Hajj Yatra is considered very sacred in the Quran. It is believed that for those who are physically, mentally and financially capable, it is obligatory for them to perform Hajj once in a lifetime.
Effect of coronavirus on Haj pilgrimage 2021 (AFP)
Thousands of Muslim pilgrims gathered around Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, on Sunday amid the shadow of the Corona virus for the second consecutive year on the Hajj pilgrimage. However, during this time they were seen keeping distance from each other and wearing masks. Before COVID-19, where about 25 lakh Muslims from all over the world used to come on Haj pilgrimage, this time their number is almost negligible compared to before.
These two years due to COVID-19, not only has the efforts of people outside Saudi Arabia to fulfill this ark of Islam, but it has also affected the billions of dollars in income for Saudi Arabia every year. The Hajj lasts for about five days, but traditionally Muslims begin reaching Mecca weeks ahead of time.
Robots deployed for sanitization
Hajj culminates with the festival of Eid al-Adha, which is known for the distribution of meat among the poor around the world. This year, more than 60 thousand vaccinated Saudi citizens or residents have been allowed to perform Hajj. This number is much higher than those who performed the symbolic Hajj last year. Last year, only one thousand people living in Saudi Arabia performed Hajj.
Due to COVID-19, separate arrangements have been made for Haj this time. Robots have been deployed for sanitization around the Kaaba. Apart from this, people are being screened through smart bracelets. Through this bracelet, the oxygen level and vaccination information of the Haj pilgrims are tracked. Along with this, help can also be sought in case of emergency.
Mosque is cleaned several times a day
Apart from this, the scavengers do the cleaning and sanitization of Masjid Al Haram several times a day. The Kaaba is situated inside this mosque. Performing Hajj at least once in a lifetime is one of the most important pillars of Islam. During this, sites related to the life of Prophet Muhammad are visited. Hajj is considered an opportunity to repent from sins and give a message of unity among Muslims.
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