The King urged Muslims to use the lessons of Haj to live better lives.
In a separate speech read out on his behalf by Crown Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, the King said “the Muslim Ummah is passing through continuous challenges that demand appreciation of future dangers.”
“We must recognize that divisions … lead to chaos and weakness that will only benefit the enemies of the Ummah.”
“I appeal … to the leaders and Muslim people to assume their historic responsibility … We must choose the path of unity … not chaos,” the King said.
In his annual Eid Al-Adha address the King congratulated Muslims and wished pilgrims an accepted Haj.
“From the land of the sacred mission and revelations, I congratulate you and all Muslims everywhere on Eid Al-Adha, supplicating Allah Almighty to accept your performance of Haj, and to forgive all your sins. I pray to Allah to bestow His blessings upon you and respond to your supplications.”
“These crowds which converged on the holy sites to complete the fifth pillar of Islam, make one stop and think. Haj has a great many meanings including diversity, tolerance and dialogue.”
The King said he is inspired by the effect Haj has on pilgrims from all over the world.
“During each Haj season, I learn great lessons from these pilgrims. I look at them as they walk and wander around. I gain a great sense of energy from these massive crowds. I admire the look of satisfaction and tranquility on the faces of pilgrims as they attain the objective that they came for, to enjoy the blessings of security and serenity prevailing in this country.”
“The pilgrims look calm and serene, the older ones feel sympathy with the younger and the rich help the poor. Indeed this is a spectacular scene that we can only see in this holy land which grants the world signs of tolerance and sympathy and shows the value of security and serenity.”
King Abdullah said the Haj demonstrates yet again the importance of security in the Kingdom. He said he would pray that Allah continues to provide the country and its leaders with the resources to ensure a safe Haj for many millions of Muslims every year. The King added that it was Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, who prayed that Allah grant the city peace and security.
“Security is the basis of civilization and development.
It is Allah’s blessing that He honored the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [with the opportunity to] serve pilgrims. The Kingdom feels the great responsibility bestowed upon it. We do so seeking only reward from Allah Almighty, seeking His help and making service to the pilgrims our greatest responsibility.”
“When security and stability prevail, society grows, the economy prospers and the nation moves forward.”
The King said Muslim societies should learn from the Haj which promotes learning, unity and solidarity, and rejects “dissent and hatred”.