Worshippers perform the congregation Friday noon prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque. Image Credit: SOurce: General Authority for Care of the Prophet’s Mosque

Cairo: A Saudi state agency in charge of the Prophet’s Mosque, Islam’s second holiest place, has put in place a plan to manage crowds during the current Hajj pilgrimage season to ensure comfort for a massive congregation of worshippers.

The plan designates a total of 60 corridors, including 38 main ones and eight for emergencies to guarantee smooth entry and exit inside and outside the mosque in the holy city of Medina, a major destination for Muslims from all over the world.

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Around 7.8 million worshippers performed prayers last week at the mosque where a network of multilingual services are offered including allocating areas for the elderly people and the physically challenged as well as distribution of the blessed Zamzam water.

More than 2 million Muslims from across the globe are expected to attend this month’s Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

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Overseas Muslims usually head to Medina before or after performing Hajj.

Before heading to the holy city of Mecca for the Hajj rites, thousands of them land at Medina’s international airport where they would be welcomed in their native languages and presented with commemorative gifts.

They would flock to the Prophet’s Mosque to offer prayers and visit Al Rawda Al Sharifa that includes the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him). Last week, more than 304,000 worshippers prayed at Al Rawda Al Sharifa and had access to the site via a designated entry track.

More than 280 million Muslims prayed at the Prophet’s Mosque during 2023, according to official figures.