In a significant initiative, Saudi Arabia is set to undertake a comprehensive renovation plan for the historic Al-Safa Mosque, a structure that dates back nearly 1,350 years to the 7th century. As part of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Project for the Development of Historical Mosques, the renovation aims to preserve the mosque’s distinctive Sarat style and historical significance.
According to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the renovation project will encompass restoring the mosque’s aesthetics and refreshing its facade using natural materials such as stone sourced from the Sarawat Mountains and local wood, which will be employed in ceilings, columns, windows, and doors. Notably, the renovation will maintain the mosque’s original dimensions, with no expansion of its 78 square meter, 31-worshipper capacity.
Situated in the al-Baha region, the Al-Safa Mosque holds a special place in history, surrounded by buildings in a mountainous region connected by narrow passages. Supported by two distinct columns of juniper trees, the mosque was originally constructed by Sufyan bin Auf al-Ghamdi.
Historically, the mosque played a crucial social role, serving as a gathering place for villagers to discuss affairs and resolve disputes between the Maghrib and Isha prayers, as reported by SPA.
The renovation initiative is part of the second phase of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Project, launched in July 2022, covering 30 historic places of worship across 13 regions. This includes prominent mosques in Riyadh, Mecca, Medina, Asir, Eastern Region, al-Jauf, Jazan, and others. The comprehensive restoration efforts aim to preserve the rich cultural and architectural heritage of these religious sites.
During the first phase of the project, 30 mosques were successfully restored at a cost exceeding $13.3 million (SAR 50 million), with the oldest mosque restored dating back 1,432 years. The ongoing commitment to preserving these historical landmarks underscores Saudi Arabia’s dedication to both cultural heritage and religious significance.