Middle East

Islamic pilgrims flow from Mecca to the high points of Mecca pilgrimage

Mina, Saudi Arabia: Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims traveled from Macca, Saudi Arabia to the city of Mina’s white tent on Thursday as they approached the highlights of the largest Mecca pilgrimage ritual since the coronavirus pandemic began. Worshipers either took a bus or walked to Mina, 7 km from the Islamic sanctuary of Macca’s Grand Mosque, around the impressive black kaaba at the beginning of Wednesday’s ritual.

Pilgrims in simple white robes spend the night in the air-conditioned Mina White Tent, which transforms into a vast camp each year in a narrow valley surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. “Good feeling. Tunisian pilgrim KhaledBin Jomaa, 44, said he would walk into the camp with an umbrella and a prayer mat.

Pilgrims are arranging themselves for the highlights of Friday’s Mecca pilgrimage. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave his final sermon on the climb of Mount Arafat. Worshipers pray for the Holy Qur’an in the mountains, recite it, and sleep nearby. On Saturday, we will collect pebbles and perform the iconic “devil’s stone throwing”.

Pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, is not going well for everyone. Saudi Arabia’s Mecca pilgrimage ministry has demanded the dismissal of two senior officials from the company that organizes the pilgrimage because they were unable to provide decent service, Saudi Press Agency said Thursday.

State-owned Al-Ekhbariya TV said the company handles pilgrimages from abroad and is responsible for “food and accommodation issues” including lack of air conditioning at Mina Camp. A refrigerator filled with yogurt, juice and water was waiting at Mina’s temporary accommodation with a food buffet and a fruit basket.

Mina: Pilgrims arrive in a tent near the Sanctuary of Mecca on July 7, 2022, during the annual Mecca pilgrimage. – AFP

The crowd of up to 1 million, including 850,000 from abroad selected by the lottery, is the largest since 2019 after two COVID hit years where only tens of thousands were allowed. All worshipers have been fully vaccinated and have undergone a negative PCR test, but rituals are taking place against the backdrop of the resurgence of COVID-19 in the region.

In some Gulf countries, regulations have been tightened to curb outbreaks. The Ministry of Pilgrimage to Mecca states that it is working on the highest levels of health precautions in the light of pandemics and the emergence of new variants. In Mina, pilgrims were given a mask and a small bag of disinfectant, and an ambulance was parked at the entrance to the camp.

However, the requirement to wear a mask has been largely ignored. A temperature of 42 degrees Celsius is another challenge. Mina has four hospitals and 26 health centers to treat pilgrims who may get sick. “We have taken all precautions. If necessary, doctors are ready to intervene here,” said camp manager Ahmad Arginani.

Pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all Muslims must embark on it at least once in their lives. Saudi state media reported that the President of Mauritania and the Vice President of Indonesia were among the pilgrims who landed in Jeddah on Thursday to perform the ceremony.

When military helicopters were used “24 hours a day … to support public security,” Colonel Caled bin Abdullah al-Mutairi, commander of the Air Force group participating in this Mecca pilgrimage season, told state media. Told. Overseas pilgrims were banned from pilgrimage to Mecca in 2020 and 2021 to prevent COVID infections, but this year they will return to the mountainous areas to fill hotel rooms and allow business owners to recover their pandemic losses. I will visit the store because I want it.

Strict security

Pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the largest annual religious gatherings in the world, is usually one of the five pillars of Islam and must be done by all Muslims at least once. In 2019, about 2.5 million Muslims from around the world participated in the Mecca pilgrimage. This Mecca pilgrimage is a major security challenge and has caused several disasters over the years, including the deaths of up to 2,300 people in the 2015 Stampede.

The ritual is carried out in parts of Mecca under strict security measures, including police checkpoints. According to official tolls, in 1979, a shooter hid himself in the Grand Mosque in an assault, killing 153 people.

Colonel Khaledbin Abdullah Al-Mutairi, the commander of the Air Force group participating in this hajj season, told state media on Wednesday that military helicopters would be used “24 hours a day … to support public security.” .. Foreign pilgrims who were banned from pilgrimage to Mecca in 2020 and 2021 to prevent Covid infections are returning to the mountains this year to fill their hotel rooms as business owners want to recover huge losses. , Visit the store.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia has enrolled more than 795,000 cases of coronavirus, of which more than 9,000 are fatal. Approximately 67 million vaccinations have been given in more than 34 million countries. The Ministry of Pilgrimage to Mecca states that it is working on the highest levels of health precautions in the light of pandemics and the emergence of new variants. However, the requirement to wear a mask has been largely ignored. — AFP

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/muslim-pilgrims-stream-out-of-mecca-for-hajj-high-point/ Islamic pilgrims flow from Mecca to the high points of Mecca pilgrimage

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