(WASHINGTON, DC) — Last night, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz congratulated the people of Saudi Arabia and all Muslims around the world on the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, which begins today.
In their joint statement, delivered by Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz Khojah, King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan urged all Muslims to embody the values of Islam.
“We have received the blessed month of Ramadan for which souls and hearts are eagerly waiting. This is the month of empathy, compassion and solidarity,” stated the leaders in the joint address. “We pray that we receive God's bountiful and generous forgiveness and rewards, and that all Muslims be united around His book and the tradition of His prophet, peace and prayers of Allah be unto him. May God's peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.”
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the month in which the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed as a guide to mankind. Ramadan is commemorated with fasting, prayer, and acts of blessing, mercy and forgiveness. Saudi Arabia occupies a special place in the Islamic world, for it is towards Makkah and Islam's most sacred shrine, the Ka'abah, that Muslims throughout the world turn devoutly in prayer five times a day.