Abdullah al-Qasemi

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Abdullah al-Qasemi
Born 1907 (1907)
Buraydah, Emirate of Nejd and Hasa
Died January 9, 1996(1996-01-09) (aged 88–89)
Cairo, Egypt
Nationality Saudi Arabian
Alma mater Al-Azhar University
Genre Skepticism
Notable works They Lie to See God Beautiful[1]

Abdullah al-Qasemi (1907 – 9 January 1996) (Arabic: عبدالله القصيمي‎‎) was a Saudi Arabian 20th-century writer and intellectual. He is one of the most controversial intellectuals in the Arab world because of his radical change from defending Salafism to defending free ideology thinking, and for his sceptical and secular writings. He questioned the existence of God and criticised Religions, which resulted in the allegations of him becoming an atheist, therefore his books were banned all over the Arab world.

After surviving assassination attempts in Egypt and Lebanon while suffering imprisonment under instigation from the Yemeni government,[2] he was hospitalized at the Ain-Shams hospital in Cairo on December 12, 1995 and died of cancer on January 9, 1996.[3]



Al-Qasemi was born in Buraydah in the Emirate of Nejd and Hasa (present-day Saudi Arabia). Al-Qasemi first joined the Sheikh Ali Mahmoud school, his father died in 1922, and al-Qasemi was then freed from the constraints imposed on him by his father, he then continued his studies. The merchant Abdulaziz Al-Rashed Al-Humaid was impressed by al-Qasemi, so he took him in Iraq, India and Syria, finally, Al-Qasemi resumed his studies at the Sheikh Amin Shanqeeti school in Zubair in Iraq after then he traveled to India where he spent two years learning in school, he learned Arabic, hadiths, and the foundations of the Islamic Sharia, he then returned to Iraq where he joined al-Kazimiyah school, he returned to Damascus, finally, he decided to live in Cairo.

al-Qasemi and Salafi philosophy[edit]

Al-Qasemi has studied at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo in 1927, but he was soon expelled because of his book "The chandelier in the sweep of the Dark Darkness" Arabic: البروق النجدية في اكتساح الظلمات الدجوية‎‎, which he had written in response to an article by Al-Azhar scholar Yusuf al-Degwy Arabic: يوسف الدجوي‎‎, entitled "The litigiousness and ignorance of Wahhabists" published in the Journal "Nour al-Islam" in 1931. Subsequently Abdullah al-Qasemi wrote several books attacking the scholars of Al-Azhar.

al-Qasemi and free philosophy[edit]

After this incident, al-Qasemi changed his way of thinking, to the point where his opponents labelled him "atheist". His most important books - written after he turned against the Salafi ideology - are: "There are the cuffs " and "They lie to see god beautiful" and his book "Arabs are a sonorous phenomenon" (sic). He survived two assassination attempts in Egypt and Lebanon and suffered imprisonment in Egypt under instigation from the Yemeni government, because of his great influence on Yemeni students who, because of their frequent meetings with him, were deeply influenced by his thoughts. Such influence was perceived by the Yemeni government as negative and not suitable to Islam.


He was hospitalized at the Ain-Shams hospital in Cairo on December 12, 1995 and died of cancer on 9 January 1996, and according to his will, he was buried along with his wife in the "Bab Al-Wazir" cemetery in Egypt.



Abdullah Al-Qasemi's works have rarely been translated. Here is a non-exhaustive list:

  • The Universe Judges God (Arabic: الكون يحاكم الإله)
  • The Pride of History in Crisis ( Arabic : كبرياء التاريخ في مأزق)
  • The Wahhabist Revolution : (Arabic : الثورة الوهابية)
  • The Universe's conscience : (Arabic: ضمير الكون )
  • There are the cuffs (Arabic: هذي هي الأغلال)
  • They lie in order to see god beautiful (Arabic: يكذبون كي يروا الله جميلا)
  • Arabs are a sonorous phenomenon (Arabic: العرب ظاهرة صوتية)
  • Humans disobey to build Civilizations (Arabic: الانسان يعصي لهذا يصنع الحضارات)


  • Men find their religions as they find their homelands, their lands, their homes and their fathers. They just find them, they do not search for them, do not understand them, do not choose them either.
  • Religions triumph in the battles they avoid, they don't fight against reason nor through reason. They never go in free fights against reason. And that is why they are triumphant .
  • Man does not want the knowledge that would hurt his will. He prefers to be silly but happy than intelligent and poor.
  • Whoever suicide with or without an idea, is nobler and more courageous than any martyr in any war.
  • We wanted, then imagined, we believed, and in the end, we were convinced .
  • Those who do not know how to smile finally institutionalize tears and call to consider this as an adoration.
  • What is the nature of the creator who forces his creatures to need misery, pollution, sadness ... To be in the end a happy creature.