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King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein (King of Jordan)

Abdallah II, King of Jordan, is the longest-serving Arab king (and still in his 50s). When his father, King Hussein, died in 1999, he had governed for 47 years and was the longest-serving Arab king. King Abdullah II is the constitutional monarch of Jordan’s the Hashemite Kingdom and the Jordan Arab Army’s Supreme Commander. In Jerusalem, he is also the Custodian of the Muslim and Christian Holy Sites.

King Abdullah is neither the head of a wealthy or large country, nor is he a theological scholar, but his job is critical since he is the cornerstone of the Islamic world’s fundamental cause, the question of Palestine and Jerusalem, as well as the guardian of Muslim and Christian holy sites.

Over 12 million Palestinians live in the world, with 3 million living in Jordan, 5 million in the occupied territories and Israel, and 2 million in Gaza. Because Palestine is not recognized as a state by the whole international community, the burden of achieving an equitable peace lies entirely on Jordan, and in particular, on King Abdullah II, whose family has been the hereditary caretakers of the holy sites since before Jordan was founded.

Over 12 million Palestinians live in the world, with 3 million living in Jordan, 5 million in the occupied territories and Israel, and 2 million in Gaza. Because Palestine is not recognized as a state by the whole international community, the burden of achieving an equitable peace lies entirely on Jordan, and in particular, on King Abdullah II, whose family has been the hereditary caretakers of the holy sites since before Jordan was founded.

Furthermore, in the face of mounting pressure to obliterate Palestinian identity, abolish UNRWA, and unlawfully and unilaterally cede Jerusalem to Israel, King Abdullah has been the lone influential voice forcefully but responsibly opposing this calamity for the Islamic world.

Jerusalem is as sacred to Muslims as it is to Jews and Christians, and its loss would be a grievance based not just on justice but also on faith for the world’s 1.9 billion Muslims, a scenario with potentially explosive implications.

After Japan’s governing dynasty, the Hashemite Dynasty is the world’s second-oldest ruling dynasty. In addition to being the guardian of the Muslim and Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem, King Abdullah has a unique status in the Islamic world as the present carrier of the Hashemite lineage (and of course Jordan itself).

King Abdullah II is the custodian of Jerusalem’s Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which includes the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. In Jerusalem, he is also the keeper of Christian sacred places. He has been a major advocate for the preservation and rehabilitation of historic sites.

Jordan’s progressive vision is built on political openness, economic and social growth, and Islamic ideals of benevolence and tolerance, according to King Abdullah. Jordan has seen major constitutional changes (one-third of the constitution has been modified) as well as political and social reforms aimed at improving government openness and accountability under his presidency.

King Abdullah sponsored the Amman Message initiative in reaction to growing Islamophobia in the West in the aftermath of 9/11 and escalating sectarian unrest, which was universally endorsed by the Islamic World’s political and temporal leaderships.

The Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought’s most authoritative website on the Holy Qur’an and Tafsir is also ascribed to King Abdullah II. In 2008, he established the World Islamic Sciences and Education University in Jordan.

King Abdullah II established full professorial chairs for the study of Imam Ghazali’s work at the Aqsa Mosque and Imam Razi’s work at the King Hussein Mosque in 2012. In 2014, he created a fellowship at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University, to research love in religion.

Jordan’s laws are founded on the Ottoman Majalla and so on classic Hanafi Shari’a to the tune of 80%. Jordan has a Chief Mufti, official Muftis in each province, Grand Muftis in the army and police, and Shari’a Courts for all Muslim personal status matters. Jordan, on the other hand, has Orthodox-run courts for its native Christian community on matters of Christian personal status, and Christian seats in Parliament and de facto at all levels of government are guaranteed. Civil law applies to all citizens, whereas tribal rules and traditions apply to tribesmen and tribeswomen.

Jordan’s King Hussein has also been praised as an ecumenical leader for his support of the A Common Word campaign in 2007. He was also the primary force behind the UN Resolution on World Interfaith Harmony Week in 2020.

King Abdullah hosted Pope Francis in Jordan in 2014. (Having previously hosted both Pope Benedict and HH Pope John Paul).

The site of Jesus Christ’s baptism on Jordan’s River Bank was unanimously designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. As a result, while DA’ISH was destroying Syria’s and Iraq’s historical and archaeological riches, King Abdullah was protecting not only Muslim but also Christian and international historical artefacts.

Jordan has over 2 million registered and unregistered refugees from Syria, Iraq, and other regional wars (such as Libya and Yemen), as well as approximately 2 million Palestinian refugees.

Jordan has welcomed and absorbed a startling number of refugees despite its limited resources, and is often regarded as the most stable country in a volatile area. It has the greatest refugee population of any country on the planet.

The 2018 Templeton Accolade, the world’s most distinguished prize in religious matters, was given to King Abdullah. He is just the second Muslim to get this accolade, and the first politician. The medal honours persons who have “contributed significantly to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” The judges praised the King’s efforts to promote religious unity inside Islam, as well as between Islam and other faiths, by recovering the narrative from radicals.

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