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تحميل الدليل التدريبي

أسئلة شائعة


 

Survey

 

 

Evaluating the Socio-Economic Needs of the Region of Al- Rup'El-khali Desert in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

 

 

Prof. Dr. Suleiman Abdullah Al-Akeel

 

 

Introduction and problem of the Study:

 

   The Desert of the Empty Quarter (Al-Rup Al-Khali ) is a dear part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which has been given a very little care for so long . Now it is time to care for this very large region which is very rich in natural resources .

    

    The economic development should go side by side with the  social development . This can only be achieved if we cared for developing the human resources in this region.

 

    This requires caring for all the aspects of development such as developing the educational , health , and social services and activating sources of income for the people of the region . This requires preparing the citizen to be competitive to get the different job opportunities which will be available in the region as a result of the development efforts .

 

     Thus , the development of the region needs big economic projects as well as developing the human resources . This can only be achieved by the academic studies to recognize the nature of the region and the economic and social characteristics of its inhabitants .

So , the problem of the study can be summarized in recognizing the socio-economic analysis of the Bedwin population in Al-Rup'El-Khali

region and the surrounding areas , the signs and indication of this evaluation and the future horizon of the development of this region.

 

*Objectives of the study:-

 

1-Recognizing and understanding the facts of the socio-economic status of the inhabitants of the Empty Quarter region and the surrounding areas.

2-Observing the most urgent needs in the region.

3-Knowing the phenomena of the social change that could happen in the region.

 

*Questions of the study:

      

             The study includes two main questions:-

1-First question :- What is the general nature of the socio-economic characteristics of Al- Rup'El-Khali region and the surrounding areas?

2-Second question :- What are the socio-economic characteristics that explain the nature of the Bedwin population in the region of Rup'l-Khali and the surrounding areas?

 

Tools of the study

 

1- Forms of interviewing the news tellers in the region.

2- Analysis of the content of the historical documents about the region.

3- Guide-book for the region.

4-Frequent fields visits.

 

*Results of the study:

 

 First:- General nature of the socio-economic characteristics of the Rup' El-Khali Region :-

       The desert of the Rup' El-Khai lies in the south of the Kingdom.It embraces Najran region from the east and the south-east.It is considered one of the biggest deserts in the world and it is the biggest sand basin in the world. Its area is approximately 600 thousand Km i.e a quarter of the area of the Arabian peninsula as a whole.

The moving dunes cover half the area of this basin.

The Empty Quarter is 1200 Km length and 650 Km wide.

 

*Features of the Rup' El-Khali Region

 

Al-Rup 'El-Khali is a desert bedwin region that has its social systems represented in habits and customs that co-ordinates with the nature of the tribe in which they depend largely on the environment and its hard conditions.

Farming  and grazing are associated with certain dates in the year. So , the shepherds were unstable while the farmers were stable in the country side . Every region has its known economic activity.

The traditional society gives a clear idea about the Bedwin life in the region. Because of the tribal structure in the region, the tribe is the basic traditional unit. Every tribe has its political unit independent from other tribes. The discipline is based on the social relationships and kinsmanship. In case of taking revenge or other situations, the responsibility is collective.

The tribal council is the true reference in dealing with different issues. The head (Sheikh) of the tribe is responsible for many things. He solves conflicts and states punishment and social rewards.

The Bedwinship of the people of Rup' El-Khali is a type of life based on permanent moving to earn their living, picking up fruits, hunting, grazing and farming. Grazing in particular is an important and basic aspect of Bedwinship.
The Bedwin people in this region are divided into three types: -

1-Pastoral Bedwinship where the dependence is much on animals and it is according to the prevailing kind of animal such as camels or cows----etc.

2-Palm trees Bedwinship:-  It is seasonel and it associates with the season of picking up the fruits of palm trees and it does not need permanent living.

3-Birds Bedwinship:-   It is hunting birds and it is not independent but it is practiced side by side with grazing and farming.

*Following are the most important featuers of the Region:-

 

1-Simplicity of society.

2-Cultural isolation.

3-Resembleness in people's behaviour.

4-Prevalance of illiteracy among population.

5-Homogeneousness and cohesiveness of the people.

6-The economy of the region is based on self sufficiency.

7-Stablility of family personal relations.

8-Strength of traditions as disciplinary factors in the region.

9-One social reference and prevalence of the collective thinking.

 

Main Units of Al-Rup' El-Khali Society:-

 

        The society of AL-Rup' El-Khali includes main social units;the family,moiety,phratry,clan and the tribe. So, the family is the smallest unit whereas the tribe is the head of the social system.

These two will be explained in this study.

 

1-Family in Al-Rup' El-Khali

 

   The family in this region is an extended family that includes the father and his sons,grandsons and their wives.It is wholly responsible for what is commited by its members and it is responsible for protecting them.It gives its members their traditions,language and customes.Families of the brothers or the father and his sons usually live near each other so as to be more related  and so that visiting and communication will be easy.

The families’ role is to bring its children up. The father is completely predominant over his family and he takes his authority from the head (Sheikh) of the tribe.

The woman usually has a lot to do in grazing, pasturing and getting wood and water, holding tents up, bringing the children up and preparing food. Beside housekeeping, she is responsible for breeding of sheep and going out to pasture and manual work. So she participates in increasing the income especially in case the husband is not there.

Many of the people of the region do not allow their daughters or wives to work outside the family system.

Woman cannot travel alone and the responsibility of her marriage lies on her sponsor.

 

2-The Tribe in Al-Rup' El-Khali

 

   Tribe is the basis of the Bedwin system in Al-Rup' El-Khali.The tribe has a boss. He is the sheikh of the tribe and he has power but it is not absolute power, this power is hereditary.

The tribe has a council which includes a group of the tribal men who are sharing in dealing with many of the tribal issues. The tribe is based on tribalism. It is characterized by co-ordination and the collective spirit. Every one has a role to play. They are all responsible for keeping sources of living and for keeping their customs, values and traditions and they give them to the young by instruction and practice.

Although there are tribal groups that live in the desert of Al-Rup' El-Khali but they are not isolated from the society in the near towns and villages since moving to them become easy.

So, many of the population are ready to settle to keep their stability---------------

 

Some of the most important tribes in the region are:-

Al-Manaseer,Naeem and Al-Mudaama,Al-Mutawaa, Al-Murshid,Manee and Al-Kaaber.

 

Services that are offered to the population:-

 

   Because of the adjacency of the administrative boarders between Al-Rup 'El-Khali and the pinciplities of the eastern region and Najran, the people of this region in the principalities benefited from some services besides the compensatory services due to the losing of pastures.

An example of this is the governorate of Sharora and Al-kherkhir which are run by Najran principality up till now.

The population of Sharora reached 39581 in 1413 H

Whereas the number of houses were 5753. The population of Al-Khirkhir was 723 and the number of houses was 74.

The following tables give a quantitive description about these services

 

           

Table no (1)

 

Educational services in Sharora

 

Female

male

Kind of education

teachers

students

classrooms

schools

Teachers

students

classrooms

schools

25

337

18

3

-

-

-

-

Kindergarten

195

2325

124

9

212

3380

147

13

elementary

42

865

27

3

74

1162

40

5

Intermediate

30

510

17

2

37

527

19

2

secondary

68

1007

39

2

16

223

9

1

Elementary memorizing Quran

17

293

9

1

3

64

3

1

Intermediate memorizing Quran

6

175

6

1

-

-

-

-

Secondary memorizing Quran

26

252

32

8

-

135

6

2

Adult education

-

-

-

-

-

151

3

1

Intermediate evening

-

-

-

-

-

126

3

1

Secondary e

-

-

-

-

3

126

5

1

Intermediate educational institute

-

-

-

-

-

90

3

1

Secondary educational institute

 

Table no (2)

                    Health services in Sharora

Emergency centers

Centers and polyclinics

doctors

beds

Hospitals

sector

-

4

42

75

1

Governmental

-

1

-

-

-

private

 

 

 

 

 

We notice that there is only one governmental hospital in the region and there is a polyclinic and one center. So, there is rarity in the health services in Sharora

 

Table no (3)

The governmental educational services in Al- Khirkhir

Female

male

Kind of education

 

teachers

students

classrooms

schools

teachers

students

classrooms

schools

7

180

7

1

9

308

9

1

elementary

-

18

2

1

7

48

3

1

intermediate

-

-

-

-

6

20

3

1

secondary

-

-

-

-

-

85

3

1

Adult education

 

Al-Khirkhir is another area in Al- Rup El-Khali adjacent to Najran.We notice the low level of female education and the rarity of the educational services in general

 

 

 

 

 

Table no (4)

Health services in Al-Khirkhir

 

Emergency centers

Centers and polyclinics

doctors

beds

hospitals

Sector

-

1

-

-

-

governmental

-

-

-

-

-

private

 One governmental center and polyclinic for all the population of Alkhirkhir

 

Table no (5)

Social Services in Al-Khirkhir and Sharora

Development center

Social guarantee

Village complex

court

Notary public

Center or organization

Work office

Religious endowments

Civil status

area

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

Al-Khirkhir

1

1

-

1

1

1

-

1

1

Sharora

 

 

Table no (6)

 

Administrative Services in Al-Khirkhir and Sharora

Representatiye of female education

Female education

Male education

Municipality service

Municipality company

Administrative center

Traffic

Passports

Civil defence

area

-

-

-

-

1

1

-

-

1

Al-Khirkhir

1

-

-

1

1

1

1

1

1

Sharora

 

Table no (7)

Public Services in Al-khirkhir and Sharora

 

Public office

Travel agency

Banking service

T.V

telex

Telegraph office

Postal service

Post office

telephone

Electricity

Public water

 

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

1

1

1

-

 

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

-

We notice that Sharora enjoys the administrative and public services but these services are not proper with the needs of the population

 

 

Second, the Socio- Economic Characteristics that Explain the Nature of the Bedwin Population in Al-Rup 'El- Khali and the Surrounding Areas

 

(1) The physical geography of the region:-

  The desert of Al-Rup' Elkhali in the south of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considered one of the biggest deserts in the world. It is full of unique kinds of life and unique geographical and geological features.

 In the south lies Sharora near the Yemeni borders and the east near the borders of Oman. So, its borders extend to Yemen, Oman and United Arab Emirates.

In the north lies the sandy Oruq Al-Aredh and the well (Hesi ) .

Because of the heavy regular seasonal rains on Hadramout mount and because it comes down to the north, it is collected in a basin in Al-Rup El-Khali. It lies under the rocky layer of ( Al-Aaridh ) of Al-Monbasit level land circular agricultural field that resembles green cylinders.

Its diameter is approximately one or two kilos. It is irrigated with an axis irrigation from water that has been formed thousands of years ago during humid and rainy periods.

 Under the land of Al-Ru 'El-Khali is a large basin that is formed with different sediments of the land layers that are 6000 metres deep in layers.The highest is the current sand layer. In many of the sediments is the surface sea water which is the water of the hiding place of the basin from which current fields are irrigated. It has been formed for thousands of years. In the seasons of rainy weather, the water of the valleys pushed from the surrounding mountains to pour in it. For no more than 10 years, fresh water, that is good for irrigation, came from artesian wells. There have been more than 4000 hectares that produce corn, maze, onion, and even potatoes and tomaroeswith the help of chemical fertilizers. In the farming season (four months), between 7000 to 1100 cubic metres is consumed for one hectare. The largest part goes for washing the fields so that the salty layers do not come down on them.

The region Diraa has been formed as a result of the storming winds during the Ice Age which led to forming the dunes of Diraa. With the passing of time and the movement of the horizontal winds, these dunes became very huge as they are today.

Al- Faw village is an ancient monumental town which lies at the bottom of Touq mountain. Thousands of people lived there. Many of the Bedwin population have settled in it. They are not in need of moving because they live on the cost of the government. Their animals are no longer going out to graze but their food is brought to them from fodder stations.

The northern eastern part of this desert is less dry than the others because of the blowing of the seasonal wind and the movement of the rainy clouds from Oman Gulf area.

 

The Economic Activity:   2-

 

In the past, the caravans went to the north thousands of years ago carrying gold, spices, perfumes, woodwares, gum( the work of incence trees) and aloes. These caravans were traveling across Al-Rup El-Kali. So, caravans are considered the main source of income for  most most of the people of the region and the camel caravans to transport the crops and other food supplies, and transpoting travelers among valleys and palm oases and markets in big cities.

Al-Rup El-Khali is the home of the Stone Age and a hiding place for the black gold (oil). Najran oasis was the center town of the ancient trade.

 Falconers were part of the Bedwin population, and it is an aspect of the economic activity for the people. The Shiba oilfield is considered a starting point for the modern products i.e. oil.It is one of the richest oilfields in the Kingdom. The field gives an annual income of approximately 15 million dollars. Shiba town was built by the Saudi Company ARAMCO. It was built in a very modern way. There is also a power plant. Water comes from underneath the ground. The level of income is generally low in the region.

 

3-Social Structure:

 

The primitive tribes, as Al-Rasheed and Beni Katheer, were the most famous tribes which formed the social structures in the region and the social status of the head ( Sheikh ) of the tribe. The new Housing gave some compensation for those who lost their grazing land as a result of the borders division projects. Thousands of stone paintings, which were carved by Bedwins, fighters and caravans merchants, reflect the details of their life and their social history in which it was clear the role played by women in work and even in military work.

 

4-Public Services:

 

The previous tables showed some of the public services in Sharora and Al-Khirkhir. We hope that these services will increase the care for the region and the investment of its expertise.

 

 

 

5-Social Life:

 

In some towns of this region, thousands of Yemenis settled there during the civil war in Yemen. They hope to get the Saudi Nationality and to enjoy free social rights.Thus, Sharora is considered an example of the steady change and social transformation. It was mere tents in the desert. Now, its population try to modernize and live in modern houses, but most of them did not part with their old life.

Special tattoos are some of the traditions of semi deserts. Tribes and clans have their special tattoos which are inherited throughout the generations. Governors tried in many cases to unify the tribes but this was in vain. Social life was characterized by the culture of the desert which was reflected in mastering language and the literature of the desert.

 

6-Work and Level of Income:

 

A- Grazing:

This type of work is dominating among the taditional tribes of the population. It was based on traveling and moving away first then some Bedwins settled down due to the public services brought to them.

 

B- Merchants

They work according to the Bedwin culture and in exchanging and transporting goods from one place to another. Besides, some kinds of simple trades prevails in towns.

 

C- Falconers

They are those who work in hunting and breeding falcons. Their deals may reach thousands of dollars.

 

D-Work related to oil

Some people work in extracting oil. They work in supporting services. Oil has changed the Bedwin life. The economic growth affected their life. One of the most important transformations was introducing the modern means of transport. Modern roads have splitted the desert. The car replaced the camel. Housing complexes changed to small towns in which people now enjoy the modern houses, electricity, water, educational and health services.

 

E- Farming

Those who work in farming usually settle down around their farms.

 

F-Aesthetic features in the region:

Thirty years ago, there were tens of thousands of deer that graze freely in the desert of the Arabian Peninsula. Today there are only nine species. A safe guarded place for natural life has been built in(Orouq Beni Maaridh ). Also, there are the rocks and thousands of dunes that extend in the shape of five fold stars. Actually, these beautiful scenes are some of the most amazing carved sand on earth.The dunes of the eastern part of Al-Rup' El-Khali are some of the most splendid and beautiful dunes on earth. They have been formed throughout millions of years in the shape of accurate sandy serials because of the blowing of the winds from every side.

 

 

9-Social Discipline

Believing in some metaphysical plays an important role in the social discipline. There is a common proverb among the Bedwins that says( If God is in the heavens, then the Jin is on earth).They believe that the Jin make light to destroy the coming caravans  and they blow up sandy winds and throw the passers with stones and make the dunes roar and growl. The scientists explain that this is a result of the unstable inner formation of some rows of dunes.

The main system of social discipline is the tribal system which gives the head ( Sheikh ) of the tribe power over the people. Some punishments reach death especially those deviations related to disobeying God.

 

 

 The impact of Social Change

On Food and its habits on Saudi Society

Suleiman A. Alakeel

 

These materialism change took place in most of Saudi society groups particularly high standard of living,  using modern transportation means and other educational products from other societies that preside the Saudi society in technological and civilizational aspects.  But the Saudi values and traditions did not change with the same grade of materialism change.

Thus we can say the social change in the Saudi Society is partial through it seems that there is radical change in the social system. The Society education may prosper in certain time in some of its elements,  may deteriorate in some other elements.  These are the features that go along with quick development.  Some of the needs,  experiences and abilities inforce human to accept news methods in dealing with this education and leave other methods because of their disqualification or not conform with fresh development which means that every educational change is an indicator of an imbalance situation in the education elements.  Foods traditions and custom is essential element in the Saudi Society education.  It is originated from the heritage but interacted fully with society living.  The traditions change according to the society change.  When the social change in Saudi Society occurred,  food traditions ore some of the aspects in which change took place. Though these tradition and food types are originated in the Saudi Society education that distinctive in its geographical location.  Food traditions is deeply connected with other social phenomenon in the sense that they are reflection to the family status,  class and occupation.  More the family has educational interaction with the other societies more there is a change of benefit from other societies education,  then , more possibility change.

As a result of the Saudi Society tenderly to adopt development and modernization as devices to improve the Society in various aspects.  It is logical that some systems and organization and resemblance system appeared and the similarity, resemblance increased.  The factors that play an important role in food tradition change in the Saudi Society are the following:

 

1-            Materialism abundant.

 

                After the oil exploration and export,  there had been materialism            abundant in          the individual  and national income, or the individual       average income.  This         abundant is in different forms represented    in the high standard of income and the                 easiness to get official jobs.               Or having and owing business firms and other phenomenon of                wealth.  This abundant gives the Saudi Society to consider others      education and try to imitate these societies in their way of living,             some      of which is food traditions and diet.  It become easy to obtain      all kinds of food tools that prepared it,  that are eaten with .... ect.          Now the market is full of   these tools utensils,  there are specialized       shops for food tools.

 

2-            Travel & Tourism:

 

                Money is essential for travel and tourism.  There are lots of reasons        for travel such as education,  medicine,  trade and entertainment.      Travel is interaction with other education/ culture,  then             educational borrowing take place.  This borrowing either                 partial or                full only what can be applied.  The one which can be applied such          as some kinds of food,  fruit, vegetable and their cooling systems/                machine and kitchen utensils,  Booklets of cooking and food   preparing and traditions.  Part of this new education the wide      various of restaurants which are not of Saudi education origin                 eg.Fast Meals Restaurants which represent the western Societies          culture/ education in its method of preparing and        calories which       reflects the hurry of that societies.   In additions to these        restaurants there are the Chinese , Bukhari, Indian which represent         the eastern            meals such as Russian, Iranian and south east Asia              meals/ plates in addition to               the various Arabic meals/ plates.     This would have happened unless interaction  between the Saudi           education and other education.  The  Saudi Society took           these       educations because the societal movement  did not prevent other                educations since they can change or help improving the society                 circumstances.

 

3-            The Coming Education:

 

                The Saudi Society is often in contact with other culture particularly        the Arabic             and Islamic through Haj and Umrah and visiting.          Having the two holy mosques,  this makes Saudi in confluence/              center of Islamic education from all over the World.  Normally                 this society interact with these education.  The expatriates who                come to Saudi as a result of social and economical           development.       Every one of the expatriates is himself unique education.  When             this individual interact with other educations,  borrowing happens as        one as    pect        of educational change.

                In this sense the Saudi Society includes all the World educations.            Definitely              educational change will take place as a result of                 interaction between these educations and the Saudi education in            different ways such as restaurants,  footd or meeting between people ...etc....  This leads to change in food traditions               

                arise, others disappear or adopt each other.

 

4-            Education:

               

                Education is one of the important factors of the social change in            every society.   Through education individual can be aware of                other eduactions and develop his ability to conform with what is to        be and reality in scientific method.  Reading                 and writing  enable the       individual to abreast what is written about other societies and transferred it to his education.  This education has the elements               of            change and encourage interaction with other education culture.  Via      education specialized courses in nutrition,  environment and health                and the social,  psychological aspects accompanying this change.           Books of food nutrition are much widespread in book shops, its                wide spreading is sign of     education development and prosperity.                  Education being on wide range helps in changing in food tradition,         which leads to social change in Saudi Society.             

 

5-            Mass Media/ Information:

               

                The aforementioned factors interact with information in making the      required social change.  Media information is an important factor in              change because it                assist the precedent factors and present them in           exciting manner and make propaganda through the various means of    mass media.  Magazines,  daily news              are some of these, from time            to time there is a report about certain dish, traditions or the method                of living from different societies.  Television views      some audio-                visual pictures of food ...etc...  this is more effective, in addition to          programs, films and serials that view food are more effective,  then     transferred            to Saudi Society.  The distinctive feature of the modern             personality is adventuring, predisposition to discover education,        method of living for different societies.   These mean speed up the          social change.

                We observe lots of change in Saudi Society as a result of the    aforementioned factors such as using dining-table instead of the                 ground, using forks, spoons instead of hands,  open meals buffets in      parties.  In addition of health and nutrition education, such as the            date of production and expire and the contents of canned food.             There is also general care with health such as  calories, fat,          cholesterol percentage in the human body and other food traditions,      nutrition  that cause diseases.  Food like Ghozi, Hamburger,          Baspousa is a one of the    aforementioned factors results.  It is clear      now the Saudi food is a mixture of Saudi education and other            education.  New traditions related to food eating         such as eating       while standing, going on street or restaurants with families.  Depending on sandwich for some meals.

 

Analysis & Conclusion:

 

Before petrol mining people diet on fish, dates, milk and fat of animals,  or corn and its products.  This was full diet it contains all the nutrient elements the human needs.   The social and economical development in Saudi made radical changes in the various human activities.  Change in food traditions is part of this change>  The different mass media particularly the TV. imposed certain kinds of diet consumption for some products that may not be Saudi production, this made much change.  Lots of studies were made an manipulated most aspect of our issue.

                Re. the first question about the impact of the social change factors on food change.  As explained in figure (1) we find that education, travel, tourism, abundant of money, mass media and the incoming education,  they do change in society.  The change is in different shapes.  The social, economical, educational, widespread of education of educational products of other societies, educational and interaction borrowing.  All these various changes make various changes in living.  In this survey we find that changes make changes in food traditions in Saudi Society such as using forks, spoons and eating on tables instead of ground and group food, changing meals times.  In the past they eat with their hands, there was not any food tools.  After that they use tools, eat alone on one dish.  This does not mean that all the society do this but this is phenomenon.  Other new traditions such as eating standing, while driving cars, on streets.  The kinds of food now is various.  Now restaurants are from all over the world in Saudi.  There are American, Italian, Chinese, Turkish, Indian, Korean, Pizza ...etc... ,  this affect the Saudi popular dishes.  In addition to the widespread of cooking books which incorporate new kinds of food and encourage development of popular dishes.

 

                The Second question change in food system, we find that “Nutrition and the Environmental factors and the adolescents (girls) in Riyadh area”  The sample of study is (252) age 12-15.  In intermediate schools in Riyadh.  The study concluded that the food traditions reflect the nutrition/ diet system prevailing among the adolescents (girls).  High  percentage of them neglect one meal at least a day and prefer to have minor meals between the meals.  The American  adolescent girls do the same,  they neglect breakfast and lunch.

                This survey explains that this traditions between the Saudi adolescent girls is the cause of insufficiency in vitamin and minerals salts, so the high percentage of fatness, sliminess between them.  The food outside the home is full of energy and contain little nutrients.   The study explained that 80% of the girls (lasses)  take vitamins and mineral drugs.  Few of Saudi adolescent girls take juice and fresh fruit.  The widespread tradition between the adolescents girls is that beverages, tea, coffee.  The soft drinks is on the top of food and beverages that are preferable to adolescent girls in Europe and America.  These tradition incorporated in the Saudi Society as a result of social change, educational interaction.  The study explains the level of borrowing from other educational systems,  particularly the most advanced societies.  The Saudi Society accepted these education,  so innovations happened in  diet methods to Saudi Society.

                Table (1) explains the food the students girls preferred.  The popular meals / dishes is the most preferable (%28.17).  Macaroni is (%25.18) though it is  not part of Saudi Society food,  it is also not part from the popular meals.  But Macaroni widespread between the Saudi Society accepting other societies education.  The mentioned indicate the variety of Saudi meals and incorporating meals/dishes not of Saudi origin.

Table (1)

 

The frequent distribution percentage according to the preferred food to them.

Food

No. of the stunned

Percentage

Popular Plates

71

%28.17

Idamat

69

%27.4

Different kinds of Macaroni

46

%18.25

Rice

45

%17.86

Sweets

34

%13.39

Red & grilled meat

33

%13.09

Chicken

32

%12.79

Salads

21

% 8.30

Milk & its production

17

% 6.75

Fruits

15

% 5.95

Fish

14

% 5.60

Boiled eggs

 8

% 3.17

Chips

 7

% 2.8

Different Drinks

 4

% 1.59

 

50

% 19.84

* المصدر: الحالة الغذائية و العوامل البيئية المتعلقة بالمراهقات في منطقة الرياض ـ المعتاز 1998 (54)

 

Concerning the third question about the change in nutrition conception system,  the study explains the nutrition consumption system for some of Saudi families in Riyadh area (38)  The woman had been like the man in Saudi Society has great effective, and played many roles.  Some of these roles need effort and suffering and continuos work.

That the woman to be one of the labor in the farm,  or to do similar works.

 

The nutrition system had been simple in this stage.  After the social and economical development plan the woman is forced to be in the house and to do some work and this led her to eat more different kinds of food because this variety is available.

 

In the study that done on pregnant group not appears that most of the pregnant suffer from the problem of fatness that refers to the fat deposition  in the body as a result of eating much food and no sport and activities.  The study prove that high percentage of the study sample (%44 - 45) they suffer from stomachic acid .  

This results give indicator for the social change concerning the food and change of food habits and system.  So the negative results start to appear for the contact and change different kinds of diseases.

 

Table (2)               

 The frequent distribution for the percentage of nutrition information resource for Saudi woman.

Nutrition

Sources information

Non pregnant

 Percentage

Pregnant

Percentage

Mother -grandmother

44

11.34

12

33.33

Neighbor

10

 2.58

  2

  5.55

Work

22

 5.67

  5

13.89

Doctor

42

10.82

  6

16.67

Radio

38

 9.79

  3

 8.33

TV

61

15.72

  1

 2.78

News papers

32

  8.25

  1

  2.78

Scientific books

72

18.56

  5

13.89

Personal Experience

58

14.95

  1

  2.78

Other Sources

  9

  2.32

   --

  -----

Total

388

100

 

 

المصدر: دراسة النمط الإستهلاكي الغذائي لبعض الأسر السعودية بالرياض . آل الشيخ 1979 ص 74

These are different  sources of information in different scopes that appears as a result of the change that took place to the Saudi Society including Information concerning food.

 

Concerning the fourth question about the source of nutrition information and the study gives nutrition consumption system,  the question about nutrition information source the percentage (%52.32) from the sample Non pregnant.

Mentioned that the media like Television, printing scenic book had been the main source of nutrition information concerning the Saudi woman.   Mentioned percentage of (%27.78) from the sample of pregnant that the main source is the information for the nutrition information and this refers that the pregnant generally try to be in contact with mother, grandmother or the neighbor or the woman with experience that has a relation with pregnancy and delivery.,  that we found percentage  (%52.77) from the pregnant depended on information sources or mother or grandmother, neighbors or work colleagues and a  percentage of (%19.59) from non pregnant depend on the same source due to their less experience in pregnancy and delivery. These  proved the effectiveness of Television media or magazines on the people.  It is considered one of the factors that help in pushing change   in Saudi Society.

 

Concerning the fifth question around care of requested information shows the relation of income with nutrition consumption for Makkah family and the factors that affected on(39) in consideration for contents of the nutrition and materials and its effect on the people health.  The study showed that (%97) from the family sample of the study  give care for registered information on cans: production date, Expire date, nutrition value -contents.

 

The nutrition value for food that is used in the meals.    This result showed the effect of the education on the society and its one of important factors in making the change.  The following table showed that.

 

Table (3)

Are you giving care to the information registered on items of supermarket e.g. prod. date & Expire. date

No.

Percentage

Yes

97

97

Some times

 2

  2

No

 1

  1

Total

100

100

المصدر: علاقة الدخل بالإستهلاك الغذائي للأسر المكية و العومل المؤثرة فيها ـ بلخيور 1989 (60)

 

Concerning the sixth question around high desire for buying snack food. the information of the table (4) showed (%85) from sample they buy snack food from the restaurants while (%10) from them they do not buy.  This proved that the woman joined   the work field or her outing from the house and contacting the out side society that led her neglects her kitchen.

The study showed %50) from the sample they buy ready food all ways,  while (%35) they buy ready made sandwiches.  This result showed the affect of the change on the society on the food part and other nutrition habits.  Also the study showed that people of the sample prefer the style of variety and balance of dishes to gain knowledge of new information.  Also the study showed (%80( from people of the sample prefer buying ready meals in supper while (%20) from them prefer buying meals during dinner period.

 

The study showed the extend of the change on the society from balance care and variety in food reaching of the high nutrition value and taste the incoming different sorts from out the culture of the society.

This may be attributed to the house holder busy or being out side or preferring having meals out side,  and this indicates that the change appeared in this part of life of the society.

Table (4)

 

Do you buy ready food meals

NO.

Percentage

Yes

35

35

Some times

50

50

No

15

15

Total

100

100

المصدر: علاقة الدخل بالإستهلاك الغذائي للأسر المكية و العوامل المؤثرة فيها - بلخيور 1989 (65)

 

Concerning the seventh question about nutrition value the assessment of the traditions and nutrition condition for a group of pregnant ladies in Riyadh area. (40) which has done on sample of (506) of Saudi pregnant ladies that always visit health center and child and mother care centers that controlled by Riyadh Central Hospital.

 

The study showed that the nutrition habits to pregnant Saudi ladies same as the habits of most Arab countries.  These habits affected by social believes that resulted from experiences of previous generation and the role played by the environment on its development.

 

Table (5) showed bread is popular food.  Milk and its products,  fresh and cooked fruits, green salad, egg, Cabs, these foods contain value for pregnant, and also reflect their nutritive knowledge due to the health care   information effecting, education plus other factors on the changes.

The study showed that these who generally come to heath care centers where they gain a good care of bodies that let them understand the importance of variety of food for mother and baby health.  This reflect the change that happened to the people, and entering of new requested concepts  to this stage.

 

Table (5)

 

Nutritive group

Repetition

Percentage

Milks & its productions

430

84.98

Meats

330

65.21

Chicken

240

47.43

Legumes

112

22.13

Fish

70

13.83

Eggs

370

73.12

Fresh and cooked fruits

500

98.81

Green salad

390

77.08

Cooked vegetables

290

57.31

Dates

225

44.47

Natural juice

100

19.76

Bread

506

100

Kabssa

335

70.16

Steam rice

105

20.75

Macaroni

 60

11.86

Groan

 50

 9.88

Jareesh

 45

 8.89

Mataziz

 40

 7.91

Saleek

 38

 7.51

Sambossa

 15

 2.96

Mineral Drinks

300

 59.29

Black & white honey

111

21.94

Black olive

106

20.95

Sweet (Tahineya)

  35

  6.92

Other Sweets

  25

 4.94

Mokassarat

  30

 3.95

المصدر: تقييم العادات الغذائية لمجموعة من السيدات الحومل في منطقة الرياض ـ الحميدان 1988 (77)

 

  

Conclusion :

 

The direct or indirect contact between societies leads to many changes in the  habits and traditions of the societies that help in its developing or taking away some of its elements, to be familiar with new things to society, also many issues related to the development of taste and preferring what other  societies have.

The study showed that the Saudi Society due to  cultural contact with other societies accepted most of the traditions and different nutritive habits.

 

Many problems come to existence as a result of this change of this habits like diseases connected with changing of their habits such as fatness, stomachic acid and spread of habits , like having one meal a day and vitamins, salts, or having big quantity of mineral drinks.

The study showed many positives points that the Saudi people started to care of nutritive value, dietetic and content of the food, expire date and this can be considered as development of nutrition knowledge.

 

As a result of the change, the  society tastes the food of other societies, and spread of many restaurants in the society.  Also the information has    a very essential role in this change with different ways,  that  becomes   a very important sources for the food and habits.  In spite of this quantitative and qualitative changes the Saudi is still conserving his traditions and his  religious. This Study showed the change in style of the nutrition consumption to the Saudi Society.

 

The different studies on food habits  in Saudi Society indicate that variety of food and the preparation ways and different habits that attached with,. E.g.(Saffar Al mouaid)) in furniture shops,   and new generation  eats on table with spoons , forks instead of the hands an tasting the different kinds of food.

 

  

المراجع و الهوامش: Ref. & Margins:                                                               

  

(1) القس، محمد عبد المولى (1987) " التغيير الإجتماعي بين النظرية و التطبيق" عمان : دار مجدلاوي للنشر (ص: 53)

(2) المرجع السابق (ص:13)

(3) علي حيدر ابراهيم (1982) "التغير الإجتماعي و التنمية - مدخل نظري" القاهرة : دار الثقافة و النشر.

(4) الزعبي، محمد أحمد (1991) " التغير الإجتماعي بين علم الإجتماع البرجوازي و علم الإجتماع الإشتراكي" بيروت: المؤسسة الجامعية للدراسات و النشر.

(5) العبد، صلاح و زملائه (1980)  "دراسات نظرية و تطبيقية في تنمية و تحديث المجتمعات النامية" القاهرة: دار المعرفة الجامعية.

(6) محمد، علي محمد و زملائه (1985) "المرجع في مصطلحات العلوم الإجتماعية" القاهرة: دار المعرفة.

(7)  الرميحي ، محمد غانم (1975) "مدخل لدراسة الواقع و التغير الإجتماعي في مجتمعات الخليج العربي المعاصرة"مجلة العلوم الإجتماعية ـ العدد الثامن السنة الثالثة ديسمبر ص (77ـ88).

(8) خليل، احمد سليم "البترول و الغذاء في بعض البلاد العربية النفطية" (العراق ـ الجزائلرـ الكويت ـ المملكة العربية السعودية.)

(9) القس، محمد عبد المولى (1987) "التغير الإجتماعي بين النظرية و التطبيق" عمان: دار مجدلاوي للنشر.

(10) العوضي، عبد الهادي (1977) "حول قضايا نقل و تطوير التقنية و علاقتها بالقيم و التغير و الإجتماعي في العالم العربي" الكويت: اعمال حلقة نقاش حول قضايا التنمية و التخيط ( العام الدراسي 1997ـ1978) المعهد العربي للتخطيط.

(11) باتبر، احند عبد الله (1991) " التغيرات الإقصادية و الإجتماعية و أثرها على الغطاء النباتي في دولة قطر" الدوحة: أعمال ندوة قضايا التغير الإجتماعي في المجتمع القطري (ص : 119 ـ147)ز

(12) شعلان،  سلامة و زملائه(1991) "تطور الأنماط الإستهلاكية الغذائية بدول قطر" الدوحة : أعمال ندوة قضايا التغير الإجتاماعي في المجتمع القطري (ص : 473 ـ516).

(13) حسين، محسن محمد علي (1993) "أثر العادات الغدائية على الإصابة بأمراض سوء التغذية " المجلة الطبية: العدد 75 السنة السادسة عشر. محرم ـ ربيع الثاني ص :(63-67)  الرياض.

(14) الغزالي، الإمام ابوحامد محمد بن محمد (1986) "احياء علوم الدين".  عمان: دار الفكر ـ (ج 2 ـ ص 4)

(15) الحبيشي، محمد الوصابي (1978) " البركة في فضل السعي و الحركة"  بيروت دار المعرفة (ص 209)

(16) المرجع السابق.

(17) الغزالي، الإمام ابوحامد محمد بن محمد (1986) "احياء علوم الدين" عمان دار الفكر.

(18) المرجع السابق (ج 2 ـ ص 4)

(19) الحبيشي، محمد الوصابي (1978) " البركة في فضل السعي و الحركة"  بيروت دار المعرفة (ص 209)

(20) الغزالي، الإمام ابوحامد محمد بن محمد (1986) "احياء علوم الدين".  عمان: دار الفكر ـ (ج 2 ـ ص 4)

(21) المرجع السابق ( ج 2 ص 4).

(22) المرجع السابق (ج 2 ص 4)

(23) المرجع السابق (ج 2 ص 5).

(24) المرجع السابق (ج 2 ص 5).

(25) المرجع السابق ( ج 2 ص5).

(26) المرجع السابق (ج 2 ص 6) .

(27) المرجع السابق (ج 2 ص 6).

(28) الحبيشي، محمد الوصابي (1978) " البركة في فضل السعي و الحركة"  بيروت دار المعرفة (ص210ـ211)

(29) الغزالي، الإمام ابوحامد محمد بن محمد (1986) "احياء علوم الدين".  عمان: دار الفكر ـ (ج 2 ـ ص 5.)

(30) المرجع السابق (ج 4 ص 124)

(31) محمد، علي محمد (1978)" دراسات في التغير الإجتماعي" القاهرة: دار الكتب الجامعية.

(32) شكري، عليات (1980) "دراسة عادات الطعام و آداب المائدة في الوطن العربي" القاهرة : الكتاب الثاني لعلم الإجتماع. (ص 171 - 191) دار المعارف .

(33) التير، مصطفى عمر (1992) " مسيرة تحديث المجتمع الليبي" ـ موائمة بين القديم      و الجديد ـ بيروت : معهد الإنماء العربي.

(34) INKES, ALEX (1983) EXPORING INDIVIDUAL MODERNITY. NEW YORK: COLUMBIA UNVERSITY PRESS      

(35) المحسن، نجاح عبد العزيز عبد الرحمن (1986) “دراسة تحليلية لمعرفة القيمة الغذائية و مدى التقبل لبعض التمور  المحلية و بعض الأطباق السعودية الداخلية في تركيبها" رسالة ماجستيرـ الإقتصاد المنزلي ـ كلية التربية للبنات ـ الرياض.

(36) المعتاز، فوزية محمد عبد الله (1988) دراسة الحالة الغذائية و العوامل البيءية المتعلقة بالمراهقات  في منطقة الرياض" رسالة ماجستير في الإقتصاد المنزلي.ـ كلية التربية للبنات ـ الرياض.

(37) المرجع السابق (ص 85)

(38) آل شيخ، هند عبد العزيز (1989) دراسة النمط الإستهلاكي الغذائي لبعض الأسر السعودية بالرياض” رسالة ماجستير في الاقتصاد المنزلي ـ كلية التربية للبنات ـ الرياض.

(39) بلخيور، أميرة احمد سالم (1989) علاقة الدخل بالإستهلاك الغذائي للأسر المكية العوامل المؤثرة فيها" رسالة ماجستيرـ كلية التربية للبناتـ مكة المكرم.

(40) الحميدان، وفيقة عبد الله سعود (1988) "تقييم العادات الغذائية لمجموعة من السيدات الحوامل لمنطقة الرياض" رسالة ماجستيرـ كلية التربية للبنات ـ الرياض.

 

 

CHANGES IN THE ROLE OF  RELIGION

 

 IN THE SAUDI SOCIETY

 

 

By

 

Suleiman A. Al-Akeel

Assisstant Professor.Dep. of Social Studies (Sociology)

College of Arts. King Saud University

 

 

Introduction

      In the summer of l927, the Ikhwan, the fanatical farmer-warriors who Ibn Saud had planted in towns throughout the Nejd region, were aroused to anger by what they considered to be unjust restrictions of their territory and they began attacking Iraqi border settlements.

       To deal with this crisis the king called for a  conference at Riyadh to meet with representatives of all his  tribes.  Leaders and wise men came from the Hejaz, Asir,  Nejd, and Hasa regions, but the religious leaders of the  Ikhwan did not show up.  The Riyadh conference showed the  King at his best.  He led the meeting as a King, but he made  sure that his rulings were discussed and voted upon.  He even  asked for a decision on himself, saying "I want you also to  consider whether I am fit for ruling you."

      At this conference an interesting incident occurred  which was to have considerable bearing on the modernization  of Saudi Arabia.  One of the charges brought against the King  was that he had set up wireless stations and communicated  through them, an act that was not specifically approved by  the prophet.

       After the opposition had been heard, the King got down  from his throne and pleaded in his own defense.  He pointed  out that there was nothing in the Koran or the words of the  Prophet against the use of wireless.  And he ended by having  a section of the Koran recited over the radio.  Can anything  that transmits the words of God be bad ?, he asked.

                                 The Ulama (or the council of religious elders) agreed  that he was right and thus sanctioned the King's use of the  radio, an essential weapon if he was to pacify the scattered  and rebellious tribesmen of the Ikhwan settlements.  It was a  first step in gaining approval for a program which was to  extend to automobiles, electric lights, diesel pumps,  railroads and airplanes.

 

 

 

The Role of the Religion

 

 

                Religion has been recognized by many sociologists as the central cultural

 

institution of human societies throughout history. The emergence of the religion

 

institution. However, religion continues to play a highly  significant role in the

 

society and its develpment. Religion serves a variety of functions for the

 

individual and the social structure. However, these functions depend upon the

 

social structure and the culture of the society. One of the functions of religion is

 

serving as a source of identity. In a society experiencing rapid social changes,

 

relgion may provides a feeling of security and assurance. For an individual who

 

geographically isolated from family members, religion groups may provide a

 

sense of belonging. In the functional view it seems that religious beliefs,

 

practices, and symbols contribute to the survival of the individual and society.

 

                Durkheim (1947) noted that religion serves societal functions by

 

bringing its members to and providing a common element around which group

 

solidarity may form. According to Radcliffe-Brown,(1939) the function of most

 

social patterns is traceable not to individual needs, but to needs or requirements

 

of the society as a whole. In general, religion has two main functions; social

 

solidarity and adjustment to the physical and psycho-social environment.

 

However, Islam has succeeded in balancing the material and spiritual needs.      

                Kotb (1953) points out that nature of Islamic belifs about human life

 

makes it essential for social justice to take into account both material and

 

human factors. 

 

 

The purose of study:

 

                In Islamic societies, there is intense conflict between conservative religious

 

leaders and those who favor the more secular values of western civilization.

 

Secularization starts usually accompanied by a great deal of political conflict,

 

which only calls attention to the major and often controversial place of religion in

 

human societies.

 

                The legitimacy of the early Saudi government was primarily driven from the

 

Wahabbi faith (an Islamic school of thoughts). Historically, there was a direct

 

cooperation between the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz, and the

 

Ulama (religious leaders and scholars) which laid the foundation of the Saudi

 

State. The relationship between the King and the religious leaders was one of  a

 

mutual support and depndence. The Ulama helped to shape the nature of the

 

state as it emerged. They were used by the King in the promotion and

 

legitimization of his rule and policies. The Ulama provided the Kingdom with

 

something akin to a state philosophy wich played a crucial role in the

 

centralization of the King's power. The Ulama were involved in the direct

 

administration and development of curriculum of the religious education.

 

                In addition, they played the key role in establishing morality standards and

 

regulating public conduct through committee for encouraging virtue and

 

preventing vice.     

 

                This paper attempts to discuss the process of change in the role of the religious

 

institution in Saudi Arabia. These changes will be described in terms of assessing

 

the compatibility of traditional religious values with the process of rapid social

 

and economic development in the country.

 

 

The Initiation of Change

  As a consequence of the Saudi ruler's two pronged policy  of engaging Wahhabism as the state ideology and instituting  limited administrative and social change, the Saudi polity  has exhibited tensions and conflict between two groups:  (l)  the secular-educated Saudi's who advocated more socioeconomic  and political reforms, and (2) the religiously inspired  traditionalists who desired to reaffirm the religious  character of the polity.  Balancing the tension between the  two is the King who converts tension into balance and binds  society together through conflict no less than collaboration.  The government hoped to maintain a viable socioeconomic order  based on Wahhabism but one flexible enough to adjust to  changing circumstances.  They introduced changes to  accommodate emergent situations but continued to invoke  religion as a mean to rationalize these changes.  The first  and most elaborate reform program was initiated in l962 as a  result of internal and external pressures.

  The reform program was rationalized in religious term  and introduced in order to achieve a unified system of  government based on the principles of the Shariah.  A basic  law will be promulgated, drawn from the Quran, the traditions  of the Prophet and the acts of the Orthodox Cal.  It will  set forth the fundamental principles of government and the  relationship between the governor and the governed.  Educational_System

  Educational facilities that existed in the various parts  of present day Saudi Arabia prior to World War I accurately  reflected the existing administrative and socioeconomic  conditions.  In addition to the Kuttab (elementary Quranic  schools), the provinces had specialized in teaching circles  known as the halaga (circle) in the houses of prominent Ulama  and in major mosques, as well as several private schools  sponsored by individual benefactors such as the Al-Falah  schools in Makkah and Jeddeh.

  The organization of the formal secular education in the  country took place in l925 when King Abdelaziz ordered the  establishment of the Directorate General of Education.  The  Ulama opposed the introduction of secular education out of  the fear that it would damage the fabric of Wahhabi society.

  Through the persistence of King Abdelaziz a significant  progress took place.  based on the religious character of the  society, and consistent with the government justification of  change in religious terms, Saudi educational planners  indicate that the purpose of education is to have the  students understand Islam in a correct and comprehensive  manner, to plant and spread the Islamic creed, to furnish the  student with the values, teachings and ideals of Islam, to  equip him with various skills and knowledge, to develop his  conduct in constructive directions and to develop the society  economically, socially and culturally.

  The same objectives were reiterated in the first, second  and the third five years plan (l970-l985) which stressed  maintaining the religious and moral values of Islam over  developing human resources.  While religious influence on  education may be relatively easy to maintain at the primary  and even intermediate, it is more difficult to do so at the  secondary or higher levels.  Religious subjects can not  dominate the curricula of secular colleges, and students can  not be monitored at all times when they study abroad.  Interesting enough that the number of students enrolled in  religious programs is less than those in secular  institutions.  The main secular universities in the country  are Riyadh University, King Abdelaziz University, King Faisal  University and King Fahad University.  The main religious  universities are the Islamic University of Medina and the  Islamic University of Imam Muhammed Iben Saud at Riyadh.

  Although the Ulama have opposed education for women,  Saudi educational planners introduced such education in l960.  The official recognition of women's right for formal  education was granted in l959 when a royal speech was  delivered stating that a decision had been made to open  government schools for girls under the control of a committee  to be responsible to the Grand Ulama.  The placement of  female education under Ulama control was necessary measure to  secure their approval.  A year later, the General Presidency  of the schools of girls was created.  This body is  effectively a ministry governed by a Shaykh with the same  powers, privileges, and status as those of a minister.

  The educational policies stated by the Ulama reflect the  government's desire to develop materially and yet retain  Wahhabis versed in Islam and Wahhabi fundamentalism as well  as engineering and computer science.  But the reality of the  situation points to an erosion of religious education and the  increase in the number of secular schools.  The political  implications of the increase of secular-educated Saudis have  two-folds.  First, this group's desire for greater political  participation will exert pressure on the political system and  may eventually alter the regime's patrimonial character.  Second, the growing population of secular-educated Saudis  means an emerging "World view" at variance with that of their  elders and the Ulama.  Consequently, their role in government  and society will heighten tension and conflict between them  and the traditionalists.

 

  The Regulation of Saudi Law

  The King is given authority under the Shariah to do  whatever is necessary for the welfare of the people through  issuing regulations.  By this mean Saudi Arabian adapts to  change and achieves progress.  For instance, at the time of  the Prophet there were no automobiles, air ports, or  commercial companies;  today Saudi society has the applicable  motor vehicle regulations, air port regulations, regulations  for companies, and so on.  Regulation_of_Business_Activity:

  The first major group of regulations promulgated under  the new direction concerned the vital area of the regulation  of business activity and attracting foreign capital and  needed foreign expertise to the Kingdom.

 

 Financial Revival and Economic Development:

  Financial revival and economic development are the  government's prime concern, therefor, government has adopted  and will continue to adopt strong and important measures to  lay down substantial programs for reform that continuously  spur economic activity.  Thus, the regulations for investment  of foreign capital which were signed in l964 provided the  base to attract foreign capital and expertise to the Kingdom.

  On July l965, regulations for companies, were issued,  defining and regulating the various types of companies.  On  l962 the regulation for commercial agencies was issued.  On  l970's many regulations have been issued which deals with the  procurement and for the execution of projects and works,  contracts values commission, and intercessions.

  Labor and Welfare Regulation

  Labor regulations were promulgated in Saudi Arabia in  l947, about the time of ARAMCO was preparing for major oil  production following World War II.  Suffice it to say in  regard to these early regulations, that one of their  important features was to remove labor disputes from the  jurisdiction of the Shariah court with its strict rules of  evidence to the newly created administrative agency, the  labor office.  However, the need for a modern and more  comprehensive regulation to better administer the ever  increasing complexities of employee relations resulting from  the industrial expansion was recognized by the government.  These regulations were adopted from modern countries and  were redesigned on l969 with new changes and additional  regulations such as the social insurance.

 

 

 

 

 

   Judicial Regulations:

  The Judicial regulations were promulgated on July l975.  It sets the tone that the judiciary to be completely  independent and non-political, as it must to be effective.

  These regulations provide that the Shariah courts shall  consist of:

  A.  The Supreme Judicial Council

  B.  The Appellate court

  C.  General courts

  D.  Summary courts

  The Supreme Judicial Council is composed of eleven  members and in addition to looking into Shariah questions  submitted to it by the King and the Minister of Justice, it  reviews death and other severe punishment sentences handed  down by the lower courts.  The Appellate court is headed by a  chief judge who sits with either three or five judges  depending upon the seriousness of the case before it.  This  court reviews criminal cases, family law, and inheritance  cases appealed to it from the lower courts.  The general  courts will normally consist of one judge, except in cases  involving death or severe punishment which call for a  decision rendered by three judges.  The summary court issues  decisions by a single judge.  The qualifications that a  candidate for a judgeship must meet in character, education  and training are spelled out.  Appointment and promotion in  the judiciary is by royal order passed by the decision of the  supreme judicial council.

 The Decline of the Role of the Ulama in the Judiciary

  The development of an oil economy in Saudi Arabia has  ushered in a period of increased government activities that  necessitated the expansion of state jurisdiction over areas  formerly dominated by the religious establishment.  It led to  the creation of a complex administrative structure to  implement thesepolicies.  In turn, the expansion of  jurisdiction and the corresponding increase in role  differentiation between the religious and political spheres  resulted in the bureaucratization of the Ulama.  Indeed, the  Ulama in the current Saudi state are dependent on the state  for their survival.  They are paid civil servants whose  activities are determined by the needs of the political  sphere.  Ulama leaders are appointed by the King, and Ulama  activities are regulated by state laws.

  Following the introduction of secular laws to regulate  the many state activities, the role of the Ulama became  confined to the interpretation of the civil and criminal  aspects of the Shariah, whereas commercial, labor, and  international laws are formulated and interpreted by secular-  educated individuals.  The state took over religion for the  purpose of restructuration to bring its beliefs and  institutions into conformity with national objectives.  The  political sphere enhanced its legitimacy through the  rationalization of policies in religious terms.  The  emergence and increased role of secular-educated individuals  in the system reflects the overall position of the political  sphere in relation to the Ulama.  While religion remains an  important source of legitimation, the Ulama's traditional  role in evaluating government policy and activities has been  reduced.

Religious Opposition

     Although religion legitimates Saudi government,  religious opposition began to emerge in recent years,  demanding the overthrow of the Saudi rule and the creation of  a genuinely Islamic republic.  Two groups are of importance,  the Organization of the Islamic Revolution and the Neo- Ikhwan.  The first, which was founded in the late l970's  drives its financial support from Iran.  Its membership is  confined to Shi'i Saudis.  It follows Khomeini's vision of  Islamic rule.  A pamphlet distributed by members of the  organization during the pilgrimage season of l98l in Mekkah,  the organization outlined its objectives:

 "In the name of Allah:

  As the time when the Muslim Ummah is turning to real  Islam as the only hope for progress, freedom and complete  independence, the Ummah faces a dangerous enemy represented  by ruling regimes of the so-called Islamic states.  The Saudi  family is one of these regimes...  Their regime is the most  dangerous enemy of Islam because they use the cover of  religion to legitimate their otherwise unislamic role  ...Ask yourselves does Islam allow a royal family to have  luxurious palaces and share in commercial firms?

  We demand:  (l)  our immediate end to the wave of  indiscriminate arrests in Qatif and Hasa (both are Shi'i  regions), and the release of all political prisoners  -especially those arrested in the Eastern province while  practising religious rights of Ashoora.  (2) We deplore the  dictatorship of Al Saud and demand that an Islamic  constitution be introduced to secure democracy and progress  for people.  (3)  Our Muslim people in the Arabian Peninsula  are one people, regardless of sect, condemning the regime's  sectarian policy of inciting sunnis against Shi'is.  (4)  We  demand a cut down in the rate of oil production.  (5).  We  demand social justice to end mass poverty.  (6)  We demand  the abolition of all treaties signed with the United States."

  Because of this movement's link with Iran and its  representation of Shi'i interests in Saudi Arabia its  activities remain rudimentary and its following is limited.

The Neo-Ikhwan

  On November l979, the Grand Mosque of Makkah was seized  by a group of fundamentalists who denounced the Saudi regime  and proclaimed the appearance of a Mahdi (redeemer).  The  Saudi government was ill prepared to face this type of  insurrection.  It was not an attack against government  offices, army barracks, or radio and television stations,  such that government could act swiftly to eliminate the  attackers.  Nor was it a foreign inspired movement to be  dismissed as such and be eliminated with ease.  Rather, it  was an Islamic uprising in protest of what its members  described as the religious and moral laxity and degeneration  of Saudi rulers, and advocating the revival of seventh  century Islamic society.

  The seizure of the mosque underscored the existence of  three deeply rooted problems concerning the relationship  between religion and state in the Kingdom:  (l) how to  reconcile sudden and immense wealth as well as rapid  modernization with adherence to eighteenth century Wahhabism;  (2) the fact that religious fundamentalism and royal politics  are not always compatible; (3) the vulnerability of the royal  family to attack from religious fundamentalists as well as  secular elements within the society.

 Financial Support:

  The insurgents apparently received their financial  support from within the society.  Three sources are  suggested.  As theology students and pious Muslim, aside from  attending public prayers and participating in discussion  groups, they raised funds through the selling of religious  pamphlets and soliciting donations.  A second source is  suggested that the insurgents received aid from dissidents in  the military and the religious establishment.  Finally, the  son of a wealthy merchant, who sold a property in Jeddah to  cover the coasts of weapons.

The Objectives and Ideology:

  The objectives of the insurgent, were clearly stated in  the writings of Juhaiman "leader of group."  Seven pamphlets  are known to have been written by Juhaiman.  These pamphlets  dealt with theological questions, presented a summary of two  works by Ibn Taymiyah, denounced the rule of Al Saud, and  condemned the state Ulama for their Collaboration with the  government.  The central feature of the insurgents ideology  is the reconstruction of an Islamic society as it was known  in seventh century Arabia; in other words, the revival of the  society is to be achieved through the Mahdi.

  The writings of Juhaiman and the actions of his  followers reflect the confusion and rage that beset many  Saudis as a result of the rapid change that took place after  the discovery of oil.  Juhaiman identifies his group in his  pamphlet the Ikhwans:  "They slander us from all quarters and  tell lies about us...We are Muslims who wanted to learn the  Shari'ah and quickly realized that it could not be learned in  government controlled institutions...We have broken with  opportunists and bureaucrats...We study the authentic sunnah  and Tafsir of Hadith "interpretation of prophet says" without  blinded commitment to any certain Madhab "path".

Consequences of the Insurrection:

  Faced with the insurrection, the King mobilized the  support of the state Ulama.  He convened the higher council  of Ifta "Setting laws based on religion" requesting the  assurance of Fatwa (law) supporting Al Saud and authorizing  military intervention in the sacred sanctuary.  The Ulama  complied with the King's demand and noted that there would be  a Mahdi, but that he would appear with clear signs and in  opposition to a corrupt ruler.  Having secured the Ulama's  support, Saudi government managed to dislodge the insurgents,  killing the proclaimed Mahdi.  Saudi government adopted a  two-fold policy; first, state Ulama were instructed to  emphasize the destructive character of the uprising, the  religiosity of Saudi rulers, and the fact that Islam is a  religion of moderation.  In the second policy they adopted  following the insurrection, and in a clear move to pacify the  secularists, a written basic law and consultative assembly  were promised.

Conclusion

                The relationship between the King and the religious  leaders was one of mutual support and dependence.  They  helped to shape the nature of the state which emerged and  they were used by the King in the promotion of his political  objectives.  The Ulama provided the kingdom with something  akin to a state philosophy which played a crucial role in the  centralization.  They promoted the expansion of religious  education including a common value system in the rising  generation of the new state.  The Ulama were involved in the  direct administration of religioueducation to regulate  public conduct through the committee for encouraging virtue  and preventing vice.  The Ulama's role in decision-making and  in the implementation of policy can perhaps best be  appreciated with respect to the management of any Islamic hard line movement.  They had initially opposed the inception of the  movement, contending that there was no Islamic justification  for it.

                The process of government building initiated by Al Saud  is reformist in nature; it attempted to satisfy  simultaneously the needs of both the religious and secular  elements within the Saudi Kingdom.  Consistent with the  regime's patrimonial character, Al Saud attempted to balance  the interests and activities of both groups, but without  affecting noticeable change in the political sphere.

 

 

    Bibliography

 Al-Zahrani, Abdul-Razzag.  l986.  Saudi Arabian Development;

 A Sociological Study of its Relation to Islam and its

 Impacts on Society.  Washington State University.  Beling, Willard A.  l980.  King Faisal and the Modernization

 of Saudi Arabian.  Westview Press Boulder, Colorado.  Jacques, Jean and Schreiber, Servan. l98l.  The World

 Challenge.  Simon and Schuster, New York.  Mackey, Sandra. l987.  The Saudi's: Inside the Desert

 Kingdom.  Housgton Mifflin Company, Boston.  Netton, Ian A. l986.  Arabia and the Gulf: From Traditional

 Society to Modern States.  Barives and Noble Books, New

 Jersey.  Powell, William. l982.  Saudi Arabia and its Royal Family.

 Lyle Stuart Inc. New York.  Safran, Nadav.  l985.  Saudi Arabia; The Ceaseless Quest for

 Security.  Harvard University Press, Massachusetts.  Sanger, Richard H. l954.  The Arabian Peninsula.  Cornell

 University Press, New York. 

 

 

 

Proposal

 

Socio-Economic Analysis for E.S.I.A

Of Seismic Survey in Rup El-KhaliDesert Saudi Arabia

 

   Performing social survey by recognizing the social and economic characteristics of the Bedwin population in the desert of The Empty-Quarter [El-Rup' El-Khali] requires the codification of the professional work as follows :-

 

*The First Stage :-

 

           Visiting some parts of the region for an initial recognition of the general image of the region and the special facts which explain it and trying to form an initial idea about its nature .

 

*The Second Stage :-

 

    Compiling data about the region. This includes the general description of the region and recognizing the social and economic characteristics of the population in the light of :-

A-The site of the cities and villages.

B-Getting statistical figures about the population .

C-Recognizing the geographical site of the region .

D-Recognition of the different kinds of economical activities .

E-The population’s use of the natural resources .

F-The available resources in the region.

 

The Third Stage :-

 

         Communicating with some ministries and governmental bodies which have relations with the region to recognize the developmental services in this region, together with the future plans to develop the region .

 The Fourth Stage :

 

            Preparing the questionnaire form which include the following items :-

1-The demography of the region.

2-The economic activity.

3-The social structure.

4-The public services.

5-Social well-being.

6-Work and level of incomes.

7-Aethetic phenomena in the region.

8-Standard of living.

 

The Fifth stage:-

 

  Meeting some regional Sheikhs as they represent the information tellers of the region.

 

The Sixth Stage :-

 

     Meeting some of the inhabitants in the region (those who lived for not less than 20 years in the region)to cover some of the aspects of the survey .

 

 

The Poltical Mobilization of Religion to Achieve Modernization

" a case study of Saudi Society "

 

By

Suleiman A. AL-AKEEL

Assisstant Professor

Department of Social Studies - College of Arts

King Saud University  -  Riyadh

 

Introduction

 

                In the summer of l927, the Ikhwan, the fanatical farmer-warriors who Ibn Saud had planted in towns throughout the Nejd region, were aroused to anger by what they considered to be unjust restrictions of

their territory and they began attacking Iraqi border settlements.

                To deal with this crisis the king called for a conference at Riyadh to meet with representatives of all his tribes.  Leaders and wise men came from the Hejaz, Asir, Nejd, and Hasa regions, but the religious leaders of the Ikhwan did not show up.  The Riyadh conference showed the King at his best.  He led the meeting as a King, but he made sure that his rulings were discussed and voted upon.  He even  asked for a decision on himself, saying "I want you also to consider whether I am fit for ruling you." (Beling 1980).

                At this conference an interesting incident occurred  which was to have considerable bearing on the modernization of Saudi Arabia. One of the charges brought against the King was that he had set up wireless stations and communicated  through them, an act that was not specifically approved by  the prophet.

                After the opposition had been heard, the King got down from his throne and pleaded in his own defense.  He pointed out that there was nothing in the Koran or the words of the Prophet against the use of wireless.  And he ended by having  a section of the Koran recited over the radio.  Can anything  that transmits the words of God be bad ?, he asked.(Beling 1980).

                The Ulama (or the council of religious elders) agreed  that he was

right and thus sanctioned the King's use of the  radio, an essential weapon if he was to pacify the scattered and rebellious tribesmen of the Ikhwan settlements.  It was a first step in gaining approval for a program which was to extend to automobiles, electric lights, diesel pumps, railroads and airplanes.

                The relationship between the King and the religious leaders was one of the mutual support and dependence.  They helped to shape the nature of the state which emerged and they were used by the King in the promotion of his political objectives.  The Ulama provided the Kingdom with something akin to a state philosophy which played a crucial role in the centralization.  They promoted the expansion of religious education including a common value system in the rising generation of new state.                                 The Ulama were involved in the direct administration of religious education to regulate public conduct through the committee for encouraging virtue and preventing vice.  The Ulama's role in decision-making and in the implementation of policy can perhaps best be appreciated with respect to the management of the Ikhwan movement.  They had initially opposed the inception of the movement, contending that there was no Islamic justification for it.

 

 

Object of Study

 

                The process of government building initiated by Al Saud is reformist in nature; it attempted to satisfy simultaneously the needs of both the religious and secular elements within the Saudi Kingdom. Consistent with the regime's patrimonial character, Al Saud attempted to balance the interests and activities of both groups, but without  affecting noticeable change in the political sphere.  Therefore, this paper attempts to discuss the process of the political mobalization of religion to achieve modernization, and changes in the role of the religious institution in Saudi Arabia.   These changes and political mobalization will be described in terms of assessing the compatibility of the traditional religious values with the process of rapid social and economic development in the country.

 

 

1 - Sociological Perspective of Religion

 

                Religion has been recognized by many sociologists as the central cultural institution of human societies throughout history.   Many of the research on religion was informed by the assumption that secularization was an inevitable trend.  That assumption has now become a matter of dispute.  Many continue to stress conflict between religion and modernization; others argue that the entire secularization thesis should be abandoned; still others suggest modifications that leave the direction of religious change in specific historical periods (Smelser 1988 :478).           Religous beliefs usually provide for an interpretation of the universe , religion also provide basic cultural values designating what is right and wrong, appropriate or unappropriate (Turner 1985:316).  The emergence of new institutions in modern societies has played a role in limiting the social domain of the religion institution.   However, religious continues to play a highly significant role in the society and its development.

                Religion serves a variety of functions for the   individual and the social structure.  However, these functions depend upon the social structure and the culture of the society.  One of the functions of religion is serving as a source of identity.  In a society experiencing rapid social

changes, religion may provide a feeling of security and assurance.  For an individual who is geographically isolated from family members, religious groups may provide a sense of belonging.  In the functional view it seems that religious beliefs, practices, and symbols contribute to the survival of the individual and society.  Durkheim (l947) noted that religion serves societal functions by bringing its members to and providing a common element around which group solidarity may form.  According to adcliffe-Brown, (l939) the function of most social patterns is traceable not to individual needs, but to needs or requirements of the society as a whole.  He adds that religious functions, generally, are not to resolve anxiety but to create, foster, or heighten it.  In general, religion has two main functions; social solidarity and adjustment to the physical and psycho-social environment.  Moreover, because religion mobilizes people's emotions and sentiments about truly fundamental questions; it has great potential as both a tool for oppression and a volatile force for conflict and change.

                Civil religion is one of the area in which new thinking has been generated about the relations between religion and the State (Bellah 1980).  Thus civil  reigion performs adual function for the society; it legitimates the social order, evoking commitment and consensus; and it permits specific social policies to be criticized in light of transcendent ideals.   Smelser (1988) pointed out that civil religio allows religious values to influnce the state, on the one hand, and gives the state a means of influencing religion, on the other.

       The religion of Islam is a continuation of the other two major religions, Christianity and Judaism.  However, Islam has succeeded in balancing the material and spiritual needs.  Kotb (l953) points out that the nature of Islamic belief about human life makes it essential for social justice to take into account both material and human factors.  Islam does not divide the individual into body and soul, into differing intellectual and spiritual sides.  In Islamic societies, there is intense conflict between conservative religious leaders and those who favor the more secular values of western civilization.

                In many third world countries religion has become intimately associated with nationalistic sentiments and activities. With political independence already a fact in many of these societies, a major purpose of the politico-religious parties has been all but eliminated ( Johnstone 1988).  Furthermore, as Smith (1971) pointed out that third world societies began to question the view of governments as being ordained by the God, and of governmental leaders as Gods or direct agents of God. These societies, including the Saudi society, have not become as secularized as most societies of the west, though this process seems to be on the rise. 

                Secularization starts usually accompanied by a great deal of political conflict, which only calls attention to the major and often controversial place of religion in human societies.                          

2 - Religion and the State Establishment

 

           The legitimacy of the early Saudi government was primarily driven from the Wahabbi faith (an Islamic school of thought).  Historically, there was a direct cooperation between the founder of Saudi Arabia, King       Abdulaziz, and the Ulama (religious leaders and scholars) which laid the

foundation of the Saudi state.  The relationship between the King and the religious leaders was one of a mutual support and dependence.  The Ulama helped to shape the nature of the state as it emerged.  They were used by the King in the promotion and legitimization of his rule and policies. The Ulama provided the kingdom with something akin to a state

philosophy which played a crucial role in the centralization of the king's power.  The Ulama were involved in the direct administration and development of curriculum of the religious education.  In addition, they       played the key role in establishing morality standards and regulating public conduct through the committee for encouraging virtue and preventing vice.

       The King encountered stiff resistance from the conservative Wahhabi Ulama when he decided to incorporate Ijtihad (creation of new Islamic

rules by reasoning) within the Wahhabi legal system which permitted the evolution of the modern state.  In addition, introduction if Ijtihad laid the   foundation for an expanding legal system which included Sharia (Islamic law) and Islamic courts.  Many of the functions of Islamic courts were    similar to secular courts of law in the continental European pattern (Long, l975).  Although relatively few members of the Ulama have sought to accept modernization, most have tried to undo the changes that have occurred.  They have often objected to the emancipation of women and their attitude toward science in schools was a negative one.  They have greatly influenced the creativity in literature and art, and in recent years the production and screening of motion pictures and television programs.  They have demanded observance of the Islamic worship practices such the daily ritual prayers, the pilgrimage, the fasting during Ramadan, and the dietary laws.  They have generally struggled for the maintenance of an   Islamic state, an Islamic constitution, and an Islamic law.

        In the face of intractable challenges of modernization and industrialization, the members of the religious institution continue to exert considerable influence throughout Saudi Arabia.  They attempt to check the government's impulses for rapid modernization and development.  They are the forces of tradition in the otherwise rapidly changing society.

 

 

 

 

3 - Changing in the Societal Culture

 

        Anthropologist agree that cultures and their institutions change continuously (Malefijt, 1968).  Transformations, influenced by internal and external factors, may proceed so rapidly or may be so gradual that they are barely noticeable from one generation to another.  Internal factors affecting the rate of change include receptivity to new ideas, the amount of freedom of inquiry and of competition, the degree of cultural elaboration, the population size and density, and the degree of harmony   between cultural and social values.  The most important external factor affecting cultural changes is the degree of contact with other groups.  Therefore, changes from within the religious institutions are usually slower due to lesser interactions with outside cultures.  In general, religious changes take place by the addition of new elements, discarding of old ones, or modification of existing ones. New elements may originate within the culture itself, but they are most frequently borrowed from others.  In the process of cultural diffusion, the adoption of cultural elements of one society by the other depends to some extent on the awareness of the two societies of each other cultural patterns, including religion.  The degree of   acceptance of new cultural elements will largely depend upon their compatibility with existing ones, especially, the religion.(Al-Zahrani 1986).

 

 

4 - Religion in Use

 

        Since some common human desires are so far beyond reach, religion will always be needed as a human organization to provide general commentator based on supernatural assumptions.  Religion provides a sense of security for the individual while interacting with new situations.  Some believe that to gain a degree of societal unity and to establish a positive perception of transformations that have produced the modern society, religion must provide new interpretation to accommodate components of the modernized society, which otherwise may be in conflict with religious values.  The new interpretation of Islam was used by the Saudi rulers to eliminate the public fear of conflicts between religion and modernization. The transformation process was accompanied by a formal application of Islamic laws and maintaining the social values of the society during its modernization.  For instance, King Fisal, used Islam as an instrument to manage the modernization process when he said, "Our religion requires us to progress and advance and to bear the burden of the highest tradition and best manners.  What is called progressively in the world today and what reformers are calling for, be it social, human, or economic progress, is all embodied in the Islamic religion and law." (Al-Farsy, 1980:58).

                 As a consequence of the Saudi ruler's two pronged policy of engaging Wahhabism as the state ideology and instituting  limited administrative and social change, the Saudi polity has exhibited tensions and conflict between two groups: (l) the secular-educated Saudi's who advocated more socioeconomic and political reforms, and (2) the religiously inspired traditionalists who desired to reaffirm the religious character of the polity.  Balancing the tension between the two is the King who converts tension into balance and binds  society together through conflict no less than collaboration.  The government hoped to maintain a viable socioeconomic order  based on Wahhabism but one flexible

enough to adjust to changing circumstances.  They introduced changes to  accommodate emergent situations but continued to invoke  religion as a mean to rationalize these changes.

                The first  and most elaborate reform program was initiated in l962 as a result of internal and external pressures.   The reform program was  rationalized in religious term and introduced in order to achieve a unified system of government based on the principles of the Shariah.  A basic law will be promulgated, drawn from the Quran, the traditions of the Prophet and the acts of the Orthodox Caliphs.  It will set forth the fundamental principles of government and the relationship between the governor and the governed (Al-Zahrani 1986).

 

 

5 - Changing in the Government

 

         It is known that religious institutions in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia have an influence over politics, the way of life, and ideology.  The Saudi government and society adopt the Wahabbi school of interpretation of Islam.  According to this school, laws should be

derived from a very strict Islamic doctrine and should be administered by Islamic courts.  The religious laws are enforced by a religious police force.  Therefore, a Saudi's attitudes towards politics, ethics, society, and law   are inescapably molded by Islam.  Since the beginning of the new Saudi state the King had supreme executive and legislative powers, in consultation with the counsil of Royal Advisers, and the heads of the   various independent agencies.  Royal decrees, recorded in the official Gazette, Ummal Qura, have the force of law.  The religious institution in the central Saudi Arabia viewed with a great displeasure what they considered departures from established customs.  In a consultation   conference held in l927 the religious leaders argued that many of the new laws, such as taxation, were unlawful and contrary to the Sharia (Sharabi, l970).

        Among Wahhbin groups joining will some secular people and government thinks that the traditional or classical or classical Islamic concept of law and its role in society that constitution a must formidable obstacle to progress.  Western jurisprudence has provided a number of different answers to questions about the nature of law, finding its source   variously in the orders of a political superior, in the breasts of the judiciary, in the silent, anonymous forces of   evolving society.  For Islam, this question admits of only one answer, which the religious faith itself

supplies.  Low is the command of Allah "God" and the acknowledged function of Muslim jurisprudence is to discover the terms command.        Thus religious law was to float above Saudi society as a disembodied soul, representing the aspire.  (Coulson l965)  Argue that the Islamic theory law does not grow out of or develop along with evolving society,

therefore, there is a clash between the dictates of the rigid and static religious law and any impetus for change or progress that a society need.        To avoid the domination of the religious institution in the government, created the council of ministers to prescribing the rules and procedures of administrative and legislative action, and in establishing the framework for future legislative development.  However, the King still possessed final authority in all executive and legislative   matters.  "The functions of the council were to draw up the policy of the government, internal, external, financial and economic, educational and defense, and all public affairs,   and to supervise its execution, legislative authority and executive authority and administrative authority.  International treaties and agreements shall not be regarded as effective, except after its approval by the King (Sharabi, l970 232-233).

 

 

6 - Religion and the Educational System

 

                The separation of education and religion was a slow process up to the development plans, the religious powers managed to subdue all attempts to secularize the curriculum.  The idea that the government should control the educational system began with the modern trend to

modernize all societal aspects.  Berger (l982) points out that because moderation and secularist have gone hand-in-hand in recent history and   in the contemporary world, it is important to understand that not only was it not always so, but that modernization itself has religious roots.        Educational facilities that still exist today in the various regions of Saudi Arabia from the era pre-World War I accurately reflect the status of the education system of the country in that era.  In addition to the Kuttab (elementary Quranic schools), the provinces had specialized in teaching   circles known as the halaga (circle) in the house of prominent Ulama and in major mosques.  Private schools sponsored by individual benefactors

such as the Al-Falah schools in Makkah and Jeddeh were the only providers of formal education.

        The organization of the formal secular education in the country took place in l925 when King Abdelaziz ordered the establishment of the Directory General of Education.  The Ulama opposed the introduction

of secular education out of fear that it would damage the fabric of Wahhabi society.  Through the persistence of King Abdelaziz, a significant progress took place.  Based on the religious nature of the   society and consistent with the government justification of change in religious terms, Saudi educational planners indicate that the purpose of education is to have the students understand Islam in a correct and comprehensive manner, to plant and spread the Islamic creed, to furnish the student with the values, teachings and ideals of Islam, to equip him with various skills and knowledge, to develop his conduct in constructive directions, and to develop the society economically, socially and culturally.

        The same objectives were reiterated in the first, second  and third five years plan (l970-l985) which stressed maintaining the religious and moral values of Islam over the developing human resources.  While influence of religion on education may be relatively easy to maintain at the primary and even intermediate levels, it is more difficult to do so at the secondary or higher levels.  Religious subjects cannot dominate the curricula of secular colleges, and students cannot be monitored at all times when they study abroad.  Interestingly enough, the number of students enrolled in religious programs is less than those in secular institutions.  The main secular universities in the country are King Saud University, King Abdelaziz University, King Faisal University and King Fahad University.  The main religious universities are the Islamic University in Medina,Umm Al-qura University in Makkah and the Islamic University of Imam Muhammad Iben Saud in Riyadh.  Although the Ulama have opposed education for women, Saudi educational planners introduced such education in l960. The official recognition of women's right for formal education was granted in l959 when a royal speech was delivered stating that a decision had been made to open   government schools for girls under the control of a committee supervised by the Grand Ulama.  The placement of female education under Ulama control was a necessary measure to secure their approval.  A year later, the General Presidency of the schools of girls was created.  This body is   effectively a ministry governed by a religious leader with the same powers, privileges, and status as those of a minister.

                The educational policies stated by the Ulama reflect the government's desire to develop materially and yet retain Wahhabi fundamentalism along with engineering and computer science.  But the reality of the situation points to an erosion of religious education and the increase in the number of secular schools.  The political implications of the increase of secular-educated Saudis have two main impacts.  First, this group's desire for greater political participation will exert pressure on

the political system to achieve some social refomations.  Second, the growing population of secular-educated Saudis   means an emerging "World view" at variance with that of the elders and the Ulama.  Consequently, their role in government and society will heighten tension and conflict between them and the traditionalists.

 

 

7 - Religion and Modern Regulations

               

        In theory, only policy deriving from the Sharia, as determined by

the King in consultation with the Ulama, could be considered legislative.  But for practical purposes there has been an increasing volume of administrative decrees dealing with the expanding needs of a rapidly modernizing state.  Fiscal regulation, economic planning, developmental   plans, and the like have been provided in the form of adminis trative decrees.  Saudi Arabia, since Abdelaziz, has been responsive to the need to adapt and change to the exigencies of the modern world.  However, changes have not been at the expense of the government's own political authority.  In the early l960's the idea of the need for a written constitution was advocated.  The King knew that a written constitution would eliminate the royal family role of ruling the country, and that a written constitution may encourage the secular educated and the military to take over the government.  Therefore, the King tried to defend himself and used the religious leaders to support his policy.  In a speech in Makkah in l963, King

 

Faysal obliquely attacked the principle of a man-made constitution.  What does a man aspire to?  He wants "good."  It is there, in the Islamic Sharia.  He wants security.  It is also there. Man wants freedom.  It is there.  He wants remedy.  It is there.  He wants propagation of science.  It is there.  Everything is there, inscribed in the Islamic Sharia (Gaury:  l966, p. l67)   Since a written constitution would have imposed legislative restrictions on the ruler, the plea to live by and uphold the Sharia as a total way of life was also an oblique ideological defense of the authority of the ruler.  The Ulama served as a constant backup for the government policy.  In general, the King tried to regulate social, political, and economic development within the framework  of   the Sharia.

 

 

8 -  The Regulation of Saudi law

 

        The King is given authority under the Shariah to do whatever is necessary for the welfare of the people through issuing regulations.  By this mean, Saudi Arabian adapts to change and achieves progress.  For instance, at the time of the Prophet there were no automobiles, airports, or commercial companies; today Saudi society has the applicable motor vehicle regulations, airport regulations, regulations for companies, and so on.

               

                a.  Regulation of Busniness Activity

 

                The first major group of regulations promulgated under the new direction concerned the vital area of the regultion of business activity and attracting foreign capital and needed foreign expertise to the Kingdon

 

                b.  Financial Revival and Economic Development

 

         Financial revival and economic development are the government's

prime concern; therefore, the government has adopted and will continue to adopt strong and important measures to lay down substantial programs for reform that continuously spur economic activity.  Thus, the regulations for investment of foreign capital which were signed in l964   provided the base to attract foreign capital and expertise to the Kingdom.                 In July l965, regulations for companies, were issued, defining and

regulating the various types of companies.  In l962 the regulation for commercial agencies was issued.  In the l970's many regulations were issued which deal with the procurement and for the execution of projects and works, contracts values commission, and intercessions.

 

                c.  Labor and Welfare Regulations

 

          Labor regulations were promulgated in Saudi Arabia, l947, about the time ARAMCO was preparing for major oil production following World War II.  Suffice it to say, in regard to these early regulations, that

one of their important features were to remove labor disputes from the   jurisdiction of the Shariah court with its strict rules of evidence to the newly created administrative agency, the Labor Office.  However, the need for a modern and more comprehensive regulation to better administ

er the ever increasing complexities of employee relations resulting from   the industrial expansion was recognized by the government. These regulations were adopted from modern countries and were redesigned in l969 with new changes and additional regulations such as the social insurance.

 

                d.  Judicial regulations      

               

                The judicial regulations were promulgated in July, l975.  It set the tone that inorder for the judiciary to be effective, it should be completely independent and non-political.   These regulations provide that the Sharia courts shall consist of:

        A.  The Supreme Judicial Council

        B.  The Appellate Court

        C.  General courts

        D.  Summary courts.

        The Supreme Judicial Council is composed of eleven members and in addition to looking into Sharia questions submitted to it by the King and the Minister of Justice, it reviews death and other severe punishment sentences handed down by the lower courts.  The Appellate Court is headed by a chief judge who sits with either three or five judges, depending upon the seriousness of the case before it.  This court reviews criminal cases, family law, and inheritance cases appealed to it from the lower courts.  The general courts will normally consist of one judge, except in cases involving death or severe punishment which calls for a   decision rendered by three judges.  The summary court issues decisions by a single judge.  The qualifications regarding character, education and training that a candidate for a  judgeship must meet are spelled out.  Appointment and promotion in the judiciary is by royal order passed by the decision of the Supreme Judicial Council.

 

    

9 - Religion and the Rise of the Middle Class        

 

                The growth of the oil industry in Saudi Arabia stimulated social and economic development which occurred within the framework of traditional values and institutions.   The expansion of tertiary education in Saudi universities or abroad led to the growth of graduates in such fields as sciences, technology, medicine, law and social sciences. These university educated individuals contributed to the growth of a middle class.  Members of this class were quickly absorbed into the country's economic, political and social spheres.  With the oil revenues, Saudi government launched a program of rapid modernization and the demand for professionals from the new middle class was on the rise.  But within the Saudi middle class, there was a conflict between the professionals

with their secular education and the traditional middle class.  In the social sphere, familial, kinship and religious ties remain strong despite the new advent of the new middle class.  Although the nuclear family system has begun to emerge, the extended family system remains the norm.  Hussain   (l984) argues that "The separation of household symbolizes a divergence in outlook which is as much a gap in education and experience as a gap in generations.  This break is not crimanious by any means.  The son shows proper respect and love for his father by visiting him daily if possible and   maintains the strong personal bond that unites him with other members of his extended family.  In some cases, a large family group maintains a cluster of nuclear and extended family households in one section of town so that all family members are close to each other without being under the same roof.

                The impact of other attritional changes associated with the new

middle class has not been felt yet.  For example, whereas the new middle classes are generally monogamous and entertain progressive views about the role of women in Saudi society, the Ulama and the old middle classes oppose such views. Moreover, the new middle class has not exerted much   influence.  In making policy decisions, the King regularly meets the important members of the royal family, the Ulama, and the tribal leaders.  However, it should not be long before the middle class succeeds in making its impact on Saudi society.  Many of the younger royal princes who actually run the country have studied in colleges and universities in the United States and Europe and are entering government and military services. On the other hand, their relations with the religious institution

are not as strong as the their father or the founder of the state.  The stronger this class grows and the more its members replace the thousands of foreign professionals in the country, the more politically and socially influential it will become.  Such changes in social structure will be crucial to the centers of power in Saudi society.

 

 

10 - The Limitation of the Role and Religious Institution  

 

                Saudi politics both as a way of life and as a "political ideology".  Under strict Wahhabi interpretation there is no distinction between spiritual and temporal matter.  The laws are Islamic and are administered   by Islamic country.  Religious regulations are enforced by a religious police force.  However, the traditional Wahhabi social and political order is now threatened by social changes created by modern economic and technological advances.

        The development of the bureaucracy has greatly affected the Saudi political process by channeling the exercise of political power into a relatively organized system of administration based on established procedures and regulations.  Of course, there is a gap between how the   system appears on an organizational chart and how it actually operates.  In practice, government administration is still highly centralized with little or on delegation of authority by the ministers and agency heads beyond

a few trusted agents.

 

 

11 - The Basic Strategic Principle of the Develpoment Plans  

 

      Ministry of Planning declared the main objectives of the development plans is simply to benefits the Saudi society.   It, therefore, becomes necessary:

 l.  To create in Saudi citizens an awareness of the objectives and                                    requirements of development and the handling of the tools of development.

     A.  Information through the public media using religion to promote the             social values of work as an important and respectable activity in              order to change attitudes towards certain occupations which at               present are not acceptable to some people.

     B.  The dissemination of culture by encouraging literary authorship   and the spread of public libraries; as well as by establishing                 museums and the preservation of historical and archaeological sites

     C.  The establishment of a National library with a collection of books               and manuscripts which would include every Saudi author.

 2.  To increase the attention given to the handicapped and to introduce                national programs for their rehabilitation and welfare.

 3.  To provide more care for all children in all fields, and at all levels.                                                                                                  

4.   To reduce compulsory military service.

 5.  To introduce some basic military subjects into secondary school

                curricula.

 6.  To expand anti-illeteracy and adult education programs.

 7.  To give more attention to local community programs based upon the              effective participation of citizens in the planning and implementing       of local projects.

 8.  To give attention to preventive medicine and health education;        increasing the effectiveness of preventive and curative institutions                 in safeguarding the citizen, and to widen the scope of health    programs.

  9.  To improve the capabilities of individuals to increase their income thereby removing the resulting social imbalance.

  l0.  To pay more attention to social welfare programs in all fields and to              induce private sector participation by encouraging the                 establishment of yet more private benevolent societies.

  ll.   Pay more attention to youth welfare programs; to develop the         capabilities of young people; and to enable them to gain mental and         physical skills in the fields of  culture, science and sports.

 

 

12 - The Role of the Religious Leaders       

 

                The expansion in government administrative structures was accompanied by increased jurisdiction of these structures over a large number of societal areas, including those   formally regulated by religion and the religious establishment.  For example, the jurisdiction and activities of the Domestic Council profoundly affected the position of the Ulama in two ways.  First, although the Ulama were repres ented in the council, their representation was limited to two members, thus inimizing their presence and influence.   Second, the council's jurisdiction affected areas that formerly came under the exclusive control of the Ulama such   as the administration of Awqaf (assets dedicated for   charity), religious

schools, and education.  The extent of   the Ulama's participation in

the newly founded structures was influenced by the needs and orientation of the political sphere.  The Ulama were given prominence when religious   legitimacy was needed, and they assumed a secondary position when their stands contradicted that of the ruler, or when other sources of legitimacy were invoked.  As the process of redistribution of power neared completion, the Ulama lost whatever limited autonomy they had

enjoyed.  They become paid civil servants whose status, income, and

general activities were governed by state regulations and objectives.        The incorporation of the Ulama in to the state administration routinized the use of religion and the religious establishment as a source of legitimacy.  The Ulama's role in society and their activities in the administrative structure were channeled through the following fields and agencies:  the Committees for Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil; the Directorate of Religious Research,   religious education; the Ministry of Justice; Preaching and guidance of Islam at home and abroad; Supervision of girls' education; Supervision of Mosques and awagaf; notaries public; and spreading Islam and consolidating the government   international prestige through the activities of Muslim organizations, such as the World Muslim League and the world assembly of Muslim Youth.

 

 

13 - The Oppositions to Change in Saudi Society        

 

                The opposition falls into two broad categories: first, ideological and

revolutionary, and second, fundamentalist and reactionary. From the mid-l950's, Arab nationalist ideals entered Saudi Arabia through immigrant oil workers who often retained links with plitical and social organizations (Halliday,1974).  Many of the opposition contains the heaviest concentration of young Saudis.  These young bureaucrats, many of whom hold degrees from western universities, are articulate and ambitious and are gradually filling traditional administrative positions.  Moreover, as the

Saudi people become more and more secularly educated, the strength of the religious sanction and of the power of religious social control will decline.  Thus, the opposition movements have been unable to make much direct gain against religious values and traditions which permeate all levels of Saudi society.

        The second is fundamentalist reaction of the Ulama support the government modernization plans which gives some indication as to their conflict relationships.  Since the late l920's, the government has tried to

 reconcile religious traditions with modernization.  For example, in the l930's the King was denounced by the Ulama over the introduction of   the telephone and the automobile until he demonstrated their utility in spreading the word of God.  In the l940's, the Ulama objected to oil concessions being given to Americans on the grounds that it was selling Muslims into bondage to nonbelievers.  Some Ulama helped the King to defend his situation by asking this question "had not the Prophet employed nonbelievers."  In the l950's, the issue of the introduction of state income tax was settled in favor of the utilization of traditional Zakat (alms giving) as a form of state levy.  The introduction of the radio was condemned until it was shown to be a vehicle for the transmission of the word of God.  In the l960's, opposition to female education was resolved

through religious supervision; opposition to the full female form on Saudi television was resolved by the employment of non-Saudi women; opposition to state economic planning was countered by concern for Islamic values and social welfare.  While a new Islamic synthesis has been evolving, it is clear that the Ulama have been steadily losing ground

to the state.  Progressive bureaucratization and receipt of state funds for religious purposes have further eroded their independent powers of decision making.   However, in l979, the Grand Mosque in Makkah was seized by a group which appeared to be a fanatic Wahhabi sect.  Their aims were to icite sedition against the government and to secure rigid application of Islamic law.  According to the rebels, the King with his government had forfeited their right to rule on the grounds of moral deviation from the Sharia.  Saudi government might dismiss the seizure of the Grand Mosque as the work of religious deviants.  Al-Alam (l979) argues that failure to respond to traditional religious sensitivities might lead to a fundamentalist revolution.  On the other hand, curtailment of social and economic development might lead to reaction from the

modernizer, particularly the new middle class.

 

 

14 - Conclusion

 

      Religion has been the central cultural institution of Saudi society.  The power of religion comes from people's commitments to religious beliefs and their willingness to identify with such beliefs.  Religious beliefs are used as a frame of reference to define a situation.  However, the role of the religion institution can be changed within a society.  This change may take place when values change, which usually happens very slowly.  Changes in the society may have a chance of acceptance as long as the religious values continue to be reflected in the new institutional arrangements.  Many writers would agree with Weber that modernization is a process that slowly but surely pushes religion to the periphery of human existence.  While modernization does involve secularization, it does not necessarily eliminate the role of religion.  Saudi society from the beginning had adopted two policies, Wahhabism as an ideology and modernization as a goal.  However, an unseen conflict continued to exist between the secular educated Saudis who advocated more modernization and political reform and the religiously inspired traditionalists who desired to reaffirm the religious nature of the policy.  For the government it was an exercise in balancing the demands of religion against the goal of modernization.  The government played this game well.  Historically, the government has maintained the support of the fundamentalists by defending Saudi Arabian's traditional values and supporting the religious establishment with grants and favors while gradually pushing the country in the direction of modernization. The government policy in solving crisis   arising from conflicts between the religion institution and modernization is to initially accede to the demands of the religious power and later diverting attention to some other issue or indirectly with holding some of the ulama privileges.   In 1924 Wahhabis demanded that government banish tobacco sales, a major source of revenue for the merchants and source of taxes for the government.  The King did as the ulama demanded.  The following year when the ulama appeared for their annual stipends, the King informed them that since the tobacco tax was lost he could not longer pay them their allowances. Within a short period of time   tobacco reappeared in the markets.  The oil wealth which plunged Saudi into the technological revolution created two main social factions.  One incline towards modernization; the other seeks to uphold and maintain

the primitive purity of the wahhabi faith.  Berger (1982) almost solved this problem which the Saudi society faces when he pointed out that "Religious ideas can be used to legitimate almost anything.  A religion has   legitimate modernity, also it can legitimate counter modernity."  Changes in the role of religious institutions in Saudi society are becoming a reality.  This reality created a situation in which every move toward modernization made by the government had to be justified in religious terms. It's keeping government and religion intertwined ensured against the rise of a rival political movement drawing its strength from religious fanatics.  Never was protection of the faith separated from any public decision.  Seemingly innocuous decisions were carefully undertaken and defended.  For example, the government's public announcement that a saris of national parks would open in the Assir (southern part of the country) sought to reassure the population.  Planners, however, expect these projects can be implemented with a minimum of impact on the country's social values.  It was with this attitude that the government presided over modernization, warily walking the fine line between progress and preservation of the Saudis' sacred traditions.  Religion remains a viable institution in Saudi society, although religious belief expressed in new forms and with new ramifications for changing lifestyle.  The role of religious institution is changing in many different ways and for different reasons.  From a sociological point of view it remains to be seen whether the changes in the role of religion at the center of the controversy are actually adjustments to the conditions in which we live, changes that continue to reflect the same strong values, or whether they actually indicate value changes at the cultural level.   It could be concluded that while all institutions face the necessity of adapting themselves to a changing society.  Changes in one institution compel changes in other institutions.  Therefore, there is a intense conflict between conservative religious leaders and those who favor the more secular values of the west.  These conflicts, however, leds to the major trends in religion today which is the growth of  fundamentalist groups.  Sociologists have observed that fundamentalist revivals, take place in time when social changes have led to turmoil, uncertainty, and the erosion of familiar values.  When people find themselves confused, throated, or even appalled at changing conditions, they may see a "return to basics" as a solution.

 

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    The Political Mobilization of Religion to Achiveve Modernization

                        " a case study of Saudi Society "

                                              by

                              Suleiman A. AL-AKEEL

                               Assisstant Professor

                      Department of Social studies - College of Arts

                              King Saud University  - Riyadh                                                     

 

                                

                                                       

 Introduction . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .     l

Object of Study  . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .     2

Religion and the State Establishment . . . . . . ..     3

Religion in Use  . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . .     5

Changing in the Societal Culture . .. . . . . . . .     6

Changing in the Government . . . . . . . . . .. . .     8

Religion and the Educational System  . . . . . . . .9

Religion and Modern Regulations. . . . . . . . . .    l2

The Regulation of Saudi Law  . . . . . . .. . . . .    l3

The Regulation of Business Activity  . . . . . . . .l4

   Financial Revival and Economic Development . . . . .    l4

Labor and Welfare Regulation . . . . .. . . . . . .    l4

   Judicial Regulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .    l5

   Religion and the Rise of the Middle Class  . . . . .    l6

The Limitation of the Role and Religious Institution

    l8   The Sixth Basic Strategic Principle  . . . .. . . .    l9

   The Role of Religious Leader . . . . . . . . . . . .2l

   The Oppositions to Change in Saudi Society . . . . .    22

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    25

 

 

     Religion has been recognized by many sociologists as the central cultural institution of human societies throughout history. The emergence of new institutions in modern societies has played a role in limiting the social domain of the religion institution.  However, religion continues to   play a highly significant role in the society and its   development.   Religion serves a variety of functions for the individual and the social

structure. However, these functions depend upon the social structure and the culture of the society. One of the functions of religion is serving as a source of identity. In a society experiencing rapid social changes, religion may provide a feeling of security and assurance. For a n individual who is geographically isolated from family members, religious groups may provide a sense of belonging. In the functional view it seems that religious beliefs, practices, and symbols contribute to the survival of the individual and society. Durkheim (l947) noted that religion serves societal functions by bringing its members to and providing a common element around which group solidarity may form. According to Radcliffe-Brown, (l939) the function of most social patterns is traceable not to individual needs,   but to needs or requirements of the society as a whole. He adds that religion functions, generally, are not to resolve anxiety but to create,

foster, or heighten it. In general, religion has two main functions; social solidarity and adjustment to the physical and psycho-social environment        The religion of Islam is a continuation of the other two major religions, Christianity and Judaism. However, Islam has succeeded in balancing the material and spiritual needs. Kotb (l953) points out that the nature of Islamic belief about human life makes it essential for social justice to   take into account both material and human factors. Islam does not divide the in dividual into body and soul, into differing intellectual and spiritual sides. In Islamic societies, there is intense conflict between conservative religious leaders and those who favor the more   secular values of western civilization. Secularization   starts usually accompanied by a great deal of political conflict, which only calls attention to the major and often

controversial place of religion in human societies.

 

Object of  Study       

               

                This paper attempts to discuss the process of changes in the role of the religious institution in Saudi Arabia. These changes will be described in terms of assessing the compatibility of the traditional religious values with the process of rapid social and economic development in the country.

 

Religion and the State Establishment

 

                In fact, legitimacy of the early Saudi government was primarily driven from the Wahabbi faith (an Islamic school of thoughts). istorically, there was a direct cooperation between the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz, and the Ulama (religious leaders and scholars) which laid the foundation of the Saudi state. The relationship between the King and the religious leaders was one of a mutual support and dependence. The Ulama helped to shape the nature of the   state as it emerged. They were used by the King in the promotion and egitimization of his rule and policies. The Ulama provided the kingdom with something akin to a state philosophy which played a crucial role in the centralization   of the king's power. The Ulama were involved in the direct administration and development of curriculum of the religious education. In addition, they played the key role in establishing morality standards and regulating public conduct through the committee for encouraging virtue and preventing vice. The King encountered stiff resistance from the conservative Wahhabi Ulama when he decided to incorporate Ijtihad (creation of new Islamic rules by reasoning) within the Wahhabi legal system which permitted the evolution of the   modern state.  In addition, introduction if Ijtihad laid the foundation for an expanding legal system which included Sharia (Islamic law) and Islamic courts. Many of the       functions of Islamic courts were similar to secular courts of   law in the continental European pattern (Long, l973). Although relatively few members of the Ulama have sought to accept modernization, most have tried to undo the changes that have occurred. They have often objected to the emancipation of women and their attitude toward science in schools was a negative one. They have greatly in fluenced the creativity in literature and art, and in recent years the production and screening of motion pictures and television programs. They have demanded bservance of the Islamic worship practices such the daily ritual prayers, the pilgrimage, the fasting during Ramadan, and the dietary laws. They have generally struggled for the maintenance of an Islamic state, an Islamic constitution, and an Islamic law. In the face of intractable challenges of modernization   and industrialization, the members of the religious   institution continue to exert considerable influence throughout Saudi Arabia. They attempt to check the government's impulses for rapid modernization and development. They are the forces of tradition in the   otherwise rapidly changing society.

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Since some common human desires are so far beyond reach, religion will always be needed as a human organization to provide general compensators based on supernatural assumptions. In addition, religion provides a sense of security for the individual to interact with new situations produced by changes in the society. Therefore, some believe   that to gain a degree of unity one should understand the transformation process of the society. 

„ï„ي„ „

و„ „ل„ „ „ „ „ „ ï„و    „ï„ „ „ „ „ „  „ „ل„ „ „و„ï„ „ي„ل„ „ „ï„ „

 „ï„ „ل„ „ „ ي„ï„ „ „ „ „ „ْ„ل„ „ „ï„ „  ل„ „ „  „ „ „ „  „ „ „ „ „ „

ل„ „ „ „ „ „ ï„ „  ل„ „ „ „  „ „ و„ï„ „  „ „ل„ „ï„ „

ل„ „ „ „ „  „ „ „ „ „ „ „ل„ „ ي„ „ل„ „ „ ï„و

 „ï„ „ „ï„ „ï„ „ „ „ل„ „ ل„ „ل„ „ „ „ „ „¬„  „ï„ „ „ „ „ „

 „ „ „ „ „ „ „ „ „  „ „ „  „ „ „ „ „ٌ„ „ „ „ „    „ï„ „ „ „ „ „ „ل„ „

و„ „ل„ي„ „ „ï„ „ „ „ ي„ل„ „  „ل„ „ „  „ „ „ï„ي„ „®„  Thus, the

processes

  of extension of the market, industrialization, formation of

bureaucracies, leveling of formal class distinctions,   narrowing of

kinship networks, and development of formal   education.  These have a

religion, secularization occurs in all religions economies, premodern and modern. But, in some  societies, it is a self-limiting part and larger social   processes that operate the model market dynamics.

أƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒلƒ ƒ أأƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

Anthropologists agree that cultures and their institutions change continuously (Malefijt, 1986). Transformations, influenced by internal and external factors, may proceed so rapidly or may be so gradual that

they are barely noticeable from one generation to another. Internal factors affecting the rate of change include receptivity to new ideas, the amount of freedom of inquiry and of competition, the degree of cultural elaboration, the population size and density, and the degree of harmony between cultural and social values. The most important external factor affecting cultural changes is the degree of contact with other groups. Therefore, changes from within the religious institutions are usually slower due to lesser interactions with outside cultures. In general, religious changes take place by the addition of new elements, discarding of old ones, or the modification of existing ones. New elements may originate within the culture itself, but they are most frequently borrowed from others. In the process of cultural diffusion, the adoption of cultural elements of one society by the other depends to some extent on the awarness of the two societies of each other cultural patterns, including religion. The degree of acceptance of new cultural elements will largely depend upon their ompatibility with existing ones, especially, the religion. It is known that religion institution in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia has an in fluence over politics, the way of life, and ideology. The Saudi government and society adopt the Wahabbi school of interpretation of Islam. According to this school, laws should be derived from a very strict Islamic doctrine and should be administered by Islamic courts. The religious laws are enforced by a religious police force. Therefore, a Saudi's attitudes towards politics, ethics, society, and law are inescapably molded by Islam. Since the beginning of the new Saudi state the King had supreme executive and legislative powers, in consultation with the counsil of Royal Advisers, and the heads of the various independent agencies. Royal decrees, ecorded in the official Gazette, Ummal Qura, have the force of law. The religion institution in the central Saudi Arabia viewed with a great displeasure what they considered departures from established customs. In a consultation conference held in l927 the religious leaders argued that many of the new laws, such as taxation, were unlawful and contrary to the Sharia (Sharabi, l970).

أƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒيƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ       

Among Wahhb in groups joining will some secular people and  government thinks that the traditional or classical or classical Islamic concept of law and its role in society that constitution a must formidable obstacle to progress. Western  jurisprudence has provided a number of different answers to questions about the nature of law, finding its source variously in the orders of a political superior, in the breasts of the judiciary, in the silent, anonymous forces of evolving society. For Islam, this question admits of only one answer, which the religious faith itself supplies. Law is the command of Allah "God" and the acknowledged function of Muslim jurisprudence is to discover the terms command. Thus religious law was to float above Saudi society as a disembodied soul, representing the aspire. (Conulson l965) Argue that the Islamic theory law does not grow out of or develop along with evolving society, herefore, there is a clash between the dictates of the rigid and static religious law and any impetus for change or progress that a society need. To avoid the domination of religious institution in the government, created the council of ministers to prescribing the rules and procedures of administrative and legislative action, and in establishing the framework for future legislative evelopment. However, the King still possessed final authority in all executive and legislative matters. "The functions of the council were to draw up the policy of the government, internal, external, financial and economic, educational and defense, and all public affairs, and to upervise its execution, legislative authority and executive authority and administrative authority. International treaties and agreements shall not be regarded as effective, except after its approval. However, if the King does not approve of any decree or order put forward to him for his signature, it will be returned to the council. (Sharnb, l970   232-233).

 ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ ألƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ أإƒ ƒ ƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒلƒ ƒ

أ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒيƒ  

     The separation of education and religion was a slow process up to the development plans, the religious powers managed to subdue all attempts to secularize the curriculum. The idea that the government should control the educational system began with the modern trend to modernize all societal aspects. Berger (l982) points out that because modernity and

secularity have gone hand-in-hand in recent history and in   the

contemporary world, it is important to understand that not only was it not always so, but that modernization itself has religious roots. Educational facilitation that existed in the various parts of present day Saudi Arabia prior to World War I accurately reflected the existing administrative and   socioeconomic conditions.  In addition to the Kuttab (elementary Quranic schools), the provinces had specialized in teaching circles known as the halaga (circle) in the house of prominent Ulama and in major mosques, as well as several   private schools sponsored by individual benefactors such as the Al-Falah schools in Makkah and Jeddeh. The organization of the formal secular education in the country took place in l925 when King Abdelaziz ordered the establishment of the Directorate General of Education. The Ulama opposed the introduction of secular education out of the fear that it would damage the fabric of Wahhabi society. Through the persistence of King Abdelaziz, a significant progress took place. Based on the religious character of the society, and consistent with the government justification of change in religious terms, Saudi educational planners indicate that the purpose of education is to have the students understand Islam in a correct and comprehensive manner, to plant and spread the Islamic creed, to furnish the student with the values, teachings and ideals of Islam, to equip him with various skills and knowledge, to

develop his conduct in constructive directions, and to develop the society economically, socially and culturally. The same objectives were reiterated in the first, second   and third five years plan (l970-l985) which stressed

maintaining the religious and moral values of Islam over the   developing human resources. While religious influence on education may be elatively easy to maintain at the primary   and even intermediate, it is more ifficult to do so at the   secondary or higher levels.  Religious subjects cannot

dominate the curricula of secular colleges, and students   cannot be

monitored at all times when they study abroad. Interestingly enough,

the number of students enrolled in religious programs is less than those in secular institutions. The main secular universities in the country are King Saud University, King Abdelaziz University, King Faisal University and King Fahad University.  The main religious   universities are the Islamic

University in Medina Almonaurah, Umm Al-Qura University,  and the   Islamic University of Imam  Muhammad Iben Saud in Riyadh. Although the Ulama have opposed education for women, Saudi educational Planners introduced such education in l960. The official recognition of women's right for formal education was granted in l959 when a royal speech was delivered stating that a decision had been made to open   government schools for girls under the control of a committee to be responsible to the Grand Ulama. The placement of female education under Ulama control was a necessary measure to secure their approval. A year later, the General Presidency of the schools of girls was created.  This body is effectively a ministry governed by a religious leader with   the same powers, privileges, and status as those of a minister. The educational policies stated by the Ulama reflect the government's desire to develop materially and yet retain Wahhabi fundamentalism as well as engineering and computer science. But the reality of the situation points to an erosion of religious education and the increase in the number of secular schools. The political implications of the increase of secular-educated Saudis have two main impacts. First, this group's desire for greater political participation will exert pressure on the political system and may eventually alter the regime's patrimonial character. Second, the growing population of secular-educated Saudis means an emerging "World view" at variance with that of their elders and the Ulama. Consequently, their role in government and society will heighten tension and conflict between them and the traditionalists.

 ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ ألƒ ƒ ƒ أؤƒïƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ

                In theory, only policy deriving from the Sharia, as determined by the King in consultation with the Ulama, could be considered legislative.  But for practical purposes there has been an increasing volume of administrative decrees dealing with the expanding needs of a rapidly modernizing state, which itself is the product of increasing oil revenue.

Fiscal regulation, economic planning, developmental plans, and the

like have been provided in the form of administrative decrees. Saudi Arabia since Abdelaziz has been responsive to the need to adapt and change to the exigencies of the modern world. However, changes have not been at the expense of the government's own political authority. In the early l960's the idea of the need for a written constitution was advocated.  The King knew that a written constitution would eliminate the royal family role of ruling the country, and that a written constitution may encourage the secular educated and the military to take over the government. Therefore, the King tried to defend himself and used the   religious leaders to support his policy. In a speech in Makkah in l963, King Faysal obliquely attacked the principle   of a man-made constitution.  What does a man as pine to? He wants "good." It is there, in the Islamic Sharia. He wants security. It is also there. Man wants freedom. It is there.  He wants remedy. It is there. He wants propagation of science. It is there.  Everything is there, inscribed in the Islamic Sharia (Gaury:  l966, p. l67)        Since a written constitution would have imposed legislative restrictions on the ruler, the plea to live by and uphold the Sharia as a total way of life was also an oblique ideological defense of the authority of the ruler. The Ulama served as a constant backup for the government policy. In general, the King tried to regulate social, political, and economic development within the framework of   the Sharia.

 ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ أïƒوƒ أ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

 أأƒلƒ ƒ       

                The King is given authority under the Shariah to do whatever is necessary for the welfare of the people through issuing regulations. By this mean, Saudi Arabian adapts to change and achieves progress. For instance, at the time of the Prophet there were no automobiles, airports, or commercial companies; today Saudi society has the applicable motor vehicle regulations, airport regulations, regulations   for companies, and so on.

     ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ أïƒوƒ أآƒ ƒ

 ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ أءƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

       The first major group of regulations promulgated under the new direction concerned the vital area of the regulations of business activity, attracting foreign capital, and needed foreign expertise to the Kingdom.

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 ƒïƒ ƒيƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

      Financial revival and economic development are the government's prime concern; therefore, the government has adopted and will continue to adopt strong and important measures to lay down substantial programs for reform that continuously spur economic activity. Thus, the regulations   for investment of foreign capital which were signed in l964 provided the base to attract foreign capital and expertise to the Kingdom. In July l965, regulations for companies, were issued, defining and regulating the various types of companies. In l962 the regulation for commercial gencies was issued. In the l970's many regulations were issued which deal with the procurement and for the execution of projects and works, contracts values commission, and intercessions.

أƒلƒ ƒïƒ ƒ ألƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒوƒلƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ 

     Labor regulations were promulgated in Saudi Arabia, l947, about the time ARAMCO was preparing for major oil production following World War II. Suffice it to say, in regard to these early regulations, that one of their important features were to remove labor disputes from the  jurisdic

tion of the Shariah court with its strict rules of evidence to the newly created administrative agency, the Labor Office. However, the need for a modern and more comprehensive regulation to better administer the ever   increasing complexities of employee relations resulting from the industrial expansion was recognized by the government. These regulations were adopted from modern countries and were redesigned in l969 with new changes and additional regulations such as the social in surance.   

ءƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒلƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ       

                The judicial regulations were promulgated in July, l975. It set the tone that in order for the judiciary to be effective, it should be completely independent and non-political. These regulations provide that the Sharia courts shall consist of:

A.  The Supreme Judicial Council

B.  The Appellate Court

C.  General courts

D.  Summary courts.

        The Supreme Judicial Council is composed of eleven members and in addition to looking into Sharia questions submitted to it by the King and the Minister of Justice, it reviews death and other severe punishment sentences handed down by the lower courts. The Appellate Court is headed by a chief judge who sits with either three or five judges, depending upon the seriousness of the case before it. This court reviews

criminal cases, family law, and inheritance cases appealed to it from the lower courts. The general courts will normally consist of one judge, except in cases involving death or severe punishment which calls for a   decision rendered by three judges. The summary court issues decisions by a single judge. The qualifications regarding character, education and training that a candidate for a  judgeship must meet are spelled out.  Appointment and promotion in the judiciary is by royal order passed by the decision of the Supreme Judicial Council.

 ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ ألƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ أïƒوƒ

أ ƒ ƒ ƒ أؤƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ أأƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒ

        The growth of the oil industry in Saudi Arabia stimulated social and economic development which occurred within the framework of traditional values and institutions. The expansion of tertiary education in Saudi universities or abroad led to the growth of graduates in such fields as sciences, technology, medicine, law and social sciences. These university educated individuals contributed to the growth of a middle class. Members of this class were quickly absorbed into the country's economic, political and social spheres. With the oil revenues, Saudi government launched a program of rapid modernization and the demand for professionals from the new middle class was on the rise. But within the Saudi middle class, there was a conflict between the professionals with their secular education and the traditional middle class. In the social sphere, familial, kinship and religious ties remain strong despite the new a dvent of the new middle class. Although the nuclear family system has begun to emerge, the extended family system remains the norm. Hussain (l984) argues that "The separation of household symbolizes a divergence in outlook which is as much a gap in education and experience as a gap in generations. This break is not crimanious by any means. The son shows proper respect and love for his father by visiting him daily if possible and maintains the strong personal bond that unites him with other members of his extended family. In some cases, a large family group maintains a cluster of nuclear and extended family households in one section of town so that all family members are close to each other without being under the same roof. The impact of other attitudinal changes associated with the new middle class has not been felt yet. For example, whereas the new middle classes are generally monogamous and entertain progressive views about the role of women in Saudi society, the Ulama and the old middle classes oppose such views. Moreover, the new middle class has not exerted much influence. In making policy decisions, the King regularly meets the important members of the royal family, the Ulama, and the tribal leaders. However, it should not be long before the middle class succeeds in making its impact on Saudi society. Many of the younger royal princes who have actually run the country have studied in colleges and universities in the United States and Europe and are entering government and military services. On the other hand their relations with the religious institution are not very strong as the their father or the founder of the state. The stronger this class grows and the more its members replace the thousands of foreign professionals in the country, the more politically and socially influential it will become. Such changes in social structure will be crucial to the centers of power in Saudi society.

 ƒ ƒ ƒ أأƒ ƒيƒ ƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ أïƒوƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ ألƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

 ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ أعƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ   

                 Islam has an influence over Saudi politics both as a way of life and as a "political idealology under strict Wahhabi interpretation, religious institution, there is no distinction between spiritual and temporal matter.  The laws are Islamic and are administered by Islamic country. Religious regulations are enforced by a religious police force. A Saudi's attitudes.  The religious institution has assumed the role of a political social ideology for society and state of Saudi. However, the traditional Wahhabi social   and political order is now threatened by social changes created by modern economic and technological advances. The development of the bureaucracy has greatly affected the Saudi political process by channeling the exercise of political power into a relatively organized system of administration based on established procedures and regulations. Of course, there is a gap between how the system appears on an organization chart and how it actually operates; in practice, government administration is still highly personalized with little or on delegation of authority by the inisters and agency heads beyond a few trusted lieutenants. The previous problems have been carried out through the long history of the effect of the religious institutions regulations or the direct effect of religious people. However, a start been made and the advantages of efficient public administration are being recognized. The more importance, the Saudi bureaucracy

 ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒّƒ ƒ ƒ أآƒلƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

                Attention should be given to the development programs in the benefits of Saudi society. It, therefore, becomes necessary: 

  l. To create in Saudi citizens an awareness of the objectives and

requirements of development and the handling of the tools of development. A. Information through the public media giving religious and social values to work as an important and respectable activity is order to change attitudes towards certain occupations which at present are not acceptable to some people. B. The dissemination of cultive by encouraging literary authorship and the spread of public libraries; as well as by establishing museums and the preservation of historical and archaeological sites;

C. The establishment of a National library with a collection of books and manuscripts which would include every Saudi author.

2. To increase the attention given to the handicapped and to introduce national programs for their rehabilitation and welfare.

3. To provide more care for all children in all fields, and at all levels.   

4. To introduce compulsory military service.

5. To introduce some basic military subjects into secondary school curricula.

6. To expand auti-illeteracy and adult education programs.

7. To give more attention to local community programs based upon the effective participation of citizens in the planning and implementing of local projects.

8. To give attention to preventive medicine and health education; increasing the effectiveness of preventive and curative institutions in safeguarding the citizen, and to widen the scope of health programs.

9. To improve the capabilities of individuals to increase their income thereby removing the resulting social imbalance.

l0. To pay more attention to social welfare programs in all fields and to induce private sector participation by encouraging the establishment of yet more private benevolent societies.

ll.  Pay more attention to youth welfare programs; to develop the capabilities of young people; and to enable them to gain mental and physical skills in the fields of culture, science and sports.

 ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ أïƒوƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ أأƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

        The expansion in government administrative structures was accompanied by increased jurisdiction of these structures over a large number of societal areas, including those formally regulated by religion and the religious establishment. For example, the jurisdiction and ctivities   of the Domestic Council profoundly affected the position of the Ulama in two ways. First, although the Ulama were represented in the council, their representation was limited to two members, thus minimizing their presence and influence. Second, the council's jurisdiction affected areas that formerly came under the exclusive control of the Ulama such as the administration of Awqaf, religious schools, and education. The extent of the Ulama's participation in the newly founded structures was influenced by the needs and orientation of the political sphere. The Ulama were given prominence when religious legitimation was needed, and they assumed a secondary position when their stands contradicted that of the ruler, or when other sources of legitimacy were invoked. As the process of territorial shaping neared completion, the Ulama lost whatever limited autonomy they had enjoyed; they become paid civil servants whose status, income, and general activities were governed by state regulations and objectives. The incorporation of the Ulama into the state  administration routinized the use of religion and the religious establishment as a source of legitimacy. The Ulama's role in society and their activities in the administrative structure were channeled through the following fields and agencies:  the Committees for Commanding the Good   and Forbidding Evil; the Directorate of Religious Research, religious education; the Ministry of Justice; Preaching and guidance of Islam at home and abroad; Supervision of girls' education; Supervision of Mosques and awagaf; notaries public; and spreading Islam and consolidating the government international prestige through the activities of Muslim organizations, such as the World Muslim League and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.

 ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒïƒ أأƒ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ ƒ ƒ أ ƒلƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ أ

 ƒïƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ       

                The opposition falls into two broad classifications: first, ideological and revolutionary, and the second, fundamentalist and reactionary. From the mid-l950's, Arab nationalist ideals entered Saudi Arabia through immigrant oil workers who often retained organizational links with Egypt   and Syria. Many of the opposition sponsored Nasserist concepts of revolution (Holliday,l974). These radical movements have been unable to make much gain against religious values and traditions which permeate all levels of Saudi society. The second is fundamentalist reaction of the Ulama to government in terms of modernizing change which gives some   indication as to their conflictual relationships. Since the late l920's, the government has tried to reconcile religious traditions with modernization change. For example, in the l930's the King was denounced by the Ulama over the introduction of the telephone and the automobile until he demonstrated their utility in spreading the word of God. In the l940's, the Ulama objected to oil concessions being given to Americans on the grounds that it was selling Muslims into bondage to nonbelievers; some Ulama helped the King to defend his situation by asking this question "had not the Prophet employed nonbelievers." In the l950's, the issue of the   introduction of state income tax was settled in favor of the utilization of traditional Zakat (almsgiving) as a form of state levy. The introduction of the radio was condemned until it was shown to be a vehicle for the transmission of the word of God. In the l960's, opposition to female   education was resolved through religious supervision; opposition to the full female form on Saudi television was resolved by the employment of non-Saudi women; opposition to state economic planning was countered by concern for Islamic values and social welfare. While a new Islamic synthesis has been evolving, it is clear that the Ulama have been steadily   losing ground to the state. progressive bureaucratization and receipt of state funds for religious purposes have further eroded their independent powers of decision making. However, in l979, the Grand Mosque in Makkah was seized by a group which appeared to be a fanatic Wahhabi sect. Their aims were to icite sedition against the government and to secure rigid application of Islamic law. According to the rebels, the King with his government had forfeited their right to rule on the grounds of moral deviation from the Sharia. Saudi government might dismiss the seizure of the Grand Mosque as the work of religious deviants. Al-Alam   (l979) argues that failure to respond to traditional religious sensitivities might lead to a fundamentalist revolution. On the other hand, curtailment of social and economic development might lead to reaction from the   modernizer, particularly the new middle class.

آƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒïƒ ƒ

ƒلƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ   Al-Alam Al-Islami, Makkah, Vol. 26 Nov. l979.  Al-Zahrani,

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Lyle Stuart Inc. New York. Safran, Nadav.  l985.

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ïپ پ       پ پ پ پ پ پ پ پ®پ  Harvard University Pr

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Press, New York.   K

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CHANGES IN THE ROLE OF  RELIGION

 IN THE SAUDI SOCIETY

  

By

 

  Suleiman Al-Akeel

 

Table of Content                        Pages

I.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

II.  The Initiation of Change . . . . . . . . . .  2

              A.  Education System . . . . . . . . . . . .       3

              B.The Regulation of Saudi Law. . . . . . .                  6

l. Regulation of Business Activity. . .                  6

2.  Financial Revival and Economic Development. . . . . . . .             6

3.Labor and Welfare Regulation . . . .                  7

4.  Judicial Regulation. . . . . . . . .                   8

III.  Decline of the Role of Ulama in the Judiciary     9

IV.  Religious Opposition . . . . . . . . . . . .      10

            A.  Organization of the Islamic Revolution .                  10

            B.  The Neo-Ikhwan . . . . . . . . . . . . .       11

             l. Financial Support. . . . . . . . . .              12

             2.  The Objectives and Ideology. . . . .                  12                                        3.               Consequences of the Insurrection . .                  13

V.  Conclusion . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .       14

VI.  Bibliography . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .       15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

      In the summer of l927, the Ikhwan, the fanatical farmer-warriors

who Ibn Saud had planted in towns throughout the Nejd region, were

aroused to anger by what they considered to be unjust restrictions of

their territory and they began attacking Iraqi border settlements.

       To deal with this crisis the king called for a  conference at

Riyadh to meet with representatives of all his  tribes.  Leaders and

wise men came from the Hejaz, Asir,  Nejd, and Hasa regions, but the

religious leaders of the  Ikhwan did not show up.  The Riyadh conference showed the  King at his best.  He led the meeting as a King, but he made  sure that his rulings were discussed and voted upon.  He even  asked for a decision on himself, saying "I want you also to  consider whether I am

fit for ruling you."

      At this conference an interesting incident occurred  which was to have considerable bearing on the modernization  of Saudi Arabia. One of the charges brought against the King  was that he had set up wireless stations and communicated  through them, an act that was not specifically approved by  the prophet.

       After the opposition had been heard, the King got down  from

his throne and pleaded in his own defense.  He pointed  out that there

was nothing in the Koran or the words of the  Prophet against the use

of wireless.  And he ended by having  a section of the Koran recited over the radio.  Can anything  that transmits the words of God be bad ?, he asked.

   The Ulama (or the council of religious elders) agreed  that he was

right and thus sanctioned the King's use of the  radio, an essential

weapon if he was to pacify the scattered  and rebellious tribesmen of

the Ikhwan settlements.  It was a  first

step in gaining approval for a program which was to  extend to

automobiles, electric lights, diesel pumps,  railroads and airplanes.

  The Initiation of Change   As a consequence of the Saudi ruler's two pronged policy  of engaging Wahhabism as the state ideology and instituting  limited

  administrative and social change, the Saudi polity  has exhibited

  tensions and conflict between two groups:  (l)  the secular-educated Saudi's who advocated more socioeconomic  and political reforms, and (2) the religiously inspired  traditionalists who desired to reaffirm the religious  character of the polity.  Balancing the tension between the  two is the King who converts tension into balance and binds  society together through

conflict no less than collaboration.  The government hoped to maintain

a viable socioeconomic order  based on Wahhabism but one flexible

enough to adjust to  changing circumstances.  They introduced changes to  accommodate emergent situations but continued to invoke  religion as a mean to rationalize these changes.

The first  and most elaborate reform program was initiated in l962 as

a  result of internal and external pressures.

  The reform program was rationalized in religious term  and

introduced in order to achieve a unified system of  government based

on the principles of the Shariah.  A basic  law will be promulgated,

drawn from the Quran, the traditions  of the Prophe

t and the acts of the Orthodox Caliphs.  It will  set forth the

fundamental principles of government and the  relationship between the

governor and the governed.

 

  Educational_System

 

  Educational facilities that existed in the various parts  of present

day Saudi Arabia prior to World War I accurately  reflected the

existing administrative and socioeconomic  conditions.  In addition to

the Kuttab (elementary Quranic  schools), the provinces had specialized in teaching circles  known as the halaga(circle) in the houses of prominent Ulama  and in major mosques, as well as several private schools  sponsored by individual benefactors

such as the Al-Falah  schools in Makkah and Jeddeh.

  The organization of the formal secular education in the  country

took place in l925 when King Abdelaziz ordered the  establishment of

the Directorate General of Education.  The  Ulama opposed the

introduction of secular education out of  the fear t

hat it would damage the fabric of Wahhabi society.

  Through the persistence of King Abdelaziz a significant  progress

took place.  based on the religious character of the  society, and

consistent with the government justification of  change in religious

terms, Saudi educational planners  indicate th

at the purpose of education is to have the  students understand Islam

in a correct and comprehensive  manner, to plant and spread the

Islamic creed, to furnish the  student with the values, teachings and

ideals of Islam, to  equip him with various sk

ills and knowledge, to develop his  conduct in constructive directions

and to develop the society  economically, socially and culturally.

  The same objectives were reiterated in the first, second  and the

third five years plan (l970-l985) which stressed  maintaining the

religious and moral values of Islam over  developing human resources.

While religious influence on  education may b

e relatively easy to maintain at the primary  and even intermediate,

it is more difficult to do so at the  secondary or higher levels.

Religious subjects can not  dominate the curricula of secular

colleges, and students can  not be monitored at all

times when they study abroad.  Interesting enough that the number of

students enrolled in  religious programs is less than those in secular

institutions.  The main secular universities in the country  are

Riyadh University, King Abdelaziz University

, King Faisal  University and King Fahad University.  The main

religious  universities are the Islamic University of Medina and the

Islamic University of Imam Muhammed Iben Saud at Riyadh.

  Although the Ulama have opposed education for women,  Saudi

educational planners introduced such education in l960.  The official

recognition of women's right for formal  education was granted in l959

when a royal speech was  delivered stating that

 a decision had been made to open  government schools for girls under

the control of a committee  to be responsible to the Grand Ulama.  The

placement of  female education under Ulama control was necessary

measure to  secure their approval.  A year l

ater, the General Presidency  of the schools of girls was created.

This body is  effectively a ministry governed by a Shaykh with the

same  powers, privileges, and status as those of a minister.

  The educational policies stated by the Ulama reflect the

government's desire to develop materially and yet retain  Wahhabis

versed in Islam and Wahhabi fundamentalism as well  as engineering and

computer science.  But the reality of the  situation

 points to an erosion of religious education and the  increase in the

number of secular schools.  The political  implications of the

increase of secular-educated Saudis have  two-folds.  First, this

group's desire for greater political  participation

 will exert pressure on the political system and  may eventually alter

the regime's patrimonial character.  Second, the growing population of

secular-educated Saudis  means an emerging "World view" at variance

with that of their  elders and the Ulama

.  Consequently, their role in government  and society will heighten

tension and conflict between them  and the traditionalists.

 

  The Regulation of Saudi Law

 

  The King is given authority under the Shariah to do  whatever is

  necessary for the welfare of the people through  issuing

  regulations.  By this mean Saudi Arabian adapts to  change and

  achieves progress.  For instance, at the time of  the Prophet t

here were no automobiles, air ports, or  commercial companies;  today

Saudi society has the applicable  motor vehicle regulations, air port

regulations, regulations  for companies, and so on.

 

Regulation_of_Business_Activity:

 

  The first major group of regulations promulgated under  the new

direction concerned the vital area of the regulation  of business

activity and attracting foreign capital and  needed foreign expertise

to the Kingdom.

 

 Financial Revival and Economic Development:

 

  Financial revival and economic development are the  government's

prime concern, therefor, government has adopted  and will continue to

adopt strong and important measures to  lay down substantial programs

for reform that continuously  spur economic

 activity.  Thus, the regulations for investment  of foreign capital

which were signed in l964 provided the  base to attract foreign

capital and expertise to the Kingdom.

  On July l965, regulations for companies, were issued,  defining and

regulating the various types of companies.  On  l962 the regulation

for commercial agencies was issued.  On  l970's many regulations have

been issued which deals with the  procurem

ent and for the execution of projects and works,  contracts values

commission, and intercessions.

 

  Labor and Welfare Regulation

 

  Labor regulations were promulgated in Saudi Arabia in  l947, about

  the time of ARAMCO was preparing for major oil  production following

  World War II.  Suffice it to say in  regard to these early

  regulations, that one of their  important features was to remove labor disputes from the  jurisdiction of the Shariah court with its strict rules of  evidence to the newly created administrative agency, the  labor office.  However, the need for a modern and more comprehensive regulation to better administer the ever  increasing complexities of employee relations resulting from  the industrial expansion was recognized by the government.  These regulations were adopted from modern countries and were redesigned on l969 with new changes and additional  regulations such as the social insurance.

 

   Judicial Regulations:

 

  The Judicial regulations were promulgated on July l975.  It sets the

tone that the judiciary to be completely  independent and non-

political, as it must to be effective.

  These regulations provide that the Shariah courts shall  consist of:

  A.  The Supreme Judicial Council

  B.  The Appellate court

  C.  General courts

  D.  Summary courts

  The Supreme Judicial Council is composed of eleven  members and in

  addition to looking into Shariah questions  submitted to it by the King and the Minister of Justice, it  reviews death and other severe punishment sentences handed  down by the lower courts.  The Appellate court is headed by a  chief judge who sits with either three or five judges depending upon the seriousness of

the case before it.  This court reviews criminal cases, family law, and inheritance  cases appealed to it from the lower courts.  The general  courts will normally consist of one judge, except in cases  involving death or severe punishment which call for a  decision rendered by three judges.  The summary court issues  decisions by a single judge.  The qualifications that a  candidate for a judgeship must meet in character, education  and training are spelled out.  Appointment and promotion in the judiciary is by royal order passed by the decision of the  supreme judicial council.

 

 The Decline of the Role of the Ulama in the Judiciary

 

  The development of an oil economy in Saudi Arabia has  ushered in a

period of increased government activities that  necessitated the

expansion of state jurisdiction over areas  formerly dominated by the

religious establishment.  It led to  the creation of a complex administrative structure to  implement these policies.  In turn, the expansion of  jurisdiction and the corresponding increase in role  differentiation between the religious

and political spheres  resulted in the bureaucratization of the Ulama.  Indeed, the Ulama in the current Saudi state are dependent on the state  for their survival.  They are paid civil servants whose  activities are determined by the needs of the political  sphere.  Ulama leaders are appointed by the King, and Ulama  activities are regulated by state laws.

  Following the introduction of secular laws to regulate  the many

state activities, the role of the Ulama became  confined to the

interpretation of the civil and criminal  aspects of the Shariah,

whereas commercial, labor, and  international laws are formulated and interpreted by secular-  educated individuals.  The state took over religion for the  purpose of restructuration to bring its beliefs and  institutions into conformity with national objectives.  The  political sphere enhanced its leg

itimacy through the  rationalization of policies in religious terms.

The  emergence and increased role of secular-educated individuals  in

the system reflects the overall position of the political  sphere in

relation to the Ulama.  While religion remains an  important source of legitimation, the Ulama's traditional role in evaluating government policy and activities has been  reduced.

 

Religious Opposition

 

     Although religion legitimates Saudi government,  religious opposition began to emerge in recent years,  demanding the overthrow of the Saudi rule and the creation of  a genuinely Islamic republic.  Two groups are of importance,  the Organization of the Islamic Revolution and the Neo- Ikhwan.  The first, which was founded in the late l970's  drives its financial support from Iran.

Its membership is  confined to Shi'i Saudis.  It follows Khomeini's vision of  Islamic rule.  A pamphlet distributed by members of the  organization during the pilgrimage season of l98l in Mekkah,  the organization outlined its objectives:

 "In the name of Allah:

  As the time when the Muslim Ummah is turning to real  Islam as the

only hope for progress, freedom and complete  independence, the Ummah

faces a dangerous enemy represented  by ruling regimes of the so-

called Islamic states.  The Saudi  family is one of these regimes...  Their regime is the most  dangerous enemy of Islam because they use the cover of  religion to legitimate their otherwise unislamic role  ...Ask yourselves does Islam allow a royal family to have  luxurious palaces and share in commercial firms?

  We demand:  (l)  our immediate end to the wave of  indiscriminate

arrests in Qatif and Hasa (both are Shi'i  regions), and the release

of all political prisoners  -especially those arrested in the Eastern

province while  practising religious rights of Ashoora.  (2) We deplore the  dictatorship of Al Saud and demand that an Islamic  constitution be introduced to secure democracy and progress  for people.  (3)  Our Muslim people in the Arabian Peninsula are one people, regardless of sect, condemning the regime's  sectarian policy of inciting sunnis against Shi'is.  (4)  We  demand a cut down in the rate of oil production.  (5).  We  demand social justice to end mass poverty.  (6)  We demand the abolition of all treaties signed with the United States."

  Because of this movement's link with Iran and its  representation of Shi'i interests in Saudi Arabia its  activities remain rudimentary and its following is limited.

 

The Neo-Ikhwan

 

  On November l979, the Grand Mosque of Makkah was seized  by a group

of fundamentalists who denounced the Saudi regime  and proclaimed the

appearance of a Mahdi (redeemer).  The  Saudi government was ill

prepared to face this type of  insurrection.   It was not an attack against government  offices, army barracks, or radio and television stations,  such that government could act swiftly to eliminate the  attackers.  Nor was it a foreign inspired movement to be  dismissed as such and be eliminated with ease.  Rather, it  was an Islamic uprising in protest of what its members  described as the religious and moral laxity and degeneration  of Saudi rulers, and advocating the revival of seventh century Islamic society.

  The seizure of the mosque underscored the existence of  three deeply

rooted problems concerning the relationship  between religion and

state in the Kingdom:  (l) how to  reconcile sudden and immense wealth

as well as rapid  modernization with adherence to eighteenth century Wahhabism;  (2) the fact that religious fundamentalism and royal politics are not always compatible; (3) the vulnerability of the royal  family to attack from religious fundamentalists as well as  secular elements within the society.

 

 Financial Support:

 

  The insurgents apparently received their financial  support from within the society.  Three sources are  suggested.  As theology students and pious Muslim, aside from  attending public prayers and participating in discussion  groups, they raised funds through the selling of religious  pamphlets and soliciting

donations.  A second source is  suggested that the insurgents received aid from dissidents in  the military and the religious establishment. Finally, the  son of a wealthy merchant, who sold a property in Jeddah to cover the coasts of weapons.

 

The Objectives and Ideology:

 

  The objectives of the insurgent, were clearly stated in  the writings of Juhaiman "leader of group."  Seven pamphlets  are known to have been written by Juhaiman.  These pamphlets  dealt with theological questions, presented a summary of two works  by Ibn Taymiyah, denounced the rule of Al Saud, and  condemned the state Ulama for their Collaboration with the  government.  The central feature of the insurgents ideology  is the reconstruction of an Islamic society as it was known  in seventh century Arabia; in other words, the revival of the  society is to be achieved through the Mahdi.

  The writings of Juhaiman and the actions of his followers reflect the confusion and rage that beset many  Saudis as a result of the rapid change that took place after  the discovery of oil.  Juhaiman identifies his group in his  pamphlet the Ikhwans:  "They slander us from all quarters and  tell lies about us...We

are Muslims who wanted to learn the  Shari'ah and quickly realized that it could not be learned in  government controlled institutions...We have broken with  opportunists and bureaucrats...We study the authentic sunnah  and Tafsir of Hadith "interpretation of prophet says" without  blinded commitment to any

certain Madhab "path".

 

Consequences of the Insurrection:

 

  Faced with the insurrection, the King mobilized the  support of the state Ulama.  He convened the higher council  of Ifta "Setting laws based on religion" requesting the  assurance of Fatwa (law) supporting Al Saud and authorizing  military intervention in the sacred sanctuary.  The Ulama  complied with the King's demand and noted that there would be  a Mahdi, but that he would

appear with clear signs and in  opposition to a corrupt ruler.  Having

secured the Ulama's  support, Saudi government managed to dislodge the insurgents,  killing the proclaimed Mahdi.

  Saudi government adopted a  two-fold policy; first, state Ulama were

instructed to  emphasize the destructive character of the uprising, the  religiosity of Saudi rulers, and the fact that Islam is a  religion of moderation.  In the second policy they adopted  following the insurrection, and in a clear move to pacify the secularists, a written basic law and consultative assembly  were

promised.

 

Conclusion

 

  The relationship between the King and the religious  leaders was one of mutual support and dependence.  They  helped to shape the nature of the state which emerged and  they were used by the King in the promotion of his political  objectives.  The Ulama provided the kingdom with something  akin to a state philosophy which played a crucial role in the  centralization.  They promoted the expansion of religious  education including a common value system in

the rising  generation of the new state.

  The Ulama were involved in the  direct administration of religious education to regulate  public conduct through the committee for encouraging virtue  and preventing vice.  The Ulama's role in decision-making and  in the implementation of policy can perhaps best be  appreciated with respect to the management of any Islamic hard line movement.  They had initially opposed the inception of the  movement, contending that there was no Islamic justification

for it.

  The process of government building initiated by Al Saud  is reformist

in nature; it attempted to satisfy  simultaneously the needs of both the religious and secular  elements within the Saudi Kingdom. Consistent with the  regime's patrimonial character, Al Saud attempted to balance  the interests and activities of both groups, but without  affecting noticeable change in the political

sphere.

 

 

    Bibliography

 Al-Zahrani, Abdul-Razzag.  l986.  Saudi Arabian Development;

 A Sociological Study of its Relation to Islam and its

 Impacts on Society.  Washington State University.

  Beling, Willard A. l980.  King Faisal and the Modernization of Saudi Arabian.  Westview Press Boulder, Colorado.

  Jacques, Jean and Schreiber, Servan. l98l.  The World Challenge.  Simon and Schuster, New York.

  Mackey, Sandra. l987.  The Saudi's: Inside the Desert Kingdom.  Housgton Mifflin Company, Boston.

  Netton, Ian A. l986. Arabia and the Gulf: From Traditional Society to Modern States.  Barives and Noble Books, New  Jersey.

  Powell, William. l982.  Saudi Arabia and its Royal Family. Lyle Stuart Inc. New York.

  Safran, Nadav.  l985.  Saudi Arabia; The Ceaseless Quest for  Security.  Harvard University Press, Massachusetts.

  Sanger, Richard H. l954.  The Arabian Peninsula.  Cornell University Press, New York.

 

 ‹‚.Œ A  important source of legitimation, the Ulama's traditional

role in evaluating government policy and activities has been  reduced.

Religious Opposition

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                                      TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Introduction...........................................1

Objecivet of Study ....................................2

Religion and the State Establishment ..................3

Changing in the Societal Culture ......................4

Religion in Use........................................5

Changing in the Government ............................6 

Religion and the Educational System....................8

Religion and Modern Regulations.......................12      

   a.  The Regulation of Saudi Law...................13

       b.  Financial Revival and Economic Development...13

       c.  Labor and Welfare Regulations................14

        d.  Judicial regulations.........................14

Religion and the  Rise of the Middle Class........16

The Limitation of the Role and Religious Institution............................18   The Basic Strategic Principle of the Development Plans.......................18   The Role of Religious Leaders.........................20 

 The Oppositions to Change in Saudi Society .......... 22

Conclusion............................................24

Bibliography..........................................28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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