Millions attend Ramadan prayers in Makkah

Nearly three million worshipers, including foreign umrah pilgrims and local visitors, performed isha and taraweeh prayers

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Nearly three million worshipers, including foreign umrah pilgrims and local visitors, performed isha (evening prayers) and taraweeh (special Ramadan prayers) prayers in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah Friday night in a tranquil atmosphere, thanks to the extensive services provided by the government of Saudi King Salman.

Various government agencies mobilized their full material and human potential to ensure the faithful preform their pilgrimage rites and other acts of worship in peace and comfort.

The worshippers from around the world, including different parts of Saudi Arabia, converged on Makkah to seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy with the hope that this night, the 27th of Ramadan, is the Night of Power (Laylat Al-Qadr).

According to scholarly opinion, the Night of Power, which commemorates the first revelation of the Holy Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him) in Makkah, falls on one of the odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan, most probably the 27th night.

The authorities provided all services to the worshipers, umrah pilgrims and visitors with follow-up by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah Province and adviser to the Saudi king, who stressed that serving the worshipers and visitors to the Grand Mosque is a great honor for the Saudi people and government.

He further said everyone was working hard to provide the maximum comfort and facilities to the guests of God. He praised the noble services being provided to umrah pilgrims, and said the pilgrims could benefit from the completion of the latest expansion of the Grand Mosque this Ramadan.

He said all departments carried out their tasks for the holy month, especially the last ten days, according to plan.

Nearly 2 million worshipers visited the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Friday night, while 750,000 people joined the special prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques mobilized its efforts in opening the gates, carrying out maintenance works, cleaning and operation. It also made available copies of the Holy Qur’an everywhere in the mosque complex.

The Directorate of Health Affairs in Makkah Province operated two health centers in the Grand Mosque, in addition to Ajyad Emergency Hospital, which is only a few meters away from the mosque.

Over 12,000 cleaners were deployed in the Grand Mosque and its courtyards. Sixty points were allocated for collecting garbage.

Police intensified security patrols on the streets of Makkah to ensure a smooth flow of traffic and avoid any untoward incidents.

Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) made sure that there were enough buses to carry the umrah pilgrims and worshipers to and from the Grand Mosque.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on July 2, 2016.

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