Expansion of The Holy Mosque : An introduction
Since the era of King Abdulaziz, the Leaders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia cared with the improvement and extension of Makah Holy Mosque to cope with the increasing numbers of pilgrims. King Abdulaziz – may Allah be merciful to him – gave this matter the highest priority. In 1344H, he started restoration and repair of walls, columns and the Holy Mosque plate. In 1354H, he ordered to restore the whole mosque. The extension of the mosque started at the era of King Saud – may Allah be merciful to him –, and specifically in Rabi Al Akher 1375H and it was the first extension for 1096 years, since the last extension made by the Abbasside Caliph (Al Muqtader Belah) in 279H . Before the first Saudi extension, the areas of the Holy Mosque was about 28,000 Meter Square, its capacity did not exceed 50,000 prayers. This extension took ten years approximately.
The Holy Mosque Expansion Project
This project is considered the biggest to extend the Holy Mosque for 14 centuries, as the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque laid the corner stone of this huge project, on 2nd Safar 1409H, corresponding to 13/9/1988G. The project extension includes the addition of a part to the mosque building from the Western side, and benefit from the roof of the holy mosque, of which its area is 61,000 meter square. Therefore, the holy mosque can accommodate about one and a half Million prayers during the Season of Hajj, Umrah and Ramadan. Additionally, two new minarets were built and the number of minarets reached to Nine. The height of each minaret is 89 Meters.
Expansion and Reconstruction of the Prophet Mosque
Since the era of King Abdulaziz, the country paid a special attention to the prophet mosque – Peace be upon him- to include the projects of extension and development. The first extension which King Abdulaziz ordered – may Allah be merciful to him – was in 1370H, where King Saud laid the corner stone to this extension by building four stones in the western wall of the mosque. The project cost was SR 70 Million. This first Saudi extension was the biggest for the prophet’s mosque since its building.
As for the second extension, it was implemented at the era of King Faisal Ben Abdulaziz may Allah be merciful to him-, which is an addition of an area to the existing building from the western direction.
Expansion Made by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
It is a part of the project of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques -may Allah be merciful to him – to extend and construct the two holy mosques. He laid the corner stone of this project in 9 Safar 1405H, corresponding to 20/9/1989G. This project added a new building to the existing one. It also benefited from the mosque roof area for prayer, which is about 67,000 meter square. The area of the mosque became after the extension 165,000 meter square.
The Extension of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is characterized by the following:
The increase of number of the mosque minarets from 4 to 10, height 92 meters, addition of 65 new doors to the existing 16 doors. The total became 81 doors except the entrances, which increase from 7 to 23.
King Fahad Complex for Printing of Holy Qura`an
At the top priorities of the Kingdom’s activities for service of Islam and Muslims is its attention towards the right printing of Allah `s book, audited and these copies to be distributed to all Muslims all over the world.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques gave a special priority to this project as he ordered to build a medical complex in the prophet’s city for this purpose. He laid the corner stone of this project in Moharram 1403H and inaugurated it in Safar 1405H. Minister of Endowments, call and guidance takes over the supervision on this complex. This project has many aims. First of all is printing the Holy Qura`an with different sizes and various qualities, of production capacity 7 Million copies annually, record the Holy Qura`an on cassettes by the reputable recites of the Kingdom’s readers and some Islamic countries, and makes the complex as a specialized scientific center in research in the holy Qura`an sciences.
Saudi Aid Agencies
Since the era of King Abdulaziz -may Allah be merciful to him – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave the top priority to support and help the Muslims all over the world. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made available of this support through specialized agencies established for this reason as follows:-
- International Islamic Aid Agency
- International Islamic World Assembly
- The two Holy Mosques Establishment
- Saudi Agency for collecting the donations
Since the era of the founder King Abdulaziz , the Foreign Policy is based on principles and rooted bases taken from the rules of Islamic religion and original Arab traditions. The main characteristics of the Foreign Policy is support of Arabic and Islamic solidarity, defense of the fair Arabic and Islamic cases , service of Islam and Muslims all over the world, maintaining the international stability and peace and non interference in other countries interior affairs. On the other side, not allowing others to interfere in its affairs.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia comes at the top of world countries concerning the offered aids in comparison with the gross national production. The percentage decided by the United Nations to the granted countries is 0.70% of its total income. The offered percentage by the Kingdom to the developing countries reached 5.45% of the annual average for the gross national production. Where as the percentage of foreign aids of the biggest industrial countries in comparison to its national production did not reach to the level given by the Kingdom.
Saudi Fund for Development is considered the principal agency to offer the Saudi aids to the developing countries. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia comes at the top of world countries to aid the effected from natural calamities and the civil wars that broke in some of the Arab and Muslim countries through the agencies and popular committees supported by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.