Grand Mosque imam: Promote values through new media

Updated 22 February 2015
0

Grand Mosque imam: Promote values through new media

Imam and Khateeb at the Grand Mosque Sheikh Saleh Bin-Humaid called on the believers to employ the new media to promote virtue, humanitarian sentiments and values, love for others and encourage good and charitable deeds and cooperation in good deeds and piety.
''The new media has brought about various kinds of positive and negative social changes some of which are good, some bad, useful or harmful. It is a significant media platform that transcends geographical borders as people can come into contact from all corners of the world, cutting across distances of space and time. Its role is immense in the lives of individuals, families and nations and it has made giant strides in the world of communication,'' Bin-Humaid said while addressing the congregation at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Friday.
The new media has the potential to open the doors of virtue making the path to righteousness easy, enabling a man to be obedient to Allah and engage in charitable deeds, he said.
It can also maintain the good relations between individuals, communities, relatives and friends and also between workers of the same profession and enable exchange of useful information and create a mutually loving and kind community doing virtuous deeds. It also can save time, efforts and money and communicate fast.
It is an effective means for teaching, learning and calling to Allah and offering guidance, and engage in good deeds and piety. It is also a new means to prevent evil and hostility from near and distant places,'' the imam said in his sermon.
The sheikh pointed out that officials can discover the faults in their official duties and administration, and look for better ways of performance.
On the other hand, the information networks, social media, chat rooms, blogs, personal accounts and Internet forums offer interactive relations between individuals or people at different places and positions without any time or moral restraint and so have the potential to waste one's precious time resulting in self-destruction, psychological disorders, frustration, upsetting personal relations and negligence in discharging one's responsibilities, the sheikh pointed out.
Bin-Humaid drew the attention of the believers to the perils that lurk in the new media such as spread of destructive ideologies, poor supervision and freedom from all checks and controls, no restriction in publishing permissive or pornographic contents that lead to moral degeneration, and waste of time and energy besides keeping people aloof from their families and communities, and become addicts to permissive sites.
He added that the new media also provides the platform to spread gossips, falsehoods and material for character assassination without revealing the identity of the villains. They can also be used for promoting hatred, sectarianism, enmity and disintegration of societies
In his seron at the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, Imam and Khateeb Sheikh Abdul Bari Al-Thobaiti called on the believers to struggle to win the love and satisfaction of the Almighty. He stressed the need for dedicated and sincere efforts to serve one's parents and the society at large.


Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018
0

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”