Saudi Shiite scholars played significant roles in forming the relationship between their community and the Saudi state since its establishment. Most of the times, they dealt with their society’s issues and demands, and communicated with the State’s officials for those matters.
Although they differed in their political viewpoints and social reality awareness, most o them were compatible with the existing political system. They dealt with it and refused to deal with other competing political systems in the region whether the Turkish or the British forces that had notable presence in the Shiite regions and which tried to convince the Shiite sect to be allied with them instead of the Saudi regime.
It is noted that all Shiite scholars’ demands throughout that stage were over guaranteeing their freedom of religion and dealing equally with them like other citizens in regard to their economical and political rights.
The following are introductions of those prominent religious figures who played major roles in social and political arenas of the Shiite community. These introductions are arranged to their birth dates.
Sheikh Mohammad bin Nasir Alnimer
Sheikh Hasan Ali Albader
Sheikh Ali bin Hasan Alkunaizi
Sheikh Musa bin Abdullah Abu Khamseen
Sheikh AbdullHameed bin Sheikh Ali Alkhutti
Sheikh Baqir Musa Abdullah Abu Khamseen
Sheikh Mohammad bin Salman Alhajiri
Sayyed Hasan Baqir Alawammi
Sheikh AbdulHadi bin Sheikh Mirza Alfadhli
Sayyed Ali Sayyed Nasir Alsalman
Sheikh Hasan Musa Alsaffar
Sheikh Mohammad bin Nasir Alnimer (1856- 1927):
Sheikh Alnimer was born in Alawammiah, Qatif, Saudi Arabia. He studied Islamic Sciences in Najaf, Iraq, and stayed their for fifteen years until he reached the level of Ijtihad; a high Shiite level in religious studies, although he was blind since an early age.
He was well-informed in astronomy, medicine and geometry, and a large group of scholars studied at his school after his return to his homeland. He had many writings but all of them are manuscripts and not published.
At the time of King Abdulaziz Al Saud’s negotiations with Qatif’s leaders, Alnimer made a strict stand and told people to not surrender their weapons. He, also, prompted them for armed resistance during the economic crisis due to the doubling of taxes and Salafists’ pressures on Shiites.
The ruler’s palace was besieged and the Shiite attackers formed a leadership which made the British imposing embargo on Qatif and prohibiting sailing movement on its ports. This dilemma was addressed after King Abdulaziz’s visit to Jubail by making negotiations with leaders of the region. Sheikh Alnimer died in 1927 and was buried in his hometown; Alawammia.
Sheikh Hasan Ali Albader (1857- 1913):
He was one of the most prominent religious authorities in Qatif. He had a contrary stand to King Abdulaziz’s pledge to avoid Bedouins’ treachery and Salafists control, and he announced it in a public meeting. He left Qatif, settled in Iraq and died in Alkadhimiah, Iraq, in 1913. He wrote a book entitled “The Monotheists’ Call for Protecting Islam” in which he urged people to defend the Libyan lands during the Italian attack, and participated in the Revolution of the Twenty against British colonial rule in Iraq.
Sheikh Ali bin Hasan bin Ali Alkhunaizi (1868- 1943):
He is a member of a highbred family in Qatif in which he was born and studied reading and writing fundamentals. He moved to Najaf in Iraq to study religion during 1891 and 1905, then, he returned to his homeland after he finished his study and attained many recommendations from the religious authorities there.
He became a judge since his return and during Turkish and Saudi rule. He played significant role in confronting Bedouins attacks over Shiite areas, and convinced the Turkish ruler to withdraw from Qatif after King Abdulazizi declared that he was intending to enter Qatif right after Alahssa surrender to prevent bloodshed.
Sheikh Alkhunaizi headed the Shiite leaders who met King Abdulaziz which resulted in giving him their pledge and in return they guarantee their freedom of practicing their religious beliefs and rituals. Then, Alkhunaizi was designated as a judge of Qatif region.
Because of the increasing taxes that were imposed on Qatif’s people and their subjection to Salafists’ constant persecutions, some unrests occurred in Qatif that Sheikh Alkhunaizi had participated in settling them down peacefully through contacting the official authorities.
In 1943, he died in Bahrain because of a chronic disease and his remains were transferred to Qatif where he was buried.
Sheikh Musa bin Abdullah Abu Khamseen (1874- 1932):
He was one of the most prominent religious authorities in Alahssa. He was born in Hofuf and emigrated from it to Najaf, Iraq, since he was twelve years old to study religion. He was qualified to be a religious authority by grand scholars of the academic hawza in Najaf, Iraq. After his return to Alahssa, he devoted his time for serving the society till he became a judge and his verdicts were officially enforced. Sheikh Abu Khamseen headed the meeting of Alahssa’s figures with King Abdulaziz in April 1912 which was held at the house of Sheikh Abdullatif Almulla. In that meeting, they agreed to pledge allegiance to the King and keep stability, and, in return, they guarantee their freedom of practicing their religious beliefs.
Sheikh AbdullHameed bin Sheikh Ali Alkhutti (1910- 2001):
Alkhutti was born in Qatif in 1910. In his early life, he studied Qur’an, fundamentals of mathematics and introductions of Arabia language and Islamic jurisprudence; then, he moved to Najaf, in 1937. There, he studied the primary lessons of Islamic sciences and attended some high lessons of the grand scholars of hawza. Alkhutti was declared as qualified in a set of sciences like Islamic jurisprudence, judiciary and logic.
During his stay in Najaf, he participated in many activities such as the Literary Association. Then, he returned to his homeland; Saudi Arabia, and played a major role in many religious, social and cultural activities. He turned to writing, research and teaching till he had his own distinctive poetry approach.
Alkhutti participated in the movement of demands that are related to Shiite religious and economic issues through writing memorandums and holding meetings with many officials.
In 1974, he headed the Shiite Court of Endowments and Inheritance in Qatif until he died in 2001. He had many writings as well as poetical works; some of which are “The Dirge or Inspiration of Najaf”, “AbdulHameed Alkutti’s Divan”, “A Flower from Each Field”, “Qatif Inspiration or Emotions Inspiration” and “The Battle of Light with Darkness”.
Sheikh Baqir Musa Abdullah Abu Khamseen (1915- 1992):
He was born in Hofuf and was raised there at the hands of his father who was one of Alahssa’s grand scholars. He moved to Najaf, Iraq, in 1929, studied Islamic sciences there, and participated in various Lebanese and Iraqi newspapers by writing diverse articles.
He headed the Shiite court of Endowments and Inheritance of Alahssa in 1968. Abu Khamseen had a significant role in many religious and social activities like establishing religious institutions, gathering scientific and literary heritage of Alahssa, and facilitating the governmental grants of lands.
He remained in his judicial position until he died in 1992, and his remains were buried Albaqee’ cemetery in Maddinah, Saudi Arabia. He wrote many books in poetry, history and ethics.
Sheikh Mohammad bin Salman Alhajiri (born in 1923):
He was born in Hofuf, Saudi Arabia, in 1923. He studied Qur’an, reading and writing fundamentals, as well as introductions of Arabia language and Islamic jurisprudence. In 1945, Alhajiri moved to Iraq for studying Islamic sciences and stayed there for more than twenty years through which he was certified by many religious authorities.
Since his return to Saudi Arabia, in 1969, he worked in teaching and religious guidance, contributed in establishing and supporting the academic hawza in Alahssa, and addressed many social issues.
Currently, he works as a judge of the Shiite Court of Endowments and Inheritance in Alahssa.
Sayyed Hasan Baqir Alawammi (born in 1924):
He was born in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, in 1924, and, in his early life, he studied Qur'an, Arabic language, mathematics and Arab literature. He moved to Najaf, Iraq, and stayed there for five years through which he studied Islamic jurisprudence, logic and rhetoric.
He worked as a lawyer since his return to Qatif. Alawammi has many historical and literary writings in AlWaha and AlKalimah magazines which are published in Qatif, as well as many articles published in national and international newspapers.
He was appointed as a secretary of the municipal council for five years, and has many social contributions in establishing and encouraging many charitable and social institutions in Qatif such as opening the first elementary school for girls in Qatif, in 1958.
He was and still presenting memorandums and claims to officials over economical and religious conditions, and he is considered one of the most prominent Shiite representatives.
He has several writing in social issues such as "The Lost People" and "The World of Arabs and Muslims".
Sheikh AbdulHadi bin Sheikh Mirza Alfadhli (born in 1935):
He was born in Basra, Iraq, and studied Qur'an, Arabic grammar, logic and rhetoric. In 1948, he joined the academic hawza of Najaf to continue his studies and he was just fourteen years old. He studies the primary lessons of Islamic sciences and attended some high lessons of the grand scholars. He joined the College of Fiqh in Najaf where he attained his bachelor degree in Arabic Language and Islamic Sciences in 1962; then, he obtained his master degree in Arabic Language from the College of Arts at Baghdad University in 1971.
Sheikh Alfadhli had a scholarship from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah which sent him to College of Arts at Cairo University from which he attained his doctorate degree in Arabic Language. He taught Arabic Language in King Abdulaziz University and the International Colleges of Islamic Sciences in London. He wrote many articles that were published in various Arab magazines, and participated in several literary and cultural activities. Alfadhli is a member in several literary forums, and a founding member at the Islamic University in the United Kingdom.
Sayyed Ali Sayyed Nasir Alsalman (born in 1944):
Alsalman was born in Najaf in 1944, and started his study in hawza of Alahssa at the age of ten. He moved to Najaf to continue studying, completed studying the primary lessons on Islamic sciences and attended some high lessons of the grand scholars of Najaf’s academic hawza. He obtained his bachelor degree in Philosophy from College of Fiqh in Najaf; then, he returned to Mubaraz in Alahssa till he moved to Dammam. He wrote many researches and theses such as “A Research over Alsalman Family and Some Historical Facts about Mubaraz”, “Spirituality and Materiality of Human Beings” and “Theory of Knowledge” which was his thesis in his Philosophy bachelor.
Sheikh Hasan Musa Alsaffar (born in 1956):
Sheikh Alsaffar is one the most distinctive reformative Shiite leaders. He was born in Qatif at which he studied reading and writing. Then, he shifted between Najaf, Kuwait and Iran to study Islamic sciences.
He delivered speeches in an early age, and occupied a significant position in the society through developing and supporting the religious awakening by delivering contemporary religious speeches and training intellectual competencies and cadres. He is an articulate public speaker, and headed many religious and social activities in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Sates.
He returned from abroad to his homeland; Saudi Arabia, after fifteen years which he had spent them in activating many cultural, political and informative projects and activities in various regions. He made significant initiatives in communicating with leaders of the Salafist trend as well as with senior officials in Saudi Arabia.
Alsaffar has many intellectual writings and works in various fields. He, also, has enlightened viewpoints over Islamic revival, social coexistence and dialogue with the different others. He published a set of books and researches and some of them were translated into other languages. Some of his remarkable writings are “Home Nation and Citizenship”, “Diversity and Freedom in Islam”, “Looking for Unity and the Reality of Defragmentation in Muslims World” as well as “Diversity and Coexistence; the Way of Establishing Partnership for Civilizational Development”.