Photos: Scaled-down Haj begins as socially-distancing pilgrims perform first Tawaf

Photos, Scaled-down, Hajj, socially-distancing, pilgrims, perform, first Tawaf

The pilgrims began their Haj journey after completing four days of isolation in Makkah.



By Sahim Salim

Published: Wed 29 Jul 2020, 3:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Jul 2020, 1:28 AM

Pilgrims in white Ihram garments have performed the first circumambulation of the Holy Kaabah, as a significantly scaled down Haj began in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The 'Tawaf Al Qudum' is the first circumambulation of the Holy Kaabah carried out on entering Makkah's Grand Mosque (Masjid Al Haram).

The pilgrims began their Haj journey after completing four days of isolation in Makkah and a week-long quarantine at home as a precautionary measure against the spread of Covid-19. The pilgrims were seen using umbrellas to shield themselves from the summer sun as they performed a socially-distanced Tawaf.
The annual pilgrimage - which usually sees millions of people from around the world descend on Islam's holiest city - is limited to citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia this year. Seventy per cent of the Hajis are Saudi residents of 160 nationalities residing in the kingdom, while the rest are Saudi citizens. The number of pilgrims has been reduced to up to 10,000 to ensure social distancing.
The procedures
Pilgrims first headed to Miqat Al Sail Al Kabir (Wadi Muharram) to enter the state of Ihram and profess intent after completing the compulsory isolation period. Pilgrims enter the state of Ihram to prepare themselves spiritually and don special white garments. They then perform Tawaf Al Qudum. Afterwards they will set out to the tent city of Mina for an overnight stay.
The next day, the pilgrims perform ablution, and make an intention to make the pilgrimage and recite the Talbiyah, an Islamic prayer.
sahim@khaleejtimes.com 


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