2005 Speech

Transcript of King Abdullah’s opening remarks to the OIC summit
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz address opening the third extraordinary Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on December 7, 2005

In the name of God, Most compassionate, Most merciful Glory be to almighty Allah, who has said in the Holy Quran, “You are the noblest nation that has ever been raised up for mankind.”

Truth are the words of Allah. And praise be to his Prophet and Messenger, Mohammad, the Prophet of Mercy for mankind and the world.

My brothers, the leaders of the Muslim Ummah, Distinguished Participants:

I have great pleasure to welcome you all on behalf of your brothers, the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and on my own behalf in this hallowed site of the divine revelation and cradle of Islam’s Divine Message, wishing you all success in your endeavors.

Your gracious acceptance today of the invitation addressed to you by your brother on this immaculate soil last year is eloquent testimony to the fervent desire in the hearts and minds of the Ummah to move forward and change for the better. Let us work together to make this Summit a milestone that heralds a brighter future for the Ummah, with Allah’s grace.

Dear brothers: From this sacred land, the birthplace of our Prophet, has sprung forth the call to Islam, proclaiming the oneness and unity of the Creator, ending man’s enslavement of man, and exhorting the principles of equality, right and justice. Thus was this call able to reach the farthest ends of the globe, east and west, by persuasion through just values and good example, and not by dint of the sword, as those deliberately ignore or fail to apprehend the truth, insist on claiming.

Let us recall what a radiant beacon our Islamic civilization was in lighting the way forth for other civilizations, offering them a fine example of the spirit of tolerance and justice, and leading humanity forward through its singular achievements in jurisprudence, intellectual endeavors, the sciences, and literature. Indeed, it is these major contributions that provided the decisive catalyst in bringing enlightenment to the dark ages.

Dear brothers: It is heartbreaking for us to see how our glorious civilization slipped from the exalted graces of dignity to the ravines of frailty. How painful that the ideology sprouted forth by criminal minds has unleashed wanton evil and corruption on earth, and that the ranks of our one Ummah -- united in the lofty heights of its glory -- have turned into helplessness.

Even so, the true believer in his God does not despair of His mercy, for from the darkness of night breaks the light of day, and out of the depths of pain comes salvation. Let our faith in Almighty Allah, therefore, be an unshakeable boost for confidence in the peoples and leaders of our Ummah. Let us bid farewell to the age of division and disintegration in order to usher in a new era of unity and dignity by relying first on Allah and then on patience and hard work.

Dear brothers: Islamic unity will not be achieved by bloodletting as the miscreants – in their misguided waywardness – insist on claiming.

Fanaticism and extremism cannot grow on an earth whose soil is embedded in the spirit of tolerance, moderation, and balance. It is here that the Islamic Fiqh Academy, with its overhauled makeup, comes in to assume its historic role and responsibility in resisting the extremist ideology in all its forms and manifestations.

Furthermore, a gradual approach to this end is the way forward to ensure success, which starts with consultation in all walks of life – political, economic, cultural, and social domains – to reach a stage of solidarity and, God willing, to a true and fortified unity worked through strong institutions so as to restore the Ummah to its rightful place in the balance of power.

Dear brothers: The real nature of the Muslim lies in his faith and then in his knowledge, principles and morality, of which the Prophet of Mercy has said: “I have been sent to further establish the loftiest virtues of morality.”

You may agree with me that developing educational curricula, and improving them, is a fundamental prerequisite to building a Muslim personality. Steeped in tolerance, such a
personality would lay the foundations for a society that rejects isolationism and turns its back on courting hostility to the other by interacting with all humanity, adopting what is good and rejecting what is bad.

Dear brothers: I look forward to a United Muslim Ummah and good governance that eliminate injustice and oppression for the sake of the comprehensive Muslim development that eradicates destitution and poverty. I also look forward to the spread of moderation that embodies the Islamic concept of tolerance.
Moreover, I look forward to Muslim inventors and industrialists, to an advanced Muslim technology, and Muslim youth who work for their life just as they work for the Hereafter, without excess or negligence, without any kind of extremism.

Revival begins with a hope, which turns into an idea and then objectives, if it could place its trust in Allah alone and rest deeply assured by His words that “Allah will never change the grace he hath bestowed on any people until they first change what is in their hearts,” and His promise, Exalted Be His Name, “If you will aid (the cause of) Allah, He will aid you and establish your feet firmly.”