Prince Naif combined strength with compassion |
Arab News - 24 June, 2012
Author: Saleh bin Abdullah bin Humaid
There are values and principles which influential individuals lean on to move easily and interact with their surroundings.
These figures are always proud of their basic values and do not hesitate to use the new changes in life to form an opinion or a vision regarding organizational or ideological matters at the domestic or external levels and in the political, economic and social arenas.
This path magnifies the concept of the deep-rooted identity, which guides these individuals to have clearer visions on various causes, and gives them awareness to deal with events.
Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz was one of these individuals who had a deep sense of identity in his words and actions. Whoever talked to him or followed up his speeches in the international arena realizes that Islamic identity was at the very core of the man. He has translated this identity into his projects and ideas.
I have known him, as did the others, to be a distinguished man in his competency, responsibility and citizenship. He had combined strength with compassion.
He was a man of security and a real statesman in work, labor affairs, media, Haj and others. He was not fond of ostensibly showing power but was more concerned with displaying rational thinking, deep faith, noble manners and righteousness.
Prince Naif had his own theory of comprehensive security in all intellectual, political, economic, cultural, educational and media aspects. This theory represented a security complex if I may say. Prince Naif was directly responsible for responding to all crises, fluctuations and changes that took place in the region during the past four decades.
He emerged triumphant in all the predicaments since the case of Jihaiman, the Afghan, Iraq and Iran wars, the invasion of Kuwait, the emergence of Al-Qaeda, 9/11 and the Arab Spring. These were all examinations, which Prince Naif has succeeded in passing with the help of his leaders and people.
He was steadfast in all intellectual, security, political, social and media fronts. He defended his religion, country and people. He was characterized in his policies and management by the continuous endeavor to immune Saudi society against anything that might weaken its unity and cohesion.
Prince Naif had great respect for scholars and scholarly students. He always asked them to shoulder their responsibilities toward their society and homeland. He also asked them to communicate with the government officials reminding them every time with the message to explain the moderate Islamic dawa on the footprints of their great predecessors.
Communications with the scholars and the scholarly students will realize a number of objectives. It will enable the policy makers to have a clear idea about the attitude of Islam on a number of issues. Therefore when they take a decision it will not be away from the tenets of the religion. It will also unite society under the noble objectives of Shariah.
Prince Naif was always keen to cement this integration between the Ulema and society. In fact, this integration has always been the pattern of Saudi Arabia since its establishment and it has been a strong tool in closing ranks among members of society. This will also interpret the Qur’anic verse calling on Muslims to “cooperate on piety and virtue.”
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Religion is sincerity to Allah, His Book, His messenger, imams of Muslims and common folk. He also said: Muslims are like brick walls supporting one another. These sayings of the Prophet call for solidarity, mercifulness, compassion and cooperation among Muslims in everything that is good for them. This is what Prince Naif advocated among his people.
Prince Naif’s language in public and private meetings, and in social gatherings was characterized by serenity, clarity, wisdom and transparency. He would always express his ideas with objectivity and deep knowledge. He was particularly well versed in the history of the Arab peninsula, its tribes and families.
Another thing that distinguished Prince Naif from his counterparts worldwide is his strong belief if rehabilitation and giving advise to those who go astray. This is actually a religious belief, which Prince Naif has introduced in the lexicon explaining how the government should deal with its citizens who may show criminal inclinations. He would not look at the crime as an act that should be penalized. He would rather see the criminals, especially terrorists, as people who have deviated from the correct path due to the influence of their companions, readings or communications with the others. He would treat the criminals with religious, psychological, cultural and intellectual advice until they are on the right path again.
Prince Naif’s philosophy in dealing with terrorists is based on confronting thought by thought and open dialogue to win them over as good citizens once again. Many countries have stopped this philosophy, which made them believe that the confrontation of extremism should be through thought not power.
Prince Naif, who fought terrorism and smuggling, used to say: “Security is not an institution for punishment. It is rather an institution for safety and reforms.”
Prince Naif also said relief and humanitarian assistance should not be halted due to terrorist acts. “We should not deprive the poor and needy of the relief assistance because of the possibility that this assistance might be badly exploited. If we do that the sources of good will be depleted. In every place there are those who are there to substitute the ugly by the beautiful.”
I strongly recommend that Prince Naif’s theory of comprehensive security be carefully studied. The man has spent more than 30 years among various security files. He has witnessed numerous changes and turbulences in the region. He has dealt with a number of hot files including, among others, the rights of women, the Haia cases, media, the Haj affairs and preservation of the Prophet’s Sunnah. The university, which bears his name, Naif University for Security Sciences, should be assigned to make the studies about his security theory.
We have lost a great man but his deeds will remain among us. His message will always be there. Our loss was tragic but we have men and leaders who are capable of dealing with such big losses.
(Courtesy of Al-Riyadh newspaper)