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More historic Masaajid in the Saudi firing line in Madinah

Masjid Ijabah

Saudi Gazette | 25 Muharram 1436/19 November 2014

Power outage notices on the doors of a number of mosques including the historical Sajdah Mosque have left historians fearing that they might get demolished to make way for the Prophet’s Mosque expansion project, Makkah daily reported.

Local authorities erected notices to cut off the power from several mosques in areas of Madinah that have been marked for demolition.

Some of the marked mosques carry historical and Islamic significance that date back to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) era.

Historians and concerned citizens are unsure whether the expansion project plans include renovation of the mosques, taking into account their architectural heritage, or to demolish them completely.

Among the mosques that could be demolished are the Ijabah Mosque and the Sajdah Mosque, also known as the Shukur Mosque.

The Sajdah Mosque is where the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed Sujud Ash-Shukur (prostrating to Allah in order to express gratitude).

The mosque is located near the public transport stop north of the Prophet’s Mosque.

Both the Sajdah and Ijabah Mosques are classified by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities as historical Islamic landmarks.

Abdullah Kabir, Madinah landmarks researcher, said the expansion project must consult expert architects to ensure the preservation of the Sajdah Mosque’s architectural identity.

Preserving the historical significance of buildings in Madinah is considered complimentary to the expansion project’s vision and not an obstacle against modernization, he said.

He said: “Al-Sajdah Mosque is not just a praying location. “Imam Al-Bayhaqi and others confirmed the Prophet has performed sujud in this mosque.

“The mosque has a long history of preservation that started from the first Hijri century during the time of the Umayyad Caliph Umar Bin Abdul Aziz. The last renovation of the mosque was during the late King Fahd’s time.”

Saudi Authorities pledge not to destroy remaining historic mosques in vicinity of Masjid Nabawi

masjid abu bakr

Agencies | 27 Muharram 1436/21 November 2014

The expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah would not affect other nearby ancient mosques, a senior official from the Ministry of Finance has said.

He said that the mosques of Abu Bakr, Omar ibn Al-Khattab, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Al-Ejaba and Abu Dhar (Al-Sajdah) would remain intact because they are outside the boundaries of the expansion area.

According to the source, the rehabilitation of the Al-Ejaba and Al-Sajdah mosques would begin after the completion of the expansion project.

Mohamed Al-Amin Al-Khatri, director general of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance in Madinah, reportedly said that 131 mosques are set to undergo restoration, including the historic mosques of Abu Bakr, Omar ibn Al-Khattab, Ali bin Abi Talib, and Fatima Al-Zahra.

Earlier this week it was reported that power outage notices had been placed on the doors of a number of Madinah mosques including the historical Sajdah Mosque leaving historians fearing that they might get demolished to make way for the Prophet’s Mosque expansion project.

Baqi Cemetery to be expanded

baqi

Arab News | 26 Muharram 1436/20 November 2014

A huge expansion project for the historic Baqie Al-Gharqad cemetery in Madinah is ready for launch shortly, an official at the Presidency of the Holy Mosques said.
“The largest expansion in the history of the graveyard which will double its area to 300,000 square meters comes as part of the current expansion project of the Prophet’s Mosque to the northern side, with the number of grave spaces increasing to 42,000,” said the source.

The project of the cemetery which is designed to run parallel to King Faisal Road will require appropriation of the properties including farms and buildings on its eastern side. The office building of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Madinah will also have to be demolished to make way for the project, he said.

The entire facility, where relatives and companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and a number of Muslim leaders apart from Madinah residents are buried, is currently divided into 42 squares where the largest square houses 2,500 graves and the smallest accommodates 60. Some graves are allocated for infants while others are reserved for the elderly. He added that fresh remains are put in the graves every five years.
The cemetery has nine washing units for cadavers including four for men and four for women while one unit is kept in reserve. Bodies for burial are carried to the graves in golf carts. In addition, there are eight ambulances to transport the bodies to the cemetery.
The expansion work around the mosque has also taken into consideration the future requirements of the population growth in Madinah and the increasing number of pilgrims visiting the historical site.
The project is expected to have arrangements for the smooth entry and exit of pilgrims to the area besides better facilities for the washing and shrouding rituals, taking the bodies for prayers in the mosque and finally moving them to the burial site.
The regulations governing the burial include keeping records of the personal details of the deceased and the exact location of the burial.
The size of a single pit is 2 meters by 1 meter with a depth of 2 meters.
A network for the drainage of rainwater has also been put in place recently.

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