العربية Français English
Eminences, Excellencies, Gentlemen,
May the peace and blessings of Allah be with you. It gives me great pleasure to convey to you the greetings of the Custodian of the two Holy Masjids, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud.
I welcome all brothers participating in this conference, which is being held during the most blessed days of the year. This precinct is honored by Allah in His divine revelations in Sura Al-Fajr, verses 1 and 2: “By the dawn, and [by] ten nights.” It is also to the secure city of Makkah that millions of pilgrimages have come from every distant part.
We ask Allah the Almighty to grant us success and support to serve them, and secure their safety and comfort. Our objective is to enable them to perform their Hajj in the best and safest manners possible. We want them to return home safe and sound with immense rewards.
Islamic culture is the identity of the Umma. It introduces the nation to others and defines its cultural destination. It connects its different parts bonding them together. With such culture, a Muslim is linked to hundreds of millions of other Muslims scattered around this world. They share the same religion he follows, and the similar message he adheres to. They share the feelings, hopes and expectations his heart carries along. He cares a lot about the current and the future of this Umma.
It is this culture that unites the nation and joins its peoples and countries. Hence, the Umma and its primary component- religion should be given great care. A meticulous attention and nurturing must be paid to local and national cultures. Thus, the sense of country belonging will be based on Islamic affiliation in different Muslim nations.
Our Islamic Umma is a full-fledged nation. It has a dazzling civilized experience, and a rich heritage history. Our nation is distinct from others. It is the best Umma given to mankind; it believes in Allah; it promotes virtue, and it prohibits evil. Furthermore, it carries the final universal message of God; it's the message of light and compassion and mercy. Allah says in the Qur’an. Sura: An-Nisa, verse 174: “O mankind, there has come to you a conclusive proof from your Lord, and We have sent down to you a clear light.” And again He states in verse 107 of Sura Al-Anbiya: “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.”
So, the duty of the Islamic nation is to adhere to its culture and defended it by legitimate means. It must be understood though, that the fulfillment of its obligations in international and humanitarian cooperation does not conflict with its cultural specificity. Human development and related concepts such as freedom, democracy, human rights, shall not be outside the framework of the cultural environment of the nation. Hence, our link to our culture requires a balance between both sides of originality and modernism.
Modernism is the effective way of staying abreast with our time. We have to deal with its problems and circumstances. We must take advantage of what is available in scientific development and knowledge, and the various systems of life. This requires us establishing positive relationships that enable coexistence and cooperation with others in the wide space we share with other people.
Meet the requirements of our contemporary era don’t interfere with adherence to our steadfast culture. That is our religion, our Arabic language, and our Arab-Islamic values. Based on these components, we have to cherish our heritage, safeguard it, and apply its benefit in regulating the affairs of our lives.
Today, our Umma lives a culturally disturbed reality. Your nation needs you, scholars, preachers and writers, to analyze it thoroughly, and trace the reasons for its flaws. You must treat and deal with it with wisdom and persuasive arguments. This culture must be straightened and put on the right tracks. Our system has been characterized by moderation, and the rejection of extremism, violence and terrorism.
The matter requires coordinated efforts and cooperation in the development of programs and plans that spread the right awareness. Your endeavor is to fight first deviant thoughts, and then, correct misunderstanding in Islamic perception.
We in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have succeeded in depriving deviant minds of all possible outlets in which they tried to find escape routes. We have dried the sources used to spread their propaganda. Such success wouldn’t have happened without the cooperation of our Ulama, security apparatus and our mass cultural media. We have set up a united front that has worked at all levels and in all directions. All these efforts have led to a strong and stable fortification within the society to get rid of this outlandish scourge.
Compromising the Muslim culture and the failure to protect it is one of the factors that have caused some of our Arab and Muslim countries to plunge into spiraling problems. Thankfully, the stability enjoyed by the Kingdom is based on the preservation of its culture, which is the Islamic culture.
And, God willing, we will keep on this track, upon which the Kingdom has been founded. We were able with the support of Allah to get the equation of success. We have reconciled tradition and modernity in the cultural issue. Our adherence to our uniqueness upon which we have built our approach didn’t prevent us from keeping abreast of the times. We have taken advantage of all the useful creations and developments without harming our religion and our morals. Furthermore, we haven’t felt in this enlightened guidance, any ill effect on our identity and our belonging to our nation's heritage and dazzling civilization.
In conclusion, I thank the Muslim World League and the President of its Supreme Council, and its Secretary-General. Their contribution, and the distinct efforts they make in enlightening the Umma about its obligations towards its religion and homelands, and issues are worthy of all praise. The MWL’s relentless work in refuting suspicions and falsehoods leveled against Islam, its civilization, its symbols and holy places, and countering terrorism and extremism are to be lauded.
I implore Allah Almighty to crown your business with every success for the good of the Islamic nation as a whole.