Saudi Gazette report
MAKKAH — The Cabinet here Monday approved the establishment of a Fiqh Academy under the supervision of the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance.
The Academy aims to clarify Shariah rulings relevant to contemporary issues through collective jurisprudence without adherence to a particular doctrine.
The Council of Ministers, chaired by King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, said a High Commission will draft the Fiqh Academy’s general policies and set its plans and programs.
The Commission will consist of a president with a rank of minister, vice president with excellent rank, two members from the Senior Ulema Council, and three specialists to be appointed by a Royal Decree.
The Academy will have a Council consisting of the Academy’s president, vice president, 50 key members and 10 non-key members. The Council will be appointed and re-constituted by a Royal Decree.
The Cabinet also approved a SR62 billion ($16.5 billion) plan to modernize the transport system in Makkah, including building a bus network and metro system.
More than six million visitors from across the world visit Makkah every year for Haj and Umrah.
Four metro lines of a total length of 182 km will be built across the city, with 88 stations. Construction for the transport project will be carried out over about 10 years.
Last year the holy city’s mayor was quoted as saying that within six years the government hoped to build new roads and foot bridges near the Grand Mosque.
Other long-term projects around the mosque include building hotels, malls and cafes. Developments in the suburbs include housing estates and a park for residents.
Saudi Arabia is also spending billions on upgrading the transport system in the capital Riyadh and on a high-speed rail line connecting Makkah with Madinah.
Addressing the Council of Ministers, the King welcomed the kings, heads of state, leaders of delegations of member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other invitees to the extraordinary Islamic Solidarity summit.
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency following the Cabinet meeting, Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja, Minister of Culture and Information, said the Cabinet expressed the hope of the host country that the summit, which is being held in the world’s holiest place and in the holy month of Ramadan, will meet the aspirations of the Islamic nation, and unify ranks, achieve solidarity and comprehensive development, adopt moderation and tolerance, reject extremism, terrorism, and sectarianism which definitely lead to rifts.
The Cabinet decided to appoint members of the Board of Directors of the General Organization for Saudi Arabian Airlines for three years effective from the date of the issuance of the decision.