Mecca Live brought Ramadan prayers to the world thanks to the power of live-streaming video, turning the Snapchat event into a viral hit around the globe.
The video messaging site has decided to offer live-streaming video of Ramadan prayers from Mecca, offering an unprecedented view of the major religious event for hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide.
The prayers themselves draw close to 100 million Muslims each year, who are called to make a pilgrimage to the holy city as one of the pillars of their faith. Now, Snapchat’s Mecca Live function has brought the prayers to an even wider audience.
The site documented Tuesday’s observance of the holy month of Ramadan with a 300-second “story” of prayers across the city.
As Al Jazeera noted, the Mecca Live function was a huge hit and hailed as a major development for the portrayal of Muslims.
“Digital analytics site Topsy recorded more than one million mentions on Twitter alone, as Muslim users first lobbied Snapchat to feature the city and then reacted to the stream of content that flowed online once the hugely-popular, social media app agreed to do so.
Many Muslims showed appreciation to Snapchat for changing the perceptions others had of Islam, commenting that it made a change from the usual coverage.”
Many users shared their thoughts on Twitter, including many thankful that Snapchat would give a glimpse into the holy ritual for Muslims.
Snap chat done me proud tonight. The Makkah live story was awesome! Look at the response Alhamdulillāh. #mecca_live pic.twitter.com/N9mG4Pfwpb
— Slave of Allāh (@Deen0verDunyaa) July 14, 2015
— Seemab Kousar (@Zee_e_) July 14, 2015
Muslim leaders worldwide also chimed in, many of them recalling their own trips to the Saudi Arabian holy city.
“The snapchat story on Mecca was awesome,” Arfah Farooq, head of marketing at Makers Academy, told Huffington Post UK.
“The first time I went to Mecca was when I was 10 and it bought back a lot of memories that I remember like it was yesterday.
It was pretty emotional watching but for me the most important thing was how in 300 or so seconds it undone years of negative portrayal of the media and allowed the true beautiful elements of Islam to shine through.
In those snaps all you could see is people of every background possible all praying together to God and you could not tell the difference on who was poor or rich as everyone is one big community.”
But Mecca Live was also a hit among non-Muslims. Many of them took to Twitter to share their thoughts of the Snapchat live-stream of Ramadan prayers, including a number who said they knew little of the Muslim ritual before watching.
[Image via Snapchat]