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RIYADH: The Quba Mosque, the first mosque built by the Prophet Muhammad, will increase in size tenfold, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has announced.
The new project means that the Mosque of Medina will see the largest development in its history, expanding to 50,000 square meters.
Named after the Saudi monarch, King Salman, the project aims to increase the capacity of mosques to 66,000 worshippers.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the project aims to accommodate the largest number of worshipers during peak seasons.
It also aims to highlight the religious importance of the mosque while preserving its architectural style, as well as the monuments located near the mosque.
The Quba Mosque was the first mosque in the history of Islam and the first mosque built in Medina.
It is located 5 kilometers south of the Prophet’s Mosque and was built in the year 1 AH (622 AD).
There will be shaded courtyards on four sides, which will connect to prayer spaces that are not structurally attached to the current mosque building.
He said the project improves the effectiveness of the landmark for the devotional and cultural experience of visitors.
The project will aim to address overcrowding and improve safety for worshippers, and the nearby road network will see an overhaul to facilitate access to the mosque.
The rehabilitation works will preserve a number of prophetic sites and monuments inside the mosque and its courtyards.
No less than 57 sites, including wells, farms and orchards, are to be developed or rehabilitated as part of the project.
The crown prince praised the king’s care for the historic mosque and said the project aims to achieve the goals and objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.
During his visit to Medina, Prince Mohammed prayed at the Prophet’s Mosque.
He also prayed at the Rawdah, a place between the sacred chamber (known as the house of the Prophet) and the Minbar (or pulpit) of the Prophet.
The Crown Prince was accompanied by Prince Faisal bin Salman, Governor of Medina, and a number of senior officials.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman also visited and prayed at Quba Mosque in Medina.
He then received eminent scholars and excellencies, as well as a group of citizens who came to greet him, at Taiba Palace in Medina.
The Crown Prince arrived in Medina on Thursday morning.