1997 Speech

Eid Al-Adha 1417 address by King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, yesterday issued from Mina a joint address to all citizens and to the Islamic Community on the occasion of the celebration of Eid Al-Adha, and emphasized cooperation and solidarity among all Muslims.   The text of the address, which was read on their behalf on Saudi radio and television by Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi, follows.

Praise be to God, Cherisher and Sustainer of the universe.  Peace and God’s blessing upon His trustworthy Prophet and Messenger Muhammad Bin Abdullah, his family and his companions, as well as all those who follow in his footsteps, guided by his established practice, right up to the Day of Judgment.

Pilgrims to the inviolable House of God, Brother Muslims, wherever you may be, peace and God’s blessings be upon you.

From this spot in Mina, from the vicinity of God’s inviolable House on which the hearts of all Muslims are focused in love, we offer you our heartfelt greetings and pray that God may accept your pilgrimage, your efforts, and what you have done.

By the Grace of God, our brothers the pilgrims to the inviolable House of God have already performed the major part of their rituals.  They assembled yesterday on the plain of Arafat, and, emulating the example of the Prophet (peace and God’s blessings be upon him), they performed the combined prayers for midday and afternoon in the midst of all the majestic splendor of that great scene.  They raised pious chants in homage to their Lord, in an atmosphere of reverence and tranquillity, seeking His pleasure and forgiveness.
After sunset on that day the convoys of pilgrims proceeded to Muzdalifa, in peace and tranquillity.  As they passed Al-Masha’ar Al-Haram, the devout continued to glorify and praise God for His guidance and for making it possible for them to perform this pilgrimage.

Now we approach the eleventh day of the month of Dhu Al-Hajjah, and our brothers the pilgrims are engaged in performing the rest of their rites in ease and in an orderly manner, reassured by the prevalent atmosphere of safety and security.  We are pleased to convey to them our congratulations and to wish them success in this.  Our congratulations on the advent of Eid Al-Adha go also to our Muslim brothers in all corners of the globe.  May God Almighty make it a joyful Eid.  May this auspicious occasion find the Muslim community stronger than ever before, more dignified, and more prosperous.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is guided and ruled in every aspect of its daily life by Islamic Shari’ah, has placed itself fully in the service of the Two Holy Mosques, and is doing its best to provide our brothers the pilgrims, those on Hajj and those on the lesser pilgrimage of Umrah, as well as all other visitors, with all that may enhance their feelings of comfort and tranquillity.  In this connection, it is relevant to mention that with God’s help and grace, the extension of the Holy Mosque in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and that of the Prophet’s Mosque in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, has been completed, as can be seen.

Apart from this, the courtyards adjacent to the Two Holy Mosques have been properly developed, as have the roads leading to them.  The Holy Sites have also been developed, and that has resulted in the construction of more bridges with many access ramps and dual-carriageway tunnels.  All of this is essentially aimed at augmenting the means involved in facilitating the mass movement of vehicles and pedestrians as the pilgrims go about performing their pilgrimage rites.  All praise to God, therefore, for enabling us to make these achievements in the manner and at the scale which can be seen.

The pilgrimage has its own code of etiquette which has to be observed so that our brothers the pilgrims may be able to perform their rites in an atmosphere of peace, responding with all their feelings to God’s call in the Holy Qur’an that says:

“For Hajj, the months are well known.  If anyone undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj.  And whatever good you do, be sure God knows it, and take with you provision for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct.  So fear Me, o ye that are wise.”  [Sura 2, ‘The Cow’, a.197]

The pilgrimage is one of the pillars of Islam, and is performed by a Muslim in obedience to God, and in response to His command.  It is by all standards a profound symbol which demonstrates how closely united the Muslims are in their feelings and in the way they rally to the call of their Lord, all dressed in the same way, and gathered in the same place.  For all these blessings we have to praise God the way He should be praised, and we have to thank Him the way He should be thanked.

As pilgrims to the inviolable House of God, we have been accustomed to seizing the favorable opportunity which this auspicious occasion provides us each year, to review a number of topics which are of particular interest to our Community.  The following are some of these topics.

Our Muslim Community is today facing many dangers and challenges.  The most grave of these, bar none, is in-fighting among nationals belonging to one and the same country, for such strife will only lead to the aggravation of problems and crises, and furthermore, will adversely affect the welfare of the Community.   God has instructed the Muslim Community to close its ranks, warning it against internal quarrels and divisions, as is evidenced in the following verse from the Holy Qur’an:

“And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God stretches out for you, and be not divided among yourselves:  and remember with gratitude God’s favor on you, for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His grace, you became brethren.” [Sura 3 ‘Al-Imran’, a.103]
God also says:  “Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving clear signs;  for them is a dreaded chastisement.” [Sura 3 ‘Al-Imran’, a.105]

It causes us great pain to observe quarrels among brothers in Somalia, in Afghanistan, or in any other Muslim country.  We, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, believe that to settle these disputes, the parties concerned have to refer them, and in fact all matters, to the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, and acknowledge them as the ultimate arbiter, abiding by their judgment.  This is the only way by which any problem can be solved, and any crisis overcome, no matter how complicated it may be.  Glory and dignity will not come our way unless we act in harmony with the following guidance from the Holy Qur’an:
“But no, by the Lord!  They can have no real faith, until they make Thee Judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction.” [Sura 4, ‘Al-Nisaa’, a.65]

Brothers:  we live today in an age of international and regional economic blocs.  Our Community is well advised to unify its efforts and activities by promoting the spirit of brotherliness and amity, and by consolidating its sense of solidarity and cooperation.  Once achieved, this will be for its general good, and by so doing, it will be the best community ever evolved for mankind, as God meant it to be.

The Palestine issue, as you are no doubt aware, dear brethren, reflects the new trend that has manifested itself of late on the international scene, namely the desire to deal seriously with the problems certain countries of the world are currently facing, by calling for negotiation to replace feuding, and for peace to be substituted for hostilities.  It was only natural that the Palestine issue should have a place in the framework of this trend, with the rights of the Palestinian people being at the root of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  Those concerned with the matter are now resenting the fact that the initial thaw on the Palestinian-Israeli track has receded.  We have all seen the earnest and uninterrupted efforts made by the Palestinian people in pursuit of peace, the peace to which the parties concerned are committed, with the understanding that the other party to the dispute abide by its commitments.

The Palestinian people, however, are still denied their rights in spite of all the pledges which have been made and the agreements which have been concluded.  Topping the list of Palestinian woes is the aggression committed against them, and the challenge thrown at them in the shape of the settlements being built in their cities and territories in general, and in Jerusalem in particular.  This state of affairs has triggered worldwide condemnation.  We all condemn it.  We hope that all peace-loving states will continue to resist the building of settlements, and will continue to consider it a flagrant defiance of all agreements and international resolutions.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has maintained its position of support for a comprehensive and just peace, the kind of peace which will redress the injustice inflicted on the aggrieved party and restore the occupied territories to their legitimate owners in Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon.  With regard to Jerusalem and the settlements being built there, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia maintains a firm position which it has made very clear, namely that it denounces and condemns any move that is inconsistent with the nature of the Holy City and the rights of its legitimate population.

It follows therefore that all well-meaning efforts should be orchestrated towards expediting the peace process on the basis of a comprehensive and just agreement, and that foot-dragging and procrastination should be abandoned, in order to make room for the implementation of the relevant UN resolutions and the recovery of all occupied Arab lands, and the establishment of a Palestinian State with Holy Jerusalem as its capital.  Likewise, it is mandatory to terminate Israeli settlement schemes in the occupied Arab territories, and to dismantle those settlements which have already been built, taking the dismantling of the Sinai settlements as a guideline.

The understandings reached in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Chechnya have been welcomed with relief by the Muslim Community and by all peace-loving peoples, as have the important steps which followed for the purpose of establishing peace on a firm basis in these areas.  There is no doubt that the positive progress so far achieved has called a halt to the evil practices of the past that caused mass killing, widespread destruction, attacks on women, and the demolition of buildings and factories:  even culture and its historical manifestations have not been spared.

Therefore, we find that when conscience awakens, though for only a few moments, disputes come to an end, and the language of peace, security and stability prevails.  Positive trends of this sort have made it possible for the international community to witness signs of thaw in areas which had labored under tremendous pressures in the wake of devastating wars.

We hope that a lesson is learned from these events, and is put to good use in the search for solutions to current problems based on the respect of people’s rights and interests.  We also hope that everyone will realize that there are inalienable rights which have to be considered in the context of the elimination of wrong-doing, oppression and tyranny.  In this way, justice will be achieved and security and peace prevail.

Having said that, it remains to be pointed out that everyone is required to join hands in an intensified effort to overcome all difficulties and obstacles, and by so doing, make it possible for security and stability to prevail in the world and with that, for much wider potentialities to be brought into play in the field of development and planning, ushering in a better future for the world at large.

As for environmental issues, when God created us, He placed at our disposal all of the resources of the earth - seas, rivers, and plants;  and these resources are meant to help mankind with his livelihood.  The Holy Qur’an states:

“It is He who hath produced you from the earth and settled you thereon:  then ask forgiveness of Him, and turn to Him, in repentance, for my Lord is always near, ready to answer.” [Sura 11, ‘Hud’, a.61]
Again, the Qur’an says:  “It is He who has made the earth manageable for you, so traverse ye through its tracts and enjoy of the sustenance which He furnishes;  but unto Him is the resurrection.” [Sura 67 ‘Al-Mulk’, a.15]

To show that we are grateful for this blessing with which we are favored by God, we have to maintain this earth in a state of cleanliness and protect it from threats which could prove hazardous to its population.  You are no doubt aware of the fact that the wildlife on earth is now exposed to numerous threats as a result of Man’s wrongful behavior spurred by various factors such as the lust for hegemony and personal profit-making on a short-term basis.

Among the hazards facing our planet are the weapons of mass destruction which several countries now possess.  These include nuclear and biological weapons as well as poison gas.  Such weapons not only regularly increase in number but are manufactured to be more and more lethal.  Apart from the danger posed by the possible use of such weapons, there is the perilous possibility of them finding their way into irresponsible hands as a result of various factors which are well-known to people familiar with backstairs politics.  In the light of this fact, it is mandatory to tighten the controls to which all are subjected in this connection, and in particular those countries which favor expansion at the expense of others.
Another aspect of these dangers is water pollution resulting from all the nuclear and industrial waste that is being dumped into rivers, seas and oceans around the clock.  This situation leaves marine life in real danger of extinction. 

Brother pilgrims:  with regard to the science of genetics which is much in the news these days, we would like to recall here the comment which we made on the subject in our pilgrimage address last year.  This is what we said at that time: “It is to be hoped that the competent authorities in various societies will pool their resources to control another equally dangerous threat, namely the possible manipulation of genes, whether in humans or in animals, for dubious or unethical objectives.  Likewise, it is to be hoped that the widespread practice of large-scale injection of chemicals into food products will be stopped.  Indiscriminate use of chemicals poses a threat to humans, even though their adverse effects may be detected only in the long run.”

Brother pilgrims:  we again extend our greetings to you and wish you a safe journey to your respective homelands once you have completed the performance of your rituals.  May your pilgrimage be accepted, and may your endeavors be duly acknowledged.  We once more express our congratulations to our Muslim brothers wherever they may be, in the east or in the west, on the occasion of this blessed Eid Al-Adha.

In conclusion, and to bring this address to an end, there is one last thing to be said:  Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the universe.