There was congestion on the Madinah-Makkah highway because of the numbers of buses carrying pilgrims into the city. The security checkpoint at Kilo 9 has been staffed by Special Forces officers to inspect vehicles, limit the speed of vehicles and provide parking space for Saudi Red Crescent vehicles.
Director of the Hajj Ministry in Madinah, Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al-Beijawi, said that on Tuesday alone, 110,000 pilgrims arrived as the government’s health, traffic and security agencies geared up for the influx, under the supervision of Madinah, Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman.
He said the ministry was confident that 99 percent of foreign pilgrims would leave the Kingdom as planned because they have accommodation and travel contracts. Pilgrims would leave according to pre-defined schedules, in coordination with their Haj guide operators.
Abdul Wahid Al-Hattab, spokesperson of the Prophet’s Mosque, said that 250 umbrellas have been provided to protect worshippers from the sun. “We also provided 20 golf carts for persons with special needs. Ambulances are ready and on alert for any emergencies,” he said. Other departments handling missing persons and lost property have been placed on alert.
“The religious guidance and orientation section will guide visitors and worshippers at the Prophet’s Mosque, and provide scientific lessons on Islam. There is also an integrated library with a sound system broadcasting lessons, offering visitors free CDs, and proving facilities to explain fatwas (religious edicts) on the Haj and holy rituals, and required behavior at the mosque.” It also has computers. The library is open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., he said.
Al-Hattab said the female section has been prepared for worshippers, with women supervisors to ensure there is no congestion and privacy is maintained. There are also special arrangements for women to enter the Garden of Paradise section. Female visitors can enter from sunrise until before noon prayer, after noon prayer until before Asr, and then after Isha, until midnight.
The Prophet’s Mosque also deploys scholars and law students to conduct daily lessons on Tafseer, Hadith and modern jurisprudence. There are also copies of the Qur’an in several languages distributed to worshippers, he said.
One hundred doors of the mosque will be opened at peak times. There would also be continuous cleaning of the mosque inside and the courtyards without disturbing worshippers.
Many pilgrims were sleeping in the yards of the Prophet’s Mosque to rest after a tiring Haj. (Source: Arab News)