Saudi Arabia to vet use of Prophet’s sayings to counter extremism

Updated 19 October 2017
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Saudi Arabia to vet use of Prophet’s sayings to counter extremism

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is to monitor interpretations of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) teachings to prevent them being used to justify violence or terrorism, the Culture and Information Ministry has said.
In a decree, King Salman ordered the establishment of an authority to scrutinize uses of the “hadith” — accounts of the sayings, actions or habits of the Prophet that are used by preachers and jurists to support teachings and edicts on all aspects of life.
The ministry said late on Tuesday that the body’s aim would be to “eliminate fake and extremist texts and any texts that contradict the teachings of Islam and justify the committing of crimes, murders and terrorist acts.”
The body will be based in Madinah and overseen by a Council of Senior Scholars from around the world, according to the decree. The ministry offered no specific details of how it would work in practice.
Militant groups such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda have used interpretations of hadiths — numbered in the thousands and pored over by scholars for centuries — to justify violence and to urge supporters to carry out attacks.
Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said last month that thousands of extremist clerics had been dismissed, although he gave no timeframe.
The ministry said the body would serve Islam by creating “a solid scientific reference to vet and verify the authenticity of hadiths,” which are second in importance only to the Qur’an in Islam. It did not say what form the reference would take.
The decree issued by the king, whose official title is Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques — Islam’s most revered places in Makkah and Madinah — said the body would be chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hassan Al-Sheikh, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, which serves as Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body.


Pakistan PM Imran Khan meets Saudi Arabia’s King Salman

Updated 3 min 4 sec ago
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Pakistan PM Imran Khan meets Saudi Arabia’s King Salman

JEDDAH: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan met with King Salman on Wednesday as part of his first state visit overseas.

During the talks, they reviewed the close relations between the two countries, the prospects for their development and strengthening in various fields, as well as the latest regional developments, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.

The meeting was attended by Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Advisor to the King, Prince of Makkah Region, Prince Mansour bin Mteb bin Abdulaziz and a number of other officials from both countries.

 

Khan arrived in the Kingdom on Tuesday for a visit expected to focus on bilateral ties, regional security and Pakistan's economic situation.

Earlier, Khan was received by the King at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah before the a luncheon was held in his honor.

Earlier, Khan met the Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih on Wednesday.

Khan received the Falih at his residence in Jeddah to discuss ways of cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Khan’s trip to Saudi Arabia marks his first official foreign visit as Pakistan’s prime minister. He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other senior members of his cabinet.