Written by Zulfick Farzan
21 Jul, 2021 | 11:36 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); Hajj is the annual pilgrimage made by Muslims to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, in the Middle East.
It takes place during Dhu’al-Hijjah, which is the final month of the Islamic calendar. In 2021 Hajj started from the evening of 17 July and will continue until 22 July.
Every year, millions of Muslims from across the world make the journey to Mecca from wherever they live.
However, this year there are special rules as part of Saudi Arabia’s attempts to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Usually more than two million Muslims from around the world will make the special journey to Mecca for Hajj.
However since the coronavirus pandemic started only a limited number of people have been allowed to travel to Mecca.
This year only 60,000 fully vaccinated Saudi Arabia residents have been allowed to take part. This is larger than in 2020, but is still far smaller than usual years.
Pilgrims had to have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, be aged between 18 and 65 and meet health requirements, to be allowed to take part. They are expected to socially distance and wear face masks too.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. These are the five key acts which every Muslim is expected to do in their lifetime.
Muslims are required to make the journey to Mecca for Hajj at least once in their life if they are physically able and can afford to do so.
In addition to Hajj, the other important acts are:
Shahadah – A declaration of faith that every Muslim has to make.
Salat – Muslims pray at specific times five times a day.
Zakat – Those within the faith give away a portion of their income to help those in need.
Sawm – Muslims fast for a month during Ramadan.
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