|January 21, 2005|
PROJECTS OF PRIDE TO THE MUSLIM PEOPLE AND HONOURABLE ACHIEVEMENTS BASED ON THE FEELINGS OF RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS THE NATION.
IMPORTANT STEPS TO EXPAND AND RENOVATE THE HOLY MOSQUES.
KING FAHD COMPLEX FOR PRINTING THE HOLY QURAN PUBLISHES 10 MILLION DIFFERENT ISLAMIC PUBLICATIONS PER YEAR.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz attention to the needs of the Holy Places has been unfaltering, and most obviously manifested in a multi-billion dollar program of modernization to make the places of pilgrimage more accessible to ever greater numbers.
The religious center of the Holy City of Makkah is the Haram Mosque and the well of Zamzam.
The present Haram, meaning "sanctuary", dates from 1570 (978 AH), and takes the form of a central quadrangle surrounded by stone walls. Around the inner sanctuary is a marble pavement, the El Mataf. The holiest shrine of Islam, the Ka'aba is situated at the heart of the Holy Mosque's central courtyard.
The Haram Mosque has a long and glorious tradition of expansion, dating back to 638 (7 AH) when the ever increasing number of Muslims led the second caliph, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, to develop the site.
When the late King Abdul Aziz established the modern Saudi state, one of his primary concerns, like that of the early caliphs, was his role in overseeing the well-being of the pilgrims undertaking the annual Hajj. Aware that the Holy Mosque could not support the growing numbers of worshippers, he initiated a refurbishment and expansion program.
The Grand Mosque in the Holy city of Makkah:
The expansion and renovation of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah will be recorded in the Islamic history as the pioneering accomplishment of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz.
With the implementation of these gigantic projects, the Grand Mosque in Makkah can accommodate more than one million worshippers and the Prophet's Mosque more than 1.2 million worshippers.
In 1988 (1408/09 AH) King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz laid the foundation stone for the third Saudi expansion of the Mosque in the Holy City of Makkah, and so began the latest, and most spectacular, phase in its recent development. In his role as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
The development of the Holy Mosque site in Makkah has incorporated an expansion of the western wing of the existing Mosque, and a subsequent enlargement of the building to hold more than a million worshippers during the Holy Month of Ramadan and during Umrah and Hajj.
The expansion project includes over 60,000 square meters of prayer area on the enlarged roof, in addition to another almost 86,000 square meters in the surrounding plaza. Two towering minarets have been added to complement the seven existing whitened stone structures, the latest additions carefully matching the former in architectural style.
An elaborate new entrance and 18 other gates have also been built. Other exquisite decorative work commissioned by King Fahd adorns a series of three domes running parallel to the main gate structure and close to 500 marbled columns on the ground and first floors.
The expansion has included the basement, the ground floor and the first floor. It is designed and built on the basis of 'comprehensive' air conditioning concept.
Pillars and their grounds are covered with white marble and the walls with black marble. Each floor has 530 pillars. This expansion included 14 doors raising the number of the Mosque's total doors to 112.
This expansion has also included two buildings for electrical escalators, one in the north and the second in the south, in addition to internal escalators. There are a total of nine escalators, in addition to other stairs in various parts of the Mosque.
In 1411 AH, spacious yards surrounding the Holy Mosque in Makkah were set up and a total area of 88,000 square meters was added.
In 1415 AH, the area of Al-Safa in the first floor was expanded for the service of pilgrims and Umrah (the minor pilgrimage) performers.
In 1417 AH, the area of Al-Marwah increased from 245 to 375 square meters. In 1417 AH, the internal passage from Al-Marawa to Massa' was expanded and new exit and entry doors were opened.
In 1418 AH, a bridge linking the roof of the Mosque to the area of Al-Raqoubah was built to facilitate entry and exit from the roof. The bridge was 72.5 meters long and 11.5 wide. It was built according to the most modern designs to conform to with the outer shape of the Mosque.
With the implementation of the expansion project, the Mosque can accommodate 460,000 worshippers in normal times. The Mosque along with its roof and surrounding areas can accommodate 820,000 worshippers.
The entire facility of the Mosque can accommodate more than one million worshippers during peak seasons.
Other improvements resulting from King Fahd's initiative have included a newly laid drainage system.
The Prophet's Mosque in the Holy City of Al Madinah Al Munawarah:
The expansion of the Prophet's Holy Mosque was ordered by King Fahd and started in Safar, 1405 AH. The expansion included the basement, ground and first floors along with a complete air-conditioning system. The roof included 27 ventilation outlets and mobile electrical domes, which open and close when necessary.
The expansion also included 41 doors. Each one is 6 meters high and 3 meters wide. Six new 104 meters high minarets were also built. Six escalators were installed in various parts of the mosque, in addition to 18 marble coated stairs.
Outer yards were set up for use during peak times like the Holy month of Ramadan and Hajj season. The parking areas of the Mosque can accommodate 4,200 cars. This number can be increased to 4,500 cars during peak seasons.
There are also buildings for services such as ablutions, water closets, cold drinking water and other utilities for security, clinics and other services. After the implementation of the expansion project, the area of the Mosque alone reached 82,000 square meters, while its total area including surrounding yards reached 985,000 square meters.
The Prophet's Mosque now has a capacity of 257,000 worshippers. Surrounding spaces have an area of 135,000 square meters that can accommodate 250,000 worshippers.
In case of using the whole area, some 450,000 worshippers can be accommodated, raising the total capacity of the Mosque and the surrounding yards to more than 700,000 worshippers in ordinary days and nearly 1,200,000 worshippers at peak times.
The Kingdom's efforts to build mosques were not limited to the Two Holy Mosques and mosques inside the Kingdom, but covered mosques in all Muslim and world countries. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has built, on its own expenses a great number of mosques and Islamic centers all over the world and contributed in financing many other mosques.
As the mosque has a special importance to the Muslim minorities in non Muslim countries, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid great attention to build mosques in countries where Muslim minorities live. In addition, the Kingdom built Islamic centers that include classes, halls and libraries.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has built 210 Islamic centers in Europe, the Americas, Australia, Africa and Asia.
In Islam, mosques occupy a special and high status as they are considered the most loved houses to God, where His Name is mentioned, and prayers are performed.
Since the foundation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom and its leaders took care of building and developing mosques. This care reached its peak during the era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, who paid great attention to the development and expansion of the Two Holy Mosques.
Realizing the significant role of the Two Holy Mosques, SR70 billion were spent on the expansion projects at the Two Holy Mosques, to provide the increasing numbers of pilgrims with the required services and facilities.
Of all the projects undertaken by Saudi Arabia during the reign of King Fahd, the expansion of the Holy Mosques in the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah stand out as one of the most prominent achievements. As the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has spared no efforts or expenses in developing the Two Holy Mosques to accommodate in safety the vast numbers of pilgrims who visit the Kingdom each year, great care was taken to ensure that the expansion is entirely consistent with the architectural design of the existing structures.
The Kingdom's efforts to build mosques were not limited to the Two Holy Mosques and mosques inside the Kingdom, but covered mosques in all Muslim and world countries. The Kingdom has built, on its own expenses a great number of mosques and Islamic centers all over the world and contributed in financing many other mosques.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, has positively shouldered its responsibility, and played a pioneering role in order to raise the banner of Islam all over the globe and raise the Islamic call either inside or outside the Kingdom.
Some of the Kingdom's most important achievements in the field of serving Islam and Muslims are:
In realization of its pioneering role in the service of Islam and Muslims, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia established the Madinah-based Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Complex for the printing of the Holy Quran. The foundation stone of the Complex was laid by the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz in Muharram, 1403 h. King Fahd inaugurated the Complex in Safar, 1405 H.
The Complex is spread over an area of 250,000 square meters. It includes a mosque, administrative offices, the printing press, stores, a clinic, a library and restaurants as well as other utilities. The Complex is able to print ten million copies of the Holy Quran per year. The capacity of the Complex could be raised to 30 million copies per year.
In addition to printing copies of the Holy Quran, the publications of the Complex include the translation of the meanings of the Holy Quran and books of Sunnah (the Prophet's teaching) and the biography of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be On Him).
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leaders also care for teaching and memorizing the Holy Quran. They established private schools for this purpose and charity organizations for memorizing Quran. These organizations' branches and schools are spread all over the Kingdom's regions and are financially and morally supported by the Kingdom's leaders through annual and personal donations. This care was also clear through holding two contests: The annual contest in Riyadh and the world contest in Makkah, for which valuable awards were allocated. The latest of these awards was the Prince Salman Ibn Abdul Aziz Award For Memorizing Quran in the Kingdom's regions.
The leaders' efforts also covered the Kingdom's prisons where circles for memorizing the Quran were established and prisoners are encouraged to study and memorize the Quran as part of their rehabilitation programs and as a reward for those who achieve this aim part of the imprisonment period is lifted.
Printing and distributing useful books.
The leaders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid great attention to the efforts exerted to spread Islam and teach the peoples its laws and rituals. They also realized the importance and the effect of books in this field. Thus, during the first decades of the foundation of the Kingdom, they gave a great deal of care to books. King Abdul Aziz God Bless his soul ordered the printing of various useful books, then, he was followed by his sons who encouraged specialized people to write books which were printed on the expense of the state. Some of the books were distributed for free.
The distribution was not limited to the citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but covered the pilgrims and Muslims throughout the world.
The leaders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid great attention to education. As a result of this attention eight universities were established in the Kingdom in addition to thousands of schools, institutions and colleges for boys and girls.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz played a distinguished role in the Kingdom's educational achievement since he was the first minister of education, and supervised the educational plans.
The Kingdom's keenness went beyond the Saudi citizens to include also the Muslims throughout the world through offering scholarships. Sharia education was at the center of the attention of the Saudi leaders due to the importance of teaching young Muslims the Sharia laws.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also established a number of universities, institutes and schools abroad and contributed in supporting other educational projects and located constant funds to finance some universities, institutes and schools and encourage them to continue their message and adhere to their responsibilities.
As many as 16 Saudi Academies abroad are catering for the educational needs of Saudi, Arab and Muslim students around the world.
In addition to that, the Kingdom has a number of scientific chairs in some of the world universities such as:
1. King Abdul Aziz Chair at the University of California.
2. King Fahd Chair for Sharia Studies at Harvard University.
3. King Fahd Chair for Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University.
4. Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz Department for Islamic Studies and Arab Language at Moscow University.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also established a number of institutes and academies for Islamic studies abroad. They are located in the United States of America, Britain, Germany, Russia, Ras Al Khema, Djibouti, Mauritania, Indonesia and Japan.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's efforts in the field of Call. The Saudi State, throughout its three stages, has spared no efforts in the field of Islamic Call. The Basic Law of the state stresses the importance of Call.
Taking care of Muslims' cases and affairs.
In line with the policy formulated by King Abdul Aziz, the leaders of the Kingdom gave, on both the official and personal levels, their utmost attention to the Muslims causes. They assisted them to win their rights, and stood by them at international forums. The great example of that is the cause of Palestine, notably the cause of Al Quds.
Thanks also to the Kingdom's rational and wise policy, this policy has yielded positive results with the financial and moral support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Relief of Muslim victims of disasters.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid great attention to the relief of Muslims who are stricken by disasters and offers them assistance. Whenever the Kingdom's leaders hear about a disaster in a Muslim country they rush to help and send great quantities of the needed aids.
Embracing a number of international Islamic organizations.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia played a large role in the establishment of the Organization of Islamic Conference, The Islamic World League, the Islamic Development Bank, the World Forum for Islamic Youth, The Organization of Islamic Relief, the World Higher Council for Mosques and the Islamic Fiqh Complex. All these organizations receive financial and moral support from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leaders. The Kingdom had also offered them suitable buildings to help them conduct their tasks in assisting Muslims and helping them to solve their problems and settle their causes.
Since its foundation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has implemented the Islamic Sharia. Since its foundation the Kingdom's basic law is the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him (teachings). The fruits of following this straight path, are clear in the security, welfare and stability which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is enjoying.