Saturday, August 1, 2015

Free Wifi in Makkah Haram Courtyard

Visitors and Pilgrims to the Grand Mosque in Makkah can now take advantage of the free Wi-Fi service which will be available in the courtyards of the Great Mosque as reported by the Saudi Gazette. This new service is a part of a series of services of technological nature which is to be introduced by the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques. The aim is to benefit those who have come to worship and those who are faithful, according to the director of the I.T. center at the presidency, Bandar Al Khuzaim.The director stated that this new service in the courtyards will bring the staff of the presidency and the worshippers into an online contact. The staff at the presidency will use this service to send out awareness and guidance messages to the pilgrims and visitors of the Grand Mosque, as told by the Saudi Press Agency.

The director added that the presidency will soon make the Bluetooth service available which will inform those worshippers performing circumambulation as to the number of rounds which have been completed.  The Presidency has also introduced the renewal and issuing of booking of iftar meals online at the Grand Mosque. These services are available to both, firms and individuals who can use this to donate for the iftar meals of worshippers.Al Khuzaim added that a new facility has also been introduced for electronic registration of all those worshippers who will be performing itikaf, or seclusion in the mosque to devote you to Allah.  These services will be available in six languages including English, French, Urdu, Persian, Arabic and Turkish.

Even though some people might consider these new services a blessing, there are those who are totally against allowing free use of Wi-Fi inside of the Two Holy Mosques. People have been complaining often, even before the introduction of this service that people have been taking numerous selfies and uploading them on social media rather than devoting all their time at the Two Holy Mosques in praying to Allah.

M.Saeed Awan responded online that the imam of the Prophet’s mosque had to recently stop his sermon and ask the person who was using his phone to concentrate on the sermon. He adds that people who use their phones in the mosques are generally more interested in taking pictures rather than concentrating or worshipping Allah.Ismaeel Marikar stated that instead of providing the free service, all internet services around the Two Holy Mosques should be jammed or blocked. He again added that many people are only interested in taking pictures of themselves with the Mosques or the fancy chandeliers.

Omar, another social media responder said that people who are criticizing the service are not reading the announcement, Wi-Fi connection does not mean internet surfing or social networking necessarily. The Wi-Fi service is to be used as a way to send information and texts to the worshippers and pilgrims from the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques. He finally adds that these services are for our own security.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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