This yr’s haj shall be a time of disappointment for a lot of Muslims world wide prevented from travelling to Saudi Arabia, however a choice to honour native well being and safety employees within the entrance line of the struggle in opposition to the coronavirus has received reward.
For the primary time within the fashionable period, amidst efforts to curb Covid-19, Muslims from overseas shall be unable to attend the pilgrimage.
This yr’s occasion has been restricted to about 1,000 pilgrims from inside Saudi Arabia, 70% of whom shall be overseas residents of the dominion.
The remaining 30% shall be drawn from Saudi healthcare staff and safety personnel who’ve recovered from the coronavirus, as a gesture of thanks for his or her sacrifice.
“Haj this yr is for the heroes who saved the nation and saved our individuals, they deserve it … I personally would have liked to go however there are priorities,” mentioned Saudi citizen Nour al Ghamdi.
These chosen will obtain provides together with particular ihram clothes, toiletries, and a prayer rug in a suitcase from the Saudi haj ministry, in addition to pre-arranged meals. They are going to be required to keep up social distancing.
Like many Muslims world wide, Egyptian Mahmoud Ali Mahmoud, 55, laments the restriction to home pilgrims.
“As you’ll be able to see, I had all the things ready. Right here is my Quran, my ihram clothes, my garment,” he mentioned, opening his packed suitcase.
“The time that one can spend there may very well be a time for us to hope that God rids the world of this pandemic,” he mentioned from his Cairo dwelling.
Mahmoud Ali 55 years outdated, a person whose pilgrimage journey was cancelled as a result of outbreak of the coronavirus illness (Covid-19), holds his haj garments at his dwelling, in Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2020.
Some 2.5 million Muslims usually go to the holiest websites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long pilgrimage, as a result of begin on July 28. A once-in-a-lifetime responsibility for able-bodied Muslims who can afford the price, it’s often extraordinarily crowded.
Dhera Arizona, 31, had been saving up for seven years to journey to Mecca from Indonesia this yr.
“We’re disenchanted and unhappy,” she mentioned, however “we perceive that in this type of pandemic state of affairs, it’s unattainable to carry the worship service”.
Official figures present that the haj and the year-round umrah pilgrimage earn the dominion about $12 billion a yr. Minimizing the occasion will harm authorities funds, already hit by falling oil costs and the pandemic.
(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Solely the headline has been modified.)
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