Praise be to God, Cherisher and Sustainer of the Universe, who declared in the Holy Qur’an:
Behold! We gave the site, to Abraham, of the (Sacred) House, (saying): "Associate not anything (in worship) with Me; and sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or stand up, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).” [Surat Al-Hajj: 26]
And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways. [Surat Al-Hajj: 27]
The peace and blessings of God be on the most noble of prophets and messengers, our Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions, one and all.
Brother pilgrims to God's Inviolate House:
On the ninth day of this blessed month you stayed together in Arafat chanting in unison words of praise and glorification of God. Brought together under the canopy of the Islamic creed as affectionate brothers-in-faith, you presented the eye with a sight unsurpassed in majesty and splendor. All of you have one guiding proclamation, namely: There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God. Harmony and fraternity prevail amidst your ranks. You are bound together by affection, sheltered by mercy and wrapped up in serenity. God illuminates you to those around Him. This host of pilgrims is the personification of Islamic unity in its ideal form. It is a perfect symbol of equality between man and man and a demonstration of the ethical principle that no one is superior to another except through piety. You have performed your rites in comfort and ease, and for this achievement, God be praised.
Pilgrims to God’s Inviolate House:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the honor of being in the service of the Muslim Holy Places in Makkah and Madinah. It has devoted itself to the mission of discharging this duty in the best possible manner in order to cultivate God's pleasure and help the pilgrims with the smooth performance of their religious rites. It has done all that is evident in the giant projects devoted to serving the pilgrims to God’s Inviolate House, the performers of Umrah [the lesser pilgrimage], and visitors to the Prophet's Mosque. The Kingdom continues to press ahead with its efforts in this regard in compliance with God's command and in emulating the example of the Prophet and the righteous Caliphs.
Muslims wherever you may be:
Brother Pilgrims to God’s Inviolate House:
God – and Blessed be His Name - made man His vicegerent on earth, and ordered him to do his best for its development. Likewise God made the Muslims into an Ummah [community] justly balanced so that they might be witnesses over the nations. He - Glorious be His Name - made special mention of them when He said:
Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in God.[Surat Al-Imran: 110]
In this world, the Muslim has a constructive role to play, and he should strive hard to prove that he is equal to the task. He should endeavor to promote the welfare of mankind and preserve the five necessities as is required by religion, namely: religion, mind, honor, self and property.
Our Prophet - on him be peace - said in his farewell sermon: "The safety of your lives, your property, and your honor shall be as inviolate as this holy day and this holy month in this country of yours."
The course of action for Muslims shall be focused on the achievement of stability, giving others what is due to them, averting evil, eliminating injustice and making others happy: for Islam is a religion of mercy to all mankind. God Almighty has said:
We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to mankind, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin). [Surat Saba: 28]
And God has also said:
We sent thee not, but as a mercy for creatures. [Surat Al-Anbiyaa: 107]
He spoke strongly against both mischief in the land and subversion and considered them most detestable.
And again, God Almighty says:
There is the 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 is he the most contentious of enemies. When he turns his back, His aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and cattle. But God loveth not mischief. [Surat Al-Baqarah: 204-5]
These are the most important pivots on which is based the relationship between a Muslim individual and this earth, and which serve as a source of guidance to him as well.
Muslims today, more than ever before, need to hold fast to their religion and to implement its teachings in order to build confidence among themselves on the one hand, and on the other, between themselves and the rest of the world in a way that is not at variance with Islamic Shari'ah [Law]. Our religion, and we must keep this in mind, rejects isolation and forbids sowing the seeds of ill-will and hatred among the peoples of the world. It does not close the door on dealing with others simply on account of their creeds being different from ours; on the contrary, it is a faith of tolerance that calls on its followers to live with others in peace and dignity.
A careful reading of history and texts would bring home to any one the fact that Muslims have never been, and never will be, among those who make mischief in the land, or those who support wrongdoing and aggression. In point of fact, Muslims are messengers of mercy, advocates of peace, architects of culture and builders of civilization. They strive for all that is beneficial to mankind.
In order for Muslims to strengthen their faith, this is a matter that depends on the realization of several factors.
The first of these factors is for them to come back to their religion; to hold fast to it, discarding differences among themselves and reconciling their conflicting views by referring them to the peace-making mechanism of religious laws; and to adopt a unified position in compliance with the Divine injunction:
And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves. [Surat Al-Imran: 103]
Moreover, God Almighty enjoins:
And fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart. [Surat Al-Anfal: 46]
To achieve this objective, from the Holy Sites the call has been set in motion for Islamic solidarity, and for continuing to support all the organizations which arose as offshoots of this call, maintaining a constant endeavor to mend fences, bring Muslims together, overcome dissensions and eliminate their causes, promoting everything that may lead to harmony and eliminating all that may lead to misunderstanding.
The second factor is to realize that Islam calls for the adoption of instruments leading to progress and development in accordance with a wise program that condones neither fanaticism and wrongdoing, nor overindulgence and excessive relaxation. Such a position is fully in line with the Divine injunction:
Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced. [Surat Al-Baqarah: 143]
Such carefully balanced attitude is the only way leading to a life of dignity in this world and is a source of stability and peace as well.
The third factor is to realize that this religion is one of ease and tolerance: ease in the implementation of religious teachings, duties and rites; and tolerance in day-to-day dealings with people. God in his Glory has said:
God intends every facility for you: He does not want to put you to difficulties. [Surat Al-Baqarah: 185]
Overall, Islamic Shari'ah [Law] is tolerant, upright and just. A saying of the Prophet tells us: "No one resists religion but is defeated by it." The Messenger also said "God loves that selling, buying and passing judgment should be carried out with tolerance."
The fourth factor is the realization that Islam has enjoined us to be benevolent and just towards others, as long as they have not declared themselves our enemies. God Almighty 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 (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong. [Surat Al-Mumtahanah: 8-9]
The fifth factor is the realization that justice is the cornerstone that regulates relations between a Muslim and the world. In Islam, justice has an absolute value and as such is binding on a Muslim in all circumstances. God Almighty has said:
God doth command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; And when ye judge between man and man, that ye judge with justice: Verily how excellent is the teaching which He giveth you! For God is He Who heareth and seeth all things. [Surat Al-Nisa: 58]
Justice is meant to be in both word and deed.
God has also said:
Wheneverye speak, speak justly. [Surat Al-Ana’m: 152]
And God, in His Glory, also says:
O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety.
O ye who believe! stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety. [Surat Al-Ma'idah: 8]
In Islam justice runs its course in all matters and with all people wherever they may be. This is the principle that is enforced in all circumstances.
Pilgrims to God’s Inviolate House:
We in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are grateful to God, who has guided us to hold fast to His wise Shari'ah [Law], and apply it in all matters of life, and in all our domestic and external affairs. The timeless rules and verdicts of this religion are the authority that charts for us our way in life. To these rules we appeal for guidance. They are the basis of our power and the source of our pride.
Our policies have been guided by these rules since King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman - may his soul rest in peace - laid the foundations of the modern Kingdom. God’s Holy Book and the Sunnah [sayings] of the Prophet are the rulers in this country. There is an infinite measure of good in holding fast to them, and putting their contents into practice, as well as in explaining them to others by beautiful preaching. On the other hand a great measure of evil would result if they were brushed aside and their rules suspended to be replaced by other tools of litigation. God Almighty has said:
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. [Surat An-Nisa: 65]
And again, with emphasis:
So take what the Apostle assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. [Surat Al-Hashr: 7]
And yet again God Almighty says:
And obey God and the Apostle; that ye may obtain mercy. [Surat Al-imran:132]
In dealing with various matters and practices, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia adheres to well-known inviolate principles from which it has never swerved, and will never swerve, God willing. The positions it takes, whether they have to do with foreign relations or any other matter, are built on the rules and principles of religion. Such an approach, being derived from heavenly teachings as its source of inspiration, admits of no falsehood.
Our relations with our Muslim brothers proceed from the brotherhood of faith. God Almighty describes all Muslims as brothers:
The Believers are but a single Brotherhood. [Surat Al-Hujurat: 10]
And the Prophet has said: “A Muslim is a brother to a fellow Muslim.”
In dealing with our Muslim brothers we are guided by a saying of the Prophet that runs as follows: "Support your brother, be he the wrongdoer or the victim. If he is a wrongdoer deter him from doing wrong, and this is the support he needs; if he is the victim go and give him support."
Proceeding from these principles, which are crystal clear, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia interacts with the causes of Muslims and takes keen interest in their problems and the solutions to these problems.
This is self-evident, for example, in the Kingdom's position on the Palestine issue, an issue that has passed through critical phrases. The Kingdom continues to exert untiring efforts to establish what is right and just through the implementation of the international resolutions relevant to this issue, and to lay down the foundations of peace. Towards this end the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia submitted a peace initiative to the 14th Arab Summit held in Beirut. The Saudi initiative was adopted by the Summit and became an Arab peace plan with international support.
Our attitude towards the Iraqi case and thorough disarmament in the area of weapons of mass destruction is well within the aforementioned principles. In fact it is an endeavor to put these principles into practice and work according to them. We are doing all we can to spare Iraq and its brotherly people in particular, and the whole region in general, the dangers and woes of war as well as its ramifications. We trust that the efforts being made to solve the crisis by peaceful means will be successful. We also hope that reason will prevail and the principles of constructive dialogue be given a chance so that conflicting positions can be solved peacefully.
With regard to weapons of mass destruction, whether in this region, or anywhere else in the world, the Kingdom, by virtue of its invariable principles, lends its full support to the international efforts now being made in that direction irrespective of whether these weapons are nuclear, chemical, or biological. The Kingdom calls on the international community to do its duty in this respect to lay down the necessary checks and balances, as well as the criteria, needed to help push forward the efforts made in various fields to get rid of weapons of mass destruction.
Terror is a breathing mischief in the world, which it is attempting to destroy. Reading the Qur’an carefully and keeping track of the Quranic verses that forbid corruption and denigrate those who make mischief, we find that they are numerous.
God Almighty does not tolerate mischief and the mischief-makers are the losers:
And do no evil nor mischief on the (face of the) earth. [Surat Al-Baqarah: 60]
There are many other similar verses as well as numerous sayings of the Prophet in this connection. They serve as the basis of all the positions we have taken in the past, and which we continue to take now. We call for a clear-cut definition of this matter without discrimination between one group and another, or one state and another.
Meanwhile the world must recognize the difference between on the one hand people who are fighting legitimately for self-determination and the liberation of their occupied lands, and on the other, terror which wreaks havoc in the land and is therefore beyond the law.
The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has often condemned terror in all its forms. It has taken a leading role in urging the international community to challenge this sinister world phenomenon.
Fanaticism, violence and terrorism are general phenomena that belong to no particular people, race or religion. The world can do away with terrorism by an all-out move made through United Nations. Such a move would spare the lives of innocent people and would preserve for the countries targeted by terrorism their sovereignty, security and stability.
Moreover, the war against terrorism requires close international cooperation to deny terrorist groups and elements the advantage of a safe haven from which they may launch their subversive activities. No shelter ought to be given to terrorists irrespective of the pretexts and arguments that might be offered on their behalf.
Our religion encourages us to call people to God in a beautiful way, to make benevolence the end product of our dialogue with others, to establish and spread what is right by graceful methods. God Almighty says:
(Inevitable) cometh (to pass) the Command of God: seek ye not then to hasten it: Glory to Him, and far is He above having the partners they ascribe unto Him!
[Surat An-Nahl: 1]
Again God Almighty says:
Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best. [Surat Al-Isra: 53]
Could we find a better style than this in dealing with others?
These overtures are free from bias, and are so clear-cut that they cannot be distorted or misconstrued. Were they to be well received and eventually adopted, a great deal of good would result. The foundations of sensible behavior would be laid down to guide mankind along the road of success, justice and benevolence. Humanity would be guided to adopt a fair policy that would preserve for man his rights and would uphold his dignity, for God Almighty has said:
We have honoured the sons of Adam. [Surat Al-Isra: 70]
All forms of violence, domination and tyranny would come to an end. The world would then draw the curtain over the phase of struggle, aggressions and blood vengeance to usher in a new phase of stability, justice, equality, constructive dialogue and civilized debates. God Almighty says:
Say thou: "This is my way: I do invite unto God,- on evidence clear as the seeing with one's eyes.”
[Surat Yusuf: 108]
There is no way by which the Muslims may recover their past glory except by going back to their religion and its original sources: God’s Holy Book and the Sunnah [sayings] of the Prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace.
To take the initiative, it requires that some basic aspects must be taken into consideration. Here are some of them:
One, a serious effort must be made to acquaint all Muslims with the precepts of their religion and its sublime concepts, and how to put its teachings into practice.
Two, literacy must be disseminated through specialist schools, both public and private, so that a joint effort may be made to achieve further progress in the area of general knowledge and to eradicate illiteracy.
Three, an intensified effort must be made to create among Muslims a deeper awareness of the significance of their history, and to help them appreciate their own role in a changing world.
Four, the scope of cooperation among Muslim scholars must be expanded in order to make it possible for the wheels of progress to start rolling along all the vital and benevolent tracks.