business in Saudi ArabiaThe Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is Islamic country.. 95 % of its population is Sunni Muslims. Nearly 5 % are Shia Muslims. This country is very conservative and strict. The Kingdom is ruled by a single family of Sauds. Saudis control every aspect of the government’s economy, finances, mass media, and other branches. There are nearly 4 000 princes in the country and all of them have leading positions in the government and business. There is no democracy in this region. A person may be imprisoned for a small amount of criticism towards the royal family.

I know this region very well. As a Muslim, I am welcomed into the Kingdom. I have all the opportunities to make a successful business here. Arabs love Muslims and they strive to help them. Their ideas and thoughts are influenced by the Holly Qoran and it reminds them that they should assist other brothers in religion. The friendship of Saudis is mainly based on your religion. If you are a Muslim, they will love you. If you are not a Muslim, I suggest you not even to fancy about befriending some of them. A western person is a kafir (a non-believer) for every Saudi. It may sound very radical and parochial but this is how people in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia think. I always strive to provide you with useful information regarding everything you may need. It is a closed country and it is surely very probable that you have not visited it, and you will never do it. 

Noone will tell about the things I am telling you now. I am a very open-minded person. I do not judge or treat anyone looking at his religion. I am a Muslim, but I am not a fan of Muslims. I have met such disgusting and terrible Muslims in my life who are worse than dogs and pigs. The main things that I appreciate in a person are his humanity, behavior, culture, and sincerity. These are the main qualities of every good individual. I have loads of friends amongst Americans and European people. I respect and appreciate them. Religion does not mean anything for me when I choose myself friends and business partners. I am sure that a religion does not improve a person. Culture, intelligence, and humanity are the most important factors in every person. A person may be a Muslim, but his behavior may be worse than the Devil’s attitude. I have met very disgusting people in my life who refer themselves to Islam. I do not think that their religion makes them better than other people. At the same time, I have met lots of Christians, Atheists, and Judaists who are very good human beings. Their culture, character, manners, and attitude were ideal. My religion never restricts me from making business and befriending the people who do not belong to my religion. This is my position and opinion. Let me tell you that people in Saudi Arabia think oppositely. I will narrate you about it in the next paragraph.

You already know that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is very wealthy country. It is the richest Arab country in the world. Its financial assets are bigger than the possessions of the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar. The country has loads of different business opportunities. You may be seduced by the idea of making business in the Kingdom. Are you? If you want to make business in this conservative region, let me tell you something that will definitely change your opinion. 

I have already told you about the attitude of Saudis towards non-Muslims. The locals are not eager of making business with Western people. They may do it only if they have no other choices. If they are put in the situation when they need to make business with you, they may cooperate with you. Otherwise, they do not want and need you. Keep in mind that religious scholars are highly respected in this country. Their authority is unbeaten and locals follow them in every word. Scholars are the most influential individuals in Saudi Arabia. Do you know what do scholars say about making business or cooperating with non-Muslims? I am sure that you don’t know it, and therefore, I will give you something that will definitely convince you that making business or a career in Saudi Arabia is the worst idea that could come to your mind.   

Here are words of Ibn Baz (the most respected and influential Islamic scholar in the world, the muftee of Saudi Arabia) regarding employment non-Muslims

Ibn Baz:

(Part No. 8; Page No. 353)

All praise be to Allah and the best outcome is for the pious. Peace and blessings are upon the noblest of the Prophets and Messengers, our Prophet, master, and highest example, Muhammad ibn `Abdullah. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon his family, Companions, and those who follow him and his guidance till the Last Day.

To proceed:

Many people have complained to me regarding the practice of employing non-Muslims to work as servants, drivers, and other staff, and of the fact that some people prefer them to Muslims.

Since this practice has a grave impact on our society -the harmful effects of which might not be immediately apparent to some people- many of those sincerely advising for Allah’s sake wanted me to offer advice about this issue to both Muslims in general, and to those who choose to employ Kafirs (non-Muslims) at the expense of Muslims. I ask Allah (Glorified be He) to make this piece of advice beneficial.

Seeking Allah’s (Glorified be He) help, I state that there is no doubt that employing Kafirs to work as servants, drivers, and other staff can lead to grave consequences for families, children, and society, which are obvious to the person with the least amount of insight. There are many people who complain about them and their crimes and violations against the ethics of this country and its Islamic morals. Yet many of their hidden actions are much graver than those I have been informed of. Some people, may Allah guide them, persist in employing Kafirs- and take the matter lightly- even though these Kafirs are notorious for their falsehoods and malice against Muslims, in addition to cheating and calling Muslims to Kufr (disbelief), corruption, false doctrines,

(Part No. 8; Page No. 354)

and false religions that contradict the teachings of Islam. They also try to spread various evils in the Muslim community, such as immoral movies, pornography, drugs, alcohol, corruption of morals, and publications and books that call people to embrace their false religions. Yet, in spite of all this, those who prefer employing Kafirs to employing Muslims argue that the first are more sincere than the latter in carrying out their work.

There is no doubt that this argument is invalid and frail. It is made to seem fair by both Satan and a love of this world. It seems as if such people do not know that these Kafirs are our enemies. Allah (Exalted be He) says:  O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitânah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends) those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made plain to you the Ayât (proofs, evidence, verses) if you understand.  They do not want good for us. Allah (Exalted be He) says  Neither those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) nor Al-Mushrikûn (the idolaters, polytheists, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh, pagans, etc.) like that there should be sent down unto you any good from your Lord.  And:  They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected Faith, and thus that you all become equal (like one another).  It should be known that the overriding concern of each one of them is to get as much money as they can by any means. To put it in plain words, they pretend to be so sincere that one may think this is one of their character traits, while in fact, their aim is to endear themselves to Muslims to ensure their continuance in work. Yet they lurk for the appropriate opportunities. When there is a window of opportunity, they will carry out their crimes and then flee if they can. They resemble the serpent that appears soft but hides its lethal poison. You can see that they often send us those who are unemployed,

(Part No. 8; Page No. 355)

those who have been jailed several times, or those who have little experience and come to gain experience in our society. Those who display aptitude in industry, medicine, or other fields are kept for the benefit of their country and are never sent unless certain conditions and high wages are stipulated.

As for the negligence displayed by some Muslims employed for work, this can be due to the employer not exerting enough effort in choosing good employees and excluding those who may be corrupt. Some people who claim to be Muslims are not committed to either the teachings or the rulings of Islam. This incurs grave harm and havoc and damages the reputation of Muslims.

It is Wajib (obligatory) on the part of an employer who sees a neglectful Muslim employee to patiently advise and instruct him until he understands the requirements of his job. If this results in the employee doing his job well, this is good. Otherwise, the employer can dispense with him for a Muslim known for his righteousness and sincerity, of which every Muslim country abounds, Al-hands Allah (All praise is due to Allah). It is not permissible to continue to employ Kafirs since this implies bringing near those whom Allah ordered to be kept away and trusting those whom Allah judged to be treacherous.

Any person who praises and prefers Kafirs to Muslims, either with regard to work or any other area, is considered to have committed a grave sin and thought ill of their Muslim brothers.

It is well known that it is only permissible to bring Kafirs to this peninsula (Arabian Peninsula) temporarily.

It is befitting for a sane Muslim not to be deceived by such people who employ Kafirs since most people do not abide by Shari`ah (Islamic law). The Prophet (peace be upon him) was commanded to expel the non-Muslims from this peninsula, and at his death, he commanded that only Islam and Muslims should remain in the peninsula. It is the source of Islam and the place where Wahy (Revelation) came down. Thus, it is only permissible to allow the presence of non-Muslims therein temporarily, in order to fulfill a certain need at the discretion of the ruler such as merchants who deliver goods needed by Muslims and return to their countries.

(Part No. 8; Page No. 356)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) employed the Jews in Khaybar when this was indispensable. However, they were later expelled by `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) when there was no longer a need for them.

In conclusion, I exhort all my Muslim brothers on this peninsula to be wary of employing non-Muslims, i.e. The Christians, Hindus, etc., and to advise one another in this regard. I advise them, instead of that, to employ Muslims who are well-known for their good reputation, truthfulness, and commitment to the Islamic `Aqidah (creed), in order for them to obey the Messenger (peace be upon him), act according to his Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet), and protect the Muslim community against the intrigues and bad habits of its enemies.

Allah is the One Whom we ask to grant us and all Muslims success in that which pleases Him, to protect us all from the evils of our souls and our misdeeds, to support His religion, and make His word supreme, for He is the Most Generous.

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions! 

This is the official position of Islam regarding employment and making business with non-Muslims. As you see, Saudi Arabia may be good for Muslims but it won’t give any opportunities to a non-Muslim. This community is very conservative and if you are not a Muslim, you won’t be welcomed in this region. 

I am a cosmopolitan. It would be very boring for me to live in such strict country. Ther are hundreds of different nations and cultures. I think that God created them to make our life more interesting and exciting. A person gets tired while living in the same place and with the same people. I am telling about myself right now. I cannot imagine my life if there is a single nation in the world. Could you realize the level of boredom if there is a single country in the world? Ther are millions of people who do not like traveling. Usually, these people are racists, racists, radicals, crazy patriots, or other cynophobes. People like me won’t bear living in a parochial community.

Dear reader, I wrote this post in order to reveal you something that you may not have known. There is a number of very closed countries that you should avoid on your map. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not the best place for the people who intend to start a new business enterprise. 

I hope that this article was very helpful. I am eager to see your comments. Thank you!

Written by BAHTIYAR
Bahtiyar is a businessman, Internet marketer, blogger, traveler, and the founder of one of the world's most popular blogs Bahtiyar World.