Worshippers attend the Friday congregation prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. Image Credit: General Authority for Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques

Cairo: Muslim worshippers are not allowed to take their luggage inside the Prophet’s Mosque in Saudi Arabia to ensure smooth movement at Islam’s second holiest site, according to rules.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said small bags are banned from getting inside the prayer areas of the mosque in Medina, but can be kept in lockers available at its outside courtyards.

Large luggage, meanwhile, can neither be allowed inside the mosque or into its courtyards, the ministry added. Nor can they be kept into the outside lockers.

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The Prophet’s Mosque in Medina houses Al Rawda Al Sharifa where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is located.

According to Saudi rules, worshippers wishing to visit and pray in Al Rawda Al Sharifa have to obtain an official permit in advance.

After making Umrah pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site in Mecca, many pilgrims would flock to the Prophet’s Mosque.

Saudi Arabia expects around 10 million Muslims from abroad during the current season for Umrah or lesser pilgrimage.

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.