ARAFAT: Imam-e-Kaaba Sheikh Bandar Bin Abdulaziz Balila in the Hajj sermon urged people to follow Prophet’s (SAWW) teachings regarding pandemics, saying that Prophet (SAWW) had asked people not to visit plague-affected areas.
“The Holy Prophet (SAWW) said people should not go out of the area where the plague has spread and people from other areas should not go there,” said Imam-e-Kaaba as the pilgrims performed Hajj under COVID-19 restrictions.
Sheikh Bandar also urged Muslims to establish equality, eliminate enmity and hatred amongst each other. He also asked everyone to forgive one another for the sake of Allah.
The imam of the Grand Mosque said that Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and urged those who can take the holy sojourn to complete it.
The Hajj sermon was available in ten languages worldwide, including English, French, Malayalam, Urdu, Persian, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Hausa, and Bengali. The administration also shared a link to an audio sermon available on the Internet.
‘Masked pilgrims on Mount Arafat’
Thousands of face-masked pilgrims gathered on Mount Arafat today (Monday) to atone for their sins, expressing hopes for peace and an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saudi Arabia has barred worshippers from abroad for a second year running and has restricted entry from within the kingdom under special conditions to guard against the coronavirus and its new variants.
Only 60,000 Saudi citizens and residents, aged 18 to 65, who have been fully vaccinated or recovered from the virus and do not suffer from chronic diseases, were selected for the rite, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.
Pilgrims, dressed in white robes signifying a state of purity, had to observe social distancing and wear face masks on Mount Arafat, the hill where Islam holds God tested Abraham’s faith by commanding him to sacrifice his son Ismail.