Ramadan 2021: UAE mosques host first Taraweeh prayers

Saman Haziq | (Photos by Shihab, Ryan Lim, Juidin Bernarrd and Abdul Karim)

Last updated on April 12, 2021 at 9.29 pm
Praise be to Allah, Praise be to our Lord,” the faithful uttered as they raced towards mosques to join the Taraweeh prayers on the eve of Ramadan on Monday.
Today is the first day of the holy month, the UAE’s moon-sighting committee announced.
Dubai resident Fahad Siddiqui said it was indeed a blessing to once again get a chance to perform the Taraweeh prayers in congregation inside a mosque.
“I missed praying Taraweeh sorely last year and was praying fervently to be able to do it once again, so I am really looking forward to praying it on all the days,” he said.
“This is a wake-up call for all Muslims that we must thank God for giving us this opportunity to experience this beautiful feeling of praying together and not miss it or take it for granted. This is also an opportunity for those who were not regular with their Taraweeh prayers to realise the value of these special prayers that we were deprived of last year due to the pandemic.”
Another worshipper, Canadian national Almir Smajlovic, said he was very excited to offer the Taraweeh prayers, pledging to take all possible precautions so this “blessing” is never taken away.
“I am going to exercise caution and take all the precautiuonary measures as the virus is still around. The ability to pray together in a congregation definitely got back a feeling of normalcy. Even though the Taraweeh prayer time has been shortened, it brings with it the spirit of Ramadan.”
Imam Mohammed Al Hasan Khan, who will be leading the Taraweeh at his mosque in Deira, said nothing could replace the tranquility one experiences inside a mosque.
“The aura of praying in the Masjid is entirely different. The peace, the energy, the responsibility, and the liveliness in the House of Allah is far greater than in the house. Last year we had to pray in our homes because of the pandemic. I was able to lead the Taraweeh prayers in home with my family members and was able to complete the Qur’an,” Khan said.
“Although prayers at home can be done at one’s own pace — in terms of lengthening or shortening the prayer, or taking longer breaks between two Rak’ahs — the ambience of leading hundreds of people in prayer is unlike anything…Alhamdulillah, it is surely a blessing to have back the Taraweeh in the Masaajid. We have to ensure that everyone follows the safety protocols set by the government.”
With the Taraweeh prayers capped at 30 minutes, Khan said it would be difficult to complete the Quran in Taraweeh prayers, as it was done annually before the pandemic struck.
“Since it usually takes two hours to recite and complete a Juz (chapter) every night in Taraweeh prayers, this year, it would be difficult to complete all 30 Juz during the Taraweeh prayers. So I will try to do complete the full Quran recitation by continuing it at Qiyam night prayers while at home,” he said.
Sharjah resident Mohammad Shahbaz said he has been waiting for this day for a year now.
“I have always been excited about the holy month but, this year, I feel an immense amount of gratitude towards God and the government of this country for handling the pandemic so well and giving us a chance to once again enjoy Taraweeh,” Shahbaz said.
“I follow all Covid rules to stop the spread of the virus and act like a responsible citizen. I also believe that we need to pray fervently to the Almighty and seek forgiveness hoping that he will end Covid-19, like it never existed.”