In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the universe, He who says in the Holy Qur'an:
"For Hajj are the months well known. If any one undertakes the duty therein,let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness nor wrangling in the Hajj."
Muslims all over the world:
From the blessed vicinity of Mina where the pilgrims spend the days of tashreeq [the three days of the Eid Al-Adha] and from the neighborhood of the inviolable house of God, we extend to you a warm welcome and convey to you our cordial greetings. May God, the Most High, favor the pilgrims to His inviolable house with acceptance of their rites so that they may return home assured that their performance of the Hajj rituals was without flaw and their sins forgiven: for the Prophet - on him be peace -says: "He who performs the pilgrimage without being a party to obscenities and wickedness will return home as pure as on the day he was born."
Brother pilgrims to the inviolable house of God:
What a majestic sight! On the ninth of this blessed month you all stood at Arafat, and following the example of the Prophet - on him be peace - you performed the noon and the late afternoon prayers combined and shortened while wearing ihram [pilgrims'] garb. Awe-inspiring is the sight, and the scene is one of majesty and without parallel in the world. It is the Islamic creed that binds you together and turns you into brothers in faith loving one another. See, you are chanting in unison: "There is no god but God. God is great." The atmosphere is one of perfect amity and harmony. An aura of serenity, calm and other-worldliness dominates the scene. The unity of Muslims is projected in its most ideal form, and human equality is at its best.
God has said: "O, mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you."
You have performed your rituals in peace and tranquility, in comfort and ease, for the achievement of which, all praise be to God.
Pilgrims to the inviolable house of God:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia feels greatly honored by the responsibility for the proper maintenance of the Muslim Holy Places in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Madinah Al-Munawwarah. It has devoted itself to the performance of this duty, seeking thereby God's pleasure, and also seeking ways by which pilgrims are provided with whatever facilities are deemed helpful to them in performing their rituals. Towards this end, giant projects have been launched that make things much easier for all concerned: the Hajj pilgrims, those performing umrah [the minor pilgrimage], and all visitors to the Prophet's Mosque [in Madinah] as well as the Grand Mosque in Makkah. The Kingdom is forever bound by this policy in compliance with God's command, the Prophet's example, and the views of the rightly-guided caliphs.
Muslims, wherever you may be:
God has granted man, as his inheritance, the power to till the land and to populate it, and has restrained him from doing mischief and wreaking destruction. God has made of the Muslims an ummah [community] that is justly balanced, so that they may bear witness over the nations, and has singled them out as the best of people: enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in God. Each Muslim has a positive role to play in this world, and should do everything in his or her power to perform this role, which aims at promoting the welfare of mankind, achieving stability, discharging rights, averting evil, eliminating injustice and making others happy. Islam is indeed a religion of mercy for all mankind.
God Most High says: "We see thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures." It therefore follows that doing mischief in the land and seeking its devastation are acts that are among the most loathsome. God - glorious be His name - does not countenance mischief, for it is He who says: "There is a type of man whose speech about this world's life may dazzle thee, and he calls God to witness about what is in his heart; yet he is the most contentious of enemies. When he turns his back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and progeny: but God loveth not mischief."
Those, brothers, are the underpinnings on which a Muslim's relationship with the earth is based. He acts in line with these underpinnings in all his affairs both private and public. They also govern his relations with all people notwithstanding their religion, ideology, or orientation.
We in Saudi Arabia, brother Muslims, praise God Almighty for guiding us to adhere to His wise laws and apply them to all affairs of life both internal and external. The constants of this religion, its pillars and rules, are the authority to which we refer for guidance in all of our dealings. It is a source of pride for us that on them our policy has constantly been based ever since the foundations of this state were laid down by the founding father, King Abdulaziz - may his soul rest in peace - and the Qur'an and the Sunnah, God's book and the sayings of His Prophet, reign supreme in this country. All good lies in abiding by them, in putting what they call for into effect, and in promoting them in a tactful and persuasive way.
On the other hand, it is self-defeating and outright folly to keep at a distance from them, or suspend their rules or consult some other authority instead. We urge all of our Muslim brothers to adopt this attitude in compliance with what God Almighty says: "But no by thy 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 convictions."
God Most High also says: "So take what the Messenger gives you and refrain from what he prohibits you." Again, God - blessed be His name - says: "And obey God and the Messenger; that ye may obtain mercy."
There are many other verses from the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet that urge adherence to religion and implementation of religious rulings.
Brother Muslims, pilgrims to the inviolable house of God:
In all of its dealings, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia holds fast to well-known constants, from which it does not swerve. This can be explained by the fact that its policy is built on solid religious foundations and is inspired by divine teachings. Our relations with our Muslim brothers are governed by religious fraternity in compliance with God's command: "Those who believe are but a single brotherhood." This Qur'anic verse is echoed in one of the Prophet's sayings, which reads: "A Muslim is a brother to all other Muslims." Likewise Saudi policy towards Muslims is influenced by another of the Prophet's sayings, which runs as follows: "Back up your brother right or wrong", meaning stand by him when he is a victim of injustice and restrain him when he is in the wrong.
We firmly believe that to be strong, Muslims must satisfy several conditions. They must turn to their religion and hold fast to it; they must discard their differences and refer thorny questions to Shariah [Islamic Law] for settlement; and they must unify their policies in compliance with the divine injunction: "And hold fast, all together, by the rope that God stretches out for you and be not divided among yourselves." God Almighty also says: "And fall into no disputes lest ye lose heart and your power depart."
Islam forbids aggression. Muslims should be fully aware that Islam forbids aggression. It addresses itself to man's rational thinking. It opposes backwardness and calls for the adoption of measures conducive to development in accordance with a wise scheme that is free from bigotry and deviation and in line with God's declaration: "Thus we have made you an ummah [community] justly balanced." This balanced status is the only way to attain a decent means of livelihood in this world and is the source of stability and peace.
To depart from this balanced status would be the cause for much misery and mischief. And finally, justice should be allowed to run its course in handling all matters and dealing with all people wherever they may be. God Most High says: "Whenever ye speak, speak justly." God also says: "God doth command you to render back your trusts to those to whom they are due; and when ye judge between people that ye judge with justice." For God Almighty enjoins absolute justice: "O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for God as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not others' hatred of you make you swerve towards wrong and depart from justice. Be just: for that is next to piety."
Support for the Palestinians is the platform from which Saudi Arabia airs its reaction to, and support for, Muslim issues. Saudi Arabia is always willing to be concerned with the problems of Muslims and to defend their rights. Its Islamic line of thinking remains unchanged, since it is inspired - as we mentioned earlier - by deep-rooted religious concepts and entrenched moral principles. It follows that our approach to Islamic issues in particular, and world issues in general, has not changed with the passage of time.
Our declared and well-known attitude towards the issue of Palestine is proof of the unwavering element in Saudi policy. We have been calling for the enforcement of what is right and implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions. The issue of Palestine has gone through several phases and in each phase Israel has shown itself more adamant and more overbearing than before. It has been subjecting our brothers there to various kinds of tyranny and persecution in full view of the entire world. It has made a mockery of United Nations resolutions and of human rights. Many resolutions have been passed relating to Israel but none has so far been implemented, and no move has been made to put them into effect.
From this great place, we call on the world to shoulder its responsibilities and call a halt to Israeli aggression, for the benefit of the entire comity of nations; and to work towards implementation of the United Nations resolutions as a starting point towards the establishment of world peace based on justice and equality.
Muslim brothers, pilgrims to the inviolable house of God:
Our relations with non-Muslims are governed by Islamic teachings and principles. God Most High has made of us an ummah [community] justly balanced that we might be witnesses over the nations. Our religion commands us to be kind and just to non-Muslims. God Most High says: "God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for your faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loveth those who are just. God only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for your faith and drive you out of your homes, and support others in driving you out, from turning to them. It is such as turn to them that do wrong."
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands against terror: this is the starting point of all our international relations. To this stance we appeal for a decision, and on it we rely. It has been the basic element in the stability of these relations over the years and it was instrumental in helping us maintain an unchanged attitude towards world issues as time passed by. Our attitude towards world issues and affairs, whatever they may be, is inspired by these verses from the Qur'an, as well as by other verses and by sayings of the Prophet - on him be peace - which have laid down for Muslims elaborate guidelines for them to follow at all times with regards to a variety of issues.
Our constant attitude towards terrorism is therefore clear. As we see it, terror is doing mischief in the land and seeking to bring about its ruin. A great many things are said in the Qur'an against mischief and mischief-makers irrespective of who they are or where they live. Verse 60 of the Surat Al-Baqarah [the chapter known as 'the cow'] reads: "And do no evil nor mischief on the face of the earth." We call for a clear-cut definition of terrorism worldwide, and stress the need to take into consideration the right of peoples who are under occupation to liberate their lands through legitimate resistance. Such resistance is legitimate, whereas terrorism is spreading mischief in the land and its perpetrators should be punished, no matter who they are or where they may be.
When communicating with others, my brothers, we ought to keep in mind that our religion urges us to have our call to God couched in beautiful terms and aimed at doing good, so that right is enhanced and propagated while falsehood is exposed and eliminated. God Almighty says: "Invite all to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best."
To stress the meaning further, God Most High says in another place in the Qur'an: "Say to my servants that they should only say those things that are best." Is there any style better than this in dealing with others? Is there any method better than this in communicating with the people? Were these salient features to be adopted, and spared the evil of whims and misinterpretation, distortion and misconstruction, they would lay down the rules for rational behavior and guide mankind to piety. More than that, they would lead mankind to pursue at all times a policy that is just, and that is capable of preserving for man his rights and protecting his dignity.
God Almighty says: "We have honored the sons of Adam." This would put an end to all forms of violence, tyranny, and despotism. The world would then move from the phase of conflict and the logic of aggression and revenge to a phase marked by stability and dominated by justice and equality under the slogan of meaningful dialogue. God Most High says: "Say thou, this is my way; I do invite unto God with a certain knowledge."
In conclusion, we once more wish for you a proper completion of your rituals and a safe return home.