MAKKAH: Thirty mosques will be restored and refurbished across the Kingdom in the second phase of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Developing Historical Mosques” project.
Five in the Makkah region have been singled out. The first phase also saw 30 renovated in 10 regions across the country. The crown prince’s project will see a total of 130 mosques restored, according to the Vision 2030 website.
Al-Baiah Mosque, which was built by the Abbasid Caliph Abu Jafar Al-Mansour, is in Shaab Al-Ansar behind Mount Aqaba near Jamarat Al-Aqaba in Mina. It was identified during the Jamarat expansion project in 2007 and is one of Makkah’s landmark monuments. The area will remain the same at 457 square meters with a capacity for 68 worshippers, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
In Jeddah, the 900-year-old Abu Inbeh Mosque in Harat Al-Sham will now be 335 square meters for 357 worshippers, from a previous 339 square meters for 360 worshippers. Also in the city, the Al-Khadr Mosque in Al-Thahab Street in Al-Balad will be extended to 355 square meters for around 355 worshippers.
Al-Fath Mosque in Al-Jamoum was also built centuries ago. It is believed that Prophet Muhammad most probably prayed in this mosque in Al-Fath, or the year of conquest. The mosque was renovated in 1998 after several years of neglect. It will now be expanded from 455 square meters to 553 square meters, to increase its capacity from 218 to 333 worshippers.
Al-Jubail Mosque in Thaqif, Taif, was built more than 300 years ago, and regularly hosted Friday prayers. Post-renovation, it will have an area of 310 square meters, with its capacity remaining at 45 worshippers.
The mosques will be restored and refurbished with quality materials, and have their historical character retained, say officials.
Dr. Fawaz Al-Dahas, director of the Makkah History Center, told Arab News that these places of worship have “great historical value.”
The crown prince’s project is part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan to preserve the country’s heritage, while using these ancient structures to inspire the design of new mosques.
Historian Saad Al-Judi said: “The Saudi state, through the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Project for Developing Historical Mosques, has revived the past by shedding light on mosques that were neglected in previous eras. Some of these mosques were built hundreds of years ago.”
Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, praised the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s project to develop historical mosques in its first and second phases.
Al-Sudais also said that caring for mosques has been one of the feats of Saudi Arabia’s leaders right from the country’s establishment by King Abdul Aziz until King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reign.