“No Victor But God”

"La Ghalib illa Allah."  (No Victor but God)

That is what is written in plaster cartouches all over the Alhambra.   It neatly sums up the spirit of absolute monotheism that lies at the heart of Islam and especially of Sunni Islam, the Wahhabi strain of Sunni Islam and the ascetic Hanbali law code that lies behind it.

There is a lot of drivel in the media today as uncomprehending reporters try to deal with their surprise at the almost dismissive simplicity of the departure of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia for his "reward."

For the Muslims in Saudi Arabia; he was a man like all men, to be buried quickly, mourned in an appropriate but limited way and placed in an un-marked grave so that his resting place should not become a place of "pilgrimage" that might tempt people from the exclusive devotion that they owe to God.  Visitors will come from across the world to pay their respects to the family, but that is all.  After the required mourning is ended the kingdom will move on, not necessarily in the direction that we in the West might like, but, ON.

Was he a sinner?  Was he a wastrel?  God will judge him.

That is the Sunni Muslim’s way.


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8 Responses to “No Victor But God”

  1. J says:

    have you been paying attention to the ‘consolidation’ of power that has been the works as a result of fahd’s demise? it has been going on for a while, particularly since the first part of last month when fahd became brain dead.

  2. ismoot says:

    Tell us about it. pl

  3. hfiend says:

    You are a great asset; quickly becoming a first read (although you are still behind Juan Cole).
    Off topic, could you post when (if) you are going to appear on TV or radio for an interview; a heads up I guess?

  4. ismoot says:

    OK. Professor Cole’s knowledge of Islam is unmatched by nearly all. John Esposito is a similar figure. pl

  5. J says:

    i’m concerned about the ‘further break down’ in saudi’s northern border security. that one doesn’t look good for our guys.
    also i’ve got some info you might find interesting relating to developments in italy. send me a email and i’ll reply to you privately concerning it.

  6. hfiend says:

    sorry. Does John Esposito have a blog?

  7. ismoot says:

    Last time I heard he was teaching at U. Maryland. I don’t know. pl

  8. J says:

    in keeping with Saudi traditions, yesterday was the day that the royal house gave their allegiances to Abdullah. today it is the people who will pay their respects to Abdullah and give him their allegiances.
    wouldn’t you want to be a fly on the wall when Cheney and Abdullah confer in the next few days. it will be interesting to see what develops. I think that Cheney will try and push Abdullah regarding Iran, as Cheney seems very intent on smashing Iran if he can get the necessary backing that will be required for him to succeed in that venue. I think that Cheney is in for a rude awakening in some ways, Abdullah now that he has consolidated his power base, will be an even harder bargainer that he was previously when Fahd was still ‘officially’ the king. now that Abdullah has assumed the reins of power, it is Abdullah who will ‘set his own course’, whether the U.S. likes it or not. Abdullah is a different mindset that Fahd was. and D.C. previous way of doing business, will change now that Abdullah assumes his own course. many in D.C. are in for a rude awakening, their easy days of bargaining are over.

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