Al-Asheikh acknowledges Deoband’s contribution

Updated 18 February 2014
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Al-Asheikh acknowledges Deoband’s contribution

Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh has pledged to work closely with Darul Uloom Deoband, India’s oldest and most prestigious Islamic university. The minister is currently on a visit to India.
The pledge to extend support to Deoband was given by Al-Asheikh during a ceremony organized in the minister’s honor on Sunday by Deoband students and faculty members.
After landing in a special helicopter at a helipad in Deoband, Al-Asheikh went around the campus, where he was briefed about the achievements of the 159-year-old Islamic seminary.
The minister visited the King Khaled building on the campus. The minister was accompanied by a 12-member delegation, including Saudi Ambassador to India Saud Al-Saati.
“My visit underlines the keenness of Riyadh to communicate with Muslims in various parts of the world, as well as to boost interaction between Muslims in the Kingdom, represented by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and India,” said Al-Asheikh.
He describing Darul Uloom as a “citadel” of Islam.
Ambassador Al-Saati said Darul Uloom made significant contribution in every sphere of life and its impact was visible in many parts of the world.
Speaking to Arab News from Deoband, Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, the rector, said: “The visit has helped strengthen ties between the Kingdom and Deoband and between Saudi Arabia and India.”
Darul Uloom Deoband, which has over 4,000 students on its rolls, has always distanced itself from religious extremism, he said. “Al-Asheikh’s visit has also helped remove many misconceptions about the Darul Uloom,” he added.
There are around 200 million Muslims in India, and they are the largest minority in a country with a population of 1.2 billion. Deoband is a major Islamic institution, which has its affiliated schools in different parts of the world. It has produced a large number of renowned Islamic scholars.


Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

Umm Al-Qura was the first newspaper to be published during the time of Saudi Arabia's founder.
Updated 34 min 27 sec ago
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Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

  • It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz
  • Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924

MAKKAH: It is considered one of the most important and prestigious Saudi Arabian newspapers. 

It has witnessed crucial decisions in the country, observed the history of the region throughout a century, recording details of life in the Kingdom becoming a reference for historical decisions and events.

Umm Al-Qura’s Editor in Chief Abdullah Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has the support and supervision of Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, who has harnessed all the resources for its modern launch. Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924.

It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz. The headline in the first issue of the newspaper was “The Makkah Declaration,” and this story was accompanied by news and official statements.

Al-Ahmadi said that the paper continued its coverage during World War II, although its presses did stop for a period of up to eight weeks in 1924 before King Abdul Aziz ordered paper to be imported and printing to resume.

Umm Al-Qura’s first editor in chief was Sheikh Yusuf Yassin, who was followed by Rushdi Malhas. Both figures held diplomatic positions during King Abdul Aziz’s reign, along with Mohammed Saeed Abdul Maksoud, Fouad Shaker and Abdul Quddus Al-Ansari.

Al-Ahmadi added that the newspaper has monitored the personal stories of the Kingdom’s kings, giving precise details of the historical and political events of the last century. He added that it has the full Saudi archive and it has become a historical reference for history, the economy and politics.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper was a combination of news, sports and social events during 30 years of its foundation. It had adverts on some pages, reflecting the region’s identity and local, economic and cognitive dimensions.

Al-Ahmadi said that with its launch, the newspaper formed the memory, aspirations and ambitions of Saudi Arabia. It was the only media platform in which the world explored the local news, along with the cultural, educational and economic news. 

It covered their advocacy of the crucial decisions — notably the Palestinian cause that Saudi Arabia has defended since the time of its founder.

Umm Al-Qura’s editor in chief said his main concern, along with his former colleagues in the newspaper’s management, was its development and relaunch, pointing out that a number of challenges have been overcome. 

The newspaper has been developed across the board — from layout and content to its brand logo and colors, he said.

Al-Ahmadi added that new and modern printers have been provided, and the newspaper has improved in line with technical and modern changes. 

He said the government also helped restore the back issues damaged by moths.

The operation was carried out by specialized experts who supervised the whole operation to protect the issues from getting lost. All issues were archived online and missing issues are being updated, he added.

Al-Ahmadi said that the newspaper’s website will provide a digital media platform for the documentation process, giving integrated information about the newspaper.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has a website archive for researchers and academics. 

He added that a large number of master’s and doctorate degrees as well as surveys took place with the help of the newspaper that has become a historic reference for scholars and researchers.