Saudi Arabia has announced that it’ll strictly limit the amount of individuals who can participate during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage due to the coronavirus, putting to rest the fears that Hajj could be cancelled altogether. Saudi Hajj Minister Mohammed Banten had asked Muslims to delay finalising their plans “until things is clear” back in March.
In a statement, Saudi Arabia ’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that the annual Holy pilgrimage would be restricted to a really limited numbers of pilgrims of all nationalities who are already residing in Saudi Arabia. The statement said that as COVID-19 cases still grow globally, and since of the risks of coronavirus spreading in crowded spaces and from other countries, the Hajj will “take place this year with a limited number of pilgrims from all nationalities residing in Saudi Arabia only, who are willing to perform Hajj.”
“This decision is taken to make sure Hajj is performed during a safe manner from a public health perspective while observing all preventative measures and therefore the necessary social distancing protocols to guard citizenry from the risks related to this pandemic and in accordance with the teachings of Islam in preserving the lives of citizenry ,” the statement added.
Hajj is one among Islam’s most vital religious obligations. Recently, singer Atif Aslam expressed his desire to recite the Azaan at the Holy Kaaba in Makkah.