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A view of Al Rawda Al Sharifa at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. Image Credit: Source: The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

Cairo: A total of 489,241 permits were issued for Muslims to visit Al Rawda Al Sharifa, a revered site at the Prophet’s Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina, in Shaaban, the eighth month in the Islamic lunar calendar last year.

The figure included 287,185 permits for males that month to visit Al Rawda Al Sharifa, where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) is located, according to a state agency in charge of the Prophet’s Mosque, Islam’s second holiest site.

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In Ramadan, usually the peak season for Umrah or minor pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, a total of 344,142 visit permits were issued last year to have access to Al Rawda Al Sharifa, according to figures from the General Authority for Care of the Prophet’s Mosque.

Separate schedules are designated for Muslim males and females to make the visit.

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Last year, 2.6 million permits were issued for male worshippers and 1.9 million for females, the figures showed.

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

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.