A ministerial panel has decided to close down seven historic mosques frequented by Haj and Umrah pilgrims at Mount Sala’ in Madina. The sites, according to Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Huseyyin, Mayor of Madina province, will be taken on by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for renovation ahead of becoming historic sites. The decision was made at a meeting between representatives from the ministries of Interior, Islamic Affairs, and Municipal Affairs; the tourism authority was also represented at the meeting.
Some sources say that the Board of Senior Ulama had previously ordered the “cancellation” of the seven mosques and the erection of a mosque in the same area, leading the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to build the Al-Khandaq Mosque (Mosque of the Trench) which was recently opened at a cost of some SR26 million. The three-floor mosque holds over 4,000 male and 500 female worshippers. Informed sources have previously suggested that the new mosque would be to serve as a replacement for the seven mosques to be closed.
The seven sites are believed by some sources to have been first built by the Prophet’s Companions during the time of the Prophet صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمَ,and the “Battle of the Trench” when defending the city of Madinah.
The “seven mosques” in reality number six, but have become known by the name as pilgrims visiting Madinah visit as a matter of course a seventh mosque, “Masjid Al-Qiblatayn.” Scholars say the mosques were constructed during the times of the uprising of the Quraish and other Arab tribes against the Muslims and one of the Prophet’s Companions recommended building a trench as a shield against attack.
|One of 7 Mosques-Memory of 1990|