Major expansion of Jurana mosque urged


Abdullah Al-Dahhas

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

MAKKAH — Residents of Jurana, a district near Makkah, are not happy with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance over its expansion of the Meeqat Mosque, saying it did not meet their expectations and needs of worshippers.

The ministry has just constructed an iron sunshade covering an area of 200 square meters, said Saud Faris Al-Otaibi. “This area will not be enough to accommodate a large number of worshippers, especially on Fridays,” he told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

Al-Otaibi and other residents called upon the ministry to carry out a major expansion project on the mosque to meet the requirements of Muslim faithful, especially Haj and Umrah pilgrims who put on ihram at this mosque before heading to Makkah.

“There are lots of space around the mosque, which should be utilized for a large-scale expansion project,” he said.

Samir Ali Al-Khairy, spokesman of the ministry’s branch office in Makkah, was contacted to get his comment on the issue but he did not respond. Okaz/Saudi Gazette has been contacting Al-Khairy for the last three months for a response.

Al-Otaibi said a large number of Muslim faithful visit the mosque every day, especially on Fridays. “Many people sit under scorching sun to listen to the Juma sermon,” he added.

The ministry expanded the mosque’s toilets and ablution facilities several years back but the mosque area has not witnessed any major expansion in recent years. “The ministry constructed the new sunshade following requests of people to expand the mosque,” he added.

Tariq Al-Maqati also emphasized the need to expand the historic mosque the way it deserves. “We expect a new mosque would be constructed after demolishing the existing one in order to accommodate a large number of worshippers, especially hundreds of Haj and Umrah pilgrims.”

Nasser Mansour called upon the ministry to give greater attention to Jurana mosque to meet the needs of worshippers. “I have noticed that many people pray under the hot sun during Juma on Fridays,” he added.

The mosque is situated 25 km away from Makkah. Jurana is actually the name of the well where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) took bath and wore ihram to perform Umrah while returning from Taif. Beside the mosque signboards have been installed to indicate the starting point of Haram.