King Salman has been named the “Islamic Personality of the Year 2017” by the organizing committee of the high-profile Dubai International Holy Qu’ran Award (DIHQA). The honor was announced at a crowded press conference on Friday in Dubai.
It was conferred in recognition of King Salman’s services to Islam and Muslim causes in particular, as well as for his efforts to restore peace and security across the world.
The award was announced in the presence of panel Chairman Counselor Ibrahim Mohammed Bu Melha.
Commenting on the honor, the well-known Saudi Islamic scholar Mohsin Shaikh Al-Hassan told Arab News that it was not a surprising that King Salman had been honored with such an award.
“King Salman has become a hero of all Muslims around the world and a symbol of freedom and prosperity… I sincerely feel proud to be a citizen of Saudi Arabia,” said Al-Hassan, who is also an author and TV anchor.
The award organizing committee, in its citation, stressed King Salman’s vision “for the Muslim world and his care to make the Haj pilgrimage easier to enable pilgrims to perform their rituals comfortably.”
The organizing committee also cited King Salman’s support for the preservation of Arab and Islamic heritage, and his constant efforts to unify the Arab and Muslim worlds to meet the challenges and circumstances.
The DIHQA also commended King Salman’s keen interest in Islamic causes and direct supervision of a number of charities to help the needy. He also won praise for establishing the Riyadh-based King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief), which has been carrying out massive aid and relief operations across the world including in Yemen.
Expressing his joy over the conferment of the award, Ibrahim Al-Qayid, a founder member of the National Society of Human Rights, said: “King Salman is indeed an accomplished statesman, a visionary, a great philanthropist, and above all an epitome of hope for the Kingdom and the whole Middle East region.”
Al-Qayid added that “King Salman is a strong advocate of philanthropy in poor Muslim nations.”
King Salman has received several certificates, commendations and prizes, including honorary doctorates from Islamic University of Madinah, Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi and the Kant Medal from Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
He also received the highest orders and medals from France, Morocco, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the United Nations, the Philippines, Senegal, Yemen, Sweden and Bahrain.