King Salman: World must confront 'dangerous scourge' of terrorism

Updated 24 March 2016

King Salman: World must confront 'dangerous scourge' of terrorism

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Tuesday stressed the need for joint global efforts to eliminate the scourge of terrorism as he condoled with Belgium after the deadly terrorist attacks that took place in Brussels.
In a cable of condolences to King Philippe of Belgium, King Salman said: “We learned with grief about the terrorist attacks that took place in Brussels which resulted in casualties and injuries. As we strongly condemn these criminal acts, we, on behalf of the Government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, condole Your Excellency, the families of the victims and the brotherly people of Belgium.”
“We stress the importance of international efforts to confront and eliminate this dangerous scourge which is condemned by all divine religions and international norms and conventions,” he further said.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, and 
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the second deputy premier and minister of defense, also sent messages of condolences to King Philippe. 
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)  and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) composed of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Qatar also condemned the attacks, “which violate the sanctity of human life.” 
Saudi Embassy oficials in Brussels advised citizens to be alert and avoid public places and congested areas. It urged them to avoid public arguments and contact the embassy in case of any emergency. It advised the Saudis to postpone travel plans.

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.