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By Adele Albanawi

Saudi Gazette

T

HE masjid, or

mosque, is the place

of worship in Islam

where Muslims

perform their daily

prayers in congregation. This

is the contemporary view of

mosques. However, mosques

played many important roles

throughout history in addition to

being places of worship.

With the emergence of the

Association of Qur’an Memo-

rization in Jeddah and in dif-

ferent Saudi cities, the circles

of Qur’anic studies and recita-

tions started to spread in many

mosques.

“The first action that the

Prophet Muhammad (peace be

upon him) took after arriving

in Madinah was building his

mosque and from this mosque,

he controlled the future Islamic

state,” said Sheikh Fahad Al-

Zahrani, the imam of Al-Salam

Mosque in Jeddah.

“The mosque was not just a

place of worship. It was the place

where the Prophet received for-

eign delegations, it was a place

for education and a shelter for

the homeless,” Al-Zahrani said.

“Unfortunately, the role of

mosques dwindled in modern

times. Most people believe that

mosques are only places of wor-

ship, an assessment that is no

longer accurate. The mosque

now is the center of the com-

munity, it is a place where people

gather and get to know one an-

other. More importantly, it is a

place where Qur’anic studies and

recitation circles are held,” Al-

Zahrani said.

“These Qur’anic studies and

recitation circles also give les-

sons in charity work, altruism

and respecting parents. All of

those lessons are derived from

the Holy Qur’an and we have

seen the positive change in our

students. The statistics that we

have show that our students are

excellent and are among the top-

pers in their schools,” he added.

Sultan Al-Muwallad, a

Qur’an teacher and a supervi-

sor of the programs at Al-Salam

Mosque, said, “The Association

of Qur’an Memorization in Jed-

dah has instituted many pro-

grams that could help the youth

generally and our students spe-

cifically to memorize the Holy

Qur’an and follow its peaceful

teachings. Wasim (Medal) is a

summer-long program designed

for children to invest their free

time in summer into something

productive. The program aims

to deliver lessons in behavior

and proper manners, educate the

students about faith, and giving

courses in self-development and

also engaging in sports activities.

In Ramadan, we hold iftar events

inside and outside the mosque

with the motto “Be A Role Mod-

el” in an attempt to encourage

our students and raise awareness

to do more volunteer work.”

The association is working

constantly to improve on the

quality of education that the stu-

dents receive, he added.

“The mosque holds special

programs during Ramadan for

expatriates working in Saudi

Arabia,” said Saad Alsulami,

supervisor of Al-Salam mosque.

“At the beginning, we held

iftar events at Al-Salam mosque.

Prior to the call for prayer and

the commencement of breaking

the fast, we held small Qur’an

recitation circles, in which we

taught the expatriates how to

read, recite and memorize the

Holy Qur’an. Then the idea ex-

panded and we decided it will be

beneficial to teach them how to

read and write properly the Ara-

bic language,” Alsulami said.

“Another program that is

equally important is the Qur’anic

studies and recitation circle

for women. They have their

independent administration and

unique programs, which include

courses in teaching English,

teaching the basics of using com-

puters, cooking and so on. All of

these programs are supervised by

the association,” he added.

Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah

Hanafi, chairman of the board of

the Association of Qur’an Mem-

orization in Jeddah said, “Re-

cently the association launched

Hasanah (Immunity) Program.

The aim of the program is to

protect the minds and morals by

consolidating the Islamic values

in our students, teachers and

supervisors. It is a preventative

program to immunize the youth

against the extremist ideologies

and terrorist organizations.”

The Hasanah program comes

under the initiative “How to be a

role model”, which was launched

by Makkah Emir Prince Khalid

Al-Faisal.

“The Association of Qur’an

Memorization takes it upon itself

to fight against the rogue ideolo-

gies and promote the peaceful

and moderate religion of Islam,”

Hanafi said.

Abdulkarim Al-Zahrani, a

former student of the Qur’anic

studies and recitation circle, said,

“Besides memorizing the Holy

Qur’an, it was an amazing ex-

perience personally. At a young

age, going to these circles was

very helpful for me because I

developed time management and

many other social skills.

Bilal Ali, another former

student, said, “One of the most

important benefits to me by

joining the Qur’anic circles was

it taught me how to discipline

myself and enhance the ability to

memorize.”

The

mosque

was not just a

place of worship.

It was the place

where the Prophet

received foreign

delegations; it

was a place for

education and

a shelter for the

homeless.

Fahad

Al-Zahrani

Imam of Al-Salam

Mosque, Jeddah

3

Saudi Gazette, Friday, June 23, 2017

Kingdom

IN BRIEF

N

E

W

S

Makkah

Madinah

Riyadh

Jeddah

Dammam

Abha

Tabuk

Jazan

Najran

4:11

4:01

3:33

4:13

3:13

4:09

4:00

4:12

4:04

5:37

5:32

5:03

5:39

4:46

5:33

5:35

5:35

5:27

12:20

12:21

11:53

11:23

11:39

12:10

12:33

12:10

12:03

3:39

3:42

3:14

3:41

3:06

3:32

4:05

3:33

3:26

7:03

7:10

6:42

7:05

6:32

6:46

7:31

6:43

6:38

9:03

9:10

8:42

9:05

8:32

8:46

9:31

8:43

8:38

PRAYER TIME

CITY

FAJR SUNRISE DHUHR

ASR MAGHREB ISHA

inhigh/low °C

Today

Tomorrow

Sunday

Riyadh

37

/25

36

/25

36

/25

Makkah

40

/30

39

/30

39

/30

Madinah

37

/31

36

/30

38

/31

Jeddah

40

/28

39

/27

39

/28

Dammam

38

/30

36

/31

37

/31

Abha

20

/16

20

/16

21

/17

Baha

21

/16

20

/16

21

/16

Tabuk

32

/21

32

/22

33

/23

Jazan

38

/34

37

/33

39

/34

Taif

28

/21

28

/20

27

/19

Yanbu

40

/28

39

/28

39

/28

WEATHER FORECAST

RIYADH

Muslims urged to sight Eid crescent

The Supreme Court has called on all Muslims across the Kingdom to sight

the Shawwal crescent on Saturday evening. In a statement issued on

Thursday, the court urged anyone who sees the crescent with the naked

eye or binoculars to contact the nearest court and register their testimony.

The sighting of the crescent will mark the end of the month-long Ramadan

fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam, the beginning of Eid Al-Fitr.

RIYADH

KSA condemns Brussels train station attack

An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed

Saudi Arabia’s strong condemnation of an attack that targeted the

central train station in the Belgian capital, Brussels, on Tuesday.

The source, in a statement, reaffirmed the Kingdom’s solidarity

with Belgium against all forms of terrorism and extremism. Belgian

authorities said four people linked to the failed bombing attempt by a

man shouting “Allahu Akbar” were arrested.

TABUK

Emir honors Egyptian for heroic act

Emir of Tabuk Province Prince Fahd Bin Sultan honored on Wednesday

Egyptian national Jamal Muhammad Bayyoumi for his heroic deed in

saving a gas station from catching fire. He managed to move a vehicle

that caught fire away from the gas station in Tabuk city. Prince Fahd

congratulated Bayyoumi and presented him with a financial reward. He

also presented Bayyoumi with a reward from the minister of interior.

DAMMAM

Firm faces investigation over job ad

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has detected a gross

violation by an expatriate who announced jobs for four nationalities,

excluding Saudis. The salary offered was as high as SR11,000. An

investigation is under way to identify the firm, the ministry said, adding

that pertinent penalties would be imposed on the expatriate and his

firm if it was proved that the man had actually announced that the

jobs were exclusively for expatriates and not Saudis. The penalties will

be specified once the ministry completes the procedures, said Khaled

Aba Al-Khail, spokesman for the ministry. A picture that was widely

circulated on social media showed the expatriate’s account in which

he claimed to be the finance manager of a Riyadh-based company. He

invited expatriates of four nationalities — Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian

and Egyptian — to apply for the jobs with salaries of up to SR11,000.

He said the positions did not require a university degree.

JAZAN

Passport chief rules out amnesty extension

More than 475,000 expatriates have benefitted from the “Nation

Without Illegal Expats” campaign, Director General of Passports Maj.

Gen. Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al-Yahya said. He reaffirmed that there would

be no extension of the amnesty period that ends with Ramadan. He

said the penalties of illegal residents who remain in the country after

the deadline, which ends in three days, vary depending on the gravity

of the violation. The penalty could be a fine of SR100,000 and two

years in jail, he said. Al-Yahya lauded the efforts of women officers in

the Passport Department. He said their role would not be restricted

to scrutinizing identification papers but would extend to regulatory

measures. Al-Yahya made the remarks during an inspection tour of

the Passport Department at Jazan Airport. The tour took him to the

lounges, terminals and passport counters. He met several departing

passengers and listened to their comments and observations. He

urged the staff to expedite the travel procedures for passengers.

JEDDAH

Haramain Train to arrive for test run

A reliable source in Al-Haramain Train Project has told Okaz/Saudi

Gazette that a test run of the express train is scheduled in Jeddah next

month. This follows the successful test operations of power stations 2,

3 and 8. During the latest test run between King Abdullah Economic

City and Madinah, the train reached a speed of 300 kph. All test runs

of the train were carried by young Saudi employees.

— Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Saudi mosques regain

their traditional role