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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The Mataf, (area for circumambulation around the Holy Kaaba) and Masa (area for sa’i between Safa and Marwah) at the Grand Mosque in Makkah will remain closed during the period of suspension of Umrah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
According to an official source at the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, prayer will be allowed only inside the Grand Mosque.
The old mosque, including Al-Rawda Al-Sharif within the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, will also be closed during the suspension period for Umrah performers and visitors to the mosque.
The Baqi Cemetery adjacent to the Prophet’s Mosque will also be closed for visitors. The spokesman said that the Two Holy Mosques will be closed one hour after Isha prayer and will reopen one hour before Fajr prayer.
The source stated that these are part of the precautionary health measures recommended by the concerned authorities, as well as part of maintaining the cleanliness and intensifying sterilization work at the Two Holy Mosques to prevent the spread of infection.
It was also revealed that the decision to temporarily suspend Umrah for citizens and residents will be applicable to all residents of Makkah and that anyone, wearing ihram dress, will not be permitted to enter the Grand Mosque and its courtyards.
It was also decided not to allow i'tikaaf (seclusion for worship in mosque) and squatting at the mosque or bringing food and drinks inside the mosque. All Zamzam water containers will be stopped serving pilgrims, the spokesman added.
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