Ever since its founding at the hands of King Abdulaziz bin Abdul-Rahman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has assumed the mightiest responsibilities towards citizens of Arab and Islamic nations, and towards the global society as a whole; proceeding from its wise government’s adherence to the values of enlightened moderation, in its quest to serve all humanity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as a decisive test for the entire world. As ever, our wise government, guided by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, has made the necessary steps to protect the sanctity of life on our lands. It also spared no effort in its service to the Two Holy Mosques and their visitors. Furthermore, the government provided both the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque with exquisite care.
As is customary of the Kingdom in regards to contemporary pressing issues, its wise leadership continuously and unrelentlessly steps forth to assume its historical pivotal and influential role. The Kingdom’s decision to hold this year’s Hajj with a limited number of pilgrims residing in the kingdom, is both wise and religiously commendable according to the stipulations of Sharia.
The decision is an obvious translation of the Saudi leadership’s efforts, in its quest to serve and safeguard pilgrims. First and foremost, it prevents any disruption of Hajj rituals while ensuring the pilgrims’ safety. It also accentuates the preservation of human life as one of the most important purposes of Sharia. Additionally, the decision emphasizes the Saudi leadership’s awareness of the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing deadly repercussions.
The Saudi decision’s subject matter delivered a sublime message of human and moral commitment regarding the safety of the world’s muslim population. Moreover, it underlined the need for the Muslim world’s governments to unite in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and to come out of this crisis with a set of concrete decisions aimed at preserving human lives.
Beyond that, the international community perceived the decision’s strong human and moral “Islamic” commitment which was later reiterated and reaffirmed through the Kingdom’s subsequent decisions – both domestic and international – emphasizing the safeguarding of lives while battling the pandemic and all its repercussions.
In a nutshell, this has always been the unshaken historical approach followed by our glorious Kingdom in its permanent quest for long-lasting solutions and judicious crisis management, and represents a continuation of its previous positive stances; namely, a constructive approach to crisis resolution in search of the good of humankind. Similar courageous decisions and their potential implications require a perspicacious and courageous resolve.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Masudi, Academic, Writer and Cultural Advisor