“Saudi Arabia is changing”, but for the better? The question arose in the aftermath of what was officially called as the “Scary Weekend”, which took place in Riyāḍ last October 27 and 28: a two-day parade to celebrate Halloween along the famous Boulevard, the main shopping street of the city, attended by thousands of men, women, and children, wearing costumes mandatorily inspired by the world of horror. Otherwise, they would not have been able to have free access to the event, “dedicated to showcasing terrifying disguises”, as reported by Arab News, a well-known local newspaper, with enthusiastic tones, which would have been more suitable for describing the comings and goings of Muslims during the days of the ḥajj in Mecca.

However, “Saudi Arabia is changing”, the 23-year-old Khaled explained in an interview to The New York Times, and the change refers to the “vision” of the future promoted by the crown prince and strongman of the kingdom, Muhammad bin Salmān Āl Saʿūd. The new course launched by MbS with his rise to power was supported by many Muslims in the Ummah. Finally, women can get a license to drive a car and have some more space to be autonomous, without the breath of the male “guardians” constantly on their necks. We of Swordless Jihād also said that, and we reiterate it now.

On the other hand, transforming Riyāḍ, Jeddah, and the whole country into an “imitation” of Dubai, and of any western capital or island of entertainment, carries the serious risk of a regression towards an era of ignorance perhaps even worse than that from which Prophet Muhammad saw, sent by Allaw swt, rescued not only the Arab people but the whole of humanity, indicating for everyone the Straight Path to follow.

In short, from one excess to another. From an ultra-closed and suffocating context, dominated for a long time by the “Committee for the Repression of Vice and the Promotion of Virtue”, with its misdeeds and abuses, to an openness devoid of intelligence and balance (wasat), meant to convert the new Saudi generation into a copy of the Western one, a new generation of youth without ethics and only vanity, already condemned to be defeated in the jihād against their own nafs.

“The goal was to create an atmosphere filled with fun, thrills and excitement as people discovered the stories behind various character costumes”, Arab News happily wrote, praising the “Scary Weekend”, now in its second edition.

“It’s a great celebration… and there’s a spirit of joy. In terms of haram or halal, I don’t know about it. We celebrate it just for the fun of it and nothing else. We don’t believe in anything”, Abdulrahman candidly admits, wearing the “costume of the North American mythological creature Wendigo… a malevolent spirit that possesses human beings, calls on feelings of greed and hunger, and cannibalizes people, feeding on their flesh”. Nothing to rejoice about, yet Arab News reported the young man’s statements and described his disguise as if they were an indication of the goodness and success of the change planned by MbS, when instead, from an Islamic point of view, they only certify its total failure, as it is about Saudi Arabia and not France or the United States.

The “vision” of the crown prince officially projects itself to 2030, the year in which he will probably be a full-fledged monarch: what will become of the population residing on the sacred soil that belonged to Prophet Muhammad saw and his Ṣaḥāba?

To be understanding with the young Saudis is a must, as they were misdirected from the very beginning and completely misguided afterwards. If not with captagon, a drug that they consume in very large quantities, they find outlet and satisfaction in the masquerades of the regime and in other imported “imitations”, forgetting about Islām and being Muslims.

Rather, the responsibilities lie elsewhere and it is not difficult to understand where. After having burned more than a generation for at least forty years, leaving them in the hands of the so-called Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qāʿida (with the last exponents of the “Sawah” movement now imprisoned), the “House of Saud” does not seem to have any qualms about abandoning today’s youth to the Western degradation. The reason? Always the same: managing the internal dissent to remain seated on their throne in one way or another, counting on the blessing of its “sheikh” friends, the heirs of the Wahhābī lineage.

There is no doubt that in Saudi Arabia there have been real scholars, Sheikhs with a capital S, and that Allāh swt be pleased with them. However, Tawḥīd has nothing to do with it here, it is only a question of power, as demonstrated by the fact that the present Wahhābī “sheikhs” allowed the doors of the kingdom (and of Islām) to open wide to shirk, thus legitimizing the “vision” of MbS and effectively denying the tafsīr of the sharīʿa which they still formally say to embrace. Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb is turning over in his grave…

With regard to Halloween, the official tafsīr is clear: it is an inadmissible holiday, as a mere “imitation” of the unbelievers that does not originate in local customs and traditions. Therefore, celebrating it is a serious transgression.

To escape the allegation of having authorized the holding of a “pagan” event, which could not be more “pagan”, the “Scary Weekend” was brought forward a few days earlier the date set by the official calendar for Halloween (on October 31): a useless trick equivalent to an admission of guilt. Did the “sheikhs” thought that the rest of the Ummah would have not noticed it?

On the other hand, bombardments of criticism and disapproval have rained down from Muslims everywhere in the world, especially from those believers who considered Saudi Arabia ‒ rightly or wrongly, in any case sincerely ‒ the greatest point of reference for the Ummah, in the wake of the Pious Predecessors (al-Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ), that Allaw swt be pleased with them. While the false mujāhidīn of the “anti-Islamic state of terror” (ISIS) are rejoicing, ready to take advantage of Riyāḍ’s materialistic and consumerist drift to gain credit as the only way left to follow for a correct application of the Qurʾān and the Sunnah. Dāʿish Ḥarām!

Prior, Halloween was banned in the Saudi territory by law, due to the indecency and degradation that the holiday brings along, in violation of the canons of the sharīʿa.

Keeping the necessary distance from both the ultra-bigoted moralism of the present Wahhābī “sheikhs” and the disturbing narratives that evoke Shayṭān as Halloween’s father (typical of a certain propaganda, which is successful especially among young Muslims, in Italy as well), the bad taste of the masks and disguises staged on the Boulevard is there for all to see. More than a “vision”, we are dealing with a true horror movie, which is completely at the antipodes of the “Islamic ideal”, in whatever way you want to frame it.

If all of this has been allowed, in addition to discotheques and rave parties with electronic music (not to mention the alcohol in the compounds where “Westerners” reside, and in the VIP sectors of the stadiums where international football matches are hosted), why then should Muslims continue not to celebrate the Mother’s Day, one’s birthday, and even the blessed day of the birth of Prophet Muhammad saw? The contradictions of the “sheikhs” are now on the surface and their “hypocrisy” is no longer able to hide them under the sand. They condemn reformism and “innovations”. It is a bidʻāh, it is a bidʻāh! Is everything a bidʻāh, or are you the real bidʻāh?

However, we are only at the beginning. Some say “of the end”, but perhaps there are reasons to be optimistic. By placing total trust in Allah swt, we could be facing the beginning of a new beginning, that of a better era for Muslims and for the whole world. For Saudi Arabia, it is still not too late to correct its course, but if MbS and his “sheikhs” intend to continue along the path of perdition, we recommend the masks of the Italian Carnival for the next costume party: they are certainly more beautiful and refined.

“Saudi Arabia is changing”, but for the better? The question arose in the aftermath of the celebration in Riyāḍ of what was officially called as the “Scary Weekend”.

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