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.


GCC summit calls for greater economic and defense unity among Gulf countries 

Updated 10 December 2019

GCC summit calls for greater economic and defense unity among Gulf countries 

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • King Salman tells the summit that the GCC has overcome many crises in its history

RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic and defense integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique.

The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security.

“The leaders of the GCC countries have affirmed today their keenness to preserve the strength, cohesion and strength of the GCC …  as an oasis of stability, security, economic prosperity and social peace,” the statement said.

It referred to attacks in the last year against Saudi Arabia, including coordinated missile and drone strikes against major oil facilities blamed on Iran.

The statement said the GCC states “stand unified against the attacks” and that this reflected the Gulf defense agreement that says “aggression against a member state would be considered as aggression against all the GCC states.”

“The highest goal of the Cooperation Council is to achieve coordination, integration and interdependence among the member states in all fields in order to reach their unity,” it said.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed.

They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced.

He said the current set of challenges “call for concerted efforts to confront them.”

“The Iranian regime continues its hostile actions to undermine security and stability and support terrorism,” the king said.

He said the GCC must “work with the international community to stop the interference of this regime, deal seriously with its nuclear program and the program to develop ballistic missiles.”

There was no mention in the final communique of the dispute between Qatar and other Gulf and Arab countries. 

But Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah was the most senior Qatari official to attend the GCC summit since 2017 - the same year Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt launched a boycott of Qatar over its links to extremist groups among other things.

Speaking after the meeting, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said: “The four countries (boycotting Qatar) continue to support the efforts of the Kuwaiti Emir and value their success.”

Al-Zayani, who is stepping down as secretary general, said all the GCC leaders had praised the efforts of the Emir of Kuwait in preserving the unity of the cooperation. 

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.