Hajj pilgrims to perform downsized pilgrimage amid COVID-19 threat

Only around 1000 Muslims will perform Hajj in Saudi Arabia on Thursday as part of downsized pilgrimage due to Coronavirus pandemic. Thirty percent of them are Saudi citizens while the remaining seventy per cent are foreign nationals residing in the kingdom.

Marking the beginning of a five-day pilgrimage, Hajj pilgrims converged at Mina on Wednesday. After offering pre-dawn prayers, they will proceed to the plains of Arafat on Thursday for the main ritual of Hajj -reciting prayers. They will spend the day there praying and asking for God’s forgiveness.

The pilgrims will listen to the Khutba-e-Hajj or Hajj Sermon at Nimra mosque and offer mid-day and afternoon prayers together before leaving for Muzdalifah in the evening on Thursday. The pilgrims will return to Mina Friday morning for the ritual of animal sacrifice and symbolic stoning of the devil. Around 2.5 million pilgrims including record two lakh from India performed Hajj last year.