King Idris’ Abdication

Letter written by H.M. King Idris I of Libya marking his abdication in favour of H.R.H. Crown Prince el-Hasan el-Rida el-Mehdi el-Senoussi

In the Name of God The Beneficent The Merciful. Praise be to God The Cherisher and The Sustainer of the World, and prayers and peace be upon the Prophet Muhammed and his family and companions.

Dear colleagues, leader of The House of Lords and The House of Representatives, meaning The Libyan Parliament and the Libyan Prime Minister, Peace and God’s mercy be upon you.

I forward to you this letter to say: since the investiture by this gracious Libyan nation with their valuable trust and my assuming this position, which I have held since our beloved country Libya declared its independence, I carried out what I saw as my duty towards my country and its people. Most men’s work is not completely devoid of imperfections, and when some years ago I felt weak I offered my resignation, but you returned it. I obeyed your wish and withdrew it. Now, due to my advanced years and weak body I find myself obliged to say for the second time that I am unable to carry this heavy responsibility. It is obvious that I have been totally engrossed in it before and after independence – some fifty years. The carrying-out of duties and affairs have worn me down, and in the words of the poet, ‘life and its demands have become wearisome, which you have lived eighty years it is particularly no wonder’.

I undertook the matters of the country when I was twenty-seven, and now at eighty-two (thanks be to God) I leave it in a better state than when I began my onerous task with it. Now I hand it over to the forty-three-year-old Crown Prince el-Sayyid el-Hasan el-Rida el-Mehdi el-Senoussi, who is to be regarded from today as King el-Hasan el-Rida el-Mehdi el-Senoussi I. He is to carry the heavy burden of this position with justice and equality before God and the people of this gracious country according to the Islamic Shari’a and the Libyan Constitution.

Accredit him as you did me for as long as he obeys God and His Prophet and remains on the straight path. After his authorisation by the Parliament, he shall perform the Constitutional swearing-in before the Parliament prior to assuming his Constitutional powers.

I have, God willing, made a firm determination to avoid politics entirely.

I conclude my letter by advising my fellow citizens to observe God in secret and in public and to remind them that they are enjoying the richest of living and the best of giving – all from God.

Beware that you do not become the one God refers to when he says:

‘God sets forth a parable; a city enjoying security and quiet, abundantly supplied with sustenance from every place, yet was ungrateful for the favours of God; so God made it taste anger and terror in extremes that closed in on it from every side like a garment, because of the evil which its people wrought.’
Co-operate for the good and holy and do not co-operate in sins and animosities.

The Prophet said:

‘Advise with the good and warn of the abominable or God shall give power to your evils. Your better ones would pray, but it will be in vain.’

Peace and God’s mercy be upon you.

Mohammed Idris el-Mehdi el-Senoussi    Greece, 4th August 1969