On 23rd January following the death of his brother, King Salman took the throne. These events at the centre of the Muslim World were watched by Muslims from across the globe as King Salman – for the first time – introduced a new generation to the line of succession and the former King was laid to rest in an unmarked grave following a simple funeral in accordance with Islamic teaching.
As Salman took the pledges of allegiance from the royal family and the religious leaders many people speculated what kind of King he would make. Now that he is comfortably in his third week as King, it would be a good time to look back over his reign and his record before that. Here are some less known facts about King Salman:
1. He recites the Quran like a Qari
In a video from before he was King we hear Salman reciting Surah Muzamil with flawless recitation. He is known to lead prayers at times and has lead funeral prayers as well. This is something which filled many in the Muslim World with affection for him.
2. Condemned 9/11 outright but he also condemned any overreaction in response
Some charities which had been funding extremism had been linked to some who were not. During this confusion Salman, who was governor of Riyadh at the time, asked for any anti-Islam witch-hunt to stop as well as condemning all extremists.
3. When a Prince committed murder, King Salman said no special treatment for Princes
A Saudi Prince killed his servant by beating him to death. In accordance with the countries law he was handed a death sentence. While some wondered that the Islamic law may apply for one but not the ruling family, King Salman who was Crown Prince at the time clarified the matter announcing that no special treatment would be given to the Prince and that the law is equal for all.
4. King Salman’s simple Tawaaf
While other leaders request vast security when visiting God’s house in Mecca, King Salman appears to have no concern as we can see him with fellow pilgrims while circling the Kaaba when he was Crown Prince. At the sight of him rubbing shoulders with his fellow Muslims, many in the Muslim World expressed their delight on social media platforms.
5. Two Months Free Salary for Citizens
While most countries worry about tax, Saudis got the complete opposite when the King announced two months bonus salary for free to all state employees, pensioners, students, those on welfare or special needs and other groups.Like MWJ on Facebook Follow MWJ on Twitter
6. He is on Twitter!
The King’s Twitter account can be found here. It should be noted that in one of his first tweets he expressed his love for his people telling them they deserve more than what he can do for them. He said
You kind people, you deserve much more and whatever I did will not be able to give you what is your right. I hope Allah will be with me and with you to help us serve our religion and our country. And don’t forget me in your prayers
7. He is devoted to his prayers
Ealier this month we saw extraordinary scenes where President Obama was left standing on the red carpet as King Salman went to pray Asr prayer with congregation.
It should be noted that praying in congregation is not a requirement but something which devoted Muslims try to do. Social media was abuzz with some commenting that the King understands that the King of Kings in Islam is Allah.
8. As Governor he completely ended all corruption
While he was governor of Riyadh, he managed many achievements but mostly that he was notoriously anti-corruption. Bruce Riedel comments that the then Prince Salman had a record of good governance with a lack of corruption
9. He has called for justice even if it is against himself
In the last few days King Salman asked anyone who has been transgressed to come forward and he will give them their due even if it is his own children, grandchildren or others from the royal household. The video can be found here
10. Charity, Research and Religion
Apart from supporting the Shaykh Bin Baaz Foundation, the King is the head of the supervisory board of the Madinah Research Centre and chairman of the King Salman Centre for Disability Research. His charitable efforts were praised by the United Nations.
11. The King pardoned all public-right prisoners
In a shocking announcement the King issued a royal pardon for anyone who had fines under half a million Saudi Riyal. He even went further and said that any payments the criminals had outstanding, the government would pay the victims their due.
The Muslim World has its hopes high for King Salman and many Muslims have been making prayers for his reign. It must be acknowledged that King Salman has done some exemplary things and has won the hearts of his people.