Sunday, 29 July 2012

Preparation for Ramadan 1433H in Haramain

Ramadan 1433H Messages and
Preparation for Ramadan in Haramain

Dr. Mozammel Haque
Makkah al-Mukarramah: On Thursday, the 19th of July, 2012, the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia, which held a meeting at its Summer headquarters in Taif, declared Friday, 20 July, 2012 as the first day of the Holy month of Ramadan according to information it received from regional courts based on several witnesses who sighted the Ramadan crescent. Throughout the world, Muslims are welcoming, both physically and spiritually, the month of Ramadan. May this holy month bring barakah, and Allah's boundless mercy upon the believers and harmony and tolerance for the world.

King Abdullah and Crown Prince
Greet Muslims on Ramadan
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and the Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, deputy Premier and Minister of Defence congratulated the Muslims in the Kingdom and the rest of the world on Friday on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan – the month that all hearts and souls longed for so as to seek Allah’s reward and mercy.

In a joint address read out by the Minister of Culture and Information Abdul Aziz Khoja, the King and the Crown Prince said, “In this blessed month, in its days and nights, the noblest Islamic values are spread. The big sympathizes with the small, the rich supports the poor and the entire society shows mercy and affection bringing out the radiant image of Islam and how it shaped the Ummah and how its civilization was established stressing on justice, tolerance and mutual support.”

The King and the Crown Prince prayed to Allah the Almighty to unify the Ummah according to the teachings of religion and make the advent of this holy month an opportunity to build our nations and societies on the basis of compassion and brotherhood.

British Prime Minister wishes
Ramadan Mubarak to Muslims
The British Prime Minister David Cameron has marked the start of the Holy month of Ramadan, sending his warm wishes to Muslims in the UK and overseas. Mr. Cameron said: “As the holy Islamic month of Ramadan begins, I want to take this opportunity to send my warmest wishes to Muslims in Britain and across the world.

“During this hugely important time of prayer and fasting, we are reminded of the importance of charity and compassion. These are values and traditions at the heart of Islam but shared by those of all faiths in Britain.”

The British Prime Minister also said, “At a time of great change and uncertainly across the world, I am proud of the role Britain plays on the international stage to help those less fortunate through our aid budget and work with our allies and friends.”

“So let me wish everyone peace, happiness and unity during this special time and say Ramadan Mubarak,” said British Prime Minister.

British Deputy Prime Minister
Nick Clegg wishes Ramadan Mubarak
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and British Foreign Secretary William Hague wished British Muslims “Ramadan Mubarak”.

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said, “As the British Government does all it can to work with the international community to help the people of Syria, citizens of all faiths and none are united in the spirit of hope and solidarity as they watch the awful events unfold.”

“This spirit will be particularly apparent during Ramadan.” Mr. Clegg said he was inspired by the generosity, self-discipline and attention to family shown by Britain’s Muslims, saying their role in society “cannot be exaggerated”.

British Foreign Secretary sent
Warm wishes to Muslims
British Foreign Secretary Mr. William Hague said, “As the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins I send my warm wishes to Muslims in Britain and across the world: Ramadan Mubarak. British Muslims will join millions of other people around the world in this special period of reflection, contemplation and consideration of others.”

Mr. Hague said, “Ramadan is also an important time for friends and family to gather and remember those less fortunate.

In his Ramadan Message, Mr. Hague said, “The values of charity and compassion that are central to Ramadan are shared by Muslims and non-Muslims alike” said British Foreign Secretary and added, “They have particular poignancy and significance in the light of the suffering of people of all religions in Syria today.”

Mr. Hague said, “I hope the year ahead will be one in which we will see peace, security and stability restored in Syria.”

Dr. Neseef’s Ramadan Message
I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef, former Secretary General of the Makkah-based Muslim World League and the present Secretary General of the Cairo-based International Commission for the Council of Dawah and Relief (IICDR) at his office in Jeddah and I requested him what is his message for the Muslim community in this blessed month of Ramadan.

Dr. Naseef said, “Everybody knows that the Ramadan is the occasion when people get closer to Allah the Almighty and seek His Guidance and His Blessing and they spend the month in all kinds of worships and good deeds hasanats. They asked Allah the Almighty to make this Ramadan better for everybody and help the people who are harassed and aggressed upon in this month so that they can come out from this misery situation. Insha Allah, there will be better situation for everybody.”

Speaking about his advice to the Muslim community, Dr. Naseef said, “We have to request Muslims to be more sincere, to be more adherence to their religion and to be more realizing that this month of Ramadan is a school of training, guidance and changing.” Dr. Naseef also added, “We are advising them, the Muslims, to be more sincere to Allah the Almighty and appealing to Him day and night and adhering to His Orders and His Commandments. This is the opportunity to seek forgiveness from Allah the Almighty for their sins. So this is the opportunity one should not miss. This opportunity should be availed of by every Individual everywhere in the Muslim world.”

“I hope, this Ramadan will improve the quality of the Muslims Insha Allah,” Dr. Naseef said.

Preparations for Ramadan in Haramain
The Saudi authorities have completed all preparations to welcome the fasting month of welcome. All arrangements are in full swing to cope with the huge influx of pilgrims from all over the world during the upcoming peak Umrah season in Ramadan. About 3.8 million foreign pilgrims had entered the country as of July 1, 2012. According to Hajj Ministry, this is an increase of 400,000 compared to the same period last year.

More than 10,000 civil defence personnel in place
The Saudi government is not sparing any effort to guarantee the safety, security and comfort of the Umrah pilgrims. An emergency plan is in place. More than 10,000 Civil Defence personnel will participate in the implementation of the emergency plan which include foot and vehicle patrols, fire-fighters, rescue teams, first aid operators, inspectors and medical evacuation and rapid intervention teams. This plan is to be implemented in collaboration with 18 ministries, Al-Madinah daily reported.

The Ministry of interior has approved the security plan for the holy month of Ramadan which will see 28,000 security officers mobilized throughout the month. The officers will be in charge of vehicle traffic and will manage crowds of Umrah performers and visitors inside the Grand Mosque. They will ensure that guests of Allah feel comfortable during performing their rituals.

Madinah Haram Area will be tripled
While lauding King Abdullah’s care in serving the Two Holy Mosques and improving the facilities for the growing number of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Sudais described the expansion work of the Prophet’s Mosque as unprecedented. Once the three-phase expansion is completed the Mosque will have a total area of 1.1 million square meters with the capacity to accommodate an additional 1.6 million worshippers. These developments will be realized in a way facilitating the flow of pilgrims and visitors to the Mosque easily and comfortably by ensuring accommodation for them in the area.

In the last 10 days of Ramadan
In the last 10 days of Ramadan, the central area around the Grand Mosque will be converted to a praying area to accommodate the huge number of worshippers.

200,000 people can pray on the ground floor
The General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs has approved this year’s Ramadan plan that will facilitate the arrival of Umrah pilgrims, the Presidency’s head Abdulrahman Al- Sudais said. The plan has taken into account the increase in space thanks to the ongoing expansion Grand Mosque Expansion project of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, allowing over 200,000 people to pray on the ground floor.

Mosque’s open areas are being cooled
The Mosque’s open areas are being cooled by water and basements air-conditioned in addition to ensuring prayer-mats are vacuumed. There are now 150 air-conditioners at the basement of the Haram.

176 Gates of the Grand Mosque in place
176 gates lead to the Grand Mosque, its roof, and the basement, and are kept open and guarded throughout Ramadan by 798 male and female employees.

18 entrances for people with special needs
Apart from this, 18 entrances for people with special needs have been readied. They include the King Abdul Aziz Gate (Bab Al-Malik Abdul Aziz), New Ajyad, Hunain, Al-Safa, Al-Marwah, Al-Qararah, Mazlaqan, Al-Fateh, Al-Madinah, and Al-Umrah gates as well as gates no. 64, 74, 84 and 94. They also include the gates to Al-Arqam, Al-Marwah, Murad, Al-Qararah, and Al-Mazlaqan escalators.

These initiatives were made under the supervision of Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, General President for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, and are being followed up by Muhammad Al-Khuzaim, Deputy General President for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

Wheelchairs are provided to the visitors
Wheelchairs are provided for free and electric ones are available to rent, said Imam Al-Sudais.

New toilets in Ajiad Hospital Area ready
The new toilets at the Ajiad Hospital area is ready for use in Ramadan, in addition to 12,500 new toilets that will be added later, said Imam Abdulrahman al-Sudais.

Arrangements made to keep city clean and
safe and comfort for pilgrims
Makkah’s Municipality made an intensive plan to keep the city clean as well as to ensure the safety and comfort of the pilgrims and visitors. The plan focuses on intensifying cleaning work, monitoring the environment and inspecting markets, grocery stores, restaurants and Ramadan stalls.

The acting Mayor of Makkah Khaled Al-Hayj, said to the press, more than 8,500 cleaning workers supplied with 676 pieces of equipment will be keeping the city clean and tidy. There will be a number of teams equipped with over 550 pesticide sprays to combat insects and flies, in addition to 181 trash compressors.

Zamzam taps and containers set up
Imam Al-Sudais said that 18,000 Zamzam water taps and containers have been set up all around the Two Holy Mosques

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