The Supreme Judicial Council announced tonight that the crescent of the lunar month of Shawwal has been sighted, and that tomorrow, Thursday, December 5, 2002, will be the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, 1423.
On the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz and Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz addressed the citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all Muslims throughout the world in a speech delivered on their behalf by Minister of Information Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi. Stressing Islam as the religion of mercy and the source of prosperity for humankind, their statement declared: "Islam forbids corruption, aggression, and evil. It is therefore the duty of the propagators of Islam to adhere to the teachings of Islam, and follow its wisdom in a civilized manner. In this way Muslims will be a good example for others.
"We hope that this occasion will give us the chance to reflect on and evaluate our situation in line with the principles of Islam, so as to follow its teachings and shun what it forbids. Eid Al-Fitr provides a good opportunity for Muslims to close ranks and pay greater attention to the causes that are vital to them, notably the issue of Palestine, which contains the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
"We have been working to bring about peace in the Middle East, and our efforts have culminated in advancing the Saudi peace initiative, which was submitted to the Arab Summit held in Beirut earlier this year, and adopted by the Arab world as an Arab peace plan. We hope the international community will support this effort and work towards its implementation within a just and comprehensive peace that will uphold for the Palestinians their legitimate rights, including that of founding their Palestinian state with Al-Quds [East Jerusalem] as its capital as well as the return of other Arab occupied territories, in order to allow peace, security and stability to prevail.
"We also hope that the return of the international inspectors to Iraq will be the start of a process of peace and security that will enable Iraq, its people, and the region to avert all danger.
"On this blessed occasion we urge ourselves and our Muslim brethren to adhere to the tolerant teachings of Islam in all deeds, to live in this world according to our duties and responsibilities, and to project the proper image of this great religion, which is the religion of mercy, tolerance, and peace, and which calls not only for the preservation of human life and prohibition of aggression against and terrorization of people, but also the advancement of all life in this world.
"In conclusion, we repeat our congratulations on this occasion, and beseech God Almighty that this will be a happy Eid full of great bounty, and that the Muslim World will be safe and secure against all evil, and that God Almighty will bring Eid around once more with the Muslim World unified in righteousness, living in harmony within an international community reigned over by peace, stability, and justice."