By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR | ARAB NEWS
JEDDAH: A former Makkah mayor has proposed the construction of seven vast mosques in prime locations within the Haram area in order to avoid the overcrowding of pilgrims and worshippers at the Grand Mosque.
Speaking to Al-Madinah Arabic daily, Fouad Muhammad Tawfik said such a measure was essential to meet the requirements of the growing number of pilgrims and worshippers who come to Makkah every year.
Tawfik’s statement comes after Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah recently launched the largest expansion of the Grand Mosque in history to increase the mosque’s capacity to more than 2.5 million worshippers. The project will cost SR80 billion.
He described the expansions of the Grand Mosque, the masaa (the running course between Safa and Marwa) and the Jamrat (stoning area in Mina) as strategic moves to facilitate the movement of pilgrims and help them perform their rituals easily and comfortably.
“We have to take into account the possibility of a huge influx of pilgrims coming to the holy places in Makkah for Haj and Umrah in the coming years. We have to find suitable solutions to deal with such huge crowds of pilgrims and think of new ideas to break up these huge crowds of worshippers,” he said.
Tawfik continued: “We know that Allah has made the whole Makkah Haram (a sacred place) and did not specify that the Grand Mosque has the only boundaries for the Haram. You know that there were several houses and other buildings before they made way for the mosque in its current form.”
The key point that the whole Makkah is the Haram gives the government a lot of flexibility to find solutions to prevent overcrowding. READ ON ARAB NEWS