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Juhayman (November 20, 1979) on the First Day of The

Juhayman (November 20, 1979) on the First Day of The

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Published by: orangeblue1 on Oct 01, 2009
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Juhayman (November 20, 1979)
On the first day of the Islamic year 1400, Juhayman al Uteybi of the Ikhwan Islamicrevivalists, fired several shots into the air of the Grand Mosque courtyard, signaling thearrival of the
– redeemer of Islam. To the shots fired, there chanced an unlikelynarrative: were it not for the 18
century scholar Muhammad Ibn Abdal-Wahhab, who preached the purification and unification of Islam, Ikhwan would not take form fromWahhabism; if Juhayman was the descendent of any tribe other than Bedouin, his ties toIkhwan would not be a strict one; Juhayman’s father was a vocal dissenter against thecorrupt Saudi rulers whose government was influenced by the ‘infidel’ West, from hisfather, perhaps he inherited the same disdain and the will to lead an insurrection –– however the chain of events may follow, even Wahhab had his descendants.Above all unlikelihood, there was Mohammed Abdullah al Qahtani, the Mahdi.Without much convincing, the insurgents were captivated by the similarities betweenQahtani and the predict Mahdi, so much so that their doubtless zeal negated the fact thathe was the wrong man. It was foretold in many ahaadith that the coming Mahdi would possess the features of the prophet Mohammed: pale skin, tall, broad forehead, a large birthmark on his right cheek, of Quraysh tribal lineage, and that he must carry the samename as the prophet; all of which Mohammed Abdullah al Qahtani corresponded with.To further consummate destiny, time was the crucial and interrelated element. Accordingto one hadith, the Mahdi was to arrive on the first day of the new century in the Islamiccalendar (November 20, 1979 = 1400) to bring forth justice before the imminentapocalypse. Juhayman and his men, seeing that the time was ripe, were set on ushering inthis millenarian vision.***During the Hajj, in the holiest place in Islam, thousands of pilgrims were taken hostage.All fifty-one gates were chained shut, forming a coop. Those who were unknowing facedeach other or towards God for telltale signs as to the source or reason for the resoundinggunshots.***As the shooting became more and more sporadic and less frequent from killing off guards, the crowd came to settle. Juhayman grabbed the microphone from the Imam and passed it to Sayid, the Mahdi’s older brother and fellow lead conspirator. He spoke, withthe kind of authority garnered by learned clerics, of the nearing apocalypse. Theevidence: the miscreants that occupy the house of Saud and simply the outlook of things.Modernization and Westernization is synonymous according to Ikhwan. All forms of angst from encroaching modernity, in the root of it all, were the doings of the infidelWest.After the proper theological introduction, the Mahdi stepped forward. In hisresolve, he would rid injustice and infidels and unify the world under Islam. Suchrevolutionary feat can only be seeded in the Grand Mosque, where an initial obligatoryarmy of unbelieving Muslims would besiege the Mahdi and his loyalists – they woulddefend, prevail, and expand as the prophecy decrees. The perpetrators, obsessed andeager to sway history, requested all Muslims to offer to the Mahdi the oath of bayat.Those pilgrims who gave their pledge were free to leave to spread the word that theMahdi came. Some stayed, took up arms and joined the movement. Most left, but not all

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