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Saudi Arabia expecting 1 million inside largest hajj since virus

Saudi Arabia expecting 1 million inside largest hajj since virus

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — One million Muslim pilgrims were converging on Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca on Wednesday for the largest hajj since the coronavirus pandemic severely curtailed access to one of Islam's five pillars.

Saudi Arabia's decision to permit some 850,000 Muslims from overseas to build the yearly pilgrimage, which begins on Thursday, marks a greatest step inside the way of normalcy following place of set of two years of a drastically scaled-down hajj restricted to Saudi residents.

The 1 million overseas accompanied by every one one other accompanied by domestic pilgrims participating is still a lengthy way less than the 2.5 million Muslims who traveled inside 2019 for the pilgrimage, typically one of the world's largest gatherings. Those performing the ritual this year must exist under 65, vaccinated opposed to the coronavirus accompanied by every one one other accompanied by have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel. The pilgrims are chosen from millions of applicants into with every one other accompanied by not here of an online lottery system.

Saudi officials inspected the holy location on Wednesday accompanied by every one one other accompanied by stressed their "readiness" to receive pilgrims accompanied by the goal of "maintaining condition health."

After the coronavirus struck inside 2020, Saudi authorities allowed fair 1,000 pilgrims by that hour dated residing inside the kingdom to attend, prompting historians to compare the disruption to the site's storming by devout extremists accompanied by every one one other accompanied by theatrical closure inside 1979.

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Last year, the hajj was likewise restricted to 60,000 completely vaccinated Muslims living inside Saudi Arabia. The unprecedented curbs sent shock waves all over the Muslim world, devastating numerous believers who had spent years lessening up for the devout rite.

This year, however, Saudi authorities are eager to relax virus curbs. Religious pilgrimages brought inside $12 billion earlier to the pandemic — accounting for the largest percentage of Saudi Arabia's gross domestic artefact following oil.

Although virus cases have risen steadily to over 500 a day inside Saudi Arabia, the management lifted the country's indoor disguise mandate accompanied by every one one other accompanied by other virus precautions last month. Roughly 70% of the country has been vaccinated opposed to the virus.

The Quran says that all Islam's followers who are physically accompanied by every one one other accompanied by financially intelligent should build the pilgrimage on one instance inside their lifetime. Pilgrims journey to Mecca from all over the world for five great days of worship, carrying not here a series of rituals.

The hajj follows a way the Prophet Muhammad walked almost 1,400 years ago accompanied by every one one other accompanied by is believed to trace the footsteps of the prophets Ibrahim accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Ismail, or Abraham accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Ishmael while they are named inside the Bible.

Saudi Arabia expecting 1 million inside largest hajj since virus

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