Coronavirus era makes Hajj pilgrims more eager

TEHRAN, Jul. 10 (MNA) – The spread of COVID-19 restricted perform of the Hajj congregation for a short period of time but could not dissuade Muslims from observing rituals, making them keener.

The annual Hajj is a major religious duty for Muslims and must be performed at least once during the lifetime of a Muslim.

Tens of thousands of Muslims gather together from all across the world each year in the holy city of Mecca to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.

Without any distinction as to race, gender, language, or nationality, Muslims from various world countries walk around the Holy Kaaba, the most sacred site in Islam, counterclockwise, shoulder to shoulder, as a sign of faith in Allah.  

Coronavirus era makes Hajj pilgrims more eager

In the midst of this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a statement.

He termed Hajj as a symbol of the unity of the Islamic nation, adding that “the Islamic nation can once again observe its unity and harmony in this clear, timeless mirror, and [take this opportunity to] turn away from factors that lead to disunity and division.”

Ayatollah Khamenei also described unity and spirituality as basic foundations of Hajj, noting that “the unity of the Muslim nation is one of the two basic foundations of the Hajj Pilgrimage. When this foundation is combined with spirituality and remembering God (dhikr) – which together comprise the other basic foundation of this religious duty, which is full of secrets – they can take the Islamic nation to attain the heights of honor and felicity.”

Coronavirus era makes Hajj pilgrims more eager

On June 8, 2022, Leader received Hajj and Pilgrimage officials on the threshold of the annual Hajj congregation.

The meeting showed the significance of the ceremony for Ayatollah Khamenei.

During the meeting, Leader said that the Islamic Republic of Iran seriously calls on the Saudi government as the host of Hajj rituals to ensure the security of all the pilgrims, the Iranian ones in particular.

Noting that Hajj is the manifestation of Islamic unity, he said that every effort has to be made so as not to cause the least damage to Muslim unity.

The Leader stressed that creating discord among Shia and Sunni Muslims is one of the British plots.

Coronavirus era makes Hajj pilgrims more eager

The Covid-19 outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, central China, in mid-December and gradually spread to other countries around the world.

Kianoosh Jahanpour, former head of the Public Relations Center of the Ministry of Health, announced on February 19, 2020, that the preliminary test results of two suspected cases of coronavirus in Qom had been reported positive, and that this was itself a prelude to confirming the presence of the Covid-19 in Iran and the measures needed to be considered at the national and provincial levels.

Also, on February 23, 2020, former President Hassan Rouhani, who had previously ordered the Minister of Health and Medical Education to establish the National Headquarters for the Management of Covid-19, issued a new decree and communicated to him that while convening the continuous meetings of the headquarters, he has used all relevant abilities to help prevent the spread and eradication of the disease as quickly as possible and continuously utilize all relevant collections to help prevent the spread and eradication of the disease as quickly as possible.

Islamic Revolution Leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei on March 13, 2020, addressed to the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, ordered the establishment of a health and treatment center against coronavirus, and the National Headquarters for the fight against Covid-19, headed by the president, was formed on March 12, 2020.

Coronavirus era makes Hajj pilgrims more eager

When Ebrahim Raiesi took the office, the death toll of the fatal disease was around 600 people a day. As a result of follow-ups and calculated tactics of the administration and medical personnel over the past months, the rate reached zero death on June 2, 2022.

In a message, President Raeisi congratulated the great nation of Iran and the Leader on the achievement of zero Covid-19 death cases.

"Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the threat it represents for large public gatherings, the hajj of the Islamic calendar year of 1441 [2020 according to the Christian calendar] will be limited to pilgrims of different nationalities who are already in the country," Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said in a statement, Sputnik reported.

In April, it asked Muslim travelers all over the world to refrain from visiting the kingdom for Hajj. Prior to that, the main holy sites were closed for visitors, as procedures for complete disinfection were carried out to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

In March, the Saudi religious authorities banned prayers in mosques, including weekly Friday prayer, following restrictions issued by the country's government.

Coronavirus era makes Hajj pilgrims more eager

On June 12, 2022, a see-off ceremony was held for the first group of Iranian Hajj pilgrims, who departed the country for Medina. The group including 260 pilgrims who were from Tehran province departed Iran from Imam Khomeini Airport.

As many as 39,630 Iranians were dispatched for this year’s annual Hajj pilgrimage.

A senior official with the country’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Vahid Eskandari said that all Iranian pilgrims have been sent to Saudi Arabia for performing their annual hajj pilgrimage.

Referring to all 162 flights to Medina airport, he said that Iran had 87 flights equal to 55 percent of the total number of hajj pilgrims from different airports in the country.

Also, with 73 flights to Jeddah, 17,295 pilgrims from the different airports in the country made their way to Jeddah Airport.

Compiled and translated by Amin Mohammadzadegan Khoyi

News Code 188913


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