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Hajj 2020 begins as pilgrims converge on the Mina Valley

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

29th Jul, 2020. 10:37 am
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Hajj 2020 begins as about 1000 pilgrims converge on the Mina Valley outside Makkah on Wednesday.

According to details, The Day of Tarwiyah (fetching water) marks the beginning of Hajj.

The pilgrims will spend their time praying and reflecting until sunrise on Thursday.

Mina, 7 km northeast of the Grand Mosque in Makkah and within its boundaries, would normally be the site of the world’s largest tent city, accommodating about 2.5 million pilgrims.

However, Hajj participation is restricted this year to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the pilgrims are all Saudis or expatriates who live in the Kingdom.

Those selected to take part in this year’s Hajj were subject to temperature checks and placed in quarantine as they began arriving in Makkah, and health workers sanitized their luggage.

Health and safety staff with disinfectant cleaned the area around the Kaaba, the structure at the center of the Grand Mosque draped in gold-embroidered cloth toward which Muslims around the world pray.

Hajj authorities have cordoned the Kaaba this year, and pilgrims will not be allowed to touch it, to limit the chances of infection.

They have also set up dedicated health centers, mobile clinics and ambulances to care for the pilgrims, who will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing.

All pilgrims were required to be tested for coronavirus before they arrived in Makkah, and they will be quarantined after the pilgrimage.

They were given amenity kits that include sterilized pebbles (Kankar) for the Jamarat stoning ritual, disinfectants, masks, a prayer rug and the ihram.

On Thursday the pilgrims will travel to Arafat to listen to the sermon of Hajj.

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They then go to Muzdalifah and stay overnight, before returning to Mina for the Jamarat ritual.

Holy Kaaba to be adorned with new Kiswa

Holy Kaaba will be adorned with new Kiswa in Makkah on Wednesday evening, in a tradition carried out every year before the Muslim feast of Eid ul-Adha.

According to the reports, Saudi officials at the General Presidency of the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque will perform the task.

The presidency said the Kiswa — a silky black cover embroidered with golden threads — will be transported from the King Abdel Aziz Complex to the Grand Mosque using a fleet, taking all the necessary precautions imposed by health authorities to fight the spread of coronavirus.

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