Saudi Arabia to prosecute sheikh Saleh al-Shami and ten Syrians in May

The world-renowned and Syrian Islamic scholar sheikh Saleh al-Shami (on the left) has been detained in Saudi prisons since January 2023 (Internet)

The world-renowned and Syrian Islamic scholar sheikh Saleh al-Shami (on the left) has been detained in Saudi prisons since January 2023 (Internet)


Saudi authorities have scheduled the trial of the world-renowned Islamic scholar and preacher, the Syrian Saleh al-Shami, for the coming May.

According to the Prisoners of Conscience account, dedicated to following the news of prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia, today, Thursday, April 18, sheikh Saleh al-Shami has not faced trial since his arrest in January 2023.

Al-Shami was arrested without direct charge against him, except that his son received a financial remittance from his brother residing in Spain, which led to the subsequent arrest of sheikh Saleh and his son Tahseen.

Before last Eid al-Fitr, sheikh Saleh al-Shami’s lawyer filed a request to transfer him to the hospital due to his deteriorating health condition, but the prison administration refused the request. It allowed only for his necessary medications to be brought in, without transferring him to the hospital, despite his worsening health condition.

According to Prisoners of Conscience account, the indictment lists included “unjust convictions” for al-Shami and ten other Syrians, with various charges for each of them, including receiving financial remittances from outside the Saudi kingdom, sending money to a Palestinian organization supporting Syrian Palestinians in the north, sending funds and aid to Gaza and Idlib city, and a tweet (via X platform) against a friendly state.

The detainees and sheikh al-Shami have been residing in Saudi Arabia for many years, some since the 1980s, with official residences, and some of them work within official aid organizations registered in another country, with their activities within legal frameworks.

During an appearance on Al-Hiwar channel (broadcasting from London), the head of the Islamic Movement for Reform (a political Islamic opposition movement), Saad al-Faqih, on January 14, 2023, stated that sheikh al-Shami is devoted to Islamic knowledge, serving Hadith and writing books.

Al-Faqih considered that the campaign in Saudi Arabia is against Islam itself, not just against what is called “political Islam,” nor against critics of the authority, or those who might pose a risk or threat. Al-Faqih did not rule out that one of the conditions for understanding with the Syrian regime is to kill or arrest Syrian activists in the Saudi Kingdom.

Who is Saleh al-Shami?

A Syrian scholar, hadith expert, preacher, and founder of the science of aesthetics in Islam, he has an extensive portfolio in the Sunnah, the Prophet’s character traits, and in education and behavior.

Al-Shami was born in Douma in the countryside of Damascus, in 1934, and his family originates from the Midan district in Damascus.

Al-Shami was tutored by a group of sheikhs, including his father Ahmad al-Shami, Abdul Rahman al-Tayybi, Abdul Ghani Al-Daqr, and Abdul Karim al-Rifai.

He studied Sharia at the Syrian University (currently the University of Damascus), graduating in 1958, where he was one of the outstanding students, and worked as a teacher in As-Suwayda governorate, then in Douma, until 1980, when he moved to Saudi Arabia. He worked as a teacher in institutes affiliated with the Islamic University “Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud,” until 1988.

In Sheikh al-Shami’s archives, there are no less than 90 authored works, one of which (Zawaid al-Muwatta wa-al-Musnad) consists of three parts, each containing six books.



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