By the way, these pens will be Haram to use as they are made of Silver and Gold.
I have in my possesion a Real Silver Pen, Looks very nice, but due to doubts, I had never used it. After asking Ulama, I had decided never to use it and maybe just sell it one day. (I didnt buy the pen, nor was it a gift)
Published: Mar 29, 2011 00:51 Updated: Mar 29, 2011 00:51
JEDDAH: The Madinah branch of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Dawa and Guidance has suspended 38 imams and muezzins for sub-standard performance. They were accused of slackness and failure to do their duties properly.
Ministry sources told Arab News that investigations and reports from supervisors revealed the imams and muezzins did not do their jobs properly and others were appointed to do the work in their place. The sources said their salaries were also suspended.
According to the sources, there are 1,930 mosques in Madinah region, of which 505 hold Friday prayers.
The ministry's Madinah branch also supervises 949 private mosques, of which 19 hold Friday prayers. It employs 1,417 imams, 1,354 muezzins and 625 workers who serve the mosques and clean them up.
The branch also supervises historic mosques in Madinah, including the Quba, Dhul Hulaifa, Al-Qiblatain, Al-Jumaa, Al-Anbariya, Al-Ghamamah, Al-Rayah, Abu Bakr, Omar bin Al-Khattab, Ali bin Abi Talib, Abu Dhar, Al-Ijabah, Al-Suqyyah, Bani Haram and Bani Quraizah mosques.
It also has a welfare society that collects donations for the construction and maintenance of mosques in various parts of the region.
AND I THOUGHT ONLY MUSLIMS WORKED ON THE CONSTRUCTION IN THE TWO HOLY MOSQUES>
Chinese Saudi Metro worker ''converts to Islam''
Members of the Commission found the Chinese man sitting just outside the Mosque during prayers time.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
A Chinese man working in the $multi-billion Makkah metro project converted to Islam after a brief chat with Saudi Arabia's Islamic police, a newspaper in the Gulf country reported on Sunday.
Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice who were patrolling the Grand Mosque in the central town of Makkah found the Chinese man sitting just outside the Mosque during prayers time.
"They asked him why he was sitting there and he told them he is interested in Islam...they took him for a tour in their car and had a chat in English about Islam...he then decided to covert into Islam and came himself Mohammed," the Arabic language daily Sabq said.
MAKKAH: Imams in mosques throughout the Kingdom on Friday welcomed the holy month of Ramadan with an immense sense of piety and reminded their respective congregations to strictly follow the teachings of the Holy Qur'an during the fasting period.
In his sermon at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais urged worshipers to observe the holy month of Ramadan in the true spirit of a Muslim according to the teachings of the faith.
"Ramadan offers the greatest opportunity to believers to do virtuous acts that would lead them to eternal joy in paradise. The goal of the fasting is to purify our souls," Al-Sudais said.
Ramadan is a month full of happiness and piety for all Muslims, the imam said, pointing out that it is a month to advocate peace, unity and understanding among Muslims. The Holy Qur'an was first revealed to humanity during the latter part of this month.
The imam said it is a month that Muslims should lay down their arms and put an end to destruction and bloodshed.
"Muslims should take care of their nation's security, stability and tranquility," the imam added.
The imam also called on the media not to air programs that would spoil the sanctity of the month.
Sheikh Ali Al-Hudhaifi, imam of the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, said the holy month provides a good opportunity for Muslims to cultivate healthy habits.
Explaining the virtues of the holy month, he said good deeds performed by Muslims during this month will be richly rewarded by the Almighty Allah.
"Those who perform good deeds will enter paradise in the hereafter, while those who ignore the tenets of the religion would meet with severe punishment," he said.
The imam also reminded Muslims to give zakat (charity) during this month and refrain from all actions abhorred by the religion.
An imam in a masjid in Farazdak area called on the members of the congregation to cultivate the habit of fasting among their children. He added that such habits will go a long way in children's lives.
The imam also said the religion allows the sick to abstain from fasting but he stressed that they have to feed the poor in compensation for their loss of fasting days.
Pregnant and feeding mothers can refrain from fasting but they have to cover the lost days during their healthy periods.
Quoting the Prophet (peace be upon him), the imam of a mosque in Nasseriyah said: "A day of fasting during this holy month will keep a Muslim away from hell for 70 years." He said Muslims must mentally prepare themselves to perform meritorious deeds during the holy month.
JEDDAH: A comprehensive plan is in place to serve the large number of pilgrims and visitors arriving in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah during Ramadan, an official of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques' Affairs has said.
"The special plan for the Grand Mosque, which will be in force from Aug. 1 to Sept. 13, seeks to enable visitors and pilgrims in the Grand Mosque to worship with total peace of mind and security," the Presidency's Vice President Al-Khozaim told Arab News.
The departments dealing with Zamzam supply, cleaning, carpets, wheel chairs, gates and courtyards are geared to serve the pilgrims, Al-Khozaim said.
Cooled Zamzam water will be made available at most locations for the thirsty. "This year 160 additional Zamzam taps are installed in the mataf (area of circumambulation) and inside the mosque. Other services include more guide maps to help pilgrims locate their positions, water spraying fans in six locations in the southern courtyard, cordon tapes with writings in different languages at passages where sitting is prohibited and advanced water dispensers available," he said.
More wheelchairs are being made available to assist disabled pilgrims, he added.
Security men at the gates will not allow visitors to bring foods inside the mosque. The cleaners will, after the breaking of the fast, remove leftovers from the courtyards and prepare the place for Isha prayer, he said.
The maintenance departments will ensure lighting, air-conditioning, escalators and telephones work properly both inside and outside the mosque, he added.
The Makkah Haram Library, which contains rare manuscripts and books, will receive visitors in two shifts. The Two Holy Mosques Exhibition will also receive visitors both in the morning and evening. People will also be allowed to visit the Kiswa (the black-covering of the Kaaba) factory, he said.
About 5,000 people have been pressed into service to successfully implement the plan. Some of them are seasonal appointees.
The presidency has given special training to more than 400 workers, including for supervision and communication in different languages. The supervisors, apart from checking the smooth functioning of duties and diligence of workers, will take immediate steps to improve any service. The Operations Room will receive emergency reports and will take immediate action.
There will also be a special security force to prevent people sitting on passages and to regulate crowds at gates. The security forces will also deal with illegal cart pullers and racketeers who reserve front seats. Boy scouts will guide lost pilgrims and lectures and classes on various religious topics will be organized at different parts of the Grand Mosque.
First aid workers and rescuers will be working in collaboration with the Red Crescent and Civil Defense. The lost-and-found section is staffed with multilingual workers.
The official also urged pilgrims and visitors to respect the sanctity of the Grand Mosque. They should not sleep or bring food or baggage to the holy mosque and not wash at locations meant for drinking Zamzam.
They should also be careful to throw waste only in wastebaskets and leave shoes at the allotted places.
He also said the presidency would receive suggestions and comments from visitors in person, on Fax no. 025739992 or on e-mail www.gph.gov.sa.
JEDDAH: New workers have been recruited to hand out Ramadan meals at the courtyards of the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
"Close to 500 new officials including supervisors are appointed to ensure the smooth free meal supply at the Grand Mosque in Ramadan," Director of Grand Mosque courtyards Muslih Al-Hammadi told Arab News.
He said the officials would seat the pilgrims and visitors in the courtyards and supply meal packets. The seating arrangements will stretch from the Makkah Mukarramah library to the northern courtyards including Ghazzah and Al-Shobaikah.
The supervisors further have to ensure that all leftovers are removed and the courtyards cleaned quickly, so that the Maghrib (sunset) prayer can be started without delay.
Supervisors should also see that no food that leaves behind remnants inconveniencing worshipers are supplied. The authorities have demanded that charity organizations only send meals that meet quality standards.
The supervisors will also prevent hawkers and beggars from entering the courtyards. In addition, they will seize all unlicensed wheelchairs operating in the area.
There will also be 17 "You Are Here" maps that show people their exact location in the courtyard. The maps will be in English and Arabic, the official said.
MAKKAH - With Ramadan's advent in the summer season this year, hotels here have reached an unprecedented occupancy rates. The majority of hotels are now closed for reservations.
Hotels of all classes particularlyin theCentral Area in the vicinity of the Grand Mosque have had about 80 percent occupancy rate, the highest in the past years, as nearly 1,000 buildingshavebeendemolished in theJabal Omar Project. This coupled with the presence of about 400,000 Umrah pilgrims from the beginning of the summer season has led to an unusualdemand. The hotels have also increased their rates.
Occupancy in the first quarter of Ramadan is expected to reach 100 percent. According to statistics, themajorityof pilgrims come from Iran, followed by Egypt and countries in Southeast Asia likeMalaysiaand Indonesia. Local pilgrims are equal in number to those from Gulf countries.
Muhammad Hausawi, an hotel employee near the Grand Mosque, said from Wednesdays to Fridays, visitors cannot find a single vacant room or suite, while the pressure is a little less on other days. He said this has been the case since the beginning of summer vacation thisyear.
Reservations are being made more than two weeks before the arrival of Umrah pilgrims, he said. More workers have been employed in hotels and they are required to work extra hours due to the pressure from the high occupancy rate.
Salim Sultan,a hotel receptionist, said Umrah season this year has been successful so far and it is expected to continue successfully during Ramadan. Hamoud Al-Malki, another receptionist, confirmed the high charges now in hotels. He said many hotels, especially those near the Grand Mosque, have started closing all bookings till the end of Ramadan.
Nasr Abdul Wahid, manager of a hotel near the Haram, said the charges were reasonable and affordable by all. Each Umrah pilgrim can find accommodation to suithisfinancial capability. He said the charges in the residential towers in the vicinity of the Grand Mosque range between SR160 and SR450 depending on the type of service,theaccommodation class and how far it is from the Haram. He said hotels and residential towers are almost fully booked, with 70 percent of guests from abroad and 30 percent from within the Kingdom and Gulf countries.
Ali Khassib, an expatriateworking in a clothes and games shop, said the demand for commodities and goods in shops was as usual in Sha'aban, but with the advent of Ramadan there was a biggerturnover, as Umrah pilgrims were purchasing plenty of gifts.
Waleed Abu Sab'ah, Chairman of the Tourism and Hotels Committee in Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that the Umrah season is witnessing a strong beginning with occupancy reaching 80 percent in the Central Area and 50-60 percent in hotels located in different districts of Makkah. He said the high rate of bookings and the strong beginning of the season were contrary to some predictions that there would be a decrease in the number of Umrah pilgrims this year.
Published: Aug 2, 2011 01:04 Updated: Aug 2, 2011 01:04
JEDDAH: Umrah pilgrim arrivals in the Kingdom through King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) from mid-March until Sunday (Aug. 1) rose by more than 7 percent compared to the same period last year, a General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) report showed on Monday.
The report said a total of 2,279,993 arriving Umrah pilgrims were recorded this year on board 13,829 flights, compared to 2,126,637 pilgrims on board 12,235 flights during the same period last year.
Arrivals in the past six days reached 141,308 pilgrims on board 860 flights. On the other hand, departing pilgrims were recorded at 103,429 on board 638 flights in the past six days.
GACA said it had finished all preparations in cooperation with KAIA to receive guests of the two holy mosques. The management of KAIA laid out a plan to transfer Umrah pilgrims coming from the north and south terminals to the Haj terminal.
Visitors to Grand Mosque told to watch for signals at the gates
Published: Aug 2, 2011 23:53 Updated: Aug 2, 2011 23:53
JEDDAH: A top Grand Mosque official has appealed to pilgrims and visitors to the mosque to check the signals at the gates before they enter.
“Green lights mean there are empty places inside the mosque while red lights signify that all spaces have been occupied,” Talal Al-Thaqfi, the director in charge of the mosque’s gates, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Al-Thaqfi also warned worshipers against attempting to enter the mosque right after the end of an obligatory prayer as large numbers of people would be rushing out at that time.
He said 926 guards would keep open during Ramadan the 176 doors of the mosque, including those leading to the basement and top floor.
The 18 gates equipped for the entry of worshippers with disabilities include the King Abdul Aziz, New Ajyad, Hunain and Safa gates in addition to Arqam and Marwah escalators.
He warned pilgrims against entering the mosque with their baggage.
The official said no one was allowed to enter the mosque with food, cans and bottles with or without water. He said pilgrims should keep their baggage in lockers in the courtyards of the mosque.
Information from The green light arrows at the gate entrance will indicate whether or not it is open. During prayer times, if you don't get there early enough you most likely won't be able to enter through the major gates, but will be directed to smaller ones, or to the stairs or esclators, if you can enter the masjid at all.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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