Sacred Chamber at the Prophet's Mosque in Medina
A brass barrier recently installed around the Sacred Chamber at the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. Image Credit: The Saudi news agency SPA

Cairo: Saudi Arabia has alerted Muslim worshippers wishing to visit and pray in Al Rawda Al Sharifa at Islam’s second holiest site in Medina that they must make sure to get an official permit before arrival.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Medina houses Al Rawda Al Sharifa where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is located.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah urged would-be visitors to be committed to obtaining the necessary permits before arrival.

The ministry said such permits can be obtained via the Nusuk and Tawakklana Services apps. The alert comes as a season of Umrah or minor pilgrimage is underway in Saudi Arabia.

After undertaking the Umrah rites 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 season began a month 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 design was inspired by the anterior of the Prophet’s Chamber, Rawda Al Sherifa and cabins holding copies of the Holy Quran at the Old Mosque.

Made of pure brass, the barrier is 87 metres long, surrounding the Sacred Chamber from three directions.

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