King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud is the sixth king of Saudi Arabia. His influence comes from being the absolute monarch of the most powerful Arab nation and is manifested by the role Saudi Arabia plays in three critical areas: 1.having the two holy cities of Makkah and Madina, which millions of Muslims visit throughout the year; 2. exporting crude oil and refined petroleum products, which ensures its central international role, and 3. propagating Islam through its huge da’wa network, which makes its influence felt in all Muslim countries.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques: The king has significant influence in the global Muslim community through his custodianship of the two holy cities of Makkah and Medina. Makkah is the main pilgrimage site for 1.7 billion Muslims. Each year approximately 4 million pilgrims perform the Hajj. In addition to this approximately 10 million pilgrims (including Saudi residents and GCC citizens) perform the umrah, ‘the lesser Hajj’, throughout the year. A multi-billion dollar expansion to the two mosques is well under way.
Controller of the World’s Largest Oil Reserves: He reigns over a land of massive crude oil reserves—Saudi Arabia has approximately 20 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves— making him a key player in the global petroleum industry.
Head of the World’s Largest Da’wa Network: King Abdullah is also head of the most extensive da’wa network of missionary Muslims in the world, promoting the Salafi brand of Islam. Salafism is historically rooted in Saudi Arabia, and owes its global spread to the financial backing of Saudi Arabia.
Reformer & Philanthropist: The king has proven his domestic influence in Saudi Arabia by continuing landmark reforms to fight fundamentalism, corruption, balance the Saudi budget, tailor the education system, address women’s and minority rights, engage in interreligious diplomacy as well as tackle problems in the justice system. He has:
Given scholarships to over 130,000 Saudi students who are currently studying overseas [30% are female]
Established the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna, Austria
Granted women the right to vote in the 2015 municipal elections
Spent over $60 billion in benefits to Saudi citizens—including housing and jobs, while introducing a minimum wage of $800 per month
Opened the largest women-only university in the world, with a capacity of 12,000 students
Presented a $10 billion endowment to the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Issued a royal decree allowing only the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars to issues fatwas (religious edicts)
Increased the representation of minorities in Saudi governance including increased Shi’a representation in the Shura Council
Transferred authority of educational administration to the education establishment instead of religious leaders
Convened a global interfaith summit in 2008 and subsequently issued the Madrid Declaration, which calls for tolerance between religions and a culture of peace
The first Saudi monarch in 51 years to address the UN General Assembly and the first reigning Saudi monarch to have met with a pope, Pope Benedict XVI in November 2007
Donated hundreds of millions in cash and relief materials for many devastated areas worldwide.
The Future: King Abdullah is 91 and his immediate successor, Crown Prince Salman, is 79. Both are in poor health and with this in mind the king appointed his youngest brother, Muqrin, as the deputy heir. This newly created title means that Muqrin bypasses at least two other brothers. The greater challenge however lies in ensuring the smooth transition of power to the next generation.
5 (BNA)-- His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa received at Gudaibiya Palace today Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal who conveyed to him a message from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on strong ...
Shaikh Humoud added that outstandingly close relations were the outcome of the fruitful efforts of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his brother HM King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, stressing that the cooperation fields would be remain open at at ...
Manama: Oct. 29 -- (BNA)-- His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa received a cable of thanks from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud in reply to His Majesty the King's earlier congratulatory cable to him on ...
Before modernizing, King Abdullah must appease Qassim province's conservative Muslims
Montreal Gazette Kerry meets with Saudi King Abdullah amid policy differences on Mideast issues Washington Post RIYADH—Secretary of State ...
King Abdullah paid for a specially-equipped plane to take Khalid Mohsin Shaeri to hospital as he has been unable to leave his bedroom for the ...
Part of a building had to be demolished to free Khalid Mohsin Shaeri, who weight the same as two baby elephants
RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi King Abdullah called on Arabs on Friday to stand together against attempts to destabilize Egypt, in a message of support ...
RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi King Abdullah called on Arabs to stand together against attempts to destabilize Egypt, in a strong message of support ...
Obama, Saudi king discuss Syria, Egypt Xinhua WASHINGTON, July 12 (Xinhua) U.S. President Barack Obama and Saudi Arabia King Abdullah bin Abd ...
“We state with a unified voice that religions through which Almighty God sought to bring happiness to mankind should not be turned into instruments to cause misery.”