Third expansion of Makkah Grand Mosque receives 19 million worshippers
JEDDAH: Almost 19 million people worshipped in the third expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah during Ramadan, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The director of the General Administration of the Third Saudi Expansion at the Grand Mosque, Walid Al-Masoudi, said the expansion had received more than 500,000 worshippers per hour at a rate of 250,000 inside the expansion and more than 250,000 in the squares.
He stressed that these efforts came under the directives of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques in fulfillment of the aspirations of the Saudi leadership.
At the start of Ramadan, 80 new prayer halls that form part of the third phase of expansion opened to worshippers for the first time.
Al-Masoudi said worshippers were divided throughout the days of the holy month on all floors of the expansion building, on the ground floor, first floor, first mezzanine, second floor, second mezzanine, the balconies, and the surrounding northern and western squares.
When King Abdulaziz united the country and founded Saudi Arabia, he made the Two Holy Mosques a top priority and ensured they received special attention.
In 1926, he ordered a complete renovation to the Grand Mosque, including a directive to cover the entire floor with marble. A year later, according to the general presidency, he ordered marquees to be erected at the Mataf (circumambulation space) to protect worshippers from the sun’s heat. He also ordered that the Masa, the area between Safa and Marwah where pilgrims walk in what is known as Saee, be paved with stone.
When his son King Saud became monarch, the Grand Mosque covered approximately 28,000 square meters. In 1955, he launched a long-term expansion project that continued for nearly 10 years. The size of the Masa was increased, and an underground area and another floor were added.
Saud’s successor, King Faisal, continued the expansion and development work. The building surrounding the Maqam Ibrahim was removed to provide more space for worshippers while circumambulating the Kaaba.
After King Khalid took over in 1975, the Mataf area was expanded and the stone pavement of the Masa was replaced with Greek, heat-resistant marble so that worshippers could circle the Kaaba more comfortably, especially at noon.
On Sept. 14, 1988, King Fahd laid the foundation stone for the largest expansion of the Grand Mosque in 14 centuries. The project increased its size to 356,000 square meters, enough space for up to 1.5 million worshippers to comfortably perform their rituals. Two minarets were added to the existing seven.
The sixth Saudi leader, King Abdullah, who took the throne in 2005, initiated another major expansion project. It included architectural, technical, and security improvements. The capacity of the Mataf area was increased from about 50,000 people an hour to more than 130,000 to cope with the growing numbers of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.
The total space covered by the Grand Mosque and its open areas and facilities increased to 750,000 square meters, at a total cost of more than SR80 billion ($21.3 billion).
In 2015, King Salman launched five major projects designed to allow the mosque to accommodate nearly 2 million worshippers on a 1.5-million-square-meter site.
Over 720 hours of broadcasting in various languages at the Grand Mosque May 04, 2022
The Languages and Translation Unit has delivered the message of the Two Holy Mosques to the rest of the world, in different languages, through the Al-Haramain digital platform and FM radio frequencies.
MAKKAH — The Languages and Translation Unit has delivered the message of the Two Holy Mosques to the rest of the world, in different languages, through the Al-Haramain digital platform and FM radio frequencies.
The broadcasts come within the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques’ participation with the Makkah Region initiative titled “How to be a role model in the digital world.”
The Unit is represented by the General Administration of Digital Broadcasting in Languages, the initiative of the Minbar (pulpit) Al-Haram initiative, and the digital broadcasting initiative in international languages 24 hours a day from the Grand Mosque in Ramadan.
The Director-General of the General Administration of Digital Broadcasting in Languages Mishari Al-Matrafi, said that the number of beneficiaries of the Minbar Al-Haram initiative to broadcast the translation of Friday sermons during Ramadan and the Eid Al-Fitr sermon, amounted to more than 223,877.
He added that the administration transmitted programs, scientific lessons, sermons and recitation of the Qur’an and the hadiths of the Prophet about the virtues of fasting and zakat, for nearly 720 consecutive hours for each language, with the number of beneficiaries from all languages exceeding more than 557,515. — SPA
In a statement, the ministry said: ‘The deadline for applying to obtain an Umrah visa for those outside the Kingdom is Shawwal 15 in coordination with the Saudi Foreign Ministry’
RIYADH: The current Umrah season for Muslims traveling to Saudi Arabia from outside the Kingdom will end on May 31.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has set Shawwal 30, the current Islamic month that follows the holy month of Ramadan and corresponds to May 31 in the Gregorian calendar, as the deadline for overseas Muslims to perform Umrah.
In a statement, the ministry said: “The deadline for applying to obtain an Umrah visa for those outside the Kingdom is Shawwal 15 in coordination with the Saudi Foreign Ministry.”
It pointed out that Umrah visas for foreign visitors could be applied for through approved online platforms, adding that dates for registration and submission for this year’s Hajj would be announced in due course via official channels.
The Kingdom is gearing up to receive Hajj pilgrims from around the world for the first time in two years. The coronavirus pandemic meant that last year’s Hajj was restricted to 60,000 worshippers, all from Saudi Arabia, while numbers were limited to just 1,000 at the peak of the global health crisis in 2020.
In April, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that the Kingdom would be increasing this year’s Hajj capacity to 1 million pilgrims as part of the country’s efforts to enable the largest number of Muslims around the world to fulfill their religious duties.
However, the ministry noted that the number of people allowed to visit the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah would be dictated by government health and safety considerations.
Pilgrims would be required to follow preventive measures while performing their Hajj duties, the ministry said, adding that those aged under 65 — according to the Gregorian calendar — would be required to have had full immunization against COVID-19 with an approved vaccine.
Agency implements Kiswa maintenance for Holy Kaaba
May 08, 2022
MAKKAH — The Agency of King Abdulaziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa (cloth), represented by the Department of Maintenance of the Kiswa of the Holy Kaaba, has implemented works related to tightening the belt and maintenance of the Holy Kaaba Kiswa, in addition to fixing its sides.
Director of the Holy Kaaba Kiswa Maintenance Administration at the Grand Mosque Fahd Al-Jabiri said that the maintenance of the Kaaba’s Kiswa is one of the tasks that the complex implements throughout the year and around the clock.
He noted that the works include tightening the cloth from the four corners. He further added that these works are scheduled and implemented by a specialized team. — SPA
Prophet’s Mosque agency reveals determined times of visiting Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah
MADINAH — The Prophet’s Mosque affairs agency in Madinah has revealed the determined times to pray in Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah.
The agency has again allowed prayers in the Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah after suspending it briefly from the end of Ramadan until the beginning of Shawwal. It said that the visiting times for prayer would include several periods.
For men who wish to perform prayer in the Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah, the agency said that it would be through two periods. The first one will be from midnight to the Fajr (Dawn) prayer and the second one will be from the Dhuhr (noon) prayers until the Isha (evening) prayer.
While the prayer in the Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah for women will be divided into two periods as well, with the first period from after Fajr (Dawn) to before Dhuhr (noon) , and the second from after Isha (evening) until midnight.
The agency confirmed that visiting and praying at the Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah required a permit and pre-booking for an appointment through Eatamarna or Tawakkalna applications.
Didn't they say 20m people came madinah in ramadan? Also how do they know which ones were on umrah and which ones came just for madinah?
Ps anyone know what the final plans for the abdullah extension is? Will it ever join the existing masjid or always be separate. It's very annoying as you can do tawaf there and then to get to main masjid have to walk around entire place which takes abt 15mins.
New air conditioners and heat insulating materials installed in pilgrim camps May 16, 2022
JEDDAH — The Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites, represented by the Kidana Company, which is the commission's executive arm and the major developer of the holy sites, is continuing work to implement a project to build pilgrim camps in the Mina area.
In the first phase of the development project, Okaz/Saudi Gazette observed the progress of fieldwork in selected camps, which will be used during the 1443 AH 2022 Hajj season.
Because of the ongoing COVID pandemic, the number of pilgrims from within and beyond the Kingdom grew to only one million, after decreasing for the previous two years.
The development work includes installing heat-insulating gypsum screens on the camps' facades, paving the entrances and corridors within the camps, building modern toilets and installing new air conditioners to match with the likely rise in temperatures during the Hajj season, as well as establishing model kitchens with high engineering specifications to keep pace with the expected increase in the number of pilgrims.
alhamdulillah i managed to sneak on about 10 liters worth, came in use as madinah airport had no zamzam bottles left so would of arrived back to the uk empty handed. why are saudis being so dumb and stingy with zamzam, its not an islamic ruling that we cant take zamzam back with us
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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