Thursday, May 17, 2018
Saudi Gazette report
WITH the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan, thousands and thousands of faithful Muslims thronged the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah, some performing Umrah while others joining night (Taraweeh) prayers in congregation and still others engaging themselves in individual prayers and supplications.
In Jeddah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Wednesday night received at Al-Salam Palace several princes, ministers, Islamic scholars, military commanders and a group of people who came to greet him on the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. The guests had their suhoor (pre-dawn meal) with the King. Earlier Wednesday, the King, in a message, delivered on his behalf by Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad, extended Ramadan greetings to the people of Saudi Arabia and Muslims all over the world. “The holy month of Ramadan is a month of mercy and forgiveness, and God has made the holy month a mercy to the entire mankind and an opportunity for the Muslims to have self-introspection and refining of their deeds. Ramadan carries great lessons that encourage us to compete in good deeds to win the pleasure of God,” the King said. King Salman noted that Saudi Arabia, since its foundation by the late King Abdul Aziz, has been striving to maintain the bright image of the religion of Islam and better serve the interests of the Islamic causes and Muslims. “When the phenomena of extremism and terrorism emerged, targeting the entire world, the Kingdom worked and still works, with all its potentials, political weight and international clout, to combat them. The Kingdom affirms through all international platforms that extremism and terrorism do not belong to any religion and civilization,” he said. King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, sent cables of greetings to several kings, heads of state, and leaders of Muslim countries on the advent of Ramadan. They also received similar cables from many leaders.
As Saudi Arabia joined all other Gulf states and most Muslims across the world to start observing the fasting month of Ramadan on Thursday, more than a million Umrah pilgrims and visitors flocked to the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to perform Umrah and special night prayers. The authorities have made unprecedented arrangements and elaborate preparations to offer the best ever services and facilities for the pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Mosques during the holy month, which marks the peak annual Umrah season.
As of Tuesday, a record number of 5,735,830 pilgrims from various parts of the world have performed Umrah. The Makkah Emirate, Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, mayoralties, Haram Security Forces Command, police, traffic, Civil Defense, and all other departments and agencies have swung into operation to facilitate the smooth flow of pilgrims and visitors to Makkah and Madinah.
All the floors and courtyards and King Abdullah Expansion Project in the Grand Mosque were full of worshipers and the rows of worshipers spilled over to the streets of the Central Haram Area.
In Madinah, Emir Prince Faisal Bin Salman and Deputy Emir Prince Saud Bin Khaled Al-Faisal closely followed the preparations and arrangements made to enable the worshippers to perform their rituals in ease and comfort.
$283m development projects coming up in Makkah