“And you will see poor, naked, barefoot shepherds of sheep and goats competing in constructing tall buildings”…These are the words of one of many doomsday prophecies spelled out by our Noblest Prophet, Sayyadina Muhammad (Peace be upon him). They speak of the Middle-East, towards the end of time, being transformed from a desolate and dusty dessert, to a modern, developed and economically advanced State – something unthinkable just twenty years ago. Indeed, the barefooted Bedouins of yesterday, having found black gold beneath their soil and now rolling in petrodollars, have flaunted their wealth on a scale that even puts Las Vegas and Taiwan to shame. The spiritual heartland of Islam has been unmistakably transformed to a modern Shangri-La, a place of sensual pleasure, entertainment and sin.
The economic benefits of modernization are great, but for the accompanying vices, Muslims as a whole will have to pay a terrible price for it. This is a divine prediction that must come to pass. No country in the Middle-East is currently politically stable. Whilst Palestine, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Iraq have been wrecked by war, countries like Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt are moaning under the tyranny of western-sponsored puppets. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States seem stable on the surface, but many enemies are waiting like a pack of wolves to devour them. Other countries like Turkey and Iran seek to profit from this confusion, and the rest of the ummah can’t seem to decide who to support or who not to – who is the enemy, the front of the enemy, or the sincere ones working for the cause of Islam. Although our Holy Lands have been protected from foreign invasion, but our behavior therein has brought disaster for the entire ummat. I’m referring specifically to the trend of modernization. It’s not long before these high-rise buildings will be left standing tall at all.
It is narrated by Sayyiduna Abdullah bin ‘Umar that the Holy Prophet (May peace and salutations be upon him) said: “When the belly of Makkah will be cleft open and through it will be dug out river-like passages (i.e. tunnels) and the buildings of of Makkah will rise higher than its mountains; when you observe these signs, then understand that the time of trial is near at hand.”
And whilst more majestic and grand buildings are mushrooming in the entire Middle-East, especially Saudia Arabia and Dubai, they seem oblivious of the fact that the war and carnage around them will one day reach their shores. The Muslim East has rightfully earned the title of the “Continent of Destruction” due to their unmatched tall buildings. The world’s tallest skyscraper at 830 m: Burj Al Khalifa, is in Dubai, UAE. The world’s tallest clock tower: Abraj Al-Bait Towers, is in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The world’s tallest lighthouse: Jeddah Light, is in Jeddah, and the world’s tallest minaret: Hassan II Mosque, is in Casablanca, Morocco.
Of all the Arab countries, the 24 square mile archipelago of Dubai is by far the best example of artificial prosperity built on credit and usury. It has the world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic and the 6th busiest cargo airport. In 2014, DXB handled 70.5 million passengers, 2.37 million tonnes of cargo and registered 357,339 aircraft movements. It’s a place very close to hell as tame cats are not kept as pets, but ferocious tigers, and where criminals are so slick that the police force use super cars like Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche to keep up with them. It’s a place where you can hop from a helipad straight into a swimming pool and where the valet parking at the mall is always full. Here, you need to wait two months for your customized Bentley. By day, you can ride the sand dunes and skydive over a manmade island at The Palm (your initial jump will cost about R6000-00), and by night, you can be plummeting down artificial snowy ski-slopes. It’s a place where women in designer bikinis brush shoulders with fully-clad hijabis and where you can find the latest tech gadgets at China City (Karama Mall). It’s also good to know that if you are thirsty, call for “Bebzi,” not Pepsi!
Just for fun, you could drop by Sheikh Mo’s (the affectionate title of Khalifah Maktoum, owner of Dubai) world’s largest stable where he has an amazing array of thoroughbred Arabian steeds, and also view his collection of super-yachts. Camel racing is a local passion in the Emirates. Sadly, in June 2004, the Anti-Slavery International released photos of preschool-age child jockeys – some as young as three – who were kidnapped or sold into slavery, “starved, beaten and raped.” Some of these pitiable jockeys were shown at a Dubai camel track owned by the al-Maktoums.
If Sheikh Mo is in a good mood, he will tell you that Dubai is a “Green Zone” and that the current War on Terror has been good for him because since 9/11, many Middle Eastern investors, fearing possible lawsuits or sanctions, have pulled their interests from the west, and the Saudis alone have ploughed at least $15 billion into Dubai’s sand castles. For Dubai’s safety, a few American nuclear super-carriers are berthed at the port of Jebel Ali – it seems that Shaikh Mo is terrified more of terrorists who will one day arrive to “reform him,” than his Creator’s hellfire. Sheikh Mo’s other way of ensuring the loyalty of his citizens so that they do not turn on him is by making them content with their existence. At the beginning of 2012, for example, all UAE citizens (not residents) were awarded a 100% raise on their already inflated salaries. Where else in the world would this be possible?
If you are feeling safe and thinking of heading to Dubai any time soon, a typical 1-week holiday for a family of four will set you back some R300 000-, the amount which can be used to bake 50 000 loaves of bread for our Syrian refugees. You can either waste your money on stylish accommodation at The Palm (from R30 000-00 a night), Central Paris (R38 000-00), Burj al-Arab (R23 000-00) or at the ocean-themed Atlantis (R50 000-00 a night). This latter hotel entices its patrons in the following words “Guests at Atlantis will enjoy amazing water views from their room, a choice of dining experiences across 17 bars and restaurants, unlimited complimentary access to both the underwater world of The Lost Chambers with its 65 000 marine animals, and Aquaventure Waterpark with 2.3km of exhilarating rides and slides and an opportunity to swim with Dolphins.” If you are a pauper, then most probably you will book at the Dubai Marina or Montgomerie, starting from R7000 -00 per night.
Almost everybody forgets where they park their car when visiting one of the super malls in Dubai, especially the Mall of Arabia, the world’s largest mall that attracts 5 million frenetic consumers each January, where you can even purchase a one-kg bar of solid gold. Some malls even boast aquariums, underwater zoos, and a chance to swim with the dolphins. Although all goods are tax-free, the prices are not pocket friendly. Whilst there, do me a favour and look for Scoopi Café. They offer a yummy $817-00 dollar (R11 438-00) a serving of homemade ice cream called “Black Diamond” which contains edible 23-carat gold and Spanish saffron. As a testimony to your stupidity, you get to keep the spoon and cup!
But all that glitters is not gold. If you have a debt in Dubai and want to leave, you will be imprisoned until you pay it. Due to debt, many people just abandon their homes and cars and flee. Although since a watershed 2003 decision to open unrestricted freehold ownership to foreigners, but if you decide to retire one day in Dubai as a non-Emirate, you will be asked to leave. But Dubai’s shame does only lie in her racism, but her super exploitation of labour. Trade unions, strikes and agitators are illegal and 99 percent of the private sector workforce are easily deportable South-Asian non-contract labourers. These people are forced to sign themselves into virtual slavery for years, and are legally bound to a single employer as soon as their passports and visas are confiscated. The majority of the building boom is carried on the shoulders of an army of Pakistanis and Indians working 12-hour shifts, six and half days a week, in the blast-furnace desert heat. These workers are expected to be generally invisible and are housed on the city’s outskirts where as many as 12 are crowded in box-like room without an AC or fans.
For a supposed Muslim country, Dubai is also known as the “Bangkok of the Middle East.” The high-end girls found at elegant hotels and bars are but the glamorous facade of a sinister sex trade built on kidnapping, slavery and sadistic violence. This small country is sadly populated by thousands of Russian, Armenian, Indian and Iranian prostitutes controlled by various transnational gangs. The city, conveniently, is also a world centre for money laundering with an estimated 10 percent of real estate changing hands in cash-only transactions.
And the cherry on the cake is that whilst the Qur’an expressly forbids alcohol, all restaurants/bars attached to hotels can serve hard drinks, as long as they pay high license fees. Expats who want to become a little tipsy can do so provided they have a license that their employer approves of it. So, the new amended law in Muslim Dubai is that liquor is forbidden, but it can be allowed if you have it in a certain place only and pay the price for it. I wonder how the Muftis of the Arab world have reacted to this one!!
The bubble of Duabi and Saudi Arabia must burst some day. Our Creator says in the Qur’an, 17:16: “And when We decide to destroy a town (population), We send a definite order to those among them who are given to luxury. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against them. Then We destroy it with complete destruction.” Prosperity in the world is not necessarily a sign of success, as our Noble Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If God wants good for His servant, He hurries on His punishment in this world; and if He wills ill for a servant, he holds back punishing him for his sin so He can give it to him in full on the Day of Resurrection.”
Finally, our Creator loves us and this why the entire Muslim world is in tatters. If a land is indulged in sin and not yet in tatters, then our God will surely reduce it to ruins so that we may turn to Him. So, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, turn before you are forced to turn.