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Old May 9th, 2019, 04:00 PM   #11981
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Plans in place for safety
of Makkah Grand Mosque visitors



A view of the security monitoring center at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
May 06, 2019

MAKKAH: The General Security Aviation Command is deploying all capacities to serve pilgrims and visitors to Makkah’s Grand Mosque during the Umrah season in the holy month of Ramadan.

These measures are part of a comprehensive plan in coordination with the security, health and services authorities. The command has started carrying out daily sorties in the skies over the Grand Mosque, including surrounding areas, routes leading to it, and the highway leading to Makkah.

The command’s tasks include monitoring air and ground traffic, first-aid services, and providing logistical support to governmental bodies. Recorded data is transferred to relevant authorities to be processed properly. Aircraft are participating in mock drills to address potential accidents, and will be working 24/7 to ensure pilgrims’ security.

The security plan for the mosque has three main aspects: Organizational, for managing and controlling crowds; security, to protect pilgrims and ensure their safety; and humanitarian, focusing on assistance for the elderly, the sick, children and those who get lost.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1493571/saudi-arabia
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Old May 10th, 2019, 02:58 PM   #11982
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New Qur’an app launched

2019-05-09

RIYADH — Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh launched on Thursday a new mobile phone app for the Holy Qur’an developed by King Fahd Holy Qur’an Printing Complex in Madinah at a ceremony held at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh.

The first edition of the app will be available in Android and iOS versions and can be downloaded from Apple Store and Google Play.

Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr. Yousuf Bin Mohammed Bin Saeed, senior officials of the ministries of interior and Islamic affairs, as well as the Madinah Qur’an Printing Complex, media professionals, representatives of Saudi newspapers and satellite channels attended the ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Al-Asheikh said the launch of the app was a major initiative of the Qur'an complex, which was established about 35 years ago and has so far printed 18 million copies of the holy book.

The minister said the multi-language application, which would serve Muslims all over the world by giving them easy access to various translations and interpretations of the Qur'an, would have a significant impact on disseminating the sublime message of the holy book.

The application supports 13 world languages including Arabic, English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Indonesian, Urdu, Persian, Turkish and Swahili. It compiles several books of interpretation of the Qur’an produced at the Madinah complex, audio recording of four recitations of the Qur'an, as well as seven translations, including audio translations, of the Arabic text.

The app is supported by important features such as options for a quick search of chapters, verse numbers, words and references, making browsing through social networking sites simple and easy.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...n-app-launched
arabic https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php...newsid=1922248
https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php...newsid=1922249



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Old May 10th, 2019, 03:04 PM   #11983
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7% rise in Umrah pilgrims
this year, says ministry


2019-05-09

RIYADH — The Ministry of Haj and Umrah issued on Wednesday a statistical report on the footfall of pilgrims visiting the Kingdom in the month of Shaban (April 6-May 5).

The report was compiled after accessing information such as the number of issued visas, the number of pilgrims arriving and leaving the Kingdom, and the number of pilgrims still in the Kingdom.

The ministry said until the end of Shaban (May 5), 6,136,139 pilgrims from around the world performed the minor pilgrimage of Umrah, which is an increase of 7 percent compared to the same month last year when the number of pilgrims was 5,719,398.

The number of issued visas until the end of Shaban was 6,730,109 while it was 6 percent less at 6,314,448 last year.

As many as 5,589,537 pilgrims left the Kingdom after performing their rites by May 5.

The pilgrims stayed 13 days in Makkah on average and 8 days in Madinah.

Last year, the average stay of Umrah pilgrims in Makkah was for 9 days and in Madinah for 5 days.

Most pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom via air with a total of 5,486,345 pilgrims while 567,976 entered by land and 81,818 pilgrims via seaports.

According to the ministry, 426,986 pilgrims were under 15 years old, 439,835 pilgrims between 15-24 years, 775,937 between 25-34 years, 993,922 pilgrims 35-44 years, 1,197,432 between 45-54 years, and 1,293,615 between 55-64 years. There were 1,008,412 pilgrims who were above 65 years.

The ministry said 3,190,533 of the pilgrims were male while female pilgrims numbered 3,539,576. Out of 6,730,109 visas, 2,155,231 pilgrims arrived in the Kingdom with their families and 4,574,878 pilgrims came into the Kingdom alone.

The highest number of Umrah pilgrims by nationality came from Pakistan. As many as 1,371,544 Pakistanis performed Umrah as of May 5. They were followed by 894,571 Indonesians, 595,429 Indians, 422,365 Egyptians, 292,498 Turkish, 274,109 Yemenis, 266,333 Algerians, 262,109 Malaysians, 231,342 Iraqis, and 169,529 Jordanians.

The variety of nationalities entering the Kingdom played a role in the diversity of languages with Urdu, Malay, Hindi, Arabic and Turkish becoming the top five languages spoken by the pilgrims.

"The Umrah season is open most of the year so that more Muslims can visit and perform the minor pilgrimage," the ministry said.

The number of Saudi employees within Umrah companies and institutions has also marked a significant increase of 120 percent this year compared to last year. This Shaban, there were 10,713 Saudi employees including 8,862 males and 1,851 females compared to 4,865 employees, including 4,220 males and 645 females, in the same month last year.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...-says-ministry

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Old May 10th, 2019, 05:47 PM   #11984
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Old May 11th, 2019, 04:26 PM   #11985
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Old May 11th, 2019, 04:29 PM   #11986
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Old May 11th, 2019, 09:43 PM   #11987
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The Clock Tower Museum in Makkah
opens its doors to visitors


It consists of 4 floors .. and takes its visitors in cosmic tours

متحف برج الساعة في مكة المكرمة يفتح أبوابه للزوار
يتكون من 4 طوابق.. ويأخذ زائريه في جولات كونية


Clock tower museum in Makkah thrown open to visitors

2019-05-11

MAKKAH — The clock tower museum in Makkah has been opened to visitors to make a journey of faith through the universe starting from the beginning of Ramadan on May 6.

The museum occupies the top four floors of the clock tower in Makkah. One of the floors is dedicated to the sun and the moon; another to time measurement and the third to the giant clock itself while the fourth is a balcony where the visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the Grand Mosque.

The non-profit Misk Foundation established by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, is operating the museum, which is located on the highest point in Makkah.

The museum was designed to take the visitors on a tour of the universe, which will tell them how people used to measure the time in olden days. They used the sun, the moon and the galaxies for the purpose.

The visitors will come to know the methods people in ancient times used to measure time through the use of the universe's two clocks — the sun and the moon.

They will also be able to see the largest clock in the world, which is considered a miracle in watch making.

The first floor contains the Makkah clock, which was designed and manufactured jointly by a number of international watch companies. They made various components of the clock, making it the most accurate in the world in giving time.

The second floor dedicated to time measurement explains to the visitors how man in old ages was keen to know the time. Man had invented many tools and systems for time measurement through the ages. They included water and sand clocks, the pendulum and the pocket watch.

Man in the old ages closely followed the orbits of the sun and the moon to decide the dates, the direction of the Qiblah and the prayer time.

On the third floor of the museum, the visitors will have a treat of the sun, the moon and the earth. The visitors can see how man in the past relied on the celestial bodies to organize his life and activities. They will also come to learn how the eclipse and other solar phenomena take place in the universe.

On the fourth floor, the visitors will have a chance to deeply understand the space and the stars, and how man used them in the past to determine his destinations.

Lastly, the balcony of the clock tower will give the visitors a panoramic view of the vast Grand Mosque complex and its surroundings.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...en-to-visitors


مايو 2019 - 5 رمضان 1440
//////////////
يدخل متحف برج الساعة في مكة المكرمة، مع بداية شهر رمضان لهذا العام 1440هـ، حيز التنفيذ، ليأخذ زواره في رحلة كونية إيمانية.

ويتكون المتحف من أربعة طوابق مخصصة للكون، يليه طابق الشمس والقمر، ثم قياس الوقت، وطابق الساعة؛ فضلًا عن الشرفة التي تتيح للزوار إطلالة بانورامية على الحرم المكي الشريف في تجربة استثنائية.

ويقع متحف برج الساعة، الذي تشغله مؤسسة محمد بن سلمان بن عبدالعزيز "مسك الخيرية" في أعلى نقطة في مكة المكرمة، وهي شرفة برج الساعة؛ فيما صمم المتحف بطريقة تأخذ الزوار في جولة تحكي لهم قياس الوقت بدءًا من الكون والمجرات، وانتهاءً بساعة مكة المجاورة للحرم المكي الشريف مهوى أفئدة المسلمين، ووُجهة صلاتهم، ورمز توقيت العالم الإسلامي.

ويُعد متحفًا فريدًا للكون والإيمان وإسهامات المسلمين، ودور المملكة في علوم الفضاء، لسبر أغوار الكون السحيق برؤية عميقة بدأت برحلة منذ عهد الملك عبدالعزيز منذ قرابة 90 عامًا حتى افتتاحه في عصر الملك سلمان.

وفي الوقت الذي يفتح المتحف أبوابه للزوار يوميًّا طيلة شهر رمضان، سيتعرفون على الطرق التي اعتمدها الإنسان في قياس الوقت باستخدام كل من الساعتين الكونية وهما الشمس والقمر، حتى أدق معايير الوقت وهي النانو ثانية، كما يشهدون أعجوبة صناعة أكبر ساعة في العالم وروائع كل قطعة فيها، وكيف اجتمعت لتشكل هذا الصرح والمَعلم الجليل؛ مقدمًا لهم تجربة معززة بأحدث التقنيات التي تشرح لهم الميكانيكية الدقيقة التي تسير عمل هذه الساعة.

ويشتمل الدور الأول على ساعة مكة، التي اجتمع في تصميمها مجموعة من الشركات العالمية الرائدة في مجال صناعة الساعات؛ حيث ابتكروا أنظمة وصنعوا أجزاء خاصة لها، واهتموا بأدق تفاصيلها، لتجعل من "توقيت مكة المكرمة" توقيتًا عالميًّا دقيقًا، ويتم من خلالها رصد الأهلّة للأشهر الهجرية، وتكون مرجعًا للمسلمين في أنحاء العالم؛ خصوصًا في شهريْ رمضان وذي الحجة؛ حيث يعرض هذا الدور قصة إنشاء ساعة مكة وخصائصها والتقنيات المستخدمة لتحديد الوقت بدقة.

أما الدور الثاني في المتحف فهو مخصص لقياس الوقت؛ بحيث يعطي شرحًا للزوار عن اهتمام الإنسان عبر آلاف السنين بمعرفة الزمن، وما شهده التاريخ من محاولاته لقياس الوقت؛ حيث ابتكر العديد من الآلات والطرق لهذا الغرض، ويسرد هذا الدور تاريخ قياس الوقت وأدواته القديمة مثل الساعات المائية؛ فالبندول وساعات الجيب، كما يستعرض آليات تحديد أوقاتنا بحركة الشمس والأرض والقمر لتحدد على أثرها أنظمة التقويم واتجاه القبلة ومواقيت الصلاة.

وفي الدور الثالث، يكون الزوار على موعد مع قصة أخرى مع الشمس والأرض والقمر؛ حيث يتعرفون على هذه المكونات الثلاث التي استدل بها الإنسان لمعرفة الكثير من أمور حياته، منها الوقت، كما يتطرق هذا الدور إلى موضوعات عديدة مثل الخسوف والكسوف والنشاط الشمسي، ويتم استقبال صور وفيديوهات من الأقمار الصناعية موضحًا ما ينتج عنه من انفجارات وعواصف شمسية، وكذلك طبقات غلاف الأرض الجوي، ومنازل القمر ومراقبة الأهلّة ورصدها بأكبر منظومة مناظير عالية التقنية حول مختلف المواقع على سطح الأرض.

وخُصص الدور الرابع للكون بشكل عام، وفيه يجد الزائر معلومات عن الفضاء الشاسع؛ حيث النجوم التي سماها الإنسان قديمًا "البروج"؛ ليهتدي بها في حله وترحاله، والعناقيد المجرية التي تقبع فيها مجرة درب التبانة؛ حيث موطننا في الكون، ويركز هذا الدور على الكون وكل ما يشمله من نجوم ومجرات وكواكب، وكذلك أشكال المجرات وتنوعها وتحركاتها وتصادمها ببعضها، والظواهر الفلكية التي تحدث نتيجة لذلك؛ انتهاءً بتوسع الكون وامتداده. كما يوضح إسهامات المركز في الاستكشافات العلمية بشراكات العالمية.

أما الشرفة وهي أعلى نقطة في مكة المكرمة، شرفة برج الساعة، فستعطي الزائر إطلالة بانورامية على الحرم المكي الشريف في تجربة استثنائية لزوار المتحف.

https://sabq.org/NgxhjV

متحف برج الساعة



Visit : @ClockTowerMuse


Google translation:The Museum of the Clock Tower in Mecca, with the beginning of the month of Ramadan this year, enters into force, to take its visitors on a cosmic journey of faith.

The museum consists of four floors dedicated to the universe, followed by the sun and moon, then measuring the time and the hourly floor; as well as the terrace, which allows visitors to panoramic views of the Holy Mosque in an exceptional experience.

The Clock Tower Museum, which is operated by the Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation, is located at the highest point in Makkah, the clock tower. The museum is designed in a way that takes visitors on a tour that tells them to measure time from the universe and galaxies, The Holy Mosque of Mecca is a place for the Muslims, the destination of their prayers, and the symbol of the timing of the Islamic world.

It is a unique museum of the universe, faith and the contributions of Muslims, and the role of the Kingdom in space science to explore the depths of the deep universe with a deep vision that began a journey from the time of King Abdulaziz about 90 years ago until its opening in the era of King Salman.

As the museum opens its doors to visitors every day throughout the month of Ramadan, they will learn about the ways in which humans measure time using both the sun and the moon, even the most accurate time standards, the nanosecond, as they witness the marvel of the world's largest clock industry and the masterpieces of each piece. , And how I met to form this edifice and the teacher of Galilee; offering them experience enhanced by the latest technologies that explain to them the exact mechanical work that is going on this hour.

The first round includes Makkah Clock, which was designed by a group of leading international watchmakers. They created systems and made special parts for them, and they took care of their details to make Mecca Time a precise global time. And is a reference for Muslims around the world, especially in the months of Ramadan and Dhu al-Hijjah; this role presents the story of the establishment of Mecca clock and its characteristics and techniques used to determine time accurately.

The second part of the museum is dedicated to measuring time. It provides an explanation to visitors about the interest of man over thousands of years by the knowledge of time and the history of his attempts to measure time. He invented many machines and roads for this purpose. Water, pendulum and pocket watches, as well as the mechanisms of determining the times of the movement of the sun, earth and moon to determine the impact of the calendar systems and direction of Qibla and prayer times.

In the third round, the visitors have a date with another story with the sun, the earth and the moon. They learn about these three components that the human has learned to know many of his life's things, including time. This role also addresses many topics such as eclipses, eclipses and solar activity. Images and videos from satellites explaining the resulting explosions and solar storms, as well as layers of the atmosphere, the moon houses and observation of the hills and monitoring the largest system of binoculars high-tech around the various locations on the surface of the earth.

The fourth role of the universe is in general, in which the visitor finds information about the vast space; the stars that man once called "zodiac" to guide in his solution and his travels, and the galactic clusters in which the Milky Way lies; Stars, galaxies and planets, as well as the forms, diversity, movements and collisions of galaxies, and the astronomical phenomena that occur as a result; the end of the expansion and expansion of the universe. As well as the contributions of the Center to scientific explorations of global partnerships.

The terrace, the highest point in Mecca, the clock tower terrace, will give visitors a panoramic view of the Holy Mosque in an exceptional experience for visitors to the museum.






































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Old May 13th, 2019, 06:06 AM   #11988
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6.3 million pilgrims arrive to perform Umrah

2019-05-10

MAKKAH — As many as 6.3 million pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom until Thursday since the start of the current season in late October last year, according to the Ministry of Haj and Umrah.

In its weekly cumulative indicator, the ministry said the Saudi authorities issued more than 6.8 million Umrah visas to prospective pilgrims so far.

It said 5,669,525 people came to the Kingdom and left the country after performing the minor pilgrimage to Makkah and visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.

As many as 648,882 pilgrims currently remained in the two holy cities — consisting of 463,999 in Makkah completing Umrah rituals and 184,883 in Madinah paying homage to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and praying at his mosque.

The ministry said 5,639,309 pilgrims arrived by air, 593,199 by land and 85,899 by sea.

It said the pilgrims were being served by 10,744 Saudi employees working in the Umrah companies consisting of 8,888 men and 1,856 women.

The ministry said the services being provided to the pilgrims were steadily being developed to keep pace with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to serve about 30 million Umrah pilgrims annually.

According to the ministry, Pakistan, with 1,395,097, topped all other countries in the number of Umrah pilgrims, followed by Indonesia with 907,159 pilgrims.

India sent 606,556 pilgrims, Egypt 449,603, Turkey 295,399, Algeria 287,179, Yemen 281,029, Malaysia 264,497, Iraq 244,746 and Jordan 175,327.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...-perform-Umrah
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Old May 13th, 2019, 06:22 AM   #11989
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Breaking the fast at
the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah



May 10, 2019

MADINAH: Ramadan iftars generously hosted by the people of Madinah at the Prophet’s Mosque are being enjoyed by thousands of worshippers, visitors and residents.

Pilgrims from the Kingdom and throughout the world are being served iftar meals after a long day of fasting as part of a service that brings together Muslims of many nationalities.

Jamaan Al-Asiri, director of public relations at the Agency of the General Presidency for the Prophet’s Mosque Affairs, said mosque staff had been working hard preparing and setting up eating areas and assisting food providers. He said that after the completion of Asr prayer, iftar meals are brought into the mosque through specified doors.

“The entry of the meals is supervised by observers at the mosque’s doors. After laying down plastic sheets inside the mosque, food is arranged until it is time for Maghrib prayer,” Al-Asiri added.

“After Muslims break their fast and before the Maghrib prayer is held, all the plastic sheets and remains of food are removed in a quick and orderly manner in cooperation between the workers, the supervisors, and the providers.”

The meals include hot food such as rice and meat, in addition to fruit, bottled juices, dates, yogurt, coffee and water. Al-Asiri said cleaning operations take place after iftar and before Maghrib prayer.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1494976/saudi-arabia

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Old May 13th, 2019, 06:25 AM   #11990
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Firms vie to serve domestic pilgrims
opting for ‘low-cost Haj’


2019-05-11

JEDDAH – Dozens of establishments and companies are vying with each other to serve domestic pilgrims under the “Economic Program 1” camps as part of the initiative of the Ministry of Haj and Umrah to select the best for the job.

According to Saudi Press Agency report on Friday, some 76 firms have participated in the draw for the “Economic Program 1” camps (formerly known as the “low-cost Haj”).

The draw was carried out on Thursday at the headquarters of the General Administration for Domestic Pilgrims’ Affairs at the Ministry of Haj and Umrah.

The draw was among firms that had scored equal points during the evaluation process but differed on the location of camps of their choice.

The number of Economic Program 1” camps offered to the domestic pilgrims companies and establishments totaled 55. Of these, the firms chose 10 camps to allocate for the “Economic Program 1”.

The objective of the draw is to strengthen the principle of transparency in the sector for serving domestic pilgrims.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Coordination Council for Firms to Serve Domestic Pilgrims Abdulrahman Bin Faleh Al-Haqbani said: “Due to the high demand for low-cost Haj, the ministry has set up the Economic Program “1”. There is a stiff competition among dozens of firms in the sector for serving domestic pilgrims.”

Al-Haqbani added that the “Hospitality Program”, earlier known as the “General Program”, is not included in the draw because they (the firms) have been allocated specific camps since the year 1438H. As to the Economic “2” Program, previously known as “Al-Muyassar”, it will have its draw in the coming few days.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...r-low-cost-Haj
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Old May 13th, 2019, 06:42 AM   #11991
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8 million people use Makkah
shuttle bus service in six days


2019-05-12

MAKKAH — More than 8 million people used the shuttle bus service to and from the Grand Mosque in Makkah in just six days, according to the Makkah governorate.

It said the figure covered the last day of Shaban (May 5) till the fifth of Ramadan (May 10).

The governorate said the number of passengers was 14 percent higher than their number during the same time period last Ramadan.

It said the special Ramadan parking lots prepared on the outskirts of the holy city received more than 300,000 cars, up 8 percent from last year.

The governorate said about 1.6 million people used the shuttle service to reach the Ajyad bus station near the Grand Mosque while more than 771,000 came to the Bab Ali bus station.

As many as 470,181 people came the King Abdul Aziz Gate bus station while the Jarwal bus station was used by more than 881,000 to reach the Grand Mosque.

More than 2.7 million people used Shaab Amir bus station, 469,793 the Jabal Al-Kaaba bus station and more than 984,000 used the Reea Bakhsh bus station.

The shuttle buses are expected to transport more than 40 million passengers to the Grand Mosque by the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...ce-in-six-days





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Old May 13th, 2019, 10:49 AM   #11992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roukaya19 View Post
Sighting of Ramadan crescent:
When religion meets astronomy
�� *_Saudi Moonsighting_, Daytime*

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

The following presentation discusses *why* Saudi Arabia feels the need to sight the Moon during the day and the prevalent atmospheric conditions in Saudi Arabia around sunset



Sighting of the _Hilaal_ for the purpose of established the Islamic months is done at sunset. Sayyiduna Umar (RA) codified this practise in his instructions as follows:

عَنْ أَبِي وَائِلٍ ، قَالَ : ” أَتَانَا كِتَابُ عُمَرَ وَنَحْنُ بِخَانقِينَ ؛ أَنَّ الأَهِلَّةَ بَعْضُهَا أَكْبَرُ مِنْ بَعْضٍ ، فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمَ الْهِلاَلَ نَهَارًا فَلاَ تُفْطِرُوا ، حَتَّى يَشْهَدَ رَجُلاَنِ مُسْلِمَانِ أَنَّهُمَا رَأَيَاهُ بِالأَمْسِ

Sayyiduna Abu Waa’il (RA) said: A letter came to us from Sayyiduna ‘Umar (RA) when we were in Khaaniqeen, saying: Some new moons are bigger than others, so if you see the new moon during the day, do not break the fast, unless two Muslim men testify that they had seen it the night before [Musnad Ibn Abi Shaybah]


So now you know why there is a difference and chaos around the world.
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Old May 14th, 2019, 05:42 PM   #11993
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Saudi Arabia's military invites
British soldiers to perform Umrah in Makkah


Nine soldiers are travelling to the Kingdom during Ramadan
at the invitation of Riyadh's armed forces


May 11, 2019

Ramadan will be particularly special for a group of British soldiers this year, as they are set to make Umrah to Makkah at the invitation of Saudi Arabia.

The participants have arrived in Jeddah from the UK and are being hosted by the local army’s religious directorate, along with other troops from armed forces from around the world. One of the British group’s civilian chaplains and an officer were chosen, alongside eight soldiers wo were selected via a lottery system to ensure fairness.

Cpl Sohail Ifraz recounted he was “a bit shell shocked” to hear his name had been picked.

“I felt so privileged to kind of get the opportunity to go to the blessed lands of Saudi Arabia," he said. "Spiritually it's a place that every Muslim across the world have a connection to. It doesn't matter where you are in the world, you have a connection to that one place because you know, everyone prays to that location, towards that direction everyday.”

The party left the UK on May 2 and are due to return this week after visiting Makkah and Madinah to complete the pilgrimage.

The trip is running over Ramadan, which is making it extra special, the soldiers say.

“The opportunity to observe a part of the month of Ramadan in the holy lands, you couldn't ask for a better Ramadan,” said Cpl Ifraz.

Not only is the trip an opportunity for the armed forces personnel to deepen their connection to their faith, it brings opportunities to share information about Islam with their non-Muslim colleagues.

The army Umrah has sparked curiosity, prompting questions not just about the journey but about halal meals, Ramadan and other Muslim practices.

Cpl Ifraz, who was awarded an MBE in 2018, says his seniors have asked him to explain different elements of his faith to further their understanding.

"They’re constantly asking questions, like ‘why do you pray towards that one location?’ Something that's as simple as that.”

“I go through all the motions and tell people that this is what we do, why we do it. And I think that it starts at that level. One soldier tells four or five other soldiers, and then it branches from there. That's how everyone would get a better understanding of not just our faith but all faiths.”

Muslims are still underrepresented in the armed forces, making up just 0.4 per cent of the UK regular forces, compared to just under five per cent of the British population, according to April 2017 Ministry of Defence figures.

The army has made efforts to attract recruits from Muslim communities, including a £1.6m campaign on belonging that featured Cpl Ifraz.

It is important for youngsters considering the army of all backgrounds to see that it offers myriad opportunities as well as allowing you to practice your faith or be a member of a political party, Sgt Dorian John says .

“You just have to understand that and it's people like us doing these things that can tell people what it is that the army offers and why they can see the army as a career or even just an adventure,” he said.

Sgt John was born on the island of Dominica and joined the forces in 2003. He has been deployed to Afghanistan twice and Iraq once, and worked for a variety of army units. He says being a Muslim in the army has improved over the years, particularly with the publication of official guidance on Ramadan in 2010 to help his colleagues and superiors understand the fasting period and give instructions on how to treat soldiers partaking in Ramadan.

Measures include exempting soldiers from arduous physical activities, making time for prayer and access to one of the two army Imams for theological guidance.

Private Abubakarr Mahmoud is the first reservist to ever go on the pilgrimage trip, which has been running twice a year since 2016, covering both Hajj and Umrah. He praises the army's commitment to ensuring he can practice his faith, from pastoral support to a wide variety of halal meals provided to army bases across the globe.

“If you are a Muslim and you go on tour, a helicopter brings in the food I have to eat,” he says.

“Also, the Imam is available. If I need any help or spiritual support, I can talk to him and he'll guide me through.”

Favourite halal rations among those taking the Umrah journey include vegetarian tikka masala and lamb tagine, which are apparently so delicious that non-Muslim colleagues are trying to get hold of them.

“We still have a way to go in terms of the journey that we're on in terms of diversity and inclusion,” said Major Naveed Muhammad MBE, who is organising the trip.

“But we're in a good place and, and hopefully with events like this and the guidance that we have, we're continuing on the correct trajectory.”

https://www.thenational.ae/world/eur...akkah-1.859907
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Old May 14th, 2019, 06:13 PM   #11994
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Careem Bus launches an inter-city
bus service between Jeddah and Makkah



@careem
May 14, 2019

Careem Bus is expanding to Saudi with the launch of a direct bus service between Jeddah and Makkah, the company announced today, adding that it has obtained approval from the Saudi Public Transport Authority to launch the service. The launch makes Careem Bus the first private app-based mass transportation service in the country.

Careem Bus had first launched in Egypt and is available in Cairo and Alexandria but only offer local city trips there along different routes. Saudi is the first market where Careem is bringing app-based inter-city bus trips which makes a lot of sense as there are hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who travel between Jeddah and Makkah throughout the year and that is apparently Careem’s primary target market.

“The service comes as part of Careem’s ongoing commitment to solving transportation issues, improving mobility and creating jobs and is ideal for people flying into Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah,” said Careem in a statement.

The service that has been launched today will cost SAR 25 (about $7) for one-way trips and is available through a dedicated Careem Bus app for iOS and Android. The service initially is being rolled out with 13-seater buses with “comfortable seats, headrests, and air conditioning.”

Hadeer Shalaby, Director of Careem Bus, commenting on the occasion, said, “Careem Bus will revolutionize mass transportation across Saudi Arabia and bring a new level of sophistication and price to our customers. The 13-seater service has been a huge success in Egypt, easing traffic flows and providing a safe and efficient way to commute. Through our superior technology, the app-based service is as seamless as ride-hailing a car, allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of our tech as well as enjoying cheaper travel and reducing traffic on the roads.”

The company has not shared the details about pick-up/drop-off points for their service but has said that the customers will be able to check availability of the bus, monitor its arrival and secure a seat, through its app. The users, for now, can only pay by cash but soon will have the option to pay using their credit card of Careem wallet as well.

The buses, Careem said, are provided in partnership with transportation vendors who employ the Captains paying them a fixed monthly salary. The fares collected by Careem Bus Captains go to Careem, who pays the vendors a fixed daily amount regardless of the number of trips they make. So the company is basically renting the buses with drivers on a daily basis.

https://www.menabytes.com/ghadan-ventures-fund-adio/
https://blog.careem.com/en/careem-bu...ddah-to-mecca/
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Old May 15th, 2019, 05:53 AM   #11995
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Makkah


@malbustani
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Old May 15th, 2019, 06:00 AM   #11996
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500 mist fans cool courtyards
of Makkah mosque in Ramadan


May 12, 2019

MAKKAH — As many as 500 mist fans were installed in the plazas of the Grand Mosque and on its roof to reduce the heat for Umrah pilgrims, worshippers and visitors who visit Makkah in large numbers during the holy month of Ramadan, the Arabic-language daily Makkah reported on Sunday.

The sprinkler fans, connected to pumps and water tanks, by spraying cool vapor on the worshippers will help bring down the heat by three to seven degrees Celsius.

According to the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, the first phase of the project for installing mist fans in the plazas of the Grand Mosque was completed nine years ago while most of the courtyards and the roof were covered in two subsequent phases.

The presidency said the mist fans would start spraying automatically whenever the temperature rises above 30 degrees Celsius.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/artic...que-in-Ramadan
arabic https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php...newsid=1923468


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Old May 15th, 2019, 04:34 PM   #11997
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Smart bracelets for Umrah pilgrims
with GPS technology


May 14, 2019

MAKKAH — The National Committee for Haj and Umrah is introducing special bracelets for the pilgrims. A bracelet will be equipped with the GPS technology and to contain all personal data of the pilgrim including name, accommodation and maps to guide him during his Umrah journey.

Mohammed Bin Badi, committee's CEO, said the bracelets will be given to allis Umrah pilgrims upon their arrival in the Kingdom.

Badi said the bracelets will contain all the pilgrims' data, their movements and GPS to lead them to their accommodations, hospitals, health centers and other important utilities in Makkah and Madinah.

Badi said with the help of these bracelets, the pilgrims can directly communicate with the emergency numbers in the Kingdom.

He said the committee is maintaining contacts with a Chinese company to provide it with the specifications of the bracele manufacture them.

Badi said the committee is also working to find a solution to the problem of the pilgrims' luggage and is considering contracting a transport company to take the luggage from the points of their arrivals to their accommodation places.

He also said the committee is considering to establish a shareholding Umrah service company to upgrade the services being extended to the pilgrims.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...GPS-technology
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Old May 15th, 2019, 06:12 PM   #11998
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Service launched to
speed up Makkah projects



The meeting discussed the status of Makkah and its importance for Muslims.
May 14, 2019

MAKKAH: A plan to speed up the issue of building permits and promote modern construction methods, was launched in Makkah on Monday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, acting minister of municipal and rural affairs, announced the new service to fast-track authorizations for building work at the Makkah Municipality.

The initiative, which is being run in cooperation with the Ministry of Housing, is an outcome of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan. As part of the launch ceremony, the minister handed the first building permit to a citizen from Al-Jamoum governorate.

Al-Qasabi also met with Makkah Mayor Mohammed Abdullah Al-Quwaihis along with authority officials and employees and was briefed on the municipality’s key projects and future plans.

The meeting discussed the status of Makkah and its importance for Muslims, and the need to constantly work toward improving services for pilgrims and citizens.

Some of the developments and challenges that have faced Makkah in recent years were explained to Al-Qasabi, who stressed the importance of concentrating efforts on simplifying procedures and improving basic municipal services.

The minister highlighted the achievements being made through the development of municipalities, the delegation of powers to mayors, the electronic issue of building permits for commercial establishments, schools and hospitals, and the reviewing and updating of municipal regulations.

Al-Qasabi emphasized the requirement to keep pace with modern technology and ensure that all categories of investors could participate in the development system by offering investment opportunities.

He added that every effort should be made to ensure the swift completion of budget-approved projects.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1497036/saudi-arabia
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Old May 16th, 2019, 05:24 AM   #11999
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Ministry launches new website
for Qatari Umrah applicants


May 14, 2019

JEDDAH — The Ministry of Haj and Umrah announced on Tuesday that it has dedicated a new website (https://qtumra.haj.gov.sa) to receive Umrah visa applications from Qatari citizens who want to perform the pilgrimage, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The move comes after Qatari authorities blocked access to the previous website (https://qatariu.haj.gov.sa), which was dedicated to receive Umrah visa requests from the Qatari applicants.

The ministry’s decision comes within the framework of the keenness of the Saudi government to facilitate the procedures for the arrival of all pilgrims, as well as to overcome all obstacles that may face them while performing the ritual, SPA reported.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...rah-applicants

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Old May 20th, 2019, 12:09 AM   #12000
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Over 6.6 million Umrah pilgrims
arrive in Kingdom


May 18, 2019

RIYADH — As many as 6,639,295 pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Press Agency said on Friday quoting the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

In its weekly cumulative indicator, the ministry said the Saudi authorities have so far issued 7,222,369 visas to people intending to perform Umrah.

The Umrah-related initiative is among the main objectives of the Kingdom Vision 2030, seeking to attract over 30 million Umrah performers by providing them with excellent services to enrich their experience.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...ive-in-Kingdom

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