• Wednesday, May 12, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:39 am

Saudi Arabia shortens Taraweeh prayers at two holy mosques

  • Published at 12:20 pm April 12th, 2021
This picture taken early on May 24, 2020 shows worshippers gathering before the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca to attend the prayers of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday which starts at the conclusion of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. AFP

Only vaccinated and immunized pilgrims and worshipers will be allowed to perform Umrah and prayers at the Two Holy Mosques

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz on Sunday ordered to shorten Taraweeh prayers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, state news agency (SPA) said.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Sudais, the head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced that Taraweeh prayers would be reduced to 10 raka't from 20 raka't, in strict accordance with the presidency's and other related agencies' precautionary measures and preventive protocols for serving pilgrims and ensuring their safety from coronavirus, reports the Gulf News.

Sheikh Al Sudais emphasized the Saudi leadership's keenness to continue promoting the performance of rituals at the Two Holy Mosques by mobilizing all resources to ensure that pilgrims can perform their rituals in a safe and secure environment that complies with all global health standards used in infection control.

“King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are continuously following up on everything that would provide the best services for the pilgrims and worshipers during the unprecedented season. The presidency has equipped its full human and mechanical capabilities to serve pilgrims and worshipers during Ramadan in cooperation with all parties involved in serving the guests of God,” he said.

Earlier, Saudi authorities allowed Umrah and prayers at the Two Holy Mosques during the holy month, which is set to begin on Tuesday, but they suspended the i'tikaf (spiritual seclusion) ritual and the iftar meal at the holy mosques.

At the Two Holy Mosques, only vaccinated and immunized pilgrims and worshipers will be allowed to perform Umrah and prayers, and children will not be permitted to accompany pilgrims and worshipers. The Isha prayer permit will include performance of Taraweeh prayers as well.

Following the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, all mosques suspended not only Umrah but also five regular mandatory prayers, Taraweeh prayers, and iftar meals for domestic and international pilgrims.

The Grand Mosque's capacity has been increased this Ramadan to accommodate up to 50,000 vaccinated Umrah pilgrims and 100,000 worshipers.

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