Muscat: With tears in their eyes and prayers in their hearts, the people of Oman bid adieu to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, architect of modern Oman on Saturday. The dear leader returned to the soil of the country that he reshaped with his blood and sweat. He was laid to rest at the Royal Cemetery in Ghala. The inclement weather that prevailed in the capital for the last couple of days also gave way to ensure a ceremonious farewell.
Thousands lined up on the roads from Bait Al Barakha to Grand Mosque in Bausher to say adieu on his journey to the final resting place. State television broadcast images of the funeral procession driving down Sultan Qaboos street in the capital Muscat amid tight security as Omanis thronged the palm tree-lined road, some reaching out their hands and others taking pictures.The casket, draped in the Omani flag, was then carried into Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque where hundreds of people joined prayers inside.
After a brief prayer led by His Eminence Grand Mufti Ahmed bin Hamad al Khalili, the mortal remains of Sultan Qaboos were taken in a military cortege to the burial at the Royal Cemetery in Ghala. The final prayers were attended by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq bin Taymour, royal family members, Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal al Busaidi, Diwan of Royal Court, officials and thousands of Omanis and expats.
The mortal remains of the father of the nation were then taken to the burial slot by the family members and ministers led by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq bin Taymour.
A humble man all throughout his life, the body of Sultan Qaboos, was interned in a simple Islamic ceremony with state honours. Peace be upon the departed soul.
Oman declared three days of official mourning with flags to be flown at half-mast for 40 days. Omanis took to social media to mourn the death of a ruler who had made regular tours of the nation to speak to citizens, often driving his own four-wheel drive in the convoys.
“The first words I heard from my weeping mother after news of the great Sultan Qaboos’ death was: The father of orphans, of the poor, of the downtrodden, of all of us, has died,” Twitter user Abdullah bin Hamad al Harthi wrote.
“Our minds cannot comprehend his absence,” another Twitter user who gave her name as Sheikha said.