Kingdom as Guardian of the Holy Places
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the site of Islam's two holiest places.
From the inception of the Kingdom, the Saudi royal family has seen guardianship of the Holy Places and facilitating pilgrimage as two primary duties.
During his reign, King Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) made clear in no uncertain manner that attacks by brigands on pilgrims would not be tolerated and, within available resources, every effort was made to ensure the safety and comfort of pilgrims.
In successive reigns, no expense has been spared in developing the two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah and doing everything to ensure the ease and security of the millions of pilgrims who visit the holy sites each year.
In the late King Fahd's reign, this tradition was maintained and, with the benefit of increased revenues, a program of expansion and refurbishment on an unprecedented scale was implemented. Of all the projects with which the late King Fahd was personally identified, none was closer to his heart than the expansion of the Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah. To emphasize the monarchy's commitment, and his own, to this responsibility, in 1986 King Fahd adopted the title of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in preference to the title of His Majesty.
On the death of King Fahd on 1st August, 2005, the title of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques was assumed by King Fahd's successor, King Abdullah.