Performing the Rama’daan prayers in the Grand Mosque, specially on the last ten nights of the holy month, is one of my wishes which I am hoping would come true this year. I'd been to the Grand Mosque before with a group of friends, however being there in Rama’daan is different.
Walking inside the prayer hall I was struck by the beauty of the design, its vastness and its grandeur and overall elegance. Twenty years have passed since its construction in 1986 by the late Ruler of Kuwait Shaikh Jabir al-Ahmad. It took seven years and 14 million Kuwaiti Dinars, as well as a huge numbers of builders, carpenters, marble lays, and engineers to construct it, thus becoming an architectural model for many mosques around the world.
Continuing towards the main gate, one could hear the humming of worshippers reciting the Holy ’Qura~n. Inside the mosque it was more stunning than the outside. I spent more then one hour praying inside the prayer hall of the mosque, entertaining the gorgeous sensation of being between the hands of the Almighty God and feeling the ease of satisfaction one would feel in such a place.
Rama’daan in the Grand mosque in Kuwait creates it own magical environment, a festive look and overflow of worshippers, specially on the last ten nights where it becomes more beautiful with the scene of about quarter a million worshippers coming to perform the prayers (Taraweeh) together in one place. On these nights everything wakes up into activity here, and would stay alive till sunrise.
The mosque on these nights is filled inside out, the scene outside the mosque becomes more stunning as well as the inside, were endless rows of people perform the prayer together, showing and sensing the unity and brotherhood which Islaam asks for.
Satellite channels would broadcast live the festival on these nights, where quarter of a million worshippers are expected to attend at this time of the year every Rama’daan. The Ministry of Islaamic affairs does its best every year to make sure the worshippers have all the facilities they need for a safe, comfortable, and spiritual festival as such. Likewise, the Ministry of Health works in its part for assuring its utmost readiness to face any emergencies. Youths volunteer and work in organized groups and participate actively in the event.
Usually the best reciters are present to lead the prayers here, such as Mshaari Raashid Al-Afasy, Yasir il-Failakawy , Fahad Al-Kandary and Salah Alhaashim. Those reciters are famous for their beautiful voices and are sought after by the faithful worshippers throughout the month .
The prayer is commenced in a breathtaking display throughout the night in which the darkness of the sky is broken through by the light of the silver crescent, which symbolizes the faith for over one billion Muslim around the world. The reciter leads the worshippers; following the example of the Prophet (PBUH), while trying the best to let those who pray behind feel the meaning of the verses and live them with all their conscious.
The scene portrays a beautiful and powerful image of human unity. About a quarter million Muslim standing here, in one place, the poor and the rich, the short and the tall, the white and the dark; together, asking for guidance, forgiveness, mercy and the best of this world and the hereafter.
This image invokes the image of the Day of Judgment where every soul is asked for his deeds. Some weep, in following the prayer, while others sweat standing their keenly and listening to the verses. The reciters with their most beautiful voices recite the most beautiful words said ever, at a night which could possibly be the Night of Decree, which is believed to be one of the last ten days of Rama’daan. A prayer on this night equals seventy thousand years of worship.
Photographs By Majed Sultan
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