New at Saudi hajj: Bottled holy water, sterilised pebbles

New at Saudi hajj: Bottled holy water, sterilised pebbles

By: AP | Dubai |

Up to date: July 7, 2020 4:11:43 pm


The rules have been introduced on Monday as Saudi authorities put together to hold out a really restricted hajj, which for the primary time won’t embrace pilgrims from exterior the nation. (AP Picture)

Saudi Arabia has issued tips for the 1,000 or so pilgrims that will likely be allowed to carry out the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month, an expertise that will likely be not like any earlier than due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The pilgrims will likely be solely be capable of drink holy water from the Zamzam effectively in Mecca that’s packaged in plastic bottles, and pebbles for casting away evil which are often picked up by pilgrims alongside hajj routes will likely be sterilised and bagged forward of time. Pilgrims may even should carry their very own prayer rugs.

The rules have been introduced on Monday as Saudi authorities put together to hold out a really restricted hajj, which for the primary time won’t embrace pilgrims from exterior the nation.

As an alternative, the dominion stated that 70 per cent of pilgrims allowed to take part this 12 months will likely be from amongst overseas residents of Saudi Arabia whereas 30 per cent could be Saudi residents.

Saudi pilgrims will likely be chosen from amongst healthcare employees and safety personnel who’ve recovered from COVID-19, the sickness brought on by the virus. The federal government stated their choice represents a ?token of appreciation for his or her function in offering care” through the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia has one of many Center East’s largest outbreaks of the virus, with an infection charges rising by 3,000-4,000 circumstances every day. Greater than 213,000 individuals have contracted the virus within the kingdom thus far, together with 1,968 who’ve died.

The brand new tips additionally mandate that overseas residents in Saudi Arabia who wish to take part on this 12 months’s pilgrimage ought to be between the ages of 20 and 50, and that haven’t carried out the hajj earlier than.

The pilgrims must quarantine earlier than and after the hajj, and they are going to be examined for the coronavirus. These eligible have till Friday to submit an utility via the dominion’s Hajj Ministry’s web site.

The hajj is just not solely a once-in-a-lifetime requirement for Muslims but additionally an opportunity to wipe away previous sins and join with Muslims from totally different walks of life.

Saudi Arabia dramatically scaled again the hajj resulting from considerations about overcrowding on the annual pilgrimage, which often attracts 2.5 million individuals. The crowds transfer, pray and stand in extraordinarily shut proximity, typically squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder, as they perform 5 days of rites round Mecca.

Saudi Arabia stated its resolution to curtail the hajj was geared toward preserving world public well being due to the dangers related to massive gatherings.

Pilgrims usually crowd and push their means towards the cube-shaped Kaaba, which is Islam’s holiest web site and the metaphorical home of God. This 12 months, authorities stated anybody collaborating within the hajj won’t be allowed to the touch the Kaaba as a part of the brand new security measures.

Pilgrims this 12 months may even should put on masks, preserve bodily distance throughout prayers and sleep in tents that follow tips on social distancing.

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