Worshippers perform the nightly Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan at the Prophet’s Mosque. Image Credit: The Agency for Affairs of the Prophet’s Mosque

Cairo: Some 15.7 million Muslims performed prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina in the first half of the current Islamic month of Ramadan, a Saudi official has said.

Head of the General Presidency for Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Abdulrahman al Sudais said an affiliate agency has prepared the site to host the faithful as part of an operation plan to manage crowds to ensure smooth access and comfortable worshipping.

A total of 163 million worshippers have got access to the Prophet’s Mosque since the start of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar, according to the official.

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The month of Ramadan usually marks the peak season for Muslims heading to the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site in Mecca, to perform Umrah or minor pilgrimage and visit the Prophet’s Mosque, which houses Rawda Al Sharifa where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) is located.

More than 1 million Muslims are expected to visit Al Rawda Al Sharifa during Ramadan after making reservations via the Nusuk app. Specific, separate times are set for male and female visitors.

Men are permitted to visit Al Rawda Al Sharifa during Ramadan daily from the time running from the noon prayers until the evening prayers. For women, visits are allowed daily over two periods: after the voluntary night prayers of Taraweeh until 2am; and from after the Fajr (dawn) prayers until 11am.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has launched a series of facilities for overseas Muslims to undertake Umrah and visit the Prophet’s Mosque.