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Photo: The Thinking Muslim
Photo: The Thinking Muslim
Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban for the Umrah Pilgrimage which takes place in some of Islam's holiest sites.

Two of Islam's holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, are now open to Muslims living in Saudi Arabia, after a 7-month Covid-19 pause.

Saudi Arabian citizens and residents living in the Kingdom are now allowed to perform the Umrah pilgrimage at Islam's holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, after a seven-month halt due to coronavirus concerns and lockdown conditions.

Phase one of a three-phase reopening program, which began at midnight on Sunday, saw 6,000 people begin performing the pilgrimage under strict social distancing measures.

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina undertaken at anytime of the year. Last year, it attracted over 19 million people. Saudi Arabia had instituted a freeze on pilgrimage due to concerns that it could easily have become a global super-spreader event for the virus.


Last month, state media reported the kingdom will initially allow 6,000 local pilgrims to perform Umrah from October 4, 2020. This figure represents 30 percent of a revised capacity of 20,000 that takes into account precautionary health measures.

The second phase launches on October 18th, and will allow a maximum of 15,000 pilgrims and 40,000 in for prayer from among residents and citizens based on allocated times via the app.

The final phase starts in November and will allow visitors from specific countries deemed safe to perform Umrah at 100 percent of the revised capacity, until the end of the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia will return the journey to inhabitants, and afterward guests from select nations. Specialists said it will re-visitation of its full limit simply after the danger of the infection has been killed. Saudi Arabia declared it will lift the restriction on the Umrah journey beginning October, following seven months of conclusion due to the ongoing global pandemic. Explorers living in the nation will have the option to embrace the journey from October 4th, while pioneers going from explicit nations will be permitted from the 1st of November 1st. Specialists said it will re-visitation of its full limit simply after the danger of the infection has been wiped out.

Guests can enter the mosque to supplicate or perform Umrah, they should apply and hold a particular time and date through an online application that dispatched on September 27, to abstain from swarming and keep up social-removing rules. They can likewise choose through the application their methods for transportation and meeting focuses. The Grand Mosque houses the 3D square molded Kaaba that attentive Muslims supplicate toward five times each day. The realm held a drastically cut back, representative Hajj journey in July for 1,000 residents, who were tried for Covid-19 and isolated, instead of the in excess of 2 million pioneers typically facilitated for the yearly occasion. Official information show Hajj and Umrah procure the realm about $12 billion per year. Saudi Arabia revealed 419 new cases on Saturday carrying the nation's all out to 325,824 contaminations and 4,850 passings.

The significance of Umrah

Umrah alludes to the journey to Mecca embraced around the year, by Muslims from over the world. It draws in a great many guests consistently. This isn't to be mistaken for the hajj journey, which happens once per year. Saudi Arabia held an intensely cut back hajj journey in July this year, over worries of the occasion being an excessively spreader occasion for COVID-19. Rather than the in excess of 2 million hajj guests, just thousands partook this year. Pilgrims were selected through an online portal. According to official data, the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages earn $12 billion a year for the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia's interior ministry said the decision was taken to fulfill "aspirations of Muslims home and abroad" to perform the ritual and visit the holy sites. It likewise plans to continue vacationer visas by mid 2021. The travel industry is a key mainstay of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's aspiring change procedure to lessen the economy's reliance on oil. The realm, which made its ways for unfamiliar vacationers in September 2019 by dispatching another visa system for 49 nations, needs the segment to contribute 10% of gross vaults spasm item by 2030. "For traveler visa, up to this point we are discussing ahead of schedule one year from now. In the event that things improve or if any sure advancements occur concerning the immunization, we may quicken and have it prior," Ahmed al-Khateeb said in a virtual meeting.

Following all precautionary measures and SOPs, Muslims all over the world breathe a sigh of relief and contentment at seeing the Holy Pilgrimage reopen its doors for worship.

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