Go for Ramadan Umrah once ‘to make it easy for others’
A high-ranking official at the Haj Ministry has advised Saudis and expats to perform Umrah only once during Ramadan to give others a chance to do it with ease. Civil Defense has sent text messages to Saudis and expats urging them not to perform Umrah more than once.
Hussein Al-Sharif, undersecretary at the Haj Ministry, said efforts to reduce the number of pilgrims are only temporary until Grand Mosque expansion projects are complete.
“We are trying to put a cap on the number of pilgrims in their own interest and safety pending construction efforts, especially since there are many elderly pilgrims and children.”
Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh, head of the grand scholars committee, had openly supported the decision to reduce the number of Umrah visitors and pilgrims during the peak Ramadan and Haj seasons.
A number of Shariah specialists have also supported the decision, saying it would benefit Grand Mosque and Prophet Mosque visitors.
Makkah has become a large workshop, with cranes dotting the landscape as expansion efforts go ahead.
Once complete, the area for circumambulation will accommodate 130,000 worshippers as opposed to the previous 30,000 limit.