Posted by Rafiq A. Tschannen
JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Sunday 15 July 2012
Preparations for the Grand Mosque in Makkah and Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to receive millions of pilgrims and visitors are in place.
Head of the General Presidency of Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais said: “The plan for Ramadan aims to guarantee a calm and quiet atmosphere in the Grand Mosque and courtyards and providing quality utilities to pilgrims.”
More than 5.5 million Umrah visas have been issued for this season.
The number of visitors and pilgrims to the two holy mosques during Ramadan is expected to be considerably higher than that figure.
Even though the visas are issued the whole season, pilgrims prefer to perform Umrah and visit the Prophet’s Mosque during Ramadan.
Millions of domestic pilgrims also wait for Ramadan to perform Umrah and visit Madinah.
The sheikh said: “The current Ramadan plan focuses on increasing the number of imams who will issue fatwas (religious edicts) to visitors and pilgrims, regulating the distribution of iftar (breaking of the fast) packets inside the mosque and at its courtyards, preventing anyone bringing food and drink from outside to the mosque, redirecting people sitting in passageways and increased cleaning operations.”
The presidency has recruited 900 extra workers to support the existing 2,000 permanent staff to provide better services at the Prophet’s Mosque.
They will provide services such as guiding visitors, monitoring and guarding the gates to the mosque and clearing passages inside the mosque and at courtyards.
They will also operate the water-sprinkling fans in the courtyards.
The iftar arrangements inside the mosque and courtyards have also been made.
Zamzam water will also be supplied at all iftar locations.
The Prophet’s Mosque will receive 290 tons of Zamzam water daily during Ramadan, filling 13,000 drums.
The mosque and premises will be continuously cleaned by 3,200 laborers.
The presidency has taken special care to appoint a sufficient number of religious scholars and teachers to hold daily lectures, Al-Madinah daily reported yesterday. The scholars will guide visitors to the mosque besides supplying answers to questions on religious matters posed by visitors.