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Hajj 2020 begins, 1000 pilgrims of all ethnicities on way to Arafat

Standing on the Plains of Arafat for the whole day on 9th of Dhul Hijjah is mandatory and key ritual of Hajj

Thursday July 30, 2020 12:38 PM, ummid.com News Network

Hajj 2020 Photo

Hajj 2020: Around 1000 pilgrims of all ethnicities residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are on their to Mount Arafat as the key ritual of Haj began this morning.

The pilgrims had spent the night in Mina after arriving in the Tent City on Wednesday. After offering Fajr Salah - the morning prayers, the pilgrims started moving towards the Plains of Arafat.

Standing on the Plains of Arafat for the whole day on Youme Arafa - the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah also called as Arafat Day, is mandatory and key ritual of Hajj - the annual pilgrimage.

In Arafat, pilgrims will spend the day in prayers and supplication before leaving for Muzdalifah today after sunset. In between, they will ofer Zuhr and Asr prayers and listen to Hajj Sermon from Masjid an Namirah, also spelled as Masjid Nimra.

More than 2.5 million pilgrims arrive in Makkah to perform Hajj every year. However, the number of pilgrims is reduced and limited to just 1000 this year due to Coronavirus pandemic.

As per the Saudi government’s decision, this year’s pilgrim ratio will comprise 70 percent non-Saudi residents, with Saudis making up the remaining 30 percent.

    The 1000 pilgtims selected after online process were isolated for few days after their arrival in Makkah as part of the precautionary measure planned for this year's Haj.

    The pilgrims later went to the Grand Mosque - Masjid al Haram in Makkah to perform 'Ṭawaf al-Qudum' (arrival #ṭawaf). The video of 1000 luckiest of luckiest pilgrims performing Tawaf al Qudum under strict health precautionary measures is widely shared on Internet (watch the video above).

    Hajj 2020 Photo

    The pilgrims were directed into the mosque in small groups, walking along paths marked on the floor, in contrast to the sea of humanity that usually swirls around the Kaaba during Hajj.

    Surreal Moment, Indescribable Feeling

    “This is an indescribable feeling... It feels like a dream", Mohamed Ibrahim, 43, an Egyptian electrician from Madinah, told Arab News.

    Hamide Halimi, a Macedonian pilgrim, said she had performed Umrah before, but the crowds were so large that she was far from the Kaaba and had to circumambulate from the Grand Mosque’s roof. This year she could not believe how close she was to the Kaaba.

    Hajj Live

    “It was a surreal moment that I could never have imagined happening,” she said.

    Ammar Khaled, 29, an Indian pilgrim born and raised in Saudi Arabia, said that although he was alone on the Hajj he was praying for his loved ones. “Words aren’t enough to explain how blessed I feel,” he said.

    Extraordinary Health Services

    The Saudi Arabia has arranged extraordinary health facilties for the Haj pilgrims. According to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health, it has mobilized as many as 8,000 men, including health practitioners and supporting staffers to serve the Hajj pilgrims.

    The ministry has readied six hospitals, including a mobile hospital and 51 health clinics to provide services to the pilgrims in Makkah and the holy sites, said assistant minister of health and the ministry’s spokesman Dr. Muhammad Al-Abdel Ali said on Wednesday.

    In his daily press briefing, Abdel Ali said that there are 62 field teams to conduct health checkups, follow-up and preventive medical supervision around the clock, and 200 ambulances were made available. The ministry will increase the number of health workers if the need arises.

    [All photos posted on Twitter @CICSaudi by the Center for International Communication (CIC) Saudi Aarbia. CIC Saudi Arabia is a central source of information on the changing face of #Saudi Arabia.]

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