Courtesy P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News
JEDDAH, 9 October 2007 â€” The Prophetâ€™s (s) Mosque in Madinah, the second holiest mosque for Muslims, will be kept open 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year on the instructions of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, according to Madinah Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz ibn Majed.
â€œThis gracious decision reflects the kingâ€™s care and keenness toward pilgrims and worshippers who visit the Prophetâ€™s (s) Mosque,â€ the governor said. â€œIt will also help the faithful to spend long hours inside the mosque in worship and meditation.â€
Until now the mosque closed after the last prayer (isha) and reopened for the pre-dawn prayer (fajr).
Prince Abdul Aziz said all departments of the mosque have been readied to carry out the kingâ€™s instruction. Sheikh Saleh Al-Hosain, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, said from now on the Madinah Mosqueâ€™s doors would be closed only for routine maintenance services. â€œThis is good news for all Muslims, especially for pilgrims who come from far off places in the Kingdom and other parts of the world,â€ said Mohammed Badahad, assistant secretary-general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.
He said the move would help reduce overcrowding inside the mosque, as the faithful would receive extra hours for worship and prayers. The Grand Mosque in Makkah is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Like his predecessors, King Abdullah has shown special interest in the care and development of the two holy mosques. Recently, he allocated SR10 billion for the comprehensive development of the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah.