God Almighty says in his glorious Qur'an, in the Sura of the Cow 197, that the days of the Hajj are known, and it is known that for those who undertake the pilgrimage, there should be no obscenity, no wickedness, no quarreling; and whatever good is done, be sure that God knows of it; and God says to take with you provisions for the journey, but that the best of provisions is right conduct.
God further says, in the Sura of the Hajj 26, that He pointed out to Abraham the site of His Sacred House, and enjoined him not to associate any other thing in worship with Him, and to sanctify His House for those who circumambulate it, or stand up before it, or bow down, or prostrate themselves there in prayer. He enjoined him to proclaim the pilgrimage to men, that they come to Him on foot and on every camel lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain ways.
Brother pilgrims to the inviolable House of God:
Praise be to Almighty God for his great generosity and kindness, and God's blessings and peace be upon the last of the prophets and messengers, our Prophet Muhammad, and upon members of his household, and upon his companions, and upon those who follow his path until the Day of Final Judgement.
May God's peace, mercy and blessing be upon you.
From this blessed place, here in Mina, close to Makkah the Radiant, we are delighted to address to you this message, and indeed it is a delight, as we view these great gatherings of the guests of God who have come from various parts of the world to perform Hajj, who have donned the ihram garb so that each of them looks like all the others with no difference between rich and poor, with piety the only yardstick to determine who is superior to whom: each one fully devoted to the worship of God, with hands raised asking of Him forgiveness and acceptance; for the mercy of God is revealed and supplications are heard during these days.
Lord God, let the hearts of Muslims communicate with each other and render them victorious over their enemies, and guide them to what may reform their affairs: guide them on the right path. Amen.
It is God's kindness to us that we meet with you here on this sacred land, while you are performing Hajj. We therefore extend to you a very warm welcome. We pray to God that He render your pilgrimage flawless and pure, your endeavors well acknowledged, and your deeds good and well received. We also take this great opportunity to congratulate you, as well as all our Muslim brethren all over the world, on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, and praise be to God for all his blessings, both manifest and hidden.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is honored to be in the service of the Two Holy Mosques: the Holy Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. We therefore reiterate our assurances that we will spare no effort in taking good care of the Two Holy Mosques so that they may remain in the best of conditions, and in ensuring their further expansion and maintenance, in order that pilgrims, including those who come to perform umrah, and all visitors, can perform their rituals in comfort and ease. In this connection, we may point out the improvements made each year to the services pertaining to the pilgrimage and pilgrims' affairs, and all the persistent efforts exerted in complete harmony by the many establishments and government departments, a long time before as well as during the Hajj season, so that pilgrims can benefit from the moment of their arrival in these holy places. In order to attain this goal, the Kingdom's officials take pains to cover all eventualities at the airports, seaports, and along the highways, to provide comfortable means of transportation, accommodation, and provision of food and water, as well as other necessities, in order that pilgrims may perform their pilgrimage rituals in comfort and in an atmosphere of security, brotherliness and stability, as is dictated by the traditions of this country, whose people are always honored to be in the service of the guests of God.
Several weeks ago, on Shawwal 5, 1419 H, corresponding to January 22, 1999, the Saudi people celebrated the centennial of the event that led to the founding of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the late King Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdulrahman Al-Saud. During these celebrations there was a review of the plethora of achievements since then as well as the objectives of that period. Knowing that you are busy with the performance of Hajj, we are not going to go into detail here, but will brief you on certain of the features, hoping to help you have some idea about the reality of Saudi society, which harbors great love and respect towards you.
The recapture of Riyadh by King Abdul Aziz was the point of departure towards establishing the modern Saudi state. The roots, however, go back over 260 years, to 1157 H (1744), when Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Saud met Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdulwahab.
The original establishment of this first Saudi state was built upon a strict commitment to the principles of Islamic Shariah [law]. The second Saudi state was a continuation of the first, and latterly there came the establishment of the modern Saudi state by the late King Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdelrahman Al-Saud, who succeeded completely in protecting the Islamic religion and the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad; his exclusive means of success were his faith, his piety, his determination, and the praiseworthy habits that had been developed in his character by his father and grandfather during the period of their rule. Abdul Aziz, in turn, succeeded in passing these personal characteristics on to his sons.
Anyone who studies the history of the Saudi royal family will discover for sure that it has come from the core of this faithful people, and that this kinship and these relations will remain, God willing, forever, because everyone in this society is equal to all others before the law and before justice.
God has singled out this nation and its people for service to the Two Holy Mosques, and that is the reason the Kingdom began to attach great importance to this Holy Land, the cradle of Islam and the focus of attention of all Muslims. The construction and vast expansion of the Two Holy Mosques are the best evidence for the great achievements, and included in this is the enhancement of security along the roads and highways leading to the Two Holy Mosques. These roads in the past were active locations for thieves and robbers, who used to make the Hajj a difficult task. That has now changed, by the Grace of God, and thanks to the great concern the state attaches to security in its widest form, as first initiated by the late King Abdul Aziz, who applied in practice the Divine Ordinance and brought into effect the restrictions that God has placed on man's freedom of action.
God Almighty says in his Holy Qur'an, in the Sura of the Hajj 41, that people should establish regular prayer times and give alms; promote virtue and prohibit that which is wrong: in God's hands is the resolution of all affairs.
Those who succeeded the founder - King Saud, King Faisal, and King Khaled - followed his methods and sought to develop the country in diverse fields. They endeavored to the best of their ability to make Arabs and Muslims come to terms, and worked hard to enhance solidarity and cooperation among them; with the result that the Kingdom acquired the respect and esteem of everyone, on account of its perfect planning and conservative policy.
The recent expansion of the Holy Mosque in Makkah truly represents these inherited concepts. It was first initiated by King Abdul Aziz, who attached great importance to the such projects in the Two Holy Mosques in spite of the scarcity of resources at that time. Now, by the Grace of God, his successors have achieved great projects in the Two Holy Mosques, as well as at the holy sites of Arafat, Mina, and Muzdalifa: projects for vast highways, bridges, and tunnels through huge mountains - these have been carried out in the area of Makkah so that pilgrims may perform their rituals in comfort and ease.
In order to provide Muslims with copies of the Holy Qur'an, we established a special printing complex in Madinah which also translates it into several languages so that Muslims can understand as well as recite it. We have also set up and furbished numerous mosques and Islamic Centers in many countries, and we will continue to support these centers in order to help them attain their objectives in a well-balanced manner, far from the extremism that is repugnant to us.
In summary, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is strongly committed to Islamic Shariah [law] and to the methods of King Abdul Aziz upon which this great entity has been built.
With regard to foreign relations, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia follows a stable foreign policy in its relations with other countries. It maintains a policy of solidarity and cooperation with brotherly and Islamic countries, as well as with other friendly nations. This method was initiated by King Abdul Aziz, and has helped in keeping the Kingdom away from conflicts and international disputes.
Our efforts will continue, in accordance with this policy, in order to defend the causes of Islamic and Arab states, particularly the just cause of the Palestinian people and their legal rights, including that of establishing their own independent state with its capital city in Al-Quds Al-Sharif [Jerusalem]. We will also work hard for the implementation of the United Nations resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the occupying forces from all Arab territories.
Brother pilgrims in the Inviolable House of God:
On these blessed days, we pray to Almighty God to help us all to abide by the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, and to enable us to serve our religion.
Once again, we express our respect and extend our congratulations to our brother pilgrims in the inviolable House of God, wishing them a pilgrimage without flaws and the forgiveness of their sins. We also extend our warm and faithful congratulations to our Muslim brothers all over the world on the occasion of the Eid Al-Adha, which began today, on Dhu Al-Hajjah 10, 1419. A very happy Eid and many happy returns of this day.
May peace be upon you with God's mercy and blessings.