majestic titles. It is a guileless approach to you with some remarks about the atrocities you and your clan have perpetrated against God and His religion, against the rights of His worshipers and His country, and against the sanctity of His holy lands and nation. Because of the clarity of the truth we are expressing here and the elucidation of the precise contents of this letter compels us to hope that you will break the blinders that you have surrounded yourself with, thus blocking you from listening to the truth in addition to the walls that keep it (truth) from reaching your ears. O King! The reason for writing this letter is what you and the influential executive princes do by deceiving people and your efforts to play on their minds and the transference of their wrath upon you and their resentment of your rule. Also, what you perform of marginal and deceptive reforms that may be categorized as temporal tranquilizers for people’s ire and transient pacifiers for its bitterness. This was clear when you established the Advisory Council which the nation has long awaited for. Unfortunately, the people were disappointed as it turned out that the Council was stillborn. Furthermore, your marginal cabinet reshuffle did not really cure the cause of the disease and the root of the affliction which is you, your ministers of defense and interior, the Emir of Riyadh, and all those of their ilk.

The opportunity for writing this important letter will not drive us away from the essence of our differences with you and the root of the conflict with your reign. This essence and this root are not what might rush to your mind as to what rumors you have spread during your reign and empowered your successor to oppress the simple people and deprive them of their rights especially the scholars, missionary workers, reformists, merchants, and tribal elders. It is neither what you exposed the nation, in general, to insulting its dignity and honor, sacrileged its holy lands, plundered its resources, and robbed its wealth nor what is prevalent during your reign of bribes and commissions which led to the spread of favoritism, moral and administrative corruption. Nor it is how you have led the country to the edge of an astounding economic collapse that consequently led it to the brink of bankruptcy. We shall touch on some of these important issues later on after we first present the essence and the root of our differences with you. These differences are manifested in your regime while not adhering to the principles of ‘There is no God but Allah’ and all that follows it. These are the foundations of monotheism which distinguish between infidelity and faith. Because all these matters result from your regime not adhering to the principles of monotheism and its necessities and since we shall soon issue – God willing- a research that would handle the aspects of this departure in more detail, we will limit our brief letter to explain two facets of this departure. They are:

The First: Your Ruling with other than what God has revealed and allowed[edit]

The frequency of the texts of Koran, the Sunna, and the statements of the nation’s scholars tell us that whoever permits himself or others to follow a positive or man-made law is transgressing God’s Law and therefore is an infidel and an apostate who no longer belongs to our religious community.

God, the glorified and the Almighty says,

“Hast thou not turned thy vision to those who declare that they believe in the

revelations that have come to thee and to those before thee? Their real wish is to resort together for judgment (in their disputes) to the Evil One, though they were ordered to reject him. But Satan’s wish is to lead them astray far away (from the Right).

Sura 9:60

Shaykh ‘Abd-al-Rahman bin Hasan Al Shaykh, may God rest his soul in peace, says in interpreting this verse: Whoever seeks an arbitrator other than God and His messenger has abandoned what Muhammad, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, had revealed and desired other than he, and made a partner for God in obedience and disagreed with what the messenger, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, had revealed regarding what God the Almighty says:

And this: Judge thou between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they beguile thee from any of that which Allah hath sent down to thee.” Sura 5:49

Also, God the glorified says:

But no, by the Lord, they can have no Faith until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance

against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction.”

(Sura 9:65)

Whoever disobeys what God and His messenger, May God be upon him and grant him salvation, have ordained by passing judgment among the people by anything but what God had revealed or demanded that following his desires and wishes has thus repudiated the noose of Islam and the faith. If he alleges he is a believer, then God, the glorified, has denounced whoever wanted that and disclosed his lying in alleging faith for what is contained in God’s statement ‘declare’ thus negating their faith. If they allege, it is frequently said for the one who claims legal proceedings in which he is lying for his violating His Word and committing what negates it.

This proves God’s verse: “though they were ordered to reject him.” because to blaspheme against the Evil One is the cornerstone of monotheism as mentioned in the al-Baqarah verse. If this cornerstone is absent, it is not monotheistic. Monotheism is the foundation of faith with which all acts are refined and are spoiled without as is evident in God Almighty statement. “Whoever rejects Evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy handhold.”

To arbitrate to the Evil One is to believe in him.

Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Al al-Shaykh, may God rest his soul in peace, says in interpreting this verse,

God has negated faith to anyone who wanted to arbitrate contrary to what the messenger of God, may God be upon him and grant him salvation, revealed of the hypocrites as God Almighty says:

“Hast thou not turned thy vision to those who declare that they believe in the revelations that have come to thee and to those before thee? Their real wish is to resort together for judgment (in their disputes) to the Evil One, though they were ordered to reject him. But Satan’s wish is to lead them astray far away."Sura 9:60

When God says ‘declare’ that is a denial of what they have alleged of faith. Arbitration contrary to what the prophet, May God pray upon him and grant him salvation, has taught cannot be united by any means in the heart of a

worshiper because each negates the other.

The words ‘Evil One’ are derived from tyranny which is exceeding the limit. Anyone who arbitrates differently from what the prophet, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, revealed or judged contrary to what the prophet, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, revealed, he then has ruled with the Evil One and accepted the rule of the tyrant and is run by the his rules.

God the Almighty says,

“Do they then seek after a judgment of (the Days of) Ignorance? But who, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgment than Allah?” Sura 5:50

Says Ibn Kathir in interpreting this verse,” God denies upon everyone who digresses from His solid rule that encompasses all that which is good, prohibits all that which is evil, and rectified those opinions and vain desires and the conventions created by men without any reliance or reasoning to God’s law (Shari’a) just like the people before Islam were ruling with delusions and ignorance which they set forth with their opinions and capriciousness. Similarly, as the Tartars ruled based on the royal policies taken from their King Genkhis Khan who established for them the al-Yasiq, which is a medley of laws Genkhis Khan derived from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and others. The al-Yasiq contains many rules set forth by his whims and thus they became a jurisdiction followed and preferred over judgment by Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His messenger, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation. He who follows that is an infidel who must be fought until the rule of God and His messenger is regained so that no one else judges no more no less.

Is this al-Yasiq a progressive example for the positive laws that you, your regime, and those of the ilk rule by today?

The arbitration of the positive laws and ruling by them is doubtlessly the worshipping of those who do that to the maker of these laws and is enslavement by the lawmaker to those who follow and obey him in all his legislations without the need for God.

This meaning has been illustrated by the messenger of God, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, to ‘Uday bin Hatam in a Hadith that was reported by al-Tarmadhi and others, and which he improved. It said that ‘Uday bin Hatam, may God be pleased with him, – who was a Christian- heard the prophet, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, reading this verse,

“ They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and Christ, the son of Mary.” Sura 9:31

He told the messenger of God that,” We do not worship them!” He said, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, “Do not they prohibit what God has permitted and then you prohibit it? Do not they allow what He prohibited and then you allow it?” He said yes. Said the prophet,”That’s what they worship.”

‘Uday bin Hatam, may God be pleased with him, thought that worshiping was merely limited to offering religious rites such as prayers and the like. Since the Christians do not pray for their priests and monks, he thought the Christians did not take them as their lords. But the messenger of God, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, removed this confusion from him and made it clear for him that by obeying them in prohibiting and permitting goes contrary to God’s Revelation. They have made them (priests and anchorites) lords unto themselves in derogation of God. This meaning of worship which the messenger, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, made clear to ‘Uday bin Hatam, may God be pleased with him, is the one that the nation unanimously agreed upon and was a recurrent theme among the Imams whose sayings we shall briefly mention next:

Ibn Hazm reports of what God says, “They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah,”: “Since Jews and Christians prohibit what their priests and anchorites prohibited and allow what they permitted, then it is true lordship and true worship they have professed. God the Almighty called this work taking lords in derogation of Allah and worship. This is, undisputedly, shirk in derogation of God.” [ALFISAL 3/66]

Ibn Taymiyyah, a shaykh of Islam, may God rest his soul in peace, said after he mentioned the abovementioned tale of ‘Uday bin Hatam: “And so said Abu-al-Bukhtari: They did not pray for them (priests and anchorites) had they ordered them (Jews and Christians) to worship them in derogation of God, they would not obey them. However, they ordered them and they allowed the forbidden and made the forbidden permissible. And they obeyed them. That was lordship….The prophet, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, made it clear that their worship of the priests and anchorites was in allowing the forbidden and making the forbidden permissible. It is not that they prayed for them, fasted for them and called upon them in derogation of God but it is the worship of men. And God has mentioned that such worship is shirk when He says,

“There is no God but He, praise and glory to Him: Far is He from having the partners they associate with Him.”

Shaykh Muhammad bin ‘Abd-al-Wahab, may God rest his soul in peace, classifying the abovementioned tale of ‘Uday bin Hatam, “He who obeys the scholars and the princes in disallowing what God has permitted and allowing what He has rendered impermissible, has made them unto lords.

The Shaykh of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah says, may God rest his soul in peace, says,” By necessity, it is known about the religion of Islam and the unanimity of all Muslims that whosoever allows himself to profess a religion other that of Islam and to follow the Shari’ah other than that of Muhammad’s, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, is an infidel.”

Ibn Taymiyyah, may God rest his soul in peace, continues to say, “Islam comprises submission to God alone. Therefore, he who submits to Allah and to others is an idolater. He who does not submit to Him is regarded haughty in his worship and the idolater and the haughty who do not worship him are both infidels. Submission to God alone comprises His worship alone and obedience to none other but He.”

The former Mufti of the Kingdom, Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibrahim al Al-Shaykh, may God rest his soul in peace, says,

“The gravest manifest blasphemy is the revelation of the cursed law the status of the honest spirit that revealed to the heart of Muhammad, may God pray upon him and grant him salvation, to become a messenger of warnings in pure and clear Arabic language to govern the universe and refer to the Book whenever people are in dispute.

In a letter addressed to the Emir of Riyadh at that time in regards to the positive laws which he referred to in the commerce chamber in Riyadh that show that it is blasphemy out of the religious community

“Consider some of the laws to pass judgment by at the least doubtlessly he was dissatisfied with the judgment of God and His messenger, the ratio of the judgment of God and His messenger to are considered insufficient or lacking. They do not perform well enough in solving the dispute bringing the rights to their lords, rule of laws to perfection, people’s contentment in solving their own problems, and believing this is blasphemy and apostasy. The issue is extremely important and it is not one of the independent theological

judgments.

To arbitrate with God’s law alone above every other is the closest to worshiping the Lord alone above any one else. The content of the two testaments is that God is the one worshipped alone without any partners and that His messenger is the one to be followed with what he revealed only. Swords of jihad were drawn from their sheaths for the sole purpose of

defending Islam and resorting to the Revelation when controversy arises.”

Scholar Shaykh Muhammad Al-Amin al-Shanqiti says in his book ‘Lights of the Quran’, Judging the regime that rules contrary to the laws of the Creator of the heavens and earth in the souls of the society, their wealth, their honor, their lineage is considered blasphemy against the Creator of heavens and earth and has rebelled against the heavenly system which He placed in motion by creating all the creatures. He the Almighty God knows about their welfare more than anyone and there cannot be another legislator with Him of a higher status, “What! Have they partners who have established for them some religion without the permission of Allah.” “Say, see you what things Allah hath sent down to you for sustenance? Let you hold forbidden somethings thereof and something lawful. Say, hath Allah indeed permitted you, or do ye invent things to attribute to Allah.”

In his comments on the Book of Monotheism, Shaykh Muhammad Hamid al-Fiqqi, May God rest his soul in peace, says in regards to legislator of the positive laws the he is doubtlessly a renegade infidel if he insists on them and does not refer to what God has revealed. Whatever name he calls himself is with no avail nor will any good deed such as prayer, fasting, the Hajj, and such help him.”

Shaykh Ahmad Muhammad Shakir, May God rest his soul in peace, says in regards to the arbitration of the positive laws, “This action is the shunning of God’s law and a desire to move away from his religion and a preference of the positive laws of the infidels over God the Almighty's laws. This is a blasphemy none of the people of the Kiblah differ regarding the accusation of infidelity of the person who says or advocates it.

These are true evidences from the revelation and excerpts from scholars candid enough to replace conflict, cut off differences, silence controversy and deafen arrogance. Lest it should get too wordy, we shall not continue further with more of these proofs and excerpts. This issue constitutes a major topic in the entire Holy Quran. However, we believe what we presented is sufficient for someone who has a heart or paid attention and is a martyr.

For the remainder of the letter, we shall remind you of the practices you and your regime are following in arbitrating these blasphemous laws and voiding the rightful laws of God.

An ordinary individual- let alone a scrutinizing researcher- will have no difficulty in proving that you as well as your regime are legislators and arbitrators of the positive laws, obligating people to abide by their rulings. A quick look at the charts of commercial courts and the laws that allow and authorize bank usurious transactions and others, labor and laborers laws, the law of the Saudi Arabian army, and other godless laws which exemplify to what extent and influence have these arbitrating and blasphemous laws achieved in this country.

The advice memorandum mentioned the existence of tens of legal boards that judge the people by the positive laws with which you govern the nation and its worshipers not to mention what runs the country in its foreign relations from those laws of which we give an example of your commitment to arbitrate to a disputes settlement board with the Assembly for Cooperation among the Gulf Nations. This board to which the disputing states, members of the council headed by the host nation Saudi Arabia, resort for arbitration is, without a doubt, a blasphemous, man-made legalistic board. Article nine of its basic system of regulations as stated in the sources of its regulations and laws begins in this manner:

The board issues its recommendations and formal legal opinions (edicts) according to:

  1. Rules of the system of regulation of the cooperation assembly
  2. The international law
  3. The international conventions
  4. “Principles of Shari’a- provided that it submits

its reports concerning the issues being dealt with to the supreme council to take any measure that it sees fit.”

How mocking this is to the religion of God! And how contemptuous to His Laws!

Isn’t it enough infidelity and delusion that you placed God’s heavenly laws and His Quranic rulings at the bottom of the list for the sources of your rules and laws preferring the concepts of the dregs of humanity, the customs, the conventions of ignorant nations, and the rules of the unbelievers so that they become under the mercy of your supreme council to make decisions according to its whims.!

O Servant of the two great mosques!![1] What would the patrons of religion, the guardians of the creed, and the callers of monotheism say when resorting to such boards, councils, and courts for arbitration!?

The answer is as clear as sunlight at noon. It rejects all kinds of hesitation, delay, stuttering, sycophancy, prevarications, or trickery as we have indicated earlier. It is flagrant infidelity and an act of apostasy as proven by the Book, the Sunna, and the unanimity of the Umma.

The following are some of formal legal opinions of distinguished scholars that clearly explain the existence of these laws on one hand and its jurisprudent ruling on the other.

Also, the King is addressed here.

Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibrahim, may God rest his soul in peace, talks about the laws of commercial courts in a message sent to the Emir of Riyadh at the time. We have laid our hands on the letter entitled ‘The System of Commercial Courts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Recently, we have studied the first half of the letter and we have found that its system of positive laws to be non-Islamic. The laws that the institutions rule by reflect, in the least, and without any doubt, dissatisfaction with God’s laws and those of His messenger……That is thought of as being out of religion by our religious people. [From the formal legal opinions of the Shaykh, 12/251.] In another letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Riyadh regarding the law of (Statute of Labor and Laborers) which is run by the Bureau of Labor and Laborers and the duties of the legal courts towards it, Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibrahim, may God rest his soul in peace, says: “From Muhammad bin Ibrahim to the Honorable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Riyadh. Peace be upon you and God’s blessings and mercy. So far, we have studied your speech concerning the transactions that are sent by the Bureau of Labor and Laborers which must be applied in times such as this if it were submitted to the court for debate and termination. The court has to review it because it is the heart of its work.

If the transaction was submitted to carry out a directive from the Bureau of Labor and then returned to the Chief Justice to complete it according to instructions and regulations that God has given it authority, the court is not permitted to heed such directive. Such action would be deemed not only as approval on the part of the court but also as assisting in arbitrating with laws other than what God has revealed.”

On the same topic, the distinguished scholar ‘Abdallah bin Hamid, the chief Justice, may God rest his soul in peace, wrote in his known letter explaining that arbitration with the laws of this system is an apostate foreign to our devout people. These were some of the formal legal opinions that prove the existence of these laws on one hand and which illustrate the jurisprudent law on the other. It is needless to proceed further. The issue is plain and clear.

It is a well known fact that there is a clear-cut difference between the one who commits a grave sin such as accepting interest and usury believing it is forbidden and the one who enacts laws that allow these grave sins. He who deals with usury, for example, admitting it is prohibited, is committing a sin that is one of the gravest of offenses. God forbid! As for the one who enacts and legislates laws that permit usury is a renegade infidel.

It is needless to alert people’s attention to the towers of usurious banks that compete in height with the minarets of the two great mosques and apply your positive laws.

God the Glorified and Almighty says,

But no, by the Lord, they can have no Faith until they make thee

judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction.”

(Sura 4:65)

God Almighty has ruled to negate this judgment by various tools of assurances foremost among others is to swear by His Name, God the Glorified and Almighty. Then, the above verse together with what the prophet, May God pray upon him and grant him salvation, explained to Uday bin Hatam in the verse: “They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah.” invalidates any doubt a transgressor may have and cuts off all his hopes.

The Second: Allegiance to the Infidels and Hostility towards Muslims[edit]

There is no attribute of the foreign policy of your regime that is more prominent than tying it to the interests of western nations, the Crusaders, and the dictatorial regimes of the Islamic countries. To prove this truth does not require a lot of effort. The distant one is acquainted with this connection before the one at hand. Your regime, which proudly brags about being the custodian of the creed and the servant of the two great mosques, is the one which announced to pay $4,000,000,000 in aid to the former Soviet Union which has not yet cleansed its hands smeared with the blood of the Muslim people in Afghanistan in 1991. Your regime, the guardian of the magnanimous religion, is the one that funneled thousands of millions of dollars to the Syrian Nasiri regime in 1982[2] as a reward to the slaughter of tens of thousands of Muslims in the city of Hama. It is the same rule that supported the Christian Maronites from the Lebanese Militia Party against the Muslims there. Your ‘orthodox’ regime was the one that paidbillions of dollars to the evil regime that was crushing Islam and Muslims in Algiers. It is your same rule which supported the Christian rebels in Southern Sudan with money and arms.

With all these terrible misfortunes and the crimes perpetrated against the people and the Nation, your regime was actually able, to a certain extent, in deceiving some of the people and deluding it about these facts. However, God refused to let the truth about you to remain undisclosed. Hence, the recent events in Yemen that ripped the final mask with which you feigned to the people and led them astray. Your political and military support for the Yemeni Communists turned to be the mortal blow that broke your political backbone and the razor that shaved away your creditability on the Islamic front. The events in Yemen trapped you in a dilemma. It showed that your support for the Afghani mujahiddin was not for the sake of Islam but for the protection of western interests that were threatened by any Soviet gains in the battles there. Otherwise, the Afghani Communist Party is no different than its counterpart in Yemen. Likewise, the Yemeni Muslim is just the same as the Afghani Muslim. The dilemma is: How do you explain your support for Muslims against the communists in Afghanistan while championing the cause of the communists in Yemen against the Muslims?

This contradiction becomes incomprehensible to those who are not aware that your policies are dictated to you from abroad by the Christian western nations with whose interests you have associated your fate. Therefore, the actual motive for your occasional support of some of the Islamic causes is not- as we explained earlier- for the love of the Islamic causes and patronage of their peoples but for the protection of the interests of the infidel western countries which may coincide with Islamic causes such as happened in Afghanistan.

As evidence, you stood against the Islamic causes that go counter to western interests. You supported those interests at the expense of the causes of the Muslim people. For example, you supported the American interests against those of the Somali Muslim people. You squandered the nation’s usurped funds and its coerced people.

Long before that crisis and long after it, you have blessed the efforts of normalization, submission, and deception of the Palestinian cause, the mother of all Islamic causes. You continued the process of the imposed peace and submission in Palestine. You volunteered to pay a huge bulk of the cost of the process despite the economic hardship that Saudi Arabia experiences. You donated $100 million to Yasir Arafat’s secular authority which was brought in to exercise oppressive ways against the Palestinian people that the Jewish occupation authority has so far failed to accomplish. You are at war with the Palestinian people’s jihadi movements especially the Islamic Resistance Movement. All that did not prevent you from supporting Arafat’s authority and welcomed him in Riyadh despite his hostile stance towards you during the Gulf War and his apparent support of Saddam Hussein. You accepted without opposition that insult for the sake of the American cowboy who shepherds the alleged peace process.

It is no wonder that even if you were not personally satisfied with the socalled peace process, all you have to do is to condescend in response to the orders of your American guardian. Was it not the American President Clinton on a visit to the country who refused to visit you in Riyadh? Did not he insist that you submissively and humiliatingly go to meet him in the American bases in Hafar-al-Batin? With that kind of behavior, the American president wanted to prove two points:

  • First, to emphasize that the nature of his visit was basically to inspect his forces stationed in those bases.
  • Second: to teach you a lesson in abjectness and scorn so that you are aware

that he is your true guardian even in your alleged kingdom which, in reality, is nothing else but an American protectorate governed by the American Constitution.

There is neither a doubt nor any controversy among the scholars that having infidels as allies and supporting them against Muslims is definitely inconsistent to the teachings of Islam. It was mentioned by the Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and Shaykh Muhammad bin ‘Abd-al-Wahab as one of ten contradictions of Islam. God the Almighty Glorifies says:

“O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your allies and protectors; they are but allies and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them for protection is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.” Sura 5:51

God says:

“Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His messenger, even though they were their fathers or sons, or their brothers, or their kindreds.” Sura 58:22

God the Almighty has made taking the infidels as allies and protectors without the believers as a desire for honor and glory on their part, a characteristic of the hypocrites. God says:

“To the Hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them a

grievous penalty— yea, for those who take allies unbelievers rather than believers: Is it honor they seek among them? Nay-- All honor is with Allah.”

Sura 4:138-139

To have infidels as allies and protectors, as scholarly people have demonstrated, is to honor and praise them, support and cooperate with them against the believers. Besides, it means to associate with them and being guiltless on the surface. This would be apostasy if committed by anyone; he must be tried like a renegade as shown by the Book, the Sunna, and nation’s scholars who are a model for us. This is capably demonstrated in this poem: Those who take the infidels as allies and protectors are doubtlessly subjected to rejection by people of intellect.

Any admirer, collaborator or supporter who publicly shows willingness to collaborate, is without a doubt a partner to them in godlessness and someone who knows not the difference between the truth and falseness.

O King, what would the people of the pure creed and unadulterated monotheism say regarding your godless actions? With what would those who defend you falsely argue? God says:

“Ah! These are the sort of men on whose behalf ye may contend in this world; but who will contend will Allah on their behalf on the Day of Judgment, or who will carry their affairs through?” Sura 4:109

Now that it has been made clear that your government has deviated from the principles of Monotheism and its true and tolerant religion of which you always boast claiming to be its protector, let’s evaluate your accomplishments very subjectively in the worldly field after we have thus far unmasked your true identity by the scale of jurisdiction.

We shall discuss with you the following

The Economic Situation:[edit]

You are certainly aware that our nation sits on an oil lake that constitutes one fourth of the world’s reserve of this raw material whose importance cannot be ignored. You also realize that the country produces one third of OPEC output. You know as well as we do that the daily medium national product during the recent years reached $100 million daily from oil revenues in addition to the monetary reserves estimated at $140 billion at the time you ascended to the throne. That is, more than the reserves of the United States, Britain, and France combined at the time.

Given the previous statistical data figures of the economic situation and the relatively small population, the nation was on the verge of having an economic phenomenon contrary to the sound economic perception of some people who thought that the day in which the nation’s economy collapses would not come, thus making our country one of the most indebted worldwide, however, your suicidal policies have disappointed the hopes of those and many others. A decade after your ascension to the throne, all prospects turned upside down and changed everything. The nation‘s debt reached an all-time high- 80% of its total income. The status of the citizen was transformed from the one with the highest monetary reserves to that of the most indebted in the world.

The collapsing economic situation has encumbered the lives of the citizens and residents alike. They have been overburdened with excise, custom, and sales taxes. The rates of utilities such as water, electricity, in addition to food prices have skyrocketed in an unprecedented manner.

The catastrophe did not leave the status of education untouched. Most schools now suffer from over crowdedness in classrooms causing a lot of inconveniences to the students, teachers, and parents. What made a bad situation worse was the failure of the ministry to maintain the current classes let alone its inability to build new units.

The plight of the nation’s hospitals was not any better than the schools. The government failed to provide proper maintenance for the hospitals whose many pavilions have regrettably transformed into human slaughterhouses where medicines, medical care and treatment required are lacking let alone the inability of the ministry to have new hospitals built. Even worse is the growing number of the unemployed among the ranks of the youth and the new graduates having high university degrees. The number of the unemployed who have grown worn out from trying to find an employment opportunity has risen to one hundred fifty thousands. This number increases every year resulting in a recession and the shrinkage of the labor market before their eyes because of the current economic crisis that is growing worse and worse.

As this crisis intensifies and the situation gets worse, you and your government unabashedly call to the people to conserve energy consumption and other items while your attitude was the worst example for the citizens encouraging them to be more wasteful and live more luxuriously. How dare you call upon the people to conserve energy when everybody sees how your magnificent palaces are illuminated and air-conditioned all day and all night?

How would anyone consent to your call to conserve spending and become austere while they see how your palaces and houses have sprawled all over the land and hears about your accounts fattened with the nation’s wealth both locally and internationally?

The volume of your spending the people’s wealth on those palaces and houses inside and outside the country is an astounding and scary one. It is estimated to be thousands of millions of dollars. Talking about all that would take a long time. The narrator would not know where to start. Should he start from the City of Jedda and the artificial magnificent isles on which you have erected the most splendid palaces on the largest areas of the coast? Or should the narrator begin with Riyadh where building palaces on the earth surface was not sufficient so you had to build underneath? Or should he start with your mansions in Muna, Ta’if, al-Huda, al-Shafa, Mecca, Medina and all other towns of the Kingdom? Or should he ignore all this and begin with the palaces in the other western capitals and resorts? Those mansions most of which you have not stepped into and most probably will not visit them for the remainder of your life.

If these statements came from other sources, you would be able to deny but you know very well who is addressing you and that they are the most knowledgeable about these facts that are no longer beyond the reach of the public let alone the private. “And none, can tell thee the Truth like the One Who is acquainted with all things.” Sura 35:14

You and those among your elite circle have a passion for building palaces and amassing treasures. Competing among you for those ardent desires was a major reason behind directing most of your efforts and time towards achieving that goal. Competition has torn your relationships asunder after arousing the resentment and wrath of some of you which led to the monopolization of material privileges by you and those closest to you. What Muhammad, May God pray upon him and grant him salvation, said on one occasion applies to this situation: “Miserable are those who worship money and fine clothes. They are happy when they are provided (with things) and upset when they are denied.”

This wastefulness and spending of the nation’s wealth, your concern for personal interests, and competing among yourselves about all that were among the most prominent reasons that led the country into the bankruptcy pit. This is where your ‘orthodox’ policies have led us. “Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones.” Sura 17:27

The current economic crisis and whatever risks it warns us of, and what impact it would have were not without precedents and causes. It was the outcome of a number of fatal actions and policies that you and the executives of your ruling clan have committed.

Some of the most significant of these causes in addition to what we have alluded to such as spendthrift and wastefulness that you practice are:

  • 1. Your Role in the Decline in Oil Prices:

Since the eighties, oil prices have been plummeting. However, the impact of this sudden price decline on the nation’s economy was not felt publicly until the nineties when you always resorted to the nation’s reserve fund to cover the continued budget deficit. The unwise policies have run the nation’s reserve funds dry and failed to offer any solution to the crisis that is growing aggravatingly on a daily basis.

As a reminder, you very well know that the absolute subordination you have demonstrated to the policies of the western nations and their directives to you to support your former friend Saddam Hussein with $25 billion and to increase oil production in order to lower the prices to harm Iran during the war with Saddam had an enormous role in the sudden decline of oil prices to their current level which basically serves the interests of the western consumers. Despite the fact that the West is careful enough not to slaughter the Saudi chicken that lays black gold for them, they are extremely cautious that the price tag on this egg remains at a minimum.

  • 2. Lack of serious action to find other sources for income:

It is well known that oil as a source of revenue is bound to be depleted and prices always tend to fluctuate. Although the nation is well prepared to develop other sources for income which are available and in abundance, however, your regime has failed to expand those resources and the country continues to depend almost entirely on oil revenues.

  • 3. Out of control spending at the expense of coalition forces during the

Gulf War: Even though our nation was suffering from financial hardship during the Gulf War and despite the fact that the objective of the western countries was nothing but the annihilation of the Iraqi army and the Muslim people of Iraq before anything else, they seized on any available opportunity to rob you of your money and exploit your fear and cowardice. Thus, you ended up paying the war bill almost in its entirety having spent $60 billion for that purpose. Half of this bill was pocketed by the Americans and about $15 billion went to the rest of the allies. The remainder was spent on transactions, deals, and local bribes.

Not only did the war cost stop at this point but also you pledged your allegiance to the allied countries by striking other deals as a reward for them in the post-war period. An inconceivable price of $40 billion was paid for the Americans only just to cover the cost of military and civilian deals. Besides, as a courtesy to the British Prime Minister, John Major, you struck a deal to purchase the British Tornado jet planes even though our nation’s army lacked the human expertise to fly them as was proven during the Gulf War. What is even worse, those airplanes were found unsuitable as witnessed by the army technical commission. We shall discuss this issue in more detail later on.

And instead of initiating a useful policy to avoid the situation and handle the collapsed economy, you and your regime took some suicidal economic measures that made things even worse. These policies include:

1. The exhaustion of the nation’s financial assets abroad:

Earlier, we mentioned that the nation’s available assets were estimated at $140 billion when you first ascended to the throne. The Kingdom’s annual income for that period was estimated at $97 billion. Think with us for a moment and imagine how your spending spree totally and ridiculously squandered those assets a mere seven years after your ascension to the throne.

2. Interest loans from local and international banks:

Despite the fact that there are a lot of fervent warnings regarding the handling of interest and usury and even though there are those who launch war against God’s principles, “If ye do it not, take notice of war from Allah and His messenger,” [Sura 2:279] and despite what reality has proven about the system of interest loans introduced by banks which make the poor even poorer day after day, you and your regime have drowned the nation in a sea of debts. Nothing on the horizon indicates the possibility of eliminating even the usurious interests when the nation is incapacitated and unable to simply pay off those usurious interests.

Let me give you an example of the volume of those debts. In 1991 alone, you were forced to borrow tens of billions of dollars from the local and international banks. By the year 1994, these debts with the compounded interest rendered the state unable to keep its commitments to loan issuers. This means just paying the interest would continue to encumber the nation’s budget let alone the paying off of the principal. Thus, you have left the future of the country and the future of the coming generations mortgaged in the grip of international organizations. Not only do these organizations control the economy of the indebted nations but also extend their control to the political decisions of their regimes.

In addition to all this, the government owes 200 billion Riyals to more than 3000 merchants and contractors and is procrastinating to pay them off. With that kind of management, you have broken an all-time record in squandering and extravagance of the public funds before you and have far surpassed your predecessors and succeed you. Congratulations to you for such a feat! And this is not unlike you because people of your ilk lack a vision for a better future for their country and people. What matters to them is to follow their personal lusts and selfish whims. While continuing those preposterous actions, you have forgotten the horrible fates that befell the Shah of Iran, Marcos of the Philippines, and Ceausescu of Romania and others. Those who dry out the livelihood of their people and are indifferent to their destiny will eventually meet similar tragic death.

Truly, the country is experiencing the most critical economic crises that it had encountered until now. The first crisis took place during the chaotic reign of King Saud which led to his deposition in the year 1964/1965. The second crisis occurred in 1986 because of the sudden dip in oil prices.

If the first crisis was overcome by deposing King Saud and his entourage and the second by resorting to the enormous reserve funds of the nation at the time, then the current one does not appear to bring any happy tidings in the foreseeable future. This is because the national monetary fund has been totally squandered on one hand and the financial credibility both locally and abroad has been irreparably damaged on the other.

Your failure to deal with the crisis at a time when the nation enjoyed a reserve fund estimated at $140 billion and was debt free was the most convincing evidence of your incompetent handling of the crisis after you dissipated the reserve fund and immersed the nation in an avalanche of usurious debts.

“If you cannot manage a situation when things are in your favor,” a poet once said,” You cannot do better when matters fly off the hands.”

It is useless for your media machine to continue deluding the people and playing deceptive tricks on them by telling them that the crisis is about to end. The lies that your media apparatus is weaving and its deception will no longer pass unnoticed because the nation has reached the point of awareness saturation. These ignominious lies will no longer be credible.

By squandering the nation’s finances and being such a spendthrift and your lies to the people, you have merged all the attributes that God has ruled against such a person,” Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies!” Sura 40:28. This judgment is for an ordinary person. But if the liar is the King, then the punishment is much harsher than to others as it was reported in the Sahih Prophetic Tradition by Muslim scholar:

”On Judgment Day, three persons God neither talks to, absolves, nor looks at in their agony: a fornicating old man, a lying king, and an arrogant indigent.

Given all the previous indications, it appears that the solution that ended the crisis-prone King Saud’s reign by having him abdicate is the most favorable one currently recommended.

Prior to that, the patched-up solutions ahead of you remain bitter and cruel on one hand, unbeneficial and ineffective on the other. Are you going to resort, for example, to devaluing the Riyal. This measure may give you a brief break. However, such step has political repercussions which would prove to be riskier than economic. Are you going to risk your ambitious prestige of aspiring to become the leader of the Cooperation Council and devalue the Riyal in return for the other nations’ currencies? Of course, your political ambition and your love for leadership will be an obstacle for that especially that leading these nations is all that is left of your broad leading dream. That entire dream was shattered because you failed to achieve any significant prestige in the Arab and Islamic world of which our nation was once boasting and leading during King Faysal’s reign.

Or do you want to raise the taxes and the customs on the citizens and residents to raise funds for the bankrupt treasury? This step may doubtlessly succeed in guaranteeing a measure of liquidity. Nevertheless, its political aftermath might hinder you from moving forward for a considerable period of time. The citizen, out of necessity, may choose to be silent as you squander the public wealth. However, he may act otherwise seeing all the taxes and customs being taken from his hard-won wages to be frivolously spent for the personal escapades and the dissoluteness of the wanton and the influential members of your ruling dynasty.

There is another solution before you: sell all the nation’s organizations to the private sector. Even though you have taken some considerable measures in this regards, however, there are many road blocks that hinder your efforts and we appreciate that on our part. The embarrassment and the disgrace that may trail you because of selling these organizations which you consider as private family possessions and what selling them publicly tell about the level of your bankruptcy are issues that are assessed and considered by many who know your adherence to splendor, ostentation, arrogance, and pride. Your problem is that these partial solutions along with their bitterness and injustice are the better of two evils to you. This is because the fundamental solutions mean only one thing: the elimination of the causes of the crisis. Continuing to rule the country tops the list of those causes. Tragically for you, the difficult equation is your staying will be the cause of your destruction and continuation spells the end of you.

The Military Situation[edit]

You probably agree with us that the army has taken up one third of the national budget for many decades. Meanwhile, if you look at a nuclear power state like France, you will find that it spends only 4% of its budget on its army. You will not disagree with us as well that the Saudi army, despite the astronomical amounts squandered for it, is in fact but a pile of stacked weapons and equipment lacking the manpower to use. It is small wonder then to know that what was spent on the army was not spent to strengthen and train it but to provide a source of living for the influential princes and to become a fund-pumping machine for compensation to those who provide protection for your throne and your western masters with whom you have signed many deals as a tax for being humiliated and subordinated. For example, the purchase of seventy F15 jet fighters from America was only meant to consolidate George Bush’s base in his reelection campaign after the Gulf War. Likewise, the deals for the Saudi Airlines fleet and the expansion of telephone communications system were only intended to please Clinton whose feelings were hurt because of your support of his opponent George Bush. For the same reasons, 48 Tornado jet fighters were purchased from Great Britain.

And if we understand the motives behind all these deals, we will realize the secret of the disgraceful performance of the Minister of Defense during the Gulf War.

Throughout the war, the Saudi Air Force with 500 jet fighters under its command was not able to perform any memorable feats except the downing of two Iraqi planes which lacked any air cover.

As for the naval force which boasts thirty battleships twenty of them with rocket launchers, the ministry failed to launch anything throughout the war. Land armor did not fare well either. To put one brigade into action, the country was forced to bring in Pakistani technical teams. Thus, hundreds of millions of dollars that were spent on this army had gone with the wind.

One cannot help but wonder with utter amazement when one lets figures speak about the expenditures of the ministry of defense. The ministry has been run by the oldest (thirty three years) minister in the world, Prince Sultan who appears to be asking for more time to prove his competence after the humiliating defeat that he suffered and what the events of the Gulf War have eventually revealed.

In order for us to consider the baffling picture of the expenditures of this ministry, it would be enough to know that the citizen in the Arabian Peninsula shouldered more spending for military purposes than his counterpart in ten other countries combined. These are: the United States of America, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Romania, Spain, Poland, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Ireland. In 1992, the citizen in the Peninsula has spent more than his counterpart in these ten nations combined* knowing that some of these nations are nuclear powers and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Another aspect of this mind-boggling scenario becomes crystal clear if we know that one individual in the armed forces of the Arabian Peninsula cost the military more than what was spent on his counterpart in nine countries combined. These are: The United States of America, Germany, Belgium, Argentine, China, Iran, the Zionist enemy, South Korea, and Tanzania.

Then, do we not have the right to ask you O King where did all those amounts go? You don’t have to answer if you knew the rate of transactions and bribes that you and the influential princes earn, headed by the minister of defense Sultan, from the arms dealers or companies and the contracts signed for the reconstruction of cities and military bases.

We shall not bother much to ask about the fate of the other amounts that are spent. It is no longer a secret that you and the gangs of princes around you pocket a rate between 40-60% from the value of each deal you strike. The greater portion of the remaining funds is spent on building bases and providing equipment and supplies whose colossal volume and high quality are not commensurate with the number and efficiency of the army. The heart of the matter is that these bases were not constructed for the Saudi army but to be used by the American and western forces already stationed in many of them. By the way, since I mentioned these forces, do not we have the right to question the objective for allowing them to remain on the land of the two Great Mosques with all their staggering numbers and equipment? Does Iraq still pose a real danger to your throne after the destruction of its army and the starvation of its Muslim people? All facts tend to prove otherwise and emphasize that the danger these forces are stationed here to deter is not an illusive peril from a starved and destroyed Iraq but, as the experts suggest, from the Islamic danger on the inside since the kingdom is witnessing a blessed and heightened Islamic awakening in all the military and civilian sectors. Be it as it may, there is no justification for leaving the nation’s army to experience a state of incapacitation and negligence whereas it was supposed to safeguard the land of the Muslims and defend their causes in addition to protecting the holy lands. It is not reasonable to keep one’s silence about transforming the nation to an American protectorate to be defiled by the soldiers of the Cross with their soiled feet in order to protect your crumbling throne and the preservation of the oilfields in the kingdom.

In light of the present reality, O King, is it not the right of the nation to wonder about who is behind shaking the security of the country and causing disturbance? Is it the system that delivered the country into the state of chronic military debilitation in order to justify bringing the Jewish and Christian forces to defile the holy lands? Or is it the person who calls for the preparation of the nation, arming it to be strong enough to take matters into its hands, protection of its honor and religion, defense of its holy sites, its land, and dignity?

The truth is that the blame game in this regard falls in your backyard and that of your defense minister. It excludes other individuals of the army and the guards many of whom are known to be honest, decent, and brave but unfortunately, they are not in any significant position.

You have always feared that these honest people might one day achieve some reform which would push you to marginalize many of their officers and soldiers and plant spies among them. You were afraid of any probable coordinated act among the various factions of the armed forces (land, sea, and air) to carry out any reform action against you. That was the reason behind not allowing them to make any coordination or even adequate acquaintances among themselves along for the necessity of coordination for any successful military action. The price you paid for the preservation of your throne and doing away with fear illusions that continue to haunt you is what has befallen the nation and its citizens of dishonor, ignominy, destruction, and collapse because of the war in the Gulf.

Summary and Conclusions:

From what we said above, it is proven, O King, that your regime has committed the forbidden things in Islam which nullify its validity before God. The devastating failure and the dishonorable corruption which have been proven against your regime are enough reasons to overthrow it. By legislating the positive blasphemous laws and obligating people to seek judgment by them, by pledging your allegiance and support to the infidels against the Muslims, you have committed many of the things which are contrary to the teachings of Islam and which demand that you be revolted against and removed.

By its devastating corruption and dishonorable failure in the areas of defense, economy, and others, it was practically proven that the regime is not qualified to be at the helm of running the country’s ship even if he had not violated the teachings of Islam and becoming a renegade. O King! You have combined in your character all the attributes of evil: infidelity and poverty. Based on what we have said so far, it is evident that the nation, headed by its scholars, missionaries, reformers, merchants, and the tribal elders being at odds with your regime is neither an accidental difference nor a transient conflict. It is an embedded struggle between two methods and a profound conflict between two creeds; A conflict between the perfectly divine program which submitted the fate to God in all matters, “Say: Truly my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are all for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds; No partner hath He: This am I commanded, and I am the first of those who bow to His Will.” Sura 6: 162-163 This is the comparison between the method of ‘there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger’ with all its meanings, significance, and principles, and the crude secular method, the method of, “Do you opt to believe in parts of the Book and reject some other parts of it?” the method of, “Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only believe themselves, and realize it not.” Sura 2: 9 48

According to what was already said above, the nation is up against your regime led by its scholars, reformers, merchants, and tribal elders. Because your regime has long lost its legitimacy as we explained earlier, removing you will decidedly not be considered in the category of the forbidden. Someone who lacks legitimacy is juristically equal to someone who has no perception as ruled by our scholars. If a ruler reneges, he has to resign as unanimously proclaimed by our nation. However, this does not mean that any conduct of this sort is necessarily the right one. Each phase of change has its own constituents, its methods, and objectives.

That cannot be specifically achieved by rash personal effort or an individual provocative decision. It has to be accomplished by the nation’s leadership of honest scholars, missionaries, and reformers whose hardships and misfortunes have proven their competence and qualifications to confront such grand undertakings.

Certainly, there is no doubt that some of the things in the forefront of the present phase duties include: Coming out openly with the truth, declare it publicly, explain the meanings and principles of ‘There is no god but Allah’ and the consequences which are considered upon reneging them so that the nation can have an insight into its religion and be aware of its affairs. Regardless of all this, we deem it right, O King that it is to your personal advantage the family and those around you. We ask that you abdicate. You are getting older and you are ill. You suffer from internal and external crises. By doing so, you will save the nation and the people needless trouble, hardship, crises, and disturbances. You will feel relaxed and rested letting the nation exercise its rights through the influential people and choose the ones who will rescue them from the bottomless pit you have led them into. Presently, your condition is hopeless and there is no way to turn the wheels back. You have aged too much.

Long time ago, a poet said:

“The old impudent and foolish man can no longer meditate and he becomes incompetent while a lad attains maturity after being through being foolish for some time.”

Let me remind you here about how King Saud was forced to relinquish his throne for reasons which would pale tenfold compared to your corruption. You were in the forefront of those who sought his dethronement and you were amply applauded for your stand at the time. Today, we pray that you follow that stance not only by abdicating personally but also have all your ministers and court members who had a role in bringing the nation to this sorry state resign. It was your misdeed that set them to control the people\and their interests. Try to show a little of your good nature to relieve the people from your evil and theirs especially your disastrous defense minister who foiled any command given him whether political or administrative. He almost started a border crisis with the State of Qatar and was on the brink of a ferocious war with Yemen. In addition to all this, he failed miserably in administering the ministries of defense, Air Force, and the airlines which became bankrupt while he was its chairman.

It is extremely futile at this stage to reshuffle the cabinet with a patchwork that would bring us ministers who are subordinate to the corrupt roots of the ruling regime around which they orbit aimlessly. Even if we suppose they have good intentions and work hard to bring about reform, their marginally limited power would restrict them from any opportunity to do that because your absolute power would be hovering above them. A crooked stick cannot have a straight shadow.

These demands for abdication and dismissal of the cabinet are not crippling. They are the same demands you and your brothers sought in order to dethrone King Saud earlier.

Now, before I end my letter, we ask you to deeply contemplate and review these facts before you before you let the reins of your dignity overpower you and decide to randomly punish whoever tried to get this letter into your hands and aggravated your temperament as you have done with countless complaints and memorandums that were submitted to you. The most famous of these memorandums was the advice given to you loaded with reform acts that described the illness and prescribed the cure with the precision of a scientist, the zeal of a missionary, and the compassion of a sincere adviser in all politeness and dignity. But all you did was to ignore the counseling, disregard the advisers and even decide to punish the cream of the nation’s scholars, missionaries, and reformers who submitted the memorandum to you. You sent your cavalry, all those who patronize you, their powerful committees, people of your court, and those you have misled and the collaborators to persecute them. You issued Fatwas full of falsehoods and accusations of that elite group of our people and the cream of our scholars currently carrying on their lives patiently and steadfastly behind iron bars in your prison cells.

We ask God to have them released and facilitate their lives and grant us all steadfastness on the path of His Call and the means to cementing belief in His religion. “Until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.” Sura 2: 193. We ask Him to help us to become loyal to our pledge of vengeance for His religion and avenge for His worshipers in general, those who encounter various types or torture and oppression at the hands of the executioners of your jails in particular. Our last supplication is Praise be to the Lord of the Universe.

Usama bin Muhammad bin Laden
Date: 02/13/1416 H
07/11/1995

Annotations[edit]

  1. a reference to Mecca and Medina
  2. A Gnostic sect in Syria
This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
Original:
This work is in the public domain because it was first created in Afghanistan when the country had no existing copyright laws. In addition, any potential Afghan copyrights are non-binding in the United States, according to Circ. 38a of the US Copyright Office..
Translation:
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).