The Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah, as nearly all the other mosques in the Kingdom observed the first Qiyamul Layl (midnight prayers), beginning Saturday.
Qiyamul Layl in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah generally begins at 12.45 a.m., lasting for about two hours. The prayers in other parts of the Kingdom normally start at 1 a.m. and last for one or two hours.
Mohammed Obaidullah, imam at Sheebani Mosque in Nasseriyah district, told Arab News on Sunday that Qiyamul Layl is held in the last 10 days of Ramadan.
The imam said there are six rakats in three pairs, followed by witr prayers that comprise three rakats. It takes a minimum of 75 minutes to complete the prayers.
The last 10 days of Ramadan are considered highly significant since the Holy Qur’an was first revealed to mankind through Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on Laylat Al-Qadr (“Night of Power” or “Night of Destiny”). The imam said that good deeds of worshippers would be richly rewarded during the night prayers in the holy month.
To make it smooth for the worshippers inside mosques, private establishments have been contracted to maintain mosques throughout the Kingdom. They have geared up their staff to be on duty throughout the night to ensure a smooth supply of power and water.
Extensive arrangements have been made in all the mosques to accommodate the additional number of worshippers during this period. Separate provisions have been made in most of the mosques for women to perform prayers within the mosques.
Philanthropists regularly supply soft drinks and water to the worshippers who come to spend their time at the mosques during the midnight prayers.
Following a directive issued by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, mosques will be kept open for worshippers throughout the night during the last 10 days of the the holy month. Many mosques are well-lit in order to give a festive appearance during the last days of the holy month.
The imam said the mosques were kept open for the public at night for recitation of the Holy Qur’an and whatever other prayers they offer inside the mosque.
According to the circular, imams of all the mosques in the Kingdom were instructed to keep the places of worship tidy and to ensure adequate and uninterrupted supplies of power and water during the holy month in order to meet the requirements of the increased number of Muslims who go for Taraweeh, which follows the regular Isha prayers and the subsequent Qiyamul Layl.
Improvised partitions for women have been built in mosques that do not have separate prayer halls for them.
Welcoming the day of Lailat Al-Qadr was the theme of the sermons during last Friday prayers. An imam at a mosque in Malaz appealed to the people to strictly adhere to the teachings of the Qur’an and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad during this period. “This is a golden opportunity for Muslims to get bounteous rewards since worshippers in the Kingdom will have adequate time because of the Ramadan holidays,” the Imam stressed.
An officer of a maintenance company which is responsible for more than 1,000 mosques in Riyadh told Arab News that his company had instructed the labor force to work in the mosques till late at night. “These workers are expected to keep the worshipping places clean, ensure a smooth supply of water and power and light the areas,” he added.
About 10 laborers are on duty in large Juma mosques, while others are taken care of by two workers. Some of the big mosques in the capital are built and maintained by members of the royal family and some 5,000 mosques are maintained by the department of mosques at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.