Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (1924 - 2015) was proclaimed the sixth King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 25 Jumada al-Thani 1426H (August 1, 2005).
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud took power at the beginning of 1996, after his half-brother, King Fahd, suffered a massive stroke. Abdullah acted as regent for his brother for nine years. Fahd died in 2005, and Abdullah has ruled in his own right ever since. He initiated a range of major economic, social, education, health, and infrastructure projects that have brought about remarkable changes throughout the Kingdom.
Early Life:Little is known about King Abdullah's childhood. He was born in Riyahd in 1924, the fifth son of Saudi Arabia's founding king, Abdul-aziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud (known as "Ibn Saud"). Abdullah's mother, Fahda bint Asi Al Shuraim, was Ibn Saud's eighth wife of twelve. Abdullah has between fifty and sixty siblings.At the time of Abdullah's birth, his father was Amir Abdul-aziz, and his realm included only the northern and eastern sections of Arabia. The Amir conquered Sharif Hussein of Mecca in 1928 and declared himself King. The royal family was quite poor until about 1940, when Saudi oil revenues began to flow.
Education:Details of Abdullah's education are sparse, but the official Saudi Information Directory states that he had "a formal religious education." According to the Directory, Abdullah supplemented his formal schooling with extensive reading. At his father's school, he received his experiences in the fields of government, politics, administration and leadership. He also studied with senior religious scholars and thinkers.He also spent a long stint living with the desert Bedouin people in order to learn traditional Arab values.
Early Career:In August of 1962, Prince Abdullah was appointed to lead the Saudi Arabian National Guard. The National Guard's duties include providing security for the royal family, preventing coups, and guarding the Muslim Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina. The force includes a standing army of 125,000 men, plus a tribal militia of 25,000.King Abdullah still commands the National Guard, which is composed of the descendents of his father's original clan.
Entry into Politics:March of 1975 saw Abdullah's half-brother Khalid succeed to the throne upon the assassination of another half-brother, King Faisal. King Khalid appointed Prince Abdullah Second Deputy Prime Minister.In 1982, the throne passed to King Fahd after Khalid's death and Prince Abdullah was promoted once more, this time to Deputy Prime Minister. He presided over meetings of the king's cabinet in that role. King Fahd also officially named Abdullah the Crown Prince, next in line to the throne.
King Abdullah held the following posts..- Commander of the National Guard in 1962;- Second Deputy Premier and Commander of the National Guard in 1975;- Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Commander of the National Guard in 1982;- Chairman of the Family Council;- Chairman of the Economic Supreme Council;- Deputy Chairman of Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals Affairs;- Chairman of Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Foundation for His Parents for Developmental Housing;- Chairman of King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for the Gifted;- Chairman of the Equestrian Club.
Rule as Regent..In December of 1995, King Fahd had a series of strokes that left him more-or-less incapacitated. For the next nine years, Crown Prince Abdullah acted as regent for his brother, although Fahd and his cronies still wielded considerable influence over policy.King Fahd died on August 1, 2005, and Crown Prince Abdullah became king, taking power in name as well as in practice.
Rules in Right of Islam.. King Abdullah is greatly interested in Arab and Muslims' affairs and is keen on their unity. He believes that Islam is a strong pillar for the unity of Arab and Muslim nations.To contain differences and to achieve rapprochement, King Abdullah has visited all Arab countries and some Islamic nations. He has also provided all possible assistance for them.King Abdullah has also visited many friendly countries to enhance the Kingdom's relations with them and has headed the Kingdom's delegations to a number of summits and regional and international conferences.
King Abdullah has also sought to resolve conflicts in the Arab and Islamic world. King Abdullah’s notable achievements in this area included the launch of four mega economic cities, the creation of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University for Girls, projects to expand the Two Holy Mosques and major welfare projects. He also approved a historic reorganization of Saudi Arabia’s judicial system and enacted laws to formalize the royal succession.On a global level, King Abdullah’s participation in international diplomacy reflects the Kingdom’s leadership role in defense of Arab and Islamic issues and for the achievement of world peace, stability and security.
He took a leading role in promoting dialogue among the world’s leading faiths. His call for interfaith dialogue has resulted in the convention of the World Conference on Dialogue in Madrid, Spain and a United Nations conference on dialogue in 2008.
He initiated a range of major economic, social, education, health, and infrastructure projects that have brought about remarkable changes throughout the Kingdom.
Peace in the Middle East & Africa..King Abdullah has also sought to resolve conflicts in the Arab and Islamic world. Peace in the Middle East and the plight of the Palestinians are of particular concern to him, and the initiative on these that he presented at the Beirut Arab Summit in 2002 has been adopted by the League of Arab States, as has his forward-looking strategy for a unified Arab stance on international issues. He has played a key role in brokering agreements for a Palestinian national unity government and a reconciliation accord between Sudan and Chad on Darfur.
Foreign Policy:A strong advocate of constructive global cooperation, King Abdullah has held a number of important international summits and meetings in the Kingdom. In June 2008, he hosted the Jeddah energy summit to discuss ways of stabilizing global oil markets. Other major international meetings include the Third OPEC Summit of Heads of State and the 19th Arab League Summit in 2007 and the 27th summit of the GCC Supreme Council in 2006.
On the issue of terrorism, King Abdullah has been unwavering in his condemnation of the taking of innocent lives, and in his denunciation of deviant groups that falsely claim to be Islamic. At the Counter-Terrorism International Conference in Riyadh in February, 2005, he urged international cooperation to fight this global scourge.
King Abdullah has undertaken numerous state visits both as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and as Crown Prince to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s relations with countries around the world. Recent state visits include Spain, France, Egypt, Jordan, Britain, Italy, Germany and Turkey in 2007, and China, India, Pakistan and Malaysia in 2006.
The King's first official visit to the United States was as Prince Abdullah in 1976, when he met with President Gerald Ford. His second visit was in October 1987, as Crown Prince, when he met with President George H.W. Bush. In September 1998, he made his third state visit to the United States, meeting in Washington, DC with President Bill Clinton. He met again with President Clinton in September 2000 while attending the Millennium event at the UN in New York.
On April 25, 2002, and again on April 25, 2005, Crown Prince Abdullah was received by President George W. Bush at the presidential ranch in Crawford, Texas. In 2008, King Abdullah twice hosted President Bush at the royal ranch in Jenadriyah, most recently in May when the president visited Saudi Arabia to mark the 70th anniversary of Saudi-US relations.
Personal Life..Throughout his life, King Abdullah has retained a love of the desert, along with a love of horsemanship.According to the Saudi Embassy's Official Biography of the King, he breeds Arabian horses, and founded the Riyadh Equestrian Club.Another life-long passion is reading, to which he attributes great importance. He has established two libraries, the King Abdulaziz Library in Riyadh, and one in Casablanca, Morocco.The King has a personal fortune estimated at $19 billion US, making him among the top 5 richest royals in the world.King Abdullah has undertaken numerous state visits both as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and as Crown Prince to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s relations with countries around the world.
King Abdulla Died.... The royal court said in a statement carried by state television that,King Abdullah has admitted to hospital in December suffering from pneumonia and had been breathing with the aid of a tube. But he could not be to live..He passed away at exactly 1 a.m. this morning.
Condolences Around the World Leaders...The leaders of countries worldwide have taken to social media to express their condolences after the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah.All Arab countries declare 3 days of mourning during which flags will be flown at half mast on the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.The funeral for Saudi King Abdullah got under way Friday with foreign leaders gathering in the capital.
Simple Muslim Burial..According to tradition, nothing out of the ordinary was to be done to King Abdullah's body. The body was bathed by Zam Zam holy water according to Islamic ritual. Then late ruler, whose net worth has been estimated at around $20 billion, was then wrapped in two pieces of plain white cloth the standard shroud for all Muslims.It was taken to the Imam Turki Bin Abdullah Grand Mosque in the capital Riyadh for the funeral prayers at around 3:15 p.m. In line with codes that dictate that a tribal chieftain be accessible to everyone in his community, the ceremony was open to the public. Women were able to attend, sitting in the women's section of the mosque. After the funeral Prayer, Abdullah's shrouded body was carried on a board and driven across an empty desert to Al Oud cemetery, which is home to raised graves. A black truck bearing Abdullah's body came to a stop, and Saudi royals gathered at his gravesite.
A group of men lowered the pallet containing Abdullah's body to the ground, and gently tipped it toward the unmarked grave. The body was set inside the burial plot, and mourners threw handfuls of yellow-colored soil onto it. That dirt was then covered with a bed of small stones as the mourners look down. They slowly turned away, led by King Salman.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun.. May Allah have mercy on him..
Prepared & Collection by : M.Ajmal Khan.