Thursday, 24 November 2011

Prince Sultan - an unparalleled in helping Muslims - Dr. Naseef

OBITUARY: Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz

People lose a great supporter of Islamic
activities – Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef

Dr. Mozammel Haque

Jeddah: Saudi Arabia: Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who was heir to the throne and was also Minister of Defence and Aviation, died on Saturday, 22nd of October, 2011. He was in his eighties. By his death, people lost a big supporter of Islamic activities and functions everywhere, said Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef, the former Deputy Chairman of the Shoura Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in an exclusive interview with me in his office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday, 19th of November, 2011.

Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz
According to the information gathered from websites, Prince Sultan was born in Riyadh on 30 December 1930 (10 Sha'ban 1439H), and received his early education in religion, modern culture and diplomacy along with his brothers at the Royal Court. He was appointed Governor of Riyadh in 1947. Much of his time, however, was taken up in assisting his father in the setting up of a national administrative system based on justice and the implementation of Shari'ah [Islamic Law]

When the Council of Ministers was formed in 1953, Prince Sultan became the Kingdom's first Minister of Agriculture. In that capacity he helped set up a project for resettling nomadic tribes.

Two years later, Prince Sultan became Minister of Transportation, and contributed greatly to the development of the Kingdom's roads and telecommunications network. Prince Sultan supervised the construction of the only railway system on the Arabian Peninsula, connecting Dammam with Riyadh. He was also the Chairman of the Saudi Arabian Railways Organization.

Prince Sultan was appointed Minister of Defence and Aviation in 1963. Since that time he helped establish the modern Saudi Arabian armed forces, including land, air, naval and air defence forces. He presided over the construction of military cities throughout the Kingdom. In addition, Prince Sultan was Chairman of the Board of the Kingdom's national airline, renamed 'Saudi Arabian Airlines' in 1996.

On the succession of King Fahd in 1982, Prince Sultan was named Second Deputy Prime Minister.

Prince Sultan also served as Chairman of the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD), an organization which he founded in 1986 to promote the protection of the nation's indigenous wildlife.

Another recent organization is the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Charity Foundation, which was established in 1995 to provide social services and health care for the elderly and comprehensive rehabilitation programs for the disabled.

Prince Sultan chaired various committees, including the Supreme Committee for Education Policy, the Manpower Council, the Ministerial Committee on Environment, the Board of the General Enterprise of Military Industries, and the Higher Committee of the Offset Program.

Prince Sultan conducted official visits to Arab and Muslim countries, and to nations around the world, meeting with heads-of-state and officials. He led the Saudi delegation to the 40th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1985 and also to the 50th anniversary of the organization in 1995.

Dignitaries from around the world attended the funeral of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud in Riyadh, the Capital of Saudi Arabia. Among the hundreds of mourners, there were, including King Abdullah, the President of Afghanistan, the Vice-President of Syria, the Iranian Foreign Minister and the Head of Egypt’s ruling military council at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque, reported Reuters news agency.

Prince Sultan was not an ordinary person
Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz was very generous person. He had done a lot of activities for the poor and orphans. His generosity has travelled length and breadth of the world. I have seen in 2010 his generous activities as far as in Seoul, the Capital of South Korea; when I visited the Central Mosque of Seoul, South Korea. Near the Seoul Central Mosque, there is a Madrasah which was dedicated in the name of Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Prince Sultan Madrasah for orphans.

Speaking about Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Dr. Naseef told me, “Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz (R.A.) was not an ordinary person. He was unique from all directions, especially in the field of generous donations, for projects inside and outside and he was Chairman of Supreme Council of Islamic Dawah within the Kingdom. He also took lot of actions towards providing individuals and organisations all over the world with donations, supports schools, hospitals and other centres of Muslims everywhere. And he was very much eager to make sure that all the projects of the Muslim world are being supported by all means. This is one side.”

Prince Sultan – an unparalleled in helping Muslims
“The other side is his personal donations; because he has Prince Sultan charity organisations in Riyadh which also provides help to the people outside hospitals in Riyadh and centres of the disabled and many others under the Prince Sultan Organisations,” said Dr. Naseef, the former Secretary General of the Makkah-based Muslim World League.

Dr. Naseef also mentioned, “Generally speaking, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz was unparalleled in helping Muslims everywhere, projects and individuals, and by his death, people lose a big supporter of Islamic activities and functions everywhere.”

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