The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd bin Abd Al-Aziz Al-Saud, was born in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) in 1920. He held major political offices before becoming Crown Prince in 1975, then King of Saudi Arabia in 1982.
King Fahd’s lifelong commitment to the service of Islam transcended the boundaries of Saudi Arabia to reach Muslims in virtually all parts of the world, and could only be paralleled with his able leadership of the world’s most influential Islamic state and his unfaltering efforts to maintain and enhance the stability, prosperity and progress of his country.
His reign identified with countless achievements in economic, political, social and educational fields. In terms of service to Islam, these achievements included the most elaborate expansion and refurbishment of the two Holy Mosques in seven centuries, with the result of greater safety and comfort for the 3-4 million Muslims who gathered each year in the holy places to perform Hajj. They also included the establishment of the monumental King Fahd Complex for Printing the Holy Qur’an. Up to 10 million copies of the Qur’an in Arabic and other languages are produced annually and distributed worldwide. The late King also supported personally or through his government more than 200 Islamic centers, over 1,200 mosques, over 200 colleges and around 2,000 schools for Muslim children worldwide. The King Fahd Academies in major world capitals such as London, Bonn, Moscow, and Washington D.C. provide Muslim children living in those cities with an education of the highest modern standard while tying them to their religion, culture, and language. To encourage communication between Islamic and other cultures, King Fahd also supported the establishment of Chairs and Islamic and Arabic studies institutes in some of the most prestigious international universities.
King Fahd’s support of Muslim solidarity and rapport, and his role in resolving conflicts between Islamic states, defending Muslims’ rights and providing boundless relief to destitute Muslims are further examples of his commitment to serve Islam. He died in 2005.