Grand mufti urges care for disabled

Updated 25 October 2014

Grand mufti urges care for disabled

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has called on believers to help people with disabilities.
In his Friday sermon at Imam Turki Mosque in Riyadh, the chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars said Muslims have a duty to respect and be kind to people with disabilities. He said Islam also warns against "despising and belittling them."
Al-Asheikh said Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had instructed imams to keep prayers short because many sick and disabled congregants found it difficult to handle long prayers.
"The Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) used to take excellent care of people with special needs hoping that with such virtuous deeds to get closer to Almighty Allah."
"The earlier generations of believers followed the same path of the Companions in the treatment of people with disabilities, not just because it was a human right but as a form of worship and obedience to the Almighty," Al-Asheikh said.
Muslims should be at the forefront of those who are kind, considerate and respectful to people with disabilities, the grand mufti said. He also called on the guardians, relatives, friends and colleagues of those with disabilities to be polite to them. He said able-bodied people must realize that Allah made them in this manner.
He said Muslims must help people with disabilities on their travels, and when they are standing, sitting, or entering and leaving a place. He said believers must also assist them to develop their talents so that they do not feel neglected or despised.
The grand mufti said it was the duty of communities to integrate people with disabilities into mainstream society by inviting them to all social occasions, providing them good education and finding them suitable jobs.
He also urged people with disabilities to work hard and not become despondent about their physical limitations.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 53 min 53 sec ago

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”