The holy month of Zulhijjah is now upon us! With Covid-19 restrictions beginning to loosen and people are continuing to learn how to live with the virus, Hajj 2022 sees more travellers as 1 million Muslims embark on the Islamic pilgrimage - it’s reported to be the largest number of pilgrims since the pandemic. 😄 The Hajj scene has changed a little compared to previous years and this is what it looks like today!
Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://bit.ly/3LnFN1F
Conditions for performing Hajj
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that Haj 2022/1443H will be open to one million pilgrims, including 850,000 international pilgrims. This once in a lifetime opportunity is rare to come by as each country outside of Saudi Arabia is given a set number of slots for pilgrims and there is a list of requirements before you can make the cut. 😅
This year the requirements are as follows:
- Age limit of below 65 years-old
- Approved Covid vaccination status by the Saudi Ministry of Health
- Submit a negative PCR test 72 hours before the time of departure to Saudi Arabia
- Readiness to perform Hajj: Spiritually, Mentally, Physically and Financially
Health protocols at the holy sites
The health protocols this year aren’t as strict as they were last year, in fact pilgrims are allowed to walk around the Kaaba unmasked and social distancing doesn’t seem to apply when congregating in crowds.
However, there is still vigilance towards Covid. For many years, worshippers would fight the crowds for a chance to kiss and touch the Kaaba, but the Saudi Arabian government has since banned this practice for the third year! And the authorities also distribute bottles of water from the holy Zamzam well instead of allowing pilgrims to drink from cups at the mosque as they usually would. 😁
The Hajj Smart Card and what is it?
Launched in 2019, Hajj Smart Card helps pilgrims make Hajj easier. 😃 The e-wallet allows pilgrims to make contactless transactions and store their money, making transactions safer and easier in the post-pandemic era. Based on their respective stages of Hajj, pilgrims will receive a different colour, red, green, yellow, or blue, as well as guidance for each stage.
Additionally, the Hajj Smart Card includes pilgrims' registration numbers, exact accommodation locations, mobile phone numbers, and guide ID numbers. Hajj Smart Cards are also used to reduce illegal hajj.
While the world continues to figure out the ways to live amidst Covid, it is heartening to see so many Muslims able to carry out their pilgrimage. It's truly a humbling yet overwhelming experience to see monumental and religious sites from our phones and mobile devices, imagine what it would be like in person! 🤗
For now, if you are not able to make the trip, don’t be discouraged. It is key to remember that Allah is most merciful and understanding! You can watch the live feed of the Masjid Al-Haram online to see what it's like! 🌙