Saudi Arabia approves shortened Taraweeh prayers for Mecca, Medina
Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that nightly Ramadan prayers at the Grand Mosque of Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina will be shortened to ensure the safety of worshippers at the two Muslim holy sites.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz approved the new measures for the nightly Taraweeh prayers performed by Muslims during the fasing month, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
The new coronavirus measures will see the prayers shortened from 20 units, or Rakat, to 10 units, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, said.
"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," Sudais was quoted by the SPA as saying.
"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."
Ramadan, which is set to begin on Monday evening in Saudi Arabia, is traditionally one of the the busiest months at Islam's two holiest sites in Mecca and Medina.
Saudi authorities have approved pilgrimage to the two sites for the Islamic holy month but have made vaccinations a requirement for all visitors.
It is estimated that Mecca's Grand Mosque, which is considered Islam's holiest site, will have capacity to host up to 50,000 umrah pilgrims and 100,000 regular worshippers.