SHAFAQNA – Some 77 doors in the Grand Mosque in Makkah have been kept open for pilgrims and visitors to avoid crowding, according to the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
Director of the presidency’s department of doors Abdullah Bin Muhana Al-Tumaih quoted by the Saudi Gazette magazine as saying 46 of these doors would remain open 24 hours a day while an additional 31 would be opened on Fridays.
He said the opening of these doors was accompanied by the provision of other services including Zamzam water and distribution of copies of the Holy Qur’an.
“The procedure was aimed at facilitating entry and exit at the Grand Mosque, especially in light of the large number of pilgrims and visitors these days,” he said.
Tumaih said the presidency was keen to make entry and exit easy and comfortable for visitors to the Grand Mosque, particularly with the start of the third and final phase of the project to expand the mataf (circumambulation area).
He asked pilgrims and visitors to cooperate with officials in charge of the doors and to maintain the cleanliness of the Grand Mosque.
He also asked them to make use of lockers set up outside the Grand Mosque to store their valuables.
Tumaih urged pilgrims and visitors not to insist on entering the Haram immediately after prayers when worshipers would be exiting.
He also asked them to observe the signals placed outside the Haram before entering.
“When the light is green, this means that there are empty places available inside the Grand Mosque. When it is red, this a clear indication that there are no empty places, so pilgrims should not enter the Haram.”