Makkah: Annual Hajj rituals are continuing in Hijaz-e-Moqaddas, Saudi Arabia.
The pilgrims will proceed to Arafat today, to perform the main ritual of ‘Waqoof-e-Arafat’. They will listen the sermon to be delivered at Nimra Mosque and perform Zohr and Asr prayers together.
The pilgrims will spend time in Arafat with prayers for acceptance of their pilgrimage and recitation of Qur’anic verses until sunset.
After sunset, they will head to Muzdalifah, where they will stay until midnight, engaged in prayers after performing combined Maghreb and Isha prayers.
Hajj re-enacts the actions of Prophet Muhammad’s ‘farewell pilgrimage’ in 632 AD. It also hearkens back to the time of Prophet Abraham, who Muslims believe built the Kaaba, along with his son Ismail.
With pilgrims coming from across the world all dressed in simple cloth, the Hajj strengthens the bonds of brotherhood among Muslims and removes markers of class, wealth and materialism.
This year, due to coronavirus pandemic, no foreign pilgrims have been allowed to perform the Hajj once again.
The Kingdom has restricted the number of pilgrims to maximum of 60,000 vaccinated citizens and residents between the ages of 18 and 65.
In 2020, only up to 10,000 Saudi citizens and residents were permitted to perform the annual pilgrimage.
On the other hand, Saudi’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah launched Hajj smart card to enhance the digital services, facilitating the journey of pilgrims while performing Hajj rituals.
Before coronavirus pandemic hit the world, around 2.5 million Muslims from across the world used to gather at Islam’s holiest site to attend the Hajj. But due to Covid-19 related restrictions, no foreign pilgrims have been allowed to perform the Hajj again this year.
Saudi Arabia’s High Judicial Court has announced that the first day of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca will be on Sunday July 18.