Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mosque closed to worshippers on Arafat, Eid

Worshippers pray at the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque complex in Mecca. (File photo: AFP)

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mosque in Mecca will be closed to worshippers on the upcoming Arafat day and Eid al-Adha as part of preventative measures to combat the novel coronavirus, the assistant commander of the Hajj security forces for the Grand Mosque and its premises said on Tuesday.

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“The suspension of prayers in the Grand Mosque and its outer premises will continue. We invite people of Mecca to break their fast on the day of Arafat in their homes,” Maj. Gen. Mohammed bin Wasl al-Ahmadi said.

Read more: Coronavirus: All the COVID-19 guidelines for the Eid al-Adha holiday across the Gulf

Arafat day marks the second day of the annual Hajj pilgrimage and comes a day before Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha commemorates the day prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command.

Also read: Coronavirus: Mecca authorities lift lower part of Kaaba’s kiswa cover ahead of Hajj

Both are national holidays in most Muslim countries.

The process of lifting the lower part of the kiswa covering was done during the first minutes of the Dhu al-Hajjah month. (Supplied)

The process of lifting the lower part of the kiswa covering was done during the first minutes of the Dhu al-Hajjah month. (Supplied)

The first stage of planning for the upcoming Hajj was completed, al-Ahmadi added.

As part of precautionary measures, specific pathways for circumambulation of the Kaaba and the saee ritual – going to and from the two mountains of Safa and al-Marwa – have been defined, according to the Maj. Gen.

Individuals with official person will be the only ones allowed to enter the Grand Mosque area.

“We have mainly focused on the health aspect this year due to the exceptional situation. The remaining stages will be implemented in the coming days,” said Maj. Gen. Al-Ahmadi.

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Last Update: Monday, 27 July 2020 KSA 08:38 - GMT 05:38
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