And earlier in October, Saudi Arabia allowed citizens and residents to perform Umrah after a halt aimed at containing the spread of the Corona virus.
On Friday noon, the Holy Mosque of Mecca witnessed the first Friday prayers held at the Grand Mosque in the presence of pilgrims after a hiatus that lasted nearly seven months due to the emerging Corona virus (Covid-19).
Saudi Arabia closed the Grand Mosque last March, as part of measures to prevent the emerging corona virus, and suspended Umrah, before reopening it again last Sunday in a limited way to prevent crowding.
Pictures and videos broadcast by the “Holy Quran” channel, which broadcasts around the clock from the Haram, showed pilgrims sitting in the lobbies of the Grand Mosque, while the Imam of the Haram, Sheikh Saud Al-Shuraim, delivers the Friday sermon.
The Friday prayers and the five daily prayers were held during the closing period of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, in the presence of one of the imams of the Haram, and workers in the security and service sectors in the Grand Mosque only.
Saudi Arabia currently allows Umrah to be performed by its citizens and residents between the ages of 18 to 65 years, after registering through the “Umrah us” application on smart phones, which allows Umrah supervisors to ensure that the applicant is free of the Corona virus.
This year, Saudi Arabia organized an exceptional Hajj season due to the Corona virus, as it limited the performance of the obligatory duty to a very limited number of pilgrims from inside the country, after the holy sites were receiving about 2.5 million pilgrims from different countries of the world.
And before the emergence of the Corona virus, the number of pilgrims coming from abroad began to increase annually, reaching nearly 8 million pilgrims last year, with the Kingdom’s plans targeting to receive 30 million pilgrims in 2030.
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