Work on Prophet's Mosque after Haj

Updated 03 July 2012
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Work on Prophet's Mosque after Haj

The recently announced expansion works on the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will begin after the Haj season this year, a reliable source said. Compensation payment to the owners of the expropriated properties for the project will also be completed by that time, the source told a local daily.
Compensation per square meter is fixed at SR 400,000. According to preliminary estimation, SR 25 billion will be paid to the properties covering an area of 12.5 hectare of land, including 100 buildings.
The buildings that are to be removed for the project include the old Maternity Hospital, some hotels, the Ashqi Building, Awqaf 2 Building and Al-Muhammadiah Waqf on the eastern side. The King Abdul Aziz Library building and some markets are to be removed on the western side.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah ordered last month that the expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque should accommodate more than 1.6 million worshippers.
The expansion project is to be implemented in three phases. The first phase will accommodate more than 800,000 worshippers while the second and third will bring the total capacity of people the mosque can accommodate to 1.6 million.
Currently the maximum capacity of the mosque at peak times is close to 550,000 worshipers.
The expansion work will enable smooth pedestrian movement. It will also consider the architectural design of nearby buildings. Public squares close to the mosque and utilities in the area will also be improved. The area will also be developed as the heart of the city according to the plan. The existing hotels in the expansion area will be allowed to operate until the actual works begin, according to the source.
Meanwhile Sheikh Yusuf Salamah, a member of the founding committee of the Muslim World League, commended King Abdullah’s decision to expand the Prophet’s Mosque. “King Abdullah, in the first place, seeks to increase the ease and comfort of Haj and Umrah pilgrims,” Salamah said.
President of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, who is also imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, described the new expansion project as unprecedented, saying the area of the mosque and surrounding courtyards would cover an area of 1.1 million square meters after the completion of the project.


Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

Updated 53 sec ago
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Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

  • The president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury Shagaf Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey
  • Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back”

CHRISTCHURCH: King Salman’s Hajj offer to host families of those affected by March’s Christchurch terror attacks is “something really special,” said the president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Shagaf Khan.
The Saudi king has offered to host and cover the expenses of 200 Hajj pilgrims when they journey to Makkah this year.
Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey. “For some of them, it’ll be a great comfort feeling like they’ve fulfilled the obligations of being a Muslim,” he added.
Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back.”
When asked what the offer would mean for Canterbury’s Muslim community, Khan said it is part of the solidarity and support that has been shown to them since the Christchurch terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 51 people.
“Four months on … people still feel supported and they feel they’re still being remembered,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed Amir, who is working closely with the local community, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy and its Ministry of Islamic Affairs to implement King Salman’s offer, said it will be available for those who had lost family members or been injured in the mosque attacks.
Canterbury’s Muslims are “very appreciative” of the offer, added Amir, who is chairman of the Islamic Scholars Board of New Zealand.
“I’ll say with full confidence that this will be a big relief for the deceased’s families, for the victims, for all those who’ve been injured and affected,” he said.
When asked how the organization of the pilgrimage is going, Amir said “so far, so good,” but added that it has been challenging without official records to track everyone down.
He said it is an honor and a responsibility to help organize the pilgrimage, which he has been helping to plan since the end of Ramadan. “People are very excited about it,” he added.
He said he believed that the king’s offer had been made to help people’s rehabilitation after the terror attacks.
“The community believes he’s going to contribute in building Christchurch and bringing people to a normal life,” Amir added.