MILLIONS of Muslims from around the world as well as other parts of the Kingdom converged on the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to take part in the special Lailat Al-Qadr “Night of Power” prayers, Wednesday night.
Lailat Al-Qadr marks the occasion when the first verses of the Holy Qur’an were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). According to the Qur’an, (worship on) the night is better in reward than (worship in) a thousand months.
Though there is no clear indication in the Islamic texts about the exact date, based on a saying of the Prophet (pbuh) scholars believe the Night of Power falls on one of the odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan, most probably on the 27th night.
“Whoever spends this night in prayer out of sincere faith and in the hope of reward from Allah will be forgiven all his previous sins,” the Prophet (pbuh) said in a Hadith reported by Bukhari, the most authentic book of traditions.
It is also believed that in Lailat Al-Qadr, Almighty Allah marks the fate of every individual for the following year, thus Muslims pray during the night for mercy, forgiveness and salvation. It is believed to be the most appropriate time of the year to pray for salvation and blessings.
The traffic heading to the holy cities was intense with vehicles moving at snail’s pace hours before sunset.
All government departments had mobilized their human and material resources to welcome the mammoth crowd of worshipers and facilitate their stay in the holy cities providing them with a spiritual atmosphere.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has given instructions to government departments and public agencies to extend all-out efforts to make the stay of the guests of Allah in Makkah and Madinah comfortable.
Efforts have been made to provide the faithful with adequate accommodation, keep Makkah and its surroundings clean and tidy, ensure security and safety of pilgrims and control traffic to ensure the smooth flow of vehicles in the central area of the city.
“The Ramadan plan focuses on ensuring the smooth flow of pilgrims to and from the Grand Mosque,” said an official of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, adding that there is good coordination between the presidency, Haram Security Force and the crowd management department.
“We provide a host of services to the guests of Allah,” the official said while urging pilgrims and worshipers not to enter the mosque while the faithful come out after prayers to avoid congestion and possible stampedes.
The mayoralty has intensified cleaning services throughout Makkah to keep the city and its environment clean by deploying a large number of cleaning workers. Its officers check shops selling foodstuffs as well as street vendors to make sure they comply with hygiene regulations.
The Health Affairs in Makkah, on the other hand, has set out a complete plan to protect pilgrims from contagious diseases. It has set up clinics inside the Grand Mosque to provide quick medical assistance and first-aid services to pilgrims who may fall sick.