Published — Sunday 21 June 2015
JEDDAH: Nearly 1 million people prayed at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on the first Friday of Ramadan.
Worshippers and Umrah pilgrims from inside and outside the Kingdom flocked to the Grand Mosque from the early hours of Friday morning, filling its corridors, floors and the courtyards to pray there in an atmosphere of security, stability and peace.
All government agencies and private bodies implemented the operational plans which focused on providing the best services to the guests at the Grand Mosque, and on facilitating the performance of the holy rituals in peace and comfort from the moment they set foot on the holy land until they return to their homes.
Worshippers and guests in the House of God have benefited from the expansion project of mataf which includes three floors — the marbled open plaza surrounding the Holy Kaaba, the first floor and rooftop. Additionally, there are the two specially designated structures for wheelchairs.
Traffic personnel made great efforts to direct motorists to the allocated parking lots at Makkah’s entrances. The central area was evacuated and free of vehicles to facilitate the worshippers’ entrance to, and exit from, the Grand Mosque.
Despite the high temperatures, the air conditioning inside the Grand Mosque, plus the approximately 250 fans spraying cold water in the outside yard, enabled worshippers to enjoy moderate atmospheres and reduced the effects of high temperatures.
Large numbers of guides and security personnel were deployed around the gates of the Grand Mosque and the doors leading to the escalators to help worshippers and older people on how to use them and remain safe.
Brig. Gen. Muhammad Al-Ahmadi, commander of the Grand Mosque Security Force, said: “Despite the high temperatures, the mosque operated at about 95 percent capacity. All the plans in place were successful and this helped in facilitating the atmosphere for worshippers to perform the holy rituals and enjoy the feelings of faith and reverence.”
Maj. Gen. Abdul Rahman Al-Muqbil, director general of Traffic Department, said the traffic plan was based on preventing all vehicles from entering the central area a whole hour before prayer time and another full hour after prayers.
“The central area is reserved for pedestrians and worshippers coming to the Grand Mosque,” he said.
The Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques intensified its efforts and provided all necessary services for worshippers around the clock. The presidency is implementing its plans by employing more than 5,000 employees, men and women, in addition to cleaners who work effortlessly around the clock to keep the inside of the mosque and its courts clean at all times.
In Madinah, the Prophet’s Mosque has been furnished with more than 16,000 carpets in addition to 250 umbrellas and 436 fans spraying water to protect the worshippers from the heat of the sun.
Abdul Wahid Al-Hattab, media director at the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, said worshippers prayed the first Friday of Ramadan with ease because of the implementation of an integrated system of services.
“The presidency used modern technology and installed 60 electronic screens in the Prophet’s Mosque to serve worshippers and visitors by displaying guidance and instructions as well as data and information on the services offered,” he said.
Madinah police chief Maj. Gen. Abdul Hadi Al-Shahrani confirmed the readiness of all security agencies in the region, adding: “The police force with more than 17,000 men and 400 officers is ready to offer the best services to the worshippers and visitors. Our efforts are more than doubled inside the central area surrounding the Prophet’s Mosque and on the roads inside and outside the city.”
Categories: Arab World, Asia, Islam, Saudi Arabia
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