Prophets mosque saudi medina
Worshippers attend prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. Image Credit: The General authority for Care of Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques

Cairo: More than 6 million worshippers flocked to the Prophet’s Mosque, Islam’s second holiest site, in the Saudi city of Medina last week, according to a state agency.

Some 6.3 million Muslims performed prayers and visited the mosque over the period from 22nd to 29th of Rabi Al Akhar, the fourth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, said the Agency for the Prophet’s Mosque Presidency.

They included 127,671 worshippers who offered prayers at Al Rawda Al Sharifa where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is located.

Saudi authorities have repeatedly stressed that visitors to Al Rawda Al Sharifa have to make prior reservations before arriving at the revered site, and to show up according to the fixed appointment.

After undertaking rites of Umrah or minor pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site in Mecca, many pilgrims would flock to the Prophet’s Mosque to pray and visit Al Rawdah Al Sharifa.

Saudi Arabia expects around 10 million Muslims from abroad to do Umrah during the current season.

The Umrah season began more than four months ago after the end of annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage that around 1.8 million Muslims attended for the first time in three years after pandemic-related restrictions were lifted.

Muslims, who cannot physically or financially afford Hajj, go to Saudi Arabia to undertake Umrah.

Last April, Saudi authorities unveiled a gilded brass barrier surrounding the Sacred Chamber at the Prophet’s Mosque.

The new barrier replaced a wooden barrier to preserve the visual identity and architectural pattern of the Mosque, officials said at the time.

The barrier has posts fixed to the bottom base by internal props, guaranteeing its immovability under pressure of human density and easy maintenance.