Islam means peace. Submitting to the will of Allah. The belief in the unseen.
Fanaticism is to hold those same beliefs, in a way that distorts its very essence reaching beyond its limits. That is anything but Islam.
The 20th November 1979 or the 1st of Muharram 1400 marked the very beginning of the excruciating consequences of a Muslim’s fanaticism.
Juhaiman-ibn-Sayf-al-Otaybi was a former member of Saudi National Guard. At the time, Saudi Arabia was newly experiencing wealth, which further led to materialism and foreigners coming in. This enhanced changes and innovations into society, for example it was the first time you’d see women without headscarf, music, dance and television becoming more and more popular and therefore corruption leading its way forward, little by little.
At this stage, Juhaiman-al-Otaybi was disrupted and enraged by the drastic change, which led him to leave his job and live in Medina. There, he started a movement known as “The movement of accountability”, where he would go to mosques and houses preaching people and trying to enforce law, like destroying such music shops etc.
Furthermore, he begins criticising the Saudi government and in 1976 he starts to plan a secret movement and began training in military exhibitions and using weaponry. Around this time, his sister has a dream where she’s marrying the Mahdi, a man named Muhammad-ibn-Abdillaah-Al-Qahtaanee, an Imam and Khateeb. And so when he decides to move down to Madena, her sister recognises him and tells his brother about his similarities to the Hadith where the Prophet describes Mahdi, such as having the same name as well as the name of his parents who happened to be Abdullah and Ameenah.
At this point, Juhaiman is motivated to march forth this movement and convinces other Muslims to be a part of their new top-secret theology about the arrival of Mahdi, his now brother-in-law, who will overtake the Haram, as predicted by the Prophet in a Hadith and establish peace, eliminating all evils.
“After the death of a Ruler there will be some dispute between the people. At that time a citizen of Madina will flee and go to Makkah. While in Makkah, certain people will approach him between Hajrul Aswad and Maqaame Ibraheem, and forcefully pledge their allegiance to him. Thereafter a huge army will proceed from Syria to attack him but when they will be at Baida, which is between Makkah and Madina, they will be swallowed into the ground.”
So, he decided to execute the Hadith upon himself, as if making a real life movie out of it, and entered Ka’aba along his fellow followers, with weapons carried in coffins instead of dead bodies, so that nobody would get suspicious.
As the Adhan was being heard, the remaining Hujjaj started to congregate and perform their Fajr prayer and as soon as they finished their salat, a man appeared holding a gun and Juhaiman began to tell about his fake Mahdi and his whole mission. Fear and panic came rushing to their side, some of the Hujjaj not being able to understand what was going on and everyone was shocked by what their eyes were witnessing.
However, they were left with no choice but to stay there as Junaihad had commanded to close all the doors and not anyone enter nor leave. Tawaf and the prayers were forced to cease and now as the Saudi government sent their troupes over, they were left defeated.
The Ka’aba was hijacked.
The same minarets that accompany the House of Allah like towers, were now holding snipers. Blood was being shed. Hundreds were killed. Terror and violence creeping over the air. In the month of Muharram. In the House of Allah.
The hostage lasted for almost two weeks, until the Saudi military came with tanks. Grenades were thrown. More people were killed. The Fake Mahdi was shot. And finally Juhaiman and his group were being captured and executed.
This event shook the whole Ummah and the scariest part of it all was that the scholars of its time could not believe their eyes and ears, in fact a few of them gave the approval that maybe the real mahdi is here. WHY? Because Junaihad and his group were not “bad people”. Some of them were Imams, students of knowledge, Huffadh of the Qur’an and they thought they were doing something good…but the problem is they lost sight of the reality in front of them. They were so incensed at the change coming to society, the music and singing, the corruption coming forth, that they were willing to shed blood in the House of Allah Almighty. Not realizing that what they’ve dont cannot be compared to any other crime. This is fanaticism. And this is not Islam.
We should be aware of these events, our history is essential in order to learn from past mistakes and try to implement on the real good, the true Islam. Nowadays, we see many Muslims going around, doing all kinds of things, for the sake and prevention of some small sins, committing instead a greater one. We should be cautious and know what our true faith is. You cannot go and pull someone’s hijab off because you’ve seen her dancing or accuse someone of hypocrisy because they pray but at the same time wander around with the wrong company.
There is always a way to solve things…and really…the world will never ever be at total peace until the Day Of Judgement, because the world is a testing place. Before there were news about the hurricane Irma, now there is an earthquake in Mexico, tomorrow something else will happen. Our job is to try to handle these problems, these wars and hatred in the language of peace, with the character taught by the Prophet and the label given by Allah: Muslim.