His Majesty King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has convened an emergency meeting of the heads of states of the six members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh.
Besides Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said Al Said; also present at the head table is Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman.
And the surprise presence is Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.
King Salman is quick to undo this surprise when he addresses his fellow monarchs, “We all know the detestable actions of Tamim Bin Hamad, but I have, in consultation with our Mohammed [Bin Salman], invited him because we are addressing a very important issue.
“Tamim, this meeting is highly confidential. I don’t want your Aljazeera to start blabbing about it. Ever!
“It has been brought to our notice that our most respected benefactor Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen of England is to receive a measly 8% increase in income from public funds, and that too after the Crown Estate’s profits rose by £24 million. Insultingly, this is called the Sovereign Grant, which pays for the salaries of Her Majesty’s household, official travel and upkeep of palaces.
“God be praised that none of us is subject to such humiliation that this Sovereign Grant is administered by the British Treasury. Not only that but this increase of £6 million is only for the 2018/19 fiscal year.
“I am told that each year the British government officials keep a regal eagle eye on Her Majesty’s travel costs and the extra cash that is needed to save Buckingham Palace from damaging disrepair.
“I am also disgusted to hear that this royal funding formula is meant to last until 2026 and will be reviewed in four years time.
“I was simply nauseated when I was told that it was announced the British public that the Sovereign Grant last year equated to 65 pence per person, per annum, in the United Kingdom. Our ambassador in London, Mohammed bin Nawwaf tells me that this is the price of a first class stamp in England.
“God be praised! By His Mercy, none of us have to live through such humiliation. We are the treasuries and we are its absolute regulators. Our benefactor, may he rest in Heaven, Lawrence of Arabia, gave these realms to our families and he placed no hindrances on any of us.
“God have mercy on Her Majesty, the Ruler of the Realm that blessed us with our great father, Lawrence of Arabia.
“O Tamim Bin Hammad, despite all your unruliness, this is why I have called you too.
“The guidance of the Quran is there for us all, clear as daylight from verse 12 in Surah Al-Luqman that “… Any who is grateful does so to the profit of his own soul…”
“How do we express the undying gratefulness that all of us have toward the family of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and her great country, England?’”
The much-maligned Tamim Bin Hammad seeks permission and is allowed to speak, “Your Majesty, Custodian of the Two Mosques, you have rightly spoken. All us are moved by your reference to verse 12 of Surah Al-Luqman.
“My respected elder, I would also cite the Hadith of our Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), noted in both Saheeh al-Bukhari and Saheeh al-Muslim that when giving charity, discretion is advised, and the left hand shouldn’t know that the right hand is doing.
“The Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), said that there are seven whom Allah will shade on the Day of Judgment…
“He went on to mention six of them and finally concluded by saying:
“… A man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.”
“Masha Allah, Tamim despite your unruliness, you spoke the truth,” interjected King Salman.
“Your Majesty, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, I have heard your wise words. We all know that Her Majesty loves horses and horseracing. These are expensive pursuits in England. Therefore, I will increase five-folds the State of Qatar’s spending on all equestrian pursuits of Her Majesty. This will provide a huge relief to her personal spending budget.”
“Alhamdulillah, Tamim this is a great initiative! But remember the guidance from Surah Al-Luqman and the hadith you just noted. Not a whisper about this on your Aljazeera!” King Salman stressed.
“My dear brothers, all of us shall remain indebted to our mother country, England. We all know what the Quran tells us about games of chance. Verse 219 of Surah al-Baqarah state that there is greater sin than profit in them; in both verses 90 and 91 of Surah al-Maida, we are told that games of chance are the works of Satan. May God protect us all from all the works of Satan, not only games of chance but also the Satan’s urgings like democracy and human rights!
“However, considering this special situation that involves our everlasting benefactor, Her Majesty the Queen of England, we are also guided by verse 12 of Surah Al-Luqman to express our gratefulness to our benefactor.
“I, therefore, propose, that we draw up lots which list expenditures like maintaining the Buckingham Palace, the Kensington Palace, the Windsor Castle, the Balmoral Castle, the Sandringham House and St James’s Palace.
“Each of us will pick lots and undertake to maintain these venerable residences of Her Royal Majesty and her honored family.”
They praise King Salman’s sagacity in unison as qahwa tea is served before they draw lots.