Time: 08 June, 2020
JEDDAH: On Monday, Snapchat users witnessed thousands circling Makkah’s iconic Kaaba, in its first live story from the holy city, honoring the night of decree. This happened after thousands of Saudis and Muslims around the world took to Twitter using the hashtag #Makkah_live to petition Snapchat to include Makkah in its Live section.
Many posed for photos on the balconies of the holy mosque and prayed and read from the Holy Qur’an. Users also saw Muslims break their fast with dates and rice and speak into the camera to describe the feeling of being in the midst of such a sacred gathering.
Laylat Al-Qadr is considered the holiest night of the year for Muslims, and is traditionally observed on the 27th day of the fasting month of Ramadan. It is known as the “Night of Power,” and commemorates the night that the Holy Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“As someone who’s visited the Grand Mosque in Makkah thousands of times … and prayed there on the night of the 27th of Ramadan at least a dozen times, I can tell you that it’s an experience like no other,” Yasir Qadhi, an American Muslim scholar and dean of academic affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute, told The Huffington Post in an e-mail.
For Qadhi, the inclusion of Makkah in Snapchat’s Live section showed promise for further education about a misunderstood faith.
Others on Twitter expressed their love for the city and for the dizzying and beautiful experience the pilgrimage can be:
@3thoobah tweeted: ‘White, black, rich, poor, Asian, African or European, all in one place side by side praying to one God. Blessed to be Muslim #mecca_live’
Another user tweeted: ‘I am not Muslim but #Makkah_live looks so peaceful and amazing and it has me wanting to come to Islam.’
’#Makkah_live story is beautiful. Shows the Muslims aren’t how the media shows them to be. What an amazing religion!’ tweeted a user.
Snapchat launched its Live section in August 2014 as a way of letting users create and view public photos and videos taken at the same live event. The social media application requires users to turn on location services in order to verify that they are truly where they say they are. As with other photos and videos on Snapchat, those available in the Live section disappear after a short period of time.