Culture of Saudi Arabia: Essay

Sample Essay

Words 1,263

Inspired by Islam, the Arabs expanded out of Arabia spreading Islam and the Arabic language. Saudi culture is based on Islam and the excellence of the Arabic language. The Saudi form of Islam is conservative and fundamentalist, pedestal on the 18th-century revivalist movement of the Najdi leader Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdel-Wahhab. This still has a great consequence on Saudi society, particularly on the position of women, who are required by law only to leave the home totally covered in black robes (abaya) and masks, although there are regional dissimilarity of dress. The Najd and other remote areas remain true to Wahhabi tradition, but throughout the country this way of life is being altered by modernization and rapid growth. Saudi Arabia is not a totalitarian culture. While it is represented by its Western critics as being a benighted land of authoritarian oppression administered by a supreme monarchy, its king in fact rules within the rubric of two overwhelming constraints. First, is the Islamic religion itself. Although Islamic law is very strict that would be absolutely unacceptable to a Western population, the extent to which Islam provides a commonly agreed upon set of rules which are apart from, and above, the monarchy. The fundamental tenets of Islam are accepted by the overwhelming majority of the population as being the dictates of God. The clerics have a very significant role in the country,

The doctrine of Tawhid ensures a unique political status for the clerics in Saudi Arabia. (Doran)

As such, the Saudi royals are firmly constrained by Islam and are practically powerless to enact laws that contradict it. Islamic law grants citizens firm privileges and rights that are thus literally beyond the authority of the monarchy to detract. And the royals are well responsive that any attempt at such detraction would either be entirely ignored by the populace, or would meet with almost universal, violent resistance

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