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#226 [Permalink] Posted on 4th March 2012 20:10


 

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#227 [Permalink] Posted on 5th March 2012 10:07
Mehrab Hanafi

This mehrab is in line with Mehrab Nabawi but on the west side of the Pulpit. This is how it came into being. For a while the salat in Prophet's Mosque was led by a Maliki Imam. Later on, with the support of king of Egypt, Shafi Imam was appointed. The Shafi Imam used to lead Fajr salat in more darkness than Maliki Imam. Other salats were first offered by Maliki Imam and then by Shafi Imam. Due to these circumstances, the Hanafis of Madina constructed this mehrab and appointed a Hanafi Imam.

Samhoudi wrote that the Hanafi Imam used to lead salat in this mehrab after the salat of Shafi Imam. They, however used to join together in Taraveeh salat. Burzanji said that the salat was offered in this way till the thirteenth century.

Ali bin Musa wrote that in 1303H, the first and the largest group for salat used to be Hanafi and the last one was that of Shafi school of thought. However, salat-ul-fajr was first offered by Shafi Imam, then by Maliki and then by Hanafi Imam. Each made Iqama according to his own school of thought. There is now only one congregational prayer led by a Imam of Hambali school of thought. This has been so since the take over by the Saudi Government.



Renovation of Mehrab Hanafi.

In 908H, Sultan Sulaiman Khan renovated the mehrab and decorated it with white and black stones. It is written at the back of this mehrab in Arabic.Its translation is as follows:

Sultan Sulaiman Khan Turki renovated this merhab during 908H

Some authors misunderstand it and mentioned that Sultan Sulaiman Khan constructed it. In fact he only renovated it.

Finally King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz renovated it again, decorated it with colorful stones and put gold shine on it.

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#228 [Permalink] Posted on 5th March 2012 11:01
CONSTRUCTION AND EXTENSION OF THE PROPHET'S MOSQUE

It is mentioned in Bukhari as narrated by Anas bin Malik (RU) that when the Prophet (SAS) migrated to Madina area he stayed in Quba for fourteen days in the tribe of Banu Amr. He then proceeded to Madina. He arrived in Madina in the area of Banu Najjar near the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari (RU). The Prophet (SAS) intended to build a mosque there. This land was owned by two orphans Sahl and Suhail. The Prophet (SAS) asked Abu Bakr (RU) to pay ten dinars to them for the land. The Prophet (SAS) laid down the foundation of this mosque during Rabi-ul-Awwal 1H. It's dimensions were about 35x30 meters. The foundation was laid with stones and the walls were built of unbaked bricks. Columns were made of trunks of palm trees and the roof was covered by branches of palm trees. It had three doors. One door was in the southern wall which was closed after the change of Qiblah. As a result of this a new door was opened in the northern wall. Other two doors were Bab Rahmah in the western wall and Bab Jibreel in the eastern wall.

The Prophet (SAS) personally took part in the construction activities of this mosque. He was reciting the following while carrying the stones with his own hands:

O Allah, the good done for the Day of Judgement is the real good. Please help the Mohajreen and Ansar.

Before the arrival of the Prophet (SAS) in Madina, Musab bin Omair (RU) used to lead the salat at this spot. In his absence Asad bin Zarara (RU) used to lead the salat at this place.

As mentioned in Bukhari and narrated by Abada bin Samat (RU)
, the Ansar came to the Prophet (SAS) and offered a large amount of their wealth for decoration of the mosque. The Prophet (SAS) said, "I do not want to be different from my brother Musa (AS). A cottage like the cottage of Musa (AS) is sufficient for us." Hence the Prophet (SAS) preferred a simple mosque and encouraged more and more people to pray there. On the contrary, we have very decorative mosques these days with very little attendance there on the regular basis.



EXTENSION BY THE PROPHET (SAS)

After the Prophet's (SAS) return from the battle of Khyber, he ordered to expand the mosque during Muharram 7H. Width was increased by 20 meters and the length by 15 meters. The new dimensions became 50x50 meters. The northern boundary of the Mosque was where the Turkish construction ends in this direction. On the west side its boundary was five columns west of the pulpit. You will see written on each column there 'The boundary of Prophet's Mosque.' The foundation was laid with stones and the walls were built of unbaked mud bricks like before. The columns were made of palm tree and the roof was covered by branches of palm trees. The height of the roof was increased from 2ฝ meters to 3ฝ meters. Caliph Osman (RU) paid for the land for this addition of the mosque.

Qushairi (RU), narrated that when the enemies surrounded Caliph Osman's (RU) house, he said to them, "Do you recall when the Prophet (SAS) said, 'Who will purchase the land for the extension of the mosque and be rewarded with paradise?' I purchased the land for the addition of mosque from my personal funds. Today you don't permit me even to offer my salat there.'" (Tirmidhi)



RENOVATION BY CALIPH ABU BAKR (RU)

As mentioned in Baihaqi and narrated by Abdulla bin Omar (RU), some of the columns of trunks of trees got worn out. Abu Bakr (RU) replaced them with similar columns and covered the roof with branches of palm tree.



EXTENSION BY CALIPH OMAR FAROOQ (RU)

People requested the Caliph to extend the mosque since the population of muslims increased considerably. In 17H, Omar (RU) extended the mosque by five meters to the south, 15 meters to the north and 10 meters to the west. New dimensions of mosque thus became 70x60 meters. The western boundary of the mosque was upto seventh column from the pulpit. The roof was raised to 5ฝ meters. In the western wall a new door was added, called Bab Salam. Similarly a door was added in the eastern wall, called Bab Nisa.

Omar (RU) also made a platform on the eastern side of the mosque by the side of the house of Khaled bin Waleed. Since it is not permitted to gossip or raise voice in a mosque, Omar (RU) said, "Those who want to engage themselves in gossip or recite poetry may use this platform."



EXTENSION BY CALIPH OSMAN (RU)

In 29H, Caliph Osman (RU) further extended the mosque by about 5 meters to south, by about 5 meters to north and by about 5 meters westwards. Hence the mosque was extended upto eight columns westward from the pulpit. It is interesting to note that the southern wall of the mosque is still at the same place today and no extension was ever made in this direction since the time of Caliph Osman (RU).

The building was constructed with decorative stones and lime mortar was used as construction material. The roof was made of teak wood. The columns were also made of decorative stones and were hollow inside. Iron bars and molten lead was put inside the columns to reinforce them. Osman (RU) supervised the construction activities personally.

He made a protective enclosure around the area where he led the salat to avoid attack on him during the salat. This enclosure had windows and people could see the Imam through these windows. At present the Imam leads the salat from the same spot where Osman (RU) did. There is no protective enclosure nowadays. However, the security personnel are posted there before, during and after the salat to avoid any mishap.

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#229 [Permalink] Posted on 5th March 2012 11:03
EXTENSION MADE BY AL-WALEED THE OMAYYAD RULER

In 88H, Waleed bin Abdul Malik ordered the Governor of Madina, Omar bin Abdul Aziz to extend the mosque further. Omar bin Abdul Aziz extended it about ten meters to the west and about fifteen meters to the east. It is necessary to mention here that by this time all the wives of the Prophet (SAS) had passed away. Omar bin Abdul Aziz (RU) purchased their Hujrats (huts) from their relatives and included this area in the mosque. Aisha's hujra was left as it was because of the graves in it.

The building and the columns were reinforced with iron bars and molten lead. The roof was made of teakwood and was raised to a height of 12.5 meters. This lower roof was covered by another roof to protect against severe weather. Marble slabs were fixed on the inner side of walls. These walls also had multicolored stones and gold polish put on them at different spots. Gold polish was also put on the frames of the doors. Omar bin Abdul Aziz (RU) personally supervised the construction. He was the one who built four minarets on the four corners of the mosque and the new mosque had twenty doors. These construction activities took three years from 88H through 91H.



EXTENSION MADE BY AL-MAHDI, THE ABBASID RULER
This extension took place from 161H through 165H. and the mosque was extended in the northerly direction. The construction was supervised by Abdullah bin Asim bin Omar bin Abdul Aziz. No further extension was needed till 654H.



FIRST FIRE AND RE-CONSTRUCTION
Samhoudi described it as follows. This fire took place during the night of the first of Ramadhan of 654H. The attendant of the Prophet's Mosque, Abu Bakr bin Ohad entered the storeroom of the mosque to collect the torches to light the minarets. He made the following mistake. He left a lighted candle near the container where the torches were kept. The container caught fire and spread very fast. The Governor of Madina and other people tried to put off the fire. They failed and in no time the roof, the pulpit, the doors and custodial rooms were reduced to ashes.

In 655H, Al-Mustassim billal, the Abbasid rule started the reconstruction. It was however interrupted since the Tartars invaded and occupied Baghdad. Later on the rulers of Egypt and Yemen tried to complete the construction. Among them the contribution of Baibars is noteworthy since he built the double roof as before.

SECOND FIRE AND RE-CONSTRUCTION
The second fire took place in 886H. The Muezzin, Shamsuddin
was in a minaret during the later part of the night of the thirteenth of Ramadhan. The lightening struck this minaret and it caught fire. Shamsuddin died there and then. The fire spread through the roof. The Governor of Madina and other people tried their best to put off the fire. They again failed. The fire burnt the roof, the bookrooms and damaged many other areas. Sultan Qaitabai reconstructed the mosque in 888H. He made only one roof.



EXTENSION BY SULTAN ABDUL MAJEED
Sultan Qaitabai's construction had been there for three hundred and seventy seven years. The various parts of the mosque had worn out. Imam of this mosque, Dawud Pasha requested Sultan Abdul Majeed of the Ottoman Empire at Istanbul to reconstruct the mosque. Sultan sent two engineers namely, Ramzi Afandi and Osman Afandi. They designed the mosque. A model of proposed masjid was sent to Sultan for approval. The construction work was done between 1265H and 1277H under the supervision of Asad Afandi. They found red stone in Aqiq valley near Madina which was used for this construction.

A very extensive decorative work was done in all areas. For example, it took three years to write the verses of the Quran and the names of the Prophet (SAS). It was done by prominent calligrapher Abdullah Zahidi Afandi Many new doors and two minarets were added. A separate building was constructed in the vicinity of the mosque to conduct the educational activities for the children. This building still exists on the two sides of old Bab Majeedi and is used as library.

On the completion of the construction activities, it was decided to write the following hadith on a stone and fix this stone in the building:

The reward of one salat in my mosque is better than one thousand salat offered in any other mosque except Masjid-ul-Haram (in Makkah).

This writing can still be seen in the middle of northern wall of the Turkish extension. On the northern side, however, the covered part of the mosque was upto the wall where the above stone is fixed. There was also a large open area for salat just north of this covered mosque. All construction activities were conducted in such away that daily congregational salat was not disrupted. The total cost was seven hundred thousand Ginee. This did not include the transportation expenses of construction materials by land and sea.



FIRST SAUDI EXTENSION (1368H - 1375H)

It was started by King Abdul Aziz and was completed by King Saud bin Abdul Aziz. The foundation stone for this can be seen by side of old Bab King Saud. The foundation stone was placed by Saud bin Abdul Aziz and it has following wording.

King Saud put these four stones in following the footprints of Prophet Mohammed (SAS). It was done in the month of Rabia Awwal of 1373 H.

Special care was taken to blend the Turkish and Saudi extension and they complement each other beautifully. At that time there were five minarets of the Prophet's Mosque. Three of these minarets were removed. One of these minarets was on Bab Rahmah. The other two were on the north side of the mosque and were known as minaret Osmania and minaret Majeedia. Saudi Government constructed two new minarets on the two corners of the northern wall of the mosque. Hence the total number of minarets after this extension became four. The dimensions of this extension were 198m ื 91m and it was just north of the open space designed by the Turks.

Even after this extension there was not enough space for the pilgrims. In 1393 H, King Faisal purchased the adjacent properties to the mosque for fifty million riyals. He set up permanent sheds in an area of thirty five thousand square meters with arrangement of lights and fans in them. This covered area was extended up to King Abdul Aziz library. These sheds were removed during the second Saudi Extension Plan.



SECOND SAUDI EXTENSION 1405H - 1414H

King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz was always very keen to make major extensions in the Prophet's Mosque just like he did in Masjid-al-Haram in Makkah. He personally laid foundation stone by the side of Bab Salam with the following writing on it.

In the Name of Allah (SWT), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

In houses (mosques) which Allah has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honoured), in them His Name is remembered. Therein glorify Him (Allah) in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings. (An-Nur # 36)

The servant of both Harams, King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz put this foundation stone for the extension and construction of the Prophet's mosque (Second Saudi Extension). It took place on Friday, ninth of Safar, 1405H ( Nov. 2, 1984 )

Similarly at the end of the construction activities King Fahd laid another stone near Bab Bilal with the following wording to mark the completion of this extension:

In the Name of Allah (SWT) and with blessings of Allah (SWT) the servant of both Harams, King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz put this last stone to mark the end of extension of Prophet's Mosque on Friday, the 4th of Dhul-Qada 1414H (April 15th, 1994). It is to serve the cause of Islam and to serve the Muslims. All praises are for Allah (SWT) , the Creator of all the universes.

The following statistics gives a bird's eye view of the various extentions.

Covered area of mosque up to Turkish extension 4,056 sq.m.

Addition by the first Saudi extension 12,270 sq.m.

Total area (Turkish plus Saudi extensions) 16,326 sq.m.

So far it could accommodate 28,000 people for salat.

After the second Saudi extension.

1- The area of the floor. 98,326 sq.m.

2- Area of roof 67,000 sq.m.

3- Area covered by the domes 8,750 sq.m.

4- The available area for salat on the roof (2 minus 3) 58,250 sq.m.

Hence roof alone can accommodate 90,000 worshippers for salat.

5- Total area available for salat, (1 plus 4) 156,576 sq.m.

In this area 268,000 people can pray.

Hence, at the end of second Saudi extension nine times more people could offer salat in the mosque as compared with the number at the end of first Saudi extension.

Furthermore, there are open areas around the covered mosque which are specially designed for salat. The total area of such open space is 235,000 sq.m. Out of this 135,000 sq.m can be used for offering salat and it can accommodate 430,000 people for salat. Hence after the second Saudi extension, the mosque and the open space can accommodate 698,000 people for salat.

LADIES PRAYING AREA
In Islam the intermixing of men and women is totally prohibited. Hence two special areas are designated for women to offer salat. One is in the north-eastern corner of the mosque stretching over sixteen thousand square meters. The other one is in the north western corner of the mosque consisting of eight thousand square meters. There are partitions placed between men and women areas. The doors for entry and exit for these areas are also earmarked for women only. Number of these doors are 13, 14, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30.

It would be interesting to note that in the middle of all doors of the mosque is written.

" Mohammad (SAS)"

Furthermore on the top of each door it is inscribed in stone
Enter it with peace and security. Similarly it is written above all the windows of the mosque:

( La Illallah Mohammad-ur-Rasol-al-lah) .

Now I shall describe briefly some other features of the second Saudi Extension.



MOVABLE DOMES
In order to provide fresh and natural air inside the mosque twenty seven movable domes have been built. They are opened and closed electrically by a computer. No sound is produced during their opening and closing. They are exquisitely beautiful and 2.5 kilogram gold has been used for gold work on each dome.



ESCALATORS AND STAIRS
There are six escalators to transport people from the ground floor to roof. These are at the doors numbering 6, 10, 15,27,31 and 36. There are also eighteen regular stairs to go from the ground floor to the roof.



MINARETS
Six new minarets were constructed. Four of them are at the four corners of this extension. Two of them are built on Bab King Fahd. They resemble the minarets of the First Saudi Extension. Each of the new minaret is 104 meters high and is 32 meters higher than each minaret of the first Saudi Extension.



BASEMENT
Area of the basement is 82,000 square meters. Its roof is four meters high. There are 2,554 columns in it. It has eight doors for entry. Controls for all systems are in the basement. Some of these systems are air-conditioning, water storage, fire control, cold water storage, telephone, radio, television, broadcasting and control for cameras.



AIR-CONDITIONING

It is the largest, the most modern and unique system in the world. One unique feature of the air-conditioning central plant is that it is located at a distance of seven kilometers from the mosque. In this way the noise of the plant cannot interfere with the activities of the mosque. The plant is 350x200 meters with an area of seventy thousand square meters. There are eight electric generators in it. Seven of them are for the mosque and one for the underground parking. The power of each machine is 2.5 mega watts. Four of these generators run all the time. The other three are for stand-by.

There are six plants to cool the water for air-conditioning. Each plant can cool 3,400 tons of water. Every plant cools 3,400 gallons of water per minute. Five plants run continuously and the sixth one is for stand-by. There are seven motors which deliver this cold water to the Prophet's Mosque through pipes in an underground tunnel. This tunnel is 4.1 meters deep, 6.2 meters wide and seven kilometers long. This passes under the tunnel for cars located on the west side of the Prophet's Mosque. It is located very deep in the ground to avoid any interference by future construction activities. There are two feeding pipes in it now. There is, however, room for more similar pipes to meet future needs.



CAR PARKING

Underground parking is provided at two levels. This parking is under the open space around the mosque on the north, south and west sides of the mosque. Its total area is 290,000 square meters. It can accommodate 4,444 cars. Upper level can accommodate 2,222 cars including 44 special parking spaces. The lower level can also accommodate 2,222 cars including 22 special parking spaces. The height of the upper level is 4.9 meters and the height of lower level is 4 meters.

The underground parking is connected to six major routes for entry and exit. Three routes are for the upper level and the other three are for the lower level. Four of these routes connect the upper and the lower levels. These four routes are at the four corners of the mosque.

Television camera's are installed for surveillance and to monitor moving and stationary cars. Instructions can be given by the remote camera to those in the passages to park cars in marked spaces carefully. The number of cars entering and leaving can also be determined. These arrangements are to avoid unnecessary crowding and confusion in the underground parking.



PUBLIC SERVICES

There are fifteen big halls for ablution facilities. Each hall has four levels and there are two entrances for each of these halls. Each level is accessible by elevators and regular stairs as well. These elevators and stairs also lead to the underground parking. Each of these halls has 336 toilets. There are also western style toilets at the one end of each row of toilets.

Each hall has electric, water storage, clean air system, fire extinguishers and other supporting systems in place.

Courtyards of the mosque needs special mentionis very crucial. These courtyards lie between the Turkish Extension and Saudi Extensions. Sixteen huge umbrellas are installed there to shield against extreme heat and cold. Each umbrella opens and closes electrically and presents a very fascinating scene. Air-conditioning and sunshine are provided in this open space in accordance with the need of the worshippers.

Another big hall needs special mention. This stretches from Bab Baqee to Bab Salam on the south side of the mosque. Its dimensions are 87.5x5 meters and it has four doors. The dead bodies are brought for Salat-ul-Janaza from its southern door. Another door opens inside the mosque. Imam stands at this door to lead the Salat-ul-Janaza. The dead body is taken from here for burial.

These two doors are also used by the Imam for entry and exit from the mosque. Rest of the hall is used by the security personnel.

Finally, it should be noted that there is a library of the mosque on the two sides of the old Bab Majeedi. One side, called old Bab Osman, contains rare documents, books and old copies of Quran. The other side, called old Bab Omar, has antiques and other precious items sent by various rulers from time to time. These areas are generally open for public during the regular office hours.

Hence the second Saudi Extension by King Fahd has provided an ultimate comfort and pride to the visitors of the Prophet's Mosque. It appears that the extension process started by King Abdul Aziz and continued by King Saud, King Faisal and King Fahd will go on in stages as per needs in the future.

May Allah accept the efforts of all those who participated in the development and modernization of this facility since the time of Prophet Mohammad (SAS).
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#230 [Permalink] Posted on 10th March 2012 23:17

…first prayer taught here…

 

…Jibreel Alaihis Salam came to our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam the day after the Mir’aj to teach him Wudhu and Salat

…and Allah Ta’ala knows best…but it is knowledge passed down through the ‘Ulema and Awliyah that the brown marble pieces inserted into the white marble of the Shadharwan is where the Mubarak teaching occurred…

…Ahmad transmits in his Musnad and al-Hakarn in his Mustadrak from Zaid ibn Haritha RadhiAllahu anhu that our Noble Nabi SallAllahu alaihiwasallam said: “Jibreel came to me at the beginning of what he revealed to me and taught me how to do Wudhu and the Prayer…”

…Al-Bukhari transmits that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam said: “Jibreel descended and led me in prayer, and I prayed with him, then I prayed with him, then I prayed with him and then I prayed with him,” and he counted out five times on his fingers… …an excellent explanation as to why the first prayer was at Dhur time rather than Fajr

… And indeed, we are those who line up. And indeed, we are those who exalt Allah. (37:165-166) May Allah Ta’ala keep us firm on our daily prayers and accept them, Ameen!

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#231 [Permalink] Posted on 16th March 2012 19:06

Fish eyed view of The Haram

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#232 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd March 2012 09:49

Makkah 1925


 

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#233 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd March 2012 12:20

 

 ZAMZAM Saudi Geological Survey
 
Unlike other geological surveys worldwide, the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) faces a number of unique responsibilities that arise from its being the major national earth science body of the Kingdom. Foremost of these special responsibilities are the obligations it has towards the well being and prosperity of the two holiest cities of Islam, Makkah al Mukarramah (Makkah the Holy) and Madinah al Munawarrah (Madinah the Illuminated).

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, his Father His Majesty King Abdulaziz and all the kings that followed him have taken keen interest in the affairs of Muslims all over the world. Special attention was given in the matters relating to the two Holy Cities where millions of Muslims make pilgrimage; hence the various extensions of the two Holy mosques through the Saudi period. The Zamzam well, which is located within the precinct of the Holy Mosque in Makkah, is important to Muslims because of its miraculous origin. Muslims cherish water from this well, and hence Their Majesties’ continued special interest in and attention to Zamzam in all its aspects.

The Zamzam Studies and Research Center (ZSRC) was created by SGS to secure the supply, in terms of quality and quantity, of Zamzam water. As a result the Center has set up a series of investigative projects to define, quantify, and monitor the water source, and provide the information needed to manage and sustain supplies in the face of increasing demand by residents and pilgrims.
 
The Miracle of Zamzam Well
According to Arab historians, the Zamzam Well, except for a few periods when it became dry or was buried under sand, has been in use for around 4000 years. The well marks the site of a spring that, miraculously, had issued forth from a barren and desolate wadi (non perennial stream) where the Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him-pbuh), under Allah's command, had left his wife Hajar and their infant son Ismail (pbuh). In her desperate search for water,

Hajar ran seven times back and forth in the scorching heat between the two hills of Safa and Marwa to look for water for Ismail (pbuh), who was dying of thirst, and also to look for passing karawans for help.. Allah, in His mercy, sent the Angel Gabriel, who scraped the ground, causing the spring to appear. On finding the spring, and fearing that it might run out of water, Hajar enclosed it in sand and stones. The name Zamzam originates from the phrase Zomë Zomë, meaning ‘stop flowing’, a command repeated by Hajar during her attempt to contain the spring water. The area around the spring, which was later converted to a well, became a resting place for caravans, and eventually grew into the trading city of Makkah, birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  
Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) later returned to rebuild Ka’ba, the first Bait-ul-Allah (House of Allah), originally said to have been built by Adam (pbuh). It is the holiest Muslim shrine. The Ka’ba now stands in the center of the Holy Mosque, also called Al-Haram. The Zamzam well is located within the Holy Mosque at about 20 m east of the Ka’ba.
All able-bodied Muslims with sufficient financial means are obliged to make the pilgrimage to Makkah, known as the Hajj, at least once in lifetime. During the Hajj, pilgrims perform a number of rituals in the Al-Haram and outside Makkah at Muna, Arafat, and Muzdalifa. One of the rituals known as the Umrah, includes Tawaf (seven times circling) of Ka’ba and Sai between the hills of Safa and Marwa, which is to re-enact Hajar’s search for water. Hajj is performed on specific dates during Dhu Al-Hijja the last month of the Islamic year while Umrah is optional and can be performed at any time of the year. Millions of Muslims visit Makkah to perform Umrah and Hajj throughout the year; the peak season being the month of Ramadan and Dhu al Hijja. Visitors cherish drinking Zamzam water during their visit and carry it back home.
 
Structure and hydrogeology of the Well
Zamzam Well is hand-dug and is about 30.5 m deep, with an internal diameter ranging from 1.08 to 2.66 m. Hydrogeologically, the well lies within Wadi Ibrahim, which runs through the Holy City of Makkah, and taps groundwater from the wadi alluvium and, to a much lesser extent, the underlying fresh bedrock. The well is now housed in a basement room, protected by glass panels that allow a clear view of the well.
 
 
                           


 
Electric pumps are used to draw water from the well, replacing the ropes and buckets of the olden days. No visitor is allowed to enter the Zamzam Well room and surroundings. Outside this room, there was a service area, where cold Zamzam water fountains and dispensing containers were provided for drinking purposes. Recently, the Al-Haram Tawaf area has been extended to cover the entrance to this area and it is no more accessible to pilgrims. Instead, cold Zamzam water fountains and dispensing containers are now placed at the periphery of Tawaf area and within the Grand Mosque, and open piazzas or Al-Sahat surrounding the Al-Haram building Moreover, a bottling plant and public distribution Sabeel have been established at Kudai, south of Al-Haram for the visitors who want to carry Zamzam home. 
The upper 13.5 m of the well is excavated in the sandy alluvium of the Wadi Ibrahim, and the lower 17.0 m in the underlying diorite bedrock. In between lies a 0.5 m thick highly permeable weathered rock. Most of the alluvial section of the well is lined with stone masonry except for the uppermost 1 m, which has a reinforced concrete collar. The weathered rock section is lined with stone and it is this section that provides the main water entry into the well.
 
 

Zamzam water entering the well from the stony horizon
 
 
Research issues and objectives
 Zamzam Studies and Research Center (ZSRC) at SGS is to provide the required scientific solutions for effective monitoring and management of the aquifer feeding the Zamzam well and to ensure the purity and security of supply. The Center is currently focusing on the following aspects of management of the aquifer, the well and the Zamzam supply and distribution system: 
 
- Monitoring and managing demand to prevent depletion,
- Urbanization of the Wadi Ibrahim catchment and its effect on recharge,
- Management of storm drainage in relation to recharge,
- Maintaining groundwater movement and quality through building controls,
- Upgrading of the Zamzam pumping and storage system,
- Optimization of Zamzam supply and distribution,
- Quality control and quality assurance of operating and maintenance of filtering and storage plants at Makkah and Madinah  
 
 
Monitoring and managing demand to prevent depletion 
 With the increasing accessibility of affordable air travel, the number of Muslims visiting the Holy City of Makkah has risen dramatically over the past 3 decades, from around 400,000 per year in the mid seventies to over several millions since the Mid Nineties. 
 
Water levels in the Zamzam Well were formerly monitored by a simple drum hydrograph, but this has now been replaced by a more sophisticated real-time multi-parameter monitoring system, which makes digital records of water level, electric conductivity, pH, Eh and Temperature, etc. The Datalogger is accessible by SGS through phone cable and the data can be examined and downloaded without going to the well. A network of other monitoring wells has also been installed throughout Wadi Ibrahim to monitor the response of the entire aquifer system to the recharge and discharge. Some of these wells are fitted with automatic digital water level recorders. 
 
 
 

Datalogger installed near the well to monitor water level, temperature, electric conductivity, TDS, pH, density, etc.
 
 
 
(IMAGE REMOVED)
ZSRC member collecting water sample, and manually monitoring water level by electric dip meter for
calibration of datalogger. In the background is the pumping system in the glass closet
 
 
With the increasing number of visitors, demand for Zamzam water was continually increasing. ZSRC's task is to estimate sustainable well yield and recommend measures to control further increase in demand to ensure that sustainable supply limits are not exceeded. Thus ZSRC advises Al-Haram Authority regularly on the maintenance of optimum production and the dynamic water level in the Zamzam well. In the beginning of the year SGS provides pumping schedule and the optimum monthly production depending upon demand which is the highest in the months of Ramadan and Dhu Al-Hijja and the lowest in Muharram. A threshold water level in the well is maintained. If the water level goes below this level the pumping is stopped, water level is allowed to recover, and then pumping is resumed. The annual discharge from the well is restricted to around 500,000 m3. However, this limit can be modified if hydrological condition so permit. For example, due to last year 's high rainfall the augmented aquifer recharge allowed proposed production increase by about 92000 m3 for the year 1432 AH.
 
 
Water Quality Monitoring
One of the mains tasks of ZSRC is to monitor the hydrochemical and microbial characteristics of Zamzam. ZSRC has been monitoring Zamzam water quality for years. Every week water samples are collected from the Zamzam well and the various outlets including thermoses and water taps in Al-Haram, and Sabeel Kudai and Khazzan outlets. Samples are analyzed for chemical and microbial components. Zamzam water is filtered through a series of sand filters and cartridge filters, and then sterilized by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation at these treatment plants before distribution to consumers. Al-Haram Authority is advised to take action if and when some unexpected adverse component is detected.
  
 
 
 

Monitoring Ultraviolet irradiation for deactivating bacteria in Zamzam water
 
 
Zamzam water is supplied daily by tankers to Masjid Nabavi at Madinah Al-Munawarrah. Before, filling the thermoses and supplying to public outlet Zamzam water is again treated by UV process. ZSRC regularly inspects this treatment and distribution system and advises the managers on improvements and streamlining the system
 
 

Inspection of quartz sleeve of UV unit Inspection of Clean cartridge Filter
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Urbanization of the Wadi Ibrahim catchment and its effect on recharge 
To sustain groundwater supply from wells, aquifers need to be continually recharged from direct infiltration of rainwater . In arid climate natural recharge is limited to rainfall from occasional, brief storms. Supply can be severely threatened during long dry periods, when water is effectively ‘mined’ from the aquifer with no source of replenishment.
 
The surface area of the Wadi Ibrahim alluvium covers only 60 km2. Limited recharge of the wadi alluvium aquifer occurs through infiltration of rainwater falling directly on the alluvium, supplemented by run-off from adjacent hillsides.
 
Urban development of Makkah has now extended over the wadi bed, diminishing the already meager amount of rainwater infiltration into the underlying aquifer due to surface sealing and channeling of rainwater into storm drainage systems.  
 
Modeling of aquifer recharge is therefore crucial to ensure that supply and demand for Zamzam water is appropriately balanced. The ZSRC is therefore assessing and quantifying the effects of urbanization on recharge, and developing recommendations for planning controls to guide further development on the wadi alluvium .
 
 
Maintaining groundwater movement and quality through building controls 
Makkah is unusual among Saudi Arabian cities because of its high proportion of relatively high-rise buildings, some of which are many decades old. High-rise development continues to present a solution to urban expansion over the Wadi Ibrahim catchment area, but the deep foundations required can expose the groundwater to contamination and also restrict its movement. Strict building controls are therefore required for allowing high rise developments in sensitive areas, indicated by near real-time maps and models of the water table elevation calculated from monitoring well data, and by risk assessments of the likely impact on groundwater quality. Engineering geology maps of Makkah also help to highlight zones of lower development risk.
 
The ZSRC aims to present solutions to these complex and inter-related problems through a modern, integrated, and multi-faceted approach to water catchment management and conservation. Through these actions, the quality and quantity of supply from the Zamzam Well can continue to be sustained to meet the spiritual needs of the world’s one billion Muslims. Wadi Ibrahim Environmental Management System (WIMS) project, described here below, has been designed to achieve these goals. 
 
ZSRC is responsible to study, assess and quantify man-made activities having impacts on the groundwater environment and monitor future development projects. . In some projects consultants were also engaged. ZSRC has studied and advised on various projects on foundation design to prevent or mitigate likely present or future effect on groundwater regime in terms of quality, quantity, and flow. Groundwater modeling is the main and integral part of all such projects. Some such major projects are:
 
- First Project of Makkah Development Company,
- Dar Al-Tawhid Intercontinental Hotel
- Souk Al-Saghir Underpass  -
- Mataf Adjustments  -
- Al-Masa’a Extension
- King Abdulaziz Endowment Project  -
- Haram 3rd Extension (Al-Shamiya) -
- Khandamah Development Project  -
- King Abdulaziz Endowment Project 2
- Jabal Omar Development Project  .
- Darb Al-Khalil Development Project
- New Ajyad Hospital
- Others
 
 
 
 
 

 

Example of groundwater modeling to study impact of piles of Al-Masa' extension foundation on Zamzam well flow regime
 
 
 
In addition, all the major public and private building ventures in Wadi Ibrahim, and particularly around Al-Haram, are vetted by ZSRC for their impact on groundwater regime. In some cases ZSRC facilitates this by providing consulting services to these projects.
 
SGS is mandated to watch all the construction activities in Wad Ibrahim and asses the foundation impact on groundwater regime. In principle, foundations are not allowed to penetrate watertable. Where slight deviation in this principle is absolutely unavoidable the builders are required to prove by carrying out groundwater modeling that there will be no adverse effect on groundwater regime. Even then, SGS requires to put a high permeability gravel layer below the foundation to compensate for the lost aquifer by the penetrating foundation. This was first done in the foundation of First Project of Makkah Development Company and Dar Al-Tawhid Intercontinental Hotel.
 
 
Zamzam-14.jpg
Excavation for foundation of King Abdulaziz Endowment Project
 
 
 
Here below is the brief description of some of the major and important projects or tasks that have either been completed or are underway under the auspices of ZSRC
 
 
Jabal Omar Development Project
Jabal Omar Development Project (JODC) is the first mega project that is being implemented under advice and supervision of ZSRC through their consultants . The scope of work for the project includes the following:
 
- Developing detailed scope of work for site investigations and groundwater modeling.
- The site investigations included the following:
- Geotechnical investigations;
- Hydrogeological investigations;
- Geophysical investigations;
- Laboratory tests.
- Monitoring wells/piezometers.
- Construct and evaluate groundwater model;
- Preparation of Tender Document and Bill of Quantities;
- Technical evaluation of tenders and rating of the contractors;
- Supervision of site investigations;
- Evaluation of reports from the contractors;
- Production of final report with recommendations.
 
ZSRC was involved in the varying degree in almost all of above tasks. ZSRC has introduced for the first time in Saudi Arabia the concept of rainfall harvesting. Removal of Jabal Omar for construction of high-rise buildings would lose the part of rainfall which would have ultimately replenished the Wadi Ibrahim aquifer through the fracture system. Therefore, a rainfall harvesting system was devised. The system, involves collecting rainfall from the building roofs and paved open spaces, conveying through piping into open-bottomed tanks for recharge to the aquifer. ZSRC has made mandatory for all the new buildings to install similar rainfall harvesting system. This new thought enables the projects to implement sustained approach of the concept green buildings.
 
 
Zamzam-15.jpg
Groundwater Contours in the alluvial aquifer in part of JODC project area
 
 
 
Stabilization of Abandoned Storm-water Tunnels
Two Tunnels (1B/10 and 1A/26) were originally constructed to serve as part of the Makkah storm water drainage system. Due to excessive dewatering during tunnel excavation, the groundwater table in part of wadi Ibrahim and, particularly, in Zamzam well was lowered to unacceptable levels and it was decided to suspend the construction operations in early eighties. This termination of activities occurred prior to completion of the tunnel’s final lining in nearly half length of tunnels. At a later date, a program was initiated by the SGS to provide permanent stabilization of the abandoned reaches of tunnels. This project involves very delicate and sophisticated operations and technology as all the operations are done under water throughout the entire length of tunnels.
 
After examining various methods for feasibility, ease of implementation, and above all, effectiveness of stabilization filling of the tunnels with high permeability gravel was opted for. The gravel was to be obtained by crushing the same kind of rock encountered in the tunnels. Before filling, the tunnels were examined and videoed by an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) equipped with survey and photographic elements. Filling was first experimented in a mock real size model to ascertain feasibility.
 
Tunnel 1A/26 was completely filled. After filling part of tunnel 1B/10, which runs along Wadi Ibrahim, aquifer tests carried out on a specially constructed well situated at about 500 m from the Zamzam well. The tests showed some decrease in the yield from the low-permeability bedrock. No decrease was noticed in the main aquifer-the alluvium, nor any adverse impact was noticed in the Zamzam well. However, consultants advised not to take any risk with the production of Zamzam well and hence the filling was stopped. Instead, a mechanical stabilization system involving hybrid stainless steel studs and arches has been recommended and its preliminary design has been approved. Final detailed design is under preparation.
 
 
Zamzam-16.jpg
Wadi Ibrahim Environmental Management System (WIEMS)
 
 
To ensure water quantity and quality in the long term, an integrated environmental management plan for Wadi Ibrahim basin is deemed an urgent necessity by implementing a system that allows to monitor daily activities, control future development plans, and preserve the environmental integrity of the aquifer. Specific objectives of the of WIEMS include:
 
 - Develop a GIS/RS system that includes all the relevant environmental information
 - Study and assess aquifer safe yield and monitor groundwater conditions
 - Assess and propose watershed management plans
 - Assess water quality conditions, propose and implement the necessary monitoring and management plan
 - Survey, assess and quantify man-made activities having impacts on the groundwater regime and monitor future developments
 - Develop an integrated environmental monitoring plan for wadi Ibrahim basin combining  all the above objectives
 
Under this project a very ambitious sampling of Wadi Ibrahim groundwater has recently been completed, which among others, will give isotopic signature of groundwater and help identify sources of contamination, if any. An elaborate multiwall tracer tests and several single well tracer tests were also carried out in a purpose-built well and observation wells to study dispersivity of any contaminant plumes.
 
Storm drains are designed specifically to prevent flooding by capturing rainwater falling on sealed urban surfaces such as roads and buildings, and carry the water away into wadis or into safe areas where it can be allowed to flood, infiltrate into the ground or evaporate. The existing system has been evaluated under WIEMS and a new modified system has been proposed to facilitate artificial recharge of stormwater to ensure natural rainfall percolation into the aquifer. ZSRC has undertaken intensive modeling of natural drainage patterns within Wadi Ibrahim catchment in order to define ways and means of harnessing storm water.
 
 
Aquifer Tests on Zamzam Well
As the number of visitors increases by the year, it is necessary to know the hydrogeological capacity of Zamzam Well so as to manage its yield in the future in a safe manner. Therefore, evaluation of potential of the surrounding aquifer system and the well with its present configuration was considered the need of the time. Although Zamzam Well has been tested many times before, the results were not conclusive. All the previous tests were carried out with paraphernalia available or in use at the time. In all the tests the drawdown was observed in the pumped Zamzam Well only. The pumping well data are not suitable for obtaining aquifer’s storage parameters like storativity and specific yield, which are essential for prediction of groundwater volume availability and long term behavior. Therefore, ZSRC decided to carry out properly designed aquifer tests with observation wells at various distances in different directions, and finally evaluation of aquifer test data with the most updated methodologies and software.
 
Two most elaborate tests were carried out; one June 2006 and the other in June 2009. The time-drawdown data were analyzed by modern software and resulting hydraulic parameters were used in the groundwater modeling in estimation of long-term safe yield of Zamzam well. These parameters were also used in the groundwater models of other nearby urban development projects to determine foundation influence on the groundwater regime.
 
 
 
Zamzam-17.jpg
Plan of water disposal from Zamzam Well to the stormwater network
 
 
 

A view of part of water disposal pipe with analogue flowmeter
 
 
 
Zamzam-19.jpg
A view of part of water disposal pipe with digital flowmeter
 
 
 
Zamzam-20.jpg
Location of observation wells monitored during aquifer tests
 
 
 
 
Zamzam-21.jpg
Example of analysis of data from an observation well by method
 
 
 
Upgrading of Zamzam pumping and storage system
In order to manage demand water from Zamzam well is pumped, treated, and stored in underground storage tanks on a continual basis. Before distribution to consumers and transportation to Madinah Zamzam water is treated by a series of sand filters, micro filters and ultraviolet disinfection. Zamzam Studies and Research Center is engaged in design of upgrading the treatment system. Already, two phases of upgrading have been completed and the third phase is in active consideration. Moreover, the Center strictly follows these activities and ensures strict quality assurance measures. 
 
 
Optimization of Zamzam supply and distribution
All visitors carry Zamzam water back home usually in plastic containers of 10 or 20 liters size, which they fill themselves from several filling points, situated around the Al-Haram and at a central filling station. But, more commonly they buy the filled containers from roadside venders on the outskirts of Makkah. This distribution system is wanting in hygiene and offsets the efforts of treatment. Recently, under the instruction of His Majesty King Abdullah, Khadim Al-Haramain Sharifain, the Saudi Government has constructed a treatment and bottling plant for supplying 20-liter bottles to Umrah and Hajj visitors.
 

 

http://www.sgs.org.sa/English/Topics/Pages/Zamzam.aspx

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#234 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd March 2012 12:25
Volcanism in Saudi Arabia
http://www.sgs.org.sa/English/NaturalHazards/Pages/Volcanoes.aspx
 
In north-western and central western Arabia crustal extension has resulted in significant Cenozoic volcanism. More than 80 percent of the volcanism has resulted in shield volcanoes, with fairly flat slopes (2o to 6o), due to thin fluid basalt lava flows and with clearly-marked craters, and cinder (scoria) and spatter cones marking degassing points along fissures.  Ash cones also occur, such as in Harrats Lunayyir and Kishb.

The first phase of the volcanism 20 to 30 million years ago was associated with the opening of the Red Sea. These older lava fields are so eroded that no morphological volcanoes remain on the surface. The more recent basaltic lava fields and volcanoes date from 10 million years ago up to the historic eruptions. They lie along a 900 km line that extends from the Great Nafud Desert, through the cities of Al Madinah and Makkah, and then as far south along the coastal plain as Al Qunfudah. The northernmost 600 km of this trend forms a north-south graben structure named the Makkah-Madinah-Nafud (MMN) volcanic line, which includes Harrats Rahat, Khaybar and Ithnayn and forms the axis of uplift in western Saudi Arabia.  Harrat Rahat, between Makkah and Madinah, covers about 20,000 km2, and has 644 scoria cones, 36 shield volcanoes and 24 domes.  Most of the volcanism in western Saudi Arabia is probably due to a northward flow in the asthenosphere from the Afar triple junction at the southern end of the Red Sea, where the East African rift joins the spreading centres of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The Afar junction is probably underlain by an upwelling mantle plume, a convection phenomenon from deep within the Earth’s mantle. The northward flow then provides the material that generates the surface volcanism by upwelling along the MMN axis and rifts related to seafloor spreading and regional tension within the Arabian plate.  Low level geothermal activity and seismicity indicate that the MMN trend remains active.
 
27.jpg
A:  Main Cenozoic lava fields in Saudi Arabia showing
     the MMN volcanic line.
B:  The three-armed rift of the Red Sea – Gulf of Aden
     – East African Rift zone.  An inferred mantle plume
     is below the Afar triangle. 
 
Harrat Lunayyir (Al-Shaqah)
Harrat Lunayyir (Al-Shaqah) is a late Cenozoic to Holocene basaltic lava field north of Yanbu, in which one of the volcanic cones may have erupted around the 10th century AD.  Since 2007 a swarm of more than 30,000 earthquakes has occurred beneath Harrat Lunayyir, including a M5.4 event on 19 May, 2009, which caused minor damage to structures in the town of Al Ays (40 km to the SE).  An 8-km-long surface rupture across the northern part of the volcanic field that occurred during this event has been modelled from Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data as being due to an intrusion of a 2 m thick magmatic dike of about 0.13 km3 volume, with its top at less than 2 km depth.  Although the magma did not reach the surface, SGS is continuing to monitor the area for any signs of renewed activity and possible surface eruptions of lava from the dike.  28.jpg


Aerial view of vent zone of historic (1256 AD) volcanic eruption in northern Harrat Rahat.
29.jpg

The Wahbar crater in Harrat Kishb, about 200 m deep and 2 km wide, is due to a phreatic steam explosion at the contact between magma and ground water.
 
Historic volcanic activity

Although most harrats are inactive, the volcanic lava field of Harrat Rahat between Makkah and Al Madinah has experienced volcanism in historic times. The oldest lavas near Madinah are only about 2 million years old, and the youngest lavas (less than 6000 years old) resulted from 11 eruptions, with 2 historic eruptions in AD 641 and AD 1256. The 641 AD eruption resulted in a small line of cinder cones to the southwest of the city. The last well-documented eruption in Saudi Arabia occurred in the northern end of Harrat Rahat near Al Madinah in 1256 AD/ 654 AH, and was preceded by significant earthquake activity for several days.  Fountains of basalt lava occurred 19 km to the southeast of the city, and lava advanced toward the city. The eruption continued for 52 days, and the lava flow reached to within 12 km of the city.  About half a cubic kilometer of alkali olivine basalt was extruded from a 2.25 km-long fissure during this eruption. Three large scoria cones and three spatter cones were produced at the vent zone, and the lava flowed a maximum distance of 23 km. The city is now expanding into the area of the flow, and SGS maintains a local seismograph network around this end of the harrat  to warn of any impending risk from an eruption, although there is a very low probability of this happening. An eruption was reported in Harrat Khaybar to the north of Harrat Rahat in the 7th century AD, and there was a possible eruption in about 640 AD at Harrat Uwayrid.
30.jpg


The May 19, 2009, fissure in soft sediments in Harrat Lunayyir .
31.jpg

Cenozoic lava flows filling valleys between the hills (Precambrian basement) in Harrat Lunayyir.
Hot springs and fumaroles

Geothermal phenomena occur as shallow water wells with elevated temperatures, fumaroles and hot springs.   In some places along the harrats steam emerges from the ground, such as in Harrats Ithnayn and Khaybar, although the steam temperature is less than 50oC and can only be observed during the colder months.  The main geothermal springs are in the foothills of the Precambrian shield adjacent to the Red Sea, and temperatures up to 100oC have been reported for a hot spring at Al Lith, with similar temperatures near Jizan.  These thermal springs result from heating of rain water that has infiltrated through faults.  SGS continues to monitor the temperatures of the hot springs.
 
 

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#235 [Permalink] Posted on 29th March 2012 13:04


 

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#236 [Permalink] Posted on 30th March 2012 01:18

Holy Mosque - Masjid al Haram








 

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#237 [Permalink] Posted on 30th March 2012 09:40

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#238 [Permalink] Posted on 4th April 2012 16:45

The Path to Hira Cave



 

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#239 [Permalink] Posted on 9th April 2012 22:06
A Model of the old Prophet's Mosque exposed

at Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market 2012

(SPA) 13/5/1433H - 05/04/2012








 
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#240 [Permalink] Posted on 9th April 2012 22:08
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