Saudi King Salman calls on Muslims to close ranks, renounce extremism

The King asked Muslims everywhere to use the occasion of the holy month to stay united

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Saudi King Salman on Sunday greeted Muslims all over the world on the occasion of the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Muslims begin their month-long dawn to dusk fast at the sighting of the Ramadan crescent.

In his speech read out by Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Turaifi and addressed to Muslims everywhere, the Saudi King emphasized the urgent need to realize Islamic unity at a time when the whole world reels under the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

He reiterated Saudi Arabia’s determination to close Muslims ranks and forge better ties with all countries of the world. He said Islam is the religion of peace and mercy, which calls for moderation and renunciation of violence and extremism.

The Saudi King asked Muslims everywhere to use the occasion of the holy month to stay united and devote their worship entirely to God alone.

Following is the full text of the speech:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Thanks to Allah Almighty who said in His holy book that “the month of Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was sent down as guidance for people — clear verses of guidance and the criterion. Therefore, whoever of you witnesses the month, let him fast. But he who is ill, or on a journey shall (fast) a similar number (of days) later on; Allah wants ease for you and does not want hardship for you. And that you fulfill the number of days and exalt Allah Who has guided you in order that you be thankful.”

And prayer and peace be upon the best of His creation our Prophet Muhammad Bin Abdullah, his family, his companions and followers until the day of resurrection.

Dear brothers and sisters in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, my brother Muslims all over the world, Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatu Allahi Wa Barakatuhu and accept my Ramadan greetings.
Let us thank God Almighty that we have the chance to once again witness this great and beloved month, the month of Qur’an, mercy, forgiving and redemption from hell. Thanks for Him for bestowing on us abundant seen and unseen graces. And thanks for Him for the goodness, prosperity, high status and dignity He bestowed on this country in particular, as it is the land of revelation and from it the prophecy showing the way to righteousness has emerged to mankind as God has chosen this land to become the home of the two holy mosques and the Qibla for all Muslims as they direct their faces toward it five times daily, day or night, appealing for the mercy of Allah.

Dear Muslims all over the world, the month of Ramadan comes this year as our Islamic nation is in dire need to translate the meanings and objectives of this great month to make all worships solely devoted to Allah and fasting is the most sincerest of worships. In this regard, the Prophet was quoted as saying, “Allah said, ‘Every act of the son of Adam is for him except the fasting. It is done for My sake, and I will give a reward for it.’ By Allah in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, the breath of the observer of fast is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk”. Our nation of Islam should follow the instructions of the Prophet when he said, “The believers are like one person; if his head aches, the whole body aches with fever and sleeplessness”. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since its foundation by the late King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, God bestows His mercy on him, has made the unity of the Islamic nation and the endeavor to reconcile the ranks of Arab and Islamic nations as the goal it always targeted and is keen to achieve this as much as possible.

We, as leadership and people, will remain keen to secure this goal since we become happy when our brother Muslims are happy and distressed once they become distressed. We will stand by them in both hardship and prosperity.

Muslim brothers, Ramadan is the month of mercy, which reminds us that the whole world complains of the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Despite its varied and malicious motives, terrorism is a deviation from the natural instinct that does not differentiate between right and wrong and does not respect pledges and sanctities. It has crossed the borders of states and penetrated their relations, spoiling ties among the loved ones and the tolerant, and dividing fathers and sons as well as families and groups.

My brothers, Islam is the religion of mercy, compassion, love and moderation, which calls for peace, justice and the renunciation of violence and extremism. We ask God in this blessed month to help the Islamic nation and the whole world to root out this scourge and eliminate it once and for all. I beseech Him to give us help and success and to accept our fasting, prayers and good deeds.

Wishing you good health all year round, and peace, mercy and blessings of God.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on June 6, 2016.