MAKKAH/MADINAH: Over three million Muslims attended special prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah on Sunday, the 27th night of Ramadan, seeking the blessings of Lailat Al-Qadr (the Night of Power).
The Grand Mosque in Makkah overflowed with hundreds of thousands of Muslims as they came to perform Umrah, attend Taraweeh and Qiyamullail prayers. They also offered special prayers seeking the blessings of Lailat Al-Qadr, which is worth more than a 1,000 months in terms of rewards.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) has said: “Whoever offers voluntary prayers during the Night of Power out of belief and expecting its reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.”
The government has made all arrangements to receive the large crowds of worshippers from within the Kingdom and other parts of the world. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah is in Makkah to supervise the services being rendered to the guests of God.
About 4,500 police officers have been deployed to maintain law and order in the city. The Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques and the Makkah Municipality have deployed nearly 10,000 cleaning workers to keep the mosque and its surroundings neat and tidy.
About 20,000 water coolers have been kept in different parts of the mosque to supply drinking water to the faithful round the clock. Despite the huge crowd of worshippers, the traffic in Makkah was smooth and no major accidents have been reported. Special security officers had been deployed to arrest pickpockets and other criminals. The Civil Defense Department has kept its firefighting and rescue units ready inside the central region of Makkah.
All hotels and furnished apartments in Makkah were fully occupied. Sales of prayer mattresses went up on Sunday as many people bought them to pray outside the mosque. The price of such mattresses went up from SR10 to SR25 because of the huge demand.
The Saudi Public Transport Company operated a large number of buses to transport pilgrims from the large parking areas around Makkah to the mosque and back. Taxis were making a lot of money as they charged inflated fares of up to SR90 for taking pilgrims from the Haram to the parking lot, while mini buses were charging SR15 to SR20 for each pilgrim.
Municipal officials inspected fast-food shops around the mosque to make sure they fulfilled hygiene conditions.
At the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, a large number of Muslims including expatriate workers and foreign visitors attended Taraweeh and Qiyamullail prayers. The mosque was crowded with worshippers, including about 10,000 who were performing etikaf (a form of deep worship involving a period of retreat in a mosque) – Arabnews