Saudi King Fahd to be buried today

The late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, who ruled for more than two decades, will be laid to rest in a plain ceremony in line with Islamic traditions in Riyadh.

    The ailing king died in a Saudi hospital on Monday

    His final journey will start later on Tuesday from King Faisal Specialist Hospital where he died on Monday and end at a public cemetery in the centre of the Saudi capital after prayers attended by the ruling family and a host of Arab leaders.

    Covered by an abaya (traditional Arab robe), Fahd's body will be carried in an ambulance, without a military escort, from the hospital to Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque, also known as the grand mosque, for the funeral prayers at around 3.30pm (1230 GMT).

    According to royal protocol sources, the kingdom's grand mufti, Shaikh Abdul Aziz al-Shaikh, will lead the prayers for the late monarch, who carried the title of "custodian of the two holy mosques" in Makka and Madina, Islam's holiest sites. 
     
    Dignitaries

    Newly proclaimed King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Fahd's half-brother, will lead the mourners.

    New king Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz
    will lead mourners at the burial

    The "prayer for the dead", during which mourners remain standing, will be recited after afternoon prayers in a ceremony replicated in other mosques across the vast Gulf kingdom, where the "prayer for the absentee" will be said.

    Ordinary citizens will also take part in the service, although without chanting slogans or raising flags, in line with local tradition.

    The body will be ferried again in the ambulance to the al-Aud cemetery, two kilometres away, where Fahd's four predecessors as monarchs and other members of the Al Saud ruling family are buried.

    Arab and Muslim dignitaries who will attend the funeral will not be present at the burial.

    Only ruling family members and Saudi citizens will be on hand as the body is lowered in a hole that will be covered by earth.

    Muslim leaders will offer condolences at the mosque, while other foreign dignitaries and leaders who come after the funeral will pay their respects at the royal court.

    SOURCE: AFP


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