Annual Hajj rituals begin in Makkah
MAKKAH (92 News) – Muslims from all over the world has begun to perform Hajj rituals from Friday in Makkah.
According to the reports, over 1.8 million Muslims have arrived in Makkah to perform Hajj. A total of 200,000 pilgrims from Pakistan are also performing Hajj as per quota given by Saudi Arabia.
The arrival of pilgrims in Mina started tonight. They will remain there until Fajr morning tomorrow, the 9th Dhul Hijjah. Then the Hujjaj will proceed to the valley of Arafat and offer Duhr and Asr prayers. The Hajj sermon will be delivered at Masjid-e-Nimra in Arafat on the same day.
The national flag-carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), successfully concluded its pre-Hajj flight operations across the country on August 6.
According to PIA statistics, 82,300 Hajj pilgrims have safely reached Saudi Arabia through its 292 flights. The national flag-carrier has made history by facilitating Pakistani pilgrims without acquiring a single aircraft on lease for the flight operations.
PIA President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Air Marshal Arshad Malik said in his statement that the pilgrims were provided travel facilities from 10 spots this year which was a difficult task for the administrative.
Malik announced that the post-Hajj flight operations for Hajj pilgrims will be commenced from August 17 which would be concluded on September 14.
In Mina, an area of eight-square kilometres has been allocated to some 45,000 tents, to provide accommodation for 1.5 million pilgrims. The area can host 118,000 people per hour and accommodate 70,000 worshipers.
Some 141,800 pilgrims who arrived on 355 flights also benefited from the Makkah Route initiative — a service launched by the Kingdom that includes issuing visas, ensuring compliance with health requirements, and codifying and sorting luggage at airports in the pilgrims’ own countries.
“All of the arms of state have been deployed (and) we are proud to serve as ‘God’s hosts’,” said security forces spokesman Bassam Attia.
In total some 2.5 million faithful, the majority from abroad, will undertake the pilgrimage this year, according to local media.
“More than 1.8 million visas were delivered online without the need for middlemen. It’s a success,” said Hajj ministry official Hatim bin Hassan Qadi.
“We feel cleansed by achieving this pillar of Islam and meeting people from across the world. It’s marvellous,” said Mohamed Jaafar, a 40-year-old Egyptian pilgrim.