1.2 million faithful gather in Makkah for Friday prayers

Saudi Gazette report

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MAKKAH — As many as 1.2 million worshippers thronged the Grand Mosque and its courtyards in Makkah to attend the Friday prayers, the second congregation since the start of the fasting month of Ramadan.

In an unparalleled spiritual ambience that the fasting month has offered, the faithful performed Umrah and engaged in supplications, seeking the blessing and forgiveness from the Almighty Allah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Imam and khateeb Sheikh Saleh Al-Talib led the prayers. Delivering the Friday sermon, Sheikh Al-Talib advised the worshippers to take advantage of the holy month in reaping lofty rewards from Allah by seeking His forgiveness and increasing prayers and virtuous deeds.

The Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has made elaborate arrangements to cope with the unprecedented rush of Umrah pilgrims and visitors to the holy mosque in Ramadan, which marks the peak Umrah season.

More than 160 doors of the holy mosque was kept open to receive the worshippers on all four levels of the Grand Mosque, including the basement, ground and first floors and the roof.

More than 17,000 prayer rugs have spread out and over 10,000 wheelchairs were made available for the disabled and the elderly pilgrims to perform their rituals in ease and comfort.

Ahmad Al-Mansouri, director of the media department at the presidency, said the worshippers started taking advantage of the King Abdullah expansion, northern courtyards and first phases of the mataf (circumambulation area) expansion this Ramadan.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150627248559

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