Watch: Saudi cleric's emotional recitation of Ramadan night prayer
Sheikh Saud al Shuraim recited an emotional start to this year's Taraweeh prayers, videos shared on social media show.
He can be heard making an emotional recitation of the opening chapter of the Quran, while appearing to be holding back tears.
On each night of the nightly ritual Taraweeh prayers, Muslims read one of thirty parts of the Quran, allowing the whole scripture to be read over the 30-day fasting month.
Mecca's great mosque, the holiest site in Islam, is normally filled to the brim with worshippers - especially during Ramadan.
But this year, images of the Kaabah taken on the first night of Ramadan showed only a handful of worshippers.
The nightly taraweeh prayers, held at the Grand Mosque and Prophet’s Mosque, are therefore not be open to the public.
Last month, Saudi Arabia suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage over fears of the novel coronavirus spreading to Islam's holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, which were placed under 24-hour curfews.
Riyadh has also urged Muslims to temporarily defer preparations for the annual Hajj pilgrimage amid uncertainty over the pandemic.