Riyadh: The funeral of Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, who died in New York Saturday, will take place on Tuesday evening. The Janaza prayers for the crown prince, who was known as Sultan Al Khair, will be held at Imam Turki Bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh after the Asr prayers. Prominent world leaders and Arab heads of state are expected to attend the ceremony.
Several kings, heads of states and leaders from other Arab and Muslim countries as well as from a number of Asian, African and Western countries will arrive in Riyadh Sunday and Monday. Muslim leaders from across the world will join ordinary citizens in offering Janaza prayers. Prince Sultan will be buried in the Al Oud cemetery, some 5km from Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque.
Al Oud is a sprawling cemetery for commoners and royals alike. King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz, who ruled the Kingdom before King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, was buried at this cemetery on Tuesday, August 2, 2005. It is a coincidence that Prince Sultan will also be buried on Tuesday.
Prince Sultan will be laid to rest alongside commoners and former kings, including his father King Abdul Aziz as well as his brothers such as King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz, Khalid Bin Abdul Aziz, Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz, and Saud Bin Abdul Aziz. All of these kings were buried in simple unmarked graves that lay alongside hundreds of other unidentified graves.
In keeping with the Kingdom's austere Islamic tradition that prevents any official ceremonies or protocols for the funeral of its leaders, the ordinary citizens as well as foreigners will get an opportunity to take part in the funeral of Prince Sultan. Funeral prayers "in absence" are expected to be offered for Prince Sultan in various mosques across the Kingdom.
On a tour of various quarters of the capital city on Saturday and Sunday, Gulf News saw not any unusual or additional security arrangements. These were two normal days like any other days in the city.
However, elaborate security arrangements will be made at Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque and the route from the mosque to the cemetery in view of the presence of a large number of world leaders as well as Saudi princes and leaders at the funeral of Prince Sultan. After the funeral ceremony, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and other royal family members will receive condolences from the dignitaries coming to attend the last rites of the deceased prince.