FaithWorld

Mecca Mean Time? World’s biggest clock ticks in Islam’s holiest city

August 12, 2010

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A giant clock on a skyscraper in Islam’s holiest city Mecca began ticking on Wednesday at the start of the fasting month of Ramadan, amid hopes by Saudi Arabia that it will become the Muslim world’s official timekeeper.

The Mecca Clock, which Riyadh says is the world’s largest, has four faces each bearing a large inscription of the name “Allah.” It sits 400 metres up what will be the world’s second-tallest skyscraper and largest hotel, overlooking the city’s Holy Grand Mosque, which Muslims around the world turn to five times a day for prayer.

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The clock tower is the landmark feature of the seven-tower King Abdulaziz Endowment hotel complex, being built by the private Saudi Binladen Group. “Because it based in front of the holy mosque the whole Islamic world will refer to Mecca time instead of Greenwich. The Mecca clock will become a symbol to all Muslims,” said Hashim Adnan, a resident of nearby Jeddah who frequently visits Mecca.

While many in Saudi Arabia are celebrating the clock tower’s launch, some Mecca visitors are critical of how it will affect the ambiance of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthplace.

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“I think they are trying to do a lot of luxurious development around the Grand Mosque which is taking away from the spiritual atmosphere of the place, making it more modern,” said Lina Edris, a frequent visitor to Mecca.

“The clock tower is higher than the minarets of the Grand Mosque, which will take attention away from the mosque even though it is obvious the mosque is more important,” she said.

Note the similarities of this clock face with that of Big Ben, minus the Latin numerals and the Latin-language motto “Domine Salvam fac Reginam nostram Victoriam primam” (Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First).

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What do you think? Does this hotel complex towering over the Grand Mosque detract from the spiritual atmosphere there?

Read the full story here. Mecca photos by Hassan Ali, Big Ben by David Bebber.

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Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

i wish it was not in Mecca. and if it is to be , not in this grandeur style which is basically very western architecture. and where is muslim engineering, inegnuity, etc. Islam calls for simplicity and seeks natural imbue. i was there in Jun2010 and saw this mega structure coming to life , was really sad that my frame of reference was no longer the kaaba but this muslim Big Ben. well, now we have to live with it. i pray that ALLAH forgives the muslims for such blatant extravaganza. $2 billion when so many poor people all over the world lives on 2 pennies a day. this is not Islam. no harm feeling to those muslim who are proud of it. I just wish we could have done better than being big, where is our humility, the corner stone of Islam.

Posted by amust | Report as abusive
 

no sori my friend no 1 r poor rich is poor poor is rich i think that
and the 2sd news is an other clock tower is going 2 come in jeddah i read the news in paper and i m working in the same tower my hotel name is rotana al marwa rayaahan

Posted by allahisbig | Report as abusive
 

I totally disagree with the building of a hotel in front of Holly Ka’aba …. this is a total nonsense and foolishness and negligence of the authorities concerned and is a proof of their em capabilities. for a little monitory gain they had heart millions of Muslims.. my suggestion is this hotel complex should be converted into Islamic Center or may be dismantled ….. Muslim UMMA would be ready to pay its cost……….

Posted by IHL | Report as abusive
 

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