Time is of great importance to Muslims; for the five Pillars of the Islamic faith are regulated by time – prayer, almsgiving fasting and the Hajj. The clock is also a symbol of discipline and productivity.
Therefore, it is not unusual that the largest clock tower in the world is built adjacent to the Holy Mosque in Makkah al-Mukarramah, which is the largest mosque on earth as well as the purest spot on earth for all Muslims.
The Makkah al-Mukarramah Clock Tower is a unique architectural monument which was designed with the assistance of the foremost engineering expertise and constructed by the most skilled artisans, who together have produced the wonder we see today.
Because of the great height and gigantic size of the tower, it is easily visible from anywhere in Makkah al-Mukarramah, as well as from the approach roads to the Holy City from all directions.
The Makkah Clock consists of four faces equipped with devices which emit laser beams on various occasions, such as the two Eids and Ramadhan, in addition to light signals at the time of the call to prayer. For protection against dust, wind and rain, the clock is equipped with a comprehensive system of protection from these elements.
The electricity required to operate the Makkah al-Mukarramah Clock comes from solar panels, and it is connected to the Makkah al-Mukarramah electric power grid for extra power.
Although each face of the clock has its own motor, the four faces of the clock are in complete agreement and synchronized with Makkah al-Mukarramah Mean Time, which is derived from five extremely precise atomic clocks.
Each face of the Makkah al-Mukarramah Clock is a square measuring 43 meters on each side.
The Makkah al-Mukarramah Clock Tower reaches a height of 250 meters, and the clock itself is sited on the uppermost part of the fifth tower in the King Abdulaziz Endowment, the total height of which is 600 meters to the top of the clock.
This unique clock is covered with more than 98 million pieces of colored glass mosaic in addition to more than two million LED cells for illumination. In addition, the clock is covered with more than 43,000 square meters of advanced carbon fibers.
Each hand of the clock is powered by an independent motor, both of which are contained in a single assemblage which weighs more than 21 tons, thereby making it the biggest and heaviest clock operating assemblage anywhere.
The clock is powered by four operating units, one for each of its faces, and each face receives the same signal at the same time, in coordination with the most modern atomic system in the world.
The crescent which crowns the tower is also considered to be the largest in the world, with a diameter of 23 meters. The length of the Arabic letter 'alif' in the phrase "Allah Akbar" (God is great) is more than 23 meters.
The call to prayer resounds from the pinnacle of the Makkah al-Mukarramah Clock through the most powerful sound system of its kind, and during the call to prayer 21,000 green and white lights illuminate the clock, thereby increasing its visibility in all areas of Makkah al-Mukarramah.