MAKKAH — More than a million faithful from within the Kingdom and all around the world have thronged the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to spend the last 10 nights of the blessed month of Ramadan.

As the holy month entered its final phase on Saturday, the 20th day of Ramadan, the faithful are well prepared to reap the fruits of the holy month by performing Umrah and embarking on vigorous prayers and worship by offering taraweeh and qiyamullail (late night) prayers.

The entire premises of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque were filled with crowds of worshipers to perform the night prayers in a spiritual and serene atmosphere amid an integrated system of services provided by the Saudi government for the comfort of the worshipers.

The pilgrims and visitors have flowed since the morning into the mataf (circumambulating area around the Holy Kaaba), courtyards of the Grand Mosque, and roads leading to the Two Holy Mosques.

The General Authority for the Care of the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, in coordination with various departments and agencies, has made elaborate arrangements to provide all services to Umrah pilgrims and worshipers so as to enable them to perform their worship in ease and comfort.

The authority started on Saturday implementing its operational plan for the last ten days of the holy month, amid the integration of the system of services provided and the harnessing of human and mechanical capabilities for the comfort of those visiting the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque during the holy month.

Elaborate arrangements have been made under the close supervision and monitoring of the heads of various government departments and security agencies to ensure the smooth flow of pilgrims.

The authority has mobilized more than 4,000 male and female workers, supervised by 200 Saudi officials, working around the clock, for cleaning the Grand Mosque and its courtyards as well as 3,516 toilets, in addition to taking care of 9,155 Zamzam containers, more than 35,000 new carpets in all the prayer halls and courtyards of the Grand Mosque, and 3,000 hand carts as well as 2,000 electric vehicles, and 6,000 vehicle pushers.

In a related development, thousands of worshipers started on Saturday i’tikaf (the ritual of seclusion and staying in the mosque with the intention of worshipping) at the Two Holy Mosques following their online registration.

Meanwhile, the Presidency of Religious Affairs at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque has intensified the sessions and programs for memorizing the Holy Qur’an at the Two Holy Mosques during the last ten days of Ramadan. These included a ‘permanent program’ for memorizing the Holy Qur’an for men and women 24 hours a day. A total of 1,230 male and female students joined this program for which there are 102 male and female teachers. There is another ‘program for correcting recitations’ for male and female visitors, divided into six periods, and 1,300 male and female visitors would benefit from it daily.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of Religious Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, said that the presidency has begun implementing a package of Qur’anic programs in the last ten days of the holy month aimed at linking the faithful to the Qur’an and its moderate guidance through an established scientific methodology.

Sheikh Al-Sudais said that one of the tasks of the Qur’anic circles in the Grand Mosque is to teach the correct methods for memorizing the Holy Qur’an and correcting its recitation, in an educational environment, according to the paths that take into account individual differences to ensure mastery of reciting the Book of God, preserving it and improving it, at the hands of qualified Saudi experts and scholars.


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