Prophet's mosque water
Workers hand out bottles of Zamzam water to worshippers at the Prophet's Mosque in Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: General Authority for Care of the Prophet’s Mosque

Cairo: Authorities in charge of the Prophet’s Mosque, Islam’s second holiest site in the Saudi city of Medina, are well-prepared to receive worshippers expected to flock in large numbers to the place during the month of Ramadan.

More than 8.5 million Iftar meals are anticipated to be distributed to the faithful at the mosque to end their dawn-to-dust fast during Ramadan, expected to start this year on March 11.

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Some 2.5 million bottles of Zamzam water will also be given away at the Prophet’s Mosque during the lunar month.

Moreover, the mosque will be fitted with 18,000 containers of Zamzam.

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In the lead-up to Ramadan, the General Authority for Care of the Prophet’s Mosque held a workshop at which preparations for the month were reviewed.

They include intensifying services to cope with an expected surge in the numbers of worshippers and visitors. The services comprise cleaning and sterilising rugs spread across the sprawling place and managing throngs during peak timings.

Ramadan traditionally marks the peak season of Umrah or minor pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, in Mecca.

After performing Umrah, many pilgrims would head to Medina to offer prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque and visit other Islamic landmarks in the city.

More than 280 million Muslims prayed at the Prophet’s Mosque last year, according to official figures. The mosque houses Al Rawda Al Sharifa, where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is located.

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