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Expanding the Prophet's Mosque - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Amidst the Saudi people’s celebrations of their national day, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz launched a beautiful project that is of great importance not only to the Saudi people, but to the entire Muslim world. The project in question is the largest ever expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque in history. In accordance with this operation, huge floor areas will be added to accommodate more visitors and worshippers within the mosque, increasing the seating capacity to over 1.5 million, in a measure aimed to keep pace with the rapidly increasing numbers of worshipers who visit the holy site every year.

The expansion will be a clear example of excellence in design, equipment, materials and specifications, and it will meet all expected requirements, climatic fluctuations and seasonal pressures. First and foremost, it will take into consideration the convenience of the visitors, so that their visit becomes a truly spiritual and rewarding experience without any hassle or negativity. The project will go down in history as the largest, most significant and distinguished, owing to the new features being incorporated and the future requirements being taken into consideration in a remarkable manner.

This bears testimony to Saudi Arabia’s exceptional care for the two Holy Mosques, with the continual expansions and renovations to serve the Hajj and Umra pilgrims, visitors and worshipers, and the continual advancements made by accommodating new ideas and proposals in this regard. Recent expansions of the Two Holy Mosques have incorporated new equipment that reflects a qualitative transition in technology. For example, the central air conditioning system with a tremendous capacity to cool marble flooring, sound systems to smoothly amplify the calls to prayer, the quality of marble used for both pillars and floors, an umbrella mechanism that operates automatically to cope with the strong heat from the sun in open areas, dazzling light systems to illuminate the squares, and many other significant developments.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has spared no money or effort in caring for the two Holy Mosques, so that they can be an exceptional center of comfort for all visitors and worshipers. In fact, this represents Saudi Arabia’s most significant international accomplishment. It is no wonder that the official title of the Kingdom’s ruler is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, a distinguished and unique privilege that makes the Saudi King different from any other ruler in the world. It is wonderful that King Abdullah’s practical approach in caring for his country’s holy sites is commensurate with his official title.

The Saudi Binladin Group has the honor of carrying out the new project, in a step that reflects the admirable custom of supporting local Saudi entrepreneurs, so as to consolidate the country’s economy. The Saudi economy strives to care for the country’s major specialized companies in order to help them grow and develop, and this deserves credit. The Binladin Group has proved its worth par excellence, and has grown and become distinguished in many different sectors. This is largely due to the excellent management of engineer Bakr Bin Laden, who inherited his post from his brother Salem (may God rest his soul) and his father Mohammed before him, and now directs the company together with his brothers Yahya, Ahmed, Saleh and others who are all performing a key role.

On his country’s national day, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz presented an exceptional gift to the Islamic world, and conveyed a message to the wider world at a time when many are preoccupied with a malicious anti-Islam film that is offensive to the Prophet. King Abdullah has presented this gift to reflect the stature of the Prophet in the hearts and minds of all Muslims, and to show how they hold him in high esteem. Timing is integral to the success of any idea or project, and so it was very wise for Saudi Arabia and its King to launch this vast expansion project at this particular moment. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ wonderful project will go down in history as the accomplishment of someone who sincerely loved the Prophet. May God Almighty reward him and bless his work.

The plan to expand the Prophet’s Mosque is a wonderful project with impeccable timing, and it deserves much praise and appreciation.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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