Mecca To Witness ‘limited Hajj’ As Saudi Arabia Bars Pilgrims From Outside Kingdom Over Pandemic In Gulf
Category: World
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Only pilgrims who are already in the kingdom will be allowed to perform the annual ritual at Mecca and for the first time Muslims outside the kingdom will be barred.

Saudi’s hajj ministry said that the pilgrimage will be open to people from various nationalities who are already in Saudi Arabia, though he did not specify a number 

The hajj, an essential pilgrimage for Muslims at least once in their lifetime, could be a huge source of contagion since millions of pilgrims flock the congested religious sites

Mecca: The coronavirus pandemic has chipped away a significant part of modern history for Islamic followers after Saudi Arabia on Monday declared that they would host a “limited Hajj” this year in wake of the outbreak in the Gulf.

According to the decree, only pilgrims who are already in the kingdom will be allowed to perform the annual ritual at Mecca and for the first time Muslims outside the kingdom will be barred. The ritual drew 2.5 million pilgrims last year.

Several Muslim countries pulled out of one of the biggest events in the Islamic calendar, dealing an economic and political blow to the kingdom, also forcing it to scale back the five-day mega event, which would have otherwise been held in the end of July.

Saudi’s hajj ministry said that the pilgrimage will be open to people from various nationalities who are already in Saudi Arabia, though he did not specify a number.

“It was decided to hold the pilgrimage this year with very limited numbers... with different nationalities in the kingdom. This decision is taken to ensure the hajj is performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective... and in accordance with the teachings of Islam,” the official Saudi Press Agency said, citing the ministry order.

The hajj, an essential pilgrimage for Muslims at least once in their lifetime, could be a huge source of contagion since millions of pilgrims flock the congested religious sites.

‘Sensitive’

The announcement is expected to disappoint millions of Muslims around the globe, with several of them investing their entire life’s savings and enduring waiting lists before making the trip.

However, it does bring some good news for domestic pilgrims who had thought the ritual would in fact be cancelled for the first time.

“Saudi Arabia has chosen the safest option that allows it to save face within the Muslim world while making sure they are not seen as compromising on public health,” Umar Karim, a visiting fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, said, according to news agency AFP.

“But there are lots of unanswered questions: What is the exact number of pilgrims that will be allowed? What is the criteria for their selection? How many Saudis, how many non-Saudis?”

The hajj, an essential pilgrimage for Muslims at least once in their lifetime, could be a huge source of contagion since millions of pilgrims flock the congested religious sites.

 

 

SOURCE : TIMENOWNEWS

23 Jun, 2020 0 111
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