Hajj rituals performed by Pilgrims, social decision due to Covid-19 maintained: Report

According to reports, due to the global outbreak of the corona virus, the Hajj rituals have started in Saudi Arabia with a limited number of pilgrims and about a thousand pilgrims have started heading towards the Mina Valley outside Makkah.

According to the report of Arab News, the rituals of Hajj started with the day of Tarawih and the pilgrims will spend their time in worship till sunrise on Thursday (July 30).

It should be noted that Mina is located 7 km northeast of the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and is generally the largest tent city in the world with a capacity of 2.5 million pilgrims.

However, the number of pilgrims has been limited this year to prevent the spread of the global epidemic of corona virus, and only Saudi citizens or migrants in Saudi Arabia are attending.

The Black Stone is perfumed before the start of the Hajj ritual. About a thousand pilgrims are heading to the Mina Valley outside Makkah today (July 29) to begin the Hajj.

Those selected for the Hajj this year had their temperatures checked upon arrival in Mecca and were quarantined upon arrival in Mecca, while health workers sanitized their belongings.

In addition, health and safety personnel disinfected part of the Mutaf in the Grand Mosque, while this year Hajj authorities have set up barricades around the Kaaba due to fears of the corona virus, and pilgrims are not allowed to touch the Kaaba. was given.

Mina, Masjid al-Haram in Makkah. It is located 7 km east of Al Mashreq. Authorities have also set up medical centers, mobile clinics and ambulances to care for pilgrims, while pilgrims are required to wear masks and walk socially.

It is to be noted that testing of Corona virus was made mandatory for all pilgrims before their arrival in Makkah and they will be quarantined after performing Hajj.

Khalid bin Qarar al-Harbi, Saudi Arabia’s director of public security, said there were no security concerns about the hajj, but that the reduction in the number of pilgrims was to protect them from the threat of a global epidemic.

On Thursday, the pilgrims will head to Arafat Square to listen to the Hajj sermon, after which they will go to Muzdalifah and stay overnight there before returning to Mina for Jamrat.

Corona virus testing has been made mandatory for pilgrims. According to the French news agency AFP, the state media of Saudi Arabia showed the sanitation of the health workers and giving electronic wristbands to some of the pilgrims so that the authorities could monitor their movements. In addition, foreign press has been barred from covering the Hajj this year due to the Saudi government’s tightening of access to Mecca.

Change the method of obtaining Zamzam water

According to Al-Arabiya, in the past, water was kept in earthen pots in Musharraf and the pilgrims used to quench their thirst on the day of Tarwiyah. However, now the procedure for the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah has changed.

The Saudi government has installed water coolers at all Hajj sites to provide Zamzam, but this time the coolers have been removed due to the corona virus.

In this regard, following the SOPs formulated by the Ministry of Health, instead of keeping water separately in Zamzam coolers or tanks during Hajj, the pilgrims will be given in packaged bottles and there will be one bottle for each individual. Which can be drunk at a time.

‘Indescribable feeling’

According to AFP, Saudi officials initially said that 1,000 pilgrims in the country would be allowed to perform the Hajj. But local media reports said 10,000 people would be allowed to perform the Hajj.

According to a document from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj, facility kits have also been provided to pilgrims, including sanitized pebbles, disinfectants, masks, prayer mats and ihram.

Also, in a video released by Saudi media, Emirati Haji Abdullah Al-Khatiri said that he did not expect to be approved by millions of Muslims.

“It’s an indescribable feeling, especially since this is my first Hajj,” he said.

In this regard, the Ministry of Hajj said that besides Saudi nationals, citizens of 160 countries had participated in the online selection, however, it was not disclosed how many people had applied online.

On the other hand, some frustrated petitioners have complained that there was no clear outline of government draw and no reason was given for rejecting his application.

Economic crisis

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj is facing complaints from rejected applicants on the social networking site Twitter, but Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Affairs Muhammad Saleh bin Tahir Bintan has insisted that the selection process was transparent.

He told Al Arabiya television that health assessors had formed the basis for people’s choice for the Hajj.

Despite the global epidemic, many Hajj pilgrims consider it safer to attend a large crowd this year as some pilgrims usually fall ill during the Hajj.

Analysts say the Saudi government has restricted the Hajj because of fears it could spread the corona virus, but the move would exacerbate Saudi Arabia’s economic crisis.

Saudi Arabia is struggling with a sharp drop in oil prices due to a drop in global demand due to nationwide lockdowns in various countries.

The Corona virus has affected Hajj-related businesses in Mecca, affecting thousands of jobs.

It should be noted that Umrah and Hajj increase Saudi Arabia’s revenue by 12 billion annually.

Rules and regulations for pilgrims

It should be noted that due to the corona virus, Saudi Arabia has limited the number of pilgrims to perform Hajj this year and has issued several rules and regulations in this regard, according to which it is not allowed to touch the Kaaba during prayers and Tawaf.

From July 2020, ie 28th Dhul-Hijjah 1441 AH to 2nd August, 2020 ie 12th Dhul-Hijjah, entry without permission is prohibited in Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat.

In order to reduce the crowds during the Tawaf, it will be necessary for the organizers to divide the pilgrims, while the distance between each person will be one and a half meters.

The organizers of Masjid-ul-Haram will make sure that the pilgrims are present at every destination of Sa’i and during this time track lines are made to maintain social distance. Sanitation will be ensured after Tawaf and Sa’i.

This year, touching the Kaaba and the Black Stone will be prohibited and barriers will be put in place to prevent access to these places.

At the same time, carpets were removed from the Masjid al-Haram, and each pilgrim will be instructed to use his place of prayer to reduce the chances of the virus spreading. Bringing food items to the Masjid al-Haram will be prohibited and food will not be allowed in the courtyard of the mosque.

Special entry and exit points have been allotted to facilitate the entry and exit of pilgrims and to prevent crowds and stampedes.

In addition, pilgrims in Muzdalifah and Arafat must observe a social distance at all times, wear masks, and have no more than 10 pilgrims in a 50-square-yard tent for organizers, ensuring a distance of one and a half meters between each.

At the same time, pilgrims suspected of being infected with the corona virus will be allowed to perform Hajj after a thorough medical examination and will be included in specific groups of suspected cases. Depending on their condition, buses of the respective residences and separate tracks will be allotted.

It may be recalled that on June 24, the Saudi government announced that it would allow the Hajj, saying that it had decided to limit the number of pilgrims for the 2020 Hajj due to the corona virus.

A statement from the ministry said, “The decision has been taken in view of the threat posed by Corona outbreak due to large crowds and crowds that this year Hajj will be with limited number of pilgrims.”

The statement said that “citizens of different countries residing in Saudi Arabia will be able to perform Hajj and this decision has been made to perform Hajj safely.”

It should be noted that millions of Muslims from all over the world go to Saudi Arabia every year to perform Hajj and according to reports last year about 2.5 million Muslims performed Hajj.

However, this year no one will be able to come for Hajj from countries other than Saudi Arabia due to the corona virus.

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