« Mataf » section to be limited to circumambulation « Tawaf »
Wednesday 24 August 2016
JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has ordered that the “mataf” section of the Grand Mosque in Makkah will only be limited for circumambulation from Thursday, Aug. 25, until the end of the Haj season.
Prayers can be performed in the interior hallways, the northern expansion and the upper floors of the Grand Mosque.
This decision was made to make “tawaaf” (circumambulation) more comfortable and less crowded for pilgrims.
Al-Faisal also reminded pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque to cooperate with security personnel and follow instructions to ensure their safety and comfort.
The orders for limiting “mataf” only to circumambulation were also applied during Ramadan as per the governor’s instructions.
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82,000 pilgrims to benefit from heat-resistant tents in Arafat
The heat-resistant camps set up in Arafat. The European-type tents, costing SR40 million, have been set up by the Tawafa Establishment for pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, America and Australia.
Aug 25, 2016
MAKKAH — Over 82,000 pilgrims are expected to benefit from heat-resistant camps set up in Arafat on an area of 120,00 sq. meters. The European-type tents, costing SR40 million, have been set up by the Tawafa Establishment for pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, America and Australia.
Chairman of the establishment’s board of directors, Tariq Anqawi, said the new tents will be added to the old ones established last year.
“The establishment is determined to provide its pilgrims with the best of services especially that the temperature is expected to be extremely high during this year’s Haj season,” he said.
Anqawi said the establishment’s 43 field offices have completed arrangements to serve more than 180,000 pilgrims who are expected to come from Turkey, Europe, America and Australia.
“We have more than 400 mutawwifs who will be using state-of-the-art technology to serve our pilgrims and group them quickly,” he said.
The establishment’s Deputy Chairman Osama Zawawi said about 85 percent of the European tents have been completed and they are very comfortable to the pilgrims.
“What is remaining is only the electricity connections which we will do according to the safety measures recommended by the Civil Defense,” he said.
Zawawi said the tents are three-storied consisting of an upper dome and side curtains which act as heat insulators.
“We have added power generators to ensure a continuous flow of electricity and have reduced the cooling area in each tent from 48 to 32 meters to ensure pilgrims enjoy cool air,” he said.
Haj visas forged by international gang vigilance urged
Sunday 28 August 2016
RIYADH: The Ministry of Haj and Umrah discovered that an international ring has forged Haj visas for the current year, an official source has said.
The ministry has issued a warning to countries that received Haj quotas for the current year to remain vigilant against forged visas, said the source.
“The registration of Haj passport with the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs website is automatically read and the information is passed to the electronic reader,” he added.
Meanwhile, security experts stressed the importance of remaining alert at the sea, air and land entry ports to check visas and other related documents of pilgrims. The experts cited the Cairo airport case. An international gang based in China, Turkey and Cairo stole the Haj visa quota of Egypt and granted visas to foreigners for large sums of money.
The gang members were eventually arrested and turned over to the authorities concerned in Egypt.
Nasser Al-Arifi, professor of criminal psychology and head of academic studies at the King Fahd Security College, said the Kingdom is interested in services and facilities to pilgrims.
“In this regard, the Kingdom harnesses the work of employees of ministries and various sectors to ensure a successful Haj pilgrimage.”
Yusuf Rumaih, sociology professor at Qassim University, stressed the importance of ensuring the health as well as securing the addresses of pilgrims, including the nationalities of foreigners.
Monitoring arrivals of pilgrims from foreign countries is equally important, he added.
MAKKAH: Weather is expected to remain hot during the day and mild at night with average temperature exceeding 40 degrees Celsius during the pilgrimage season, the chairman of the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection has said.
Abdulaziz bin Omar Al-Jasser pointed out that there’s a possibility of cumulus clouds appearing during the day in the eastern parts of Makkah, resulting in scattered rain and thunderstorm during the pilgrimage.
Abdulaziz inspected Met offices in Makkah including the Command and Control Center in Mina. The center issues forecasts for the next 10 days.
The General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection has also deployed weather radars working round the clock under the supervision of experts both near the holy site and the its headquarters in Jeddah to analyze forecasts.
New details have emerged on the plot to assassinate Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah Province and adviser to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. An unknown number of suspects are facing trial in this connection, informed sources told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
The sources added that the assassination plot was hatched during Prince Khaled’s second tenure at the helm of affairs in Makkah. Authorities caught the suspects red-handed while they were planning to carry out the murder. The suspects had kept Prince Khaled’s movements under surveillance for a long time.
The threats and the conspiracy to assassinate him did not dissuade Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, known as “the iron man” and “a strong and successful administrator”, from continuing his work and inspection tours. Recently, he carried out an inspection tour of the holy sites to gauge the readiness of the security personnel.
Prince Khaled, who is also known for his speedy development measures in Asir and Makkah regions, has been in public domain for over five decades.
The arrest of a Takfiri terrorist cell that planned to assassinate him and further warnings from security personnel, did not deter Prince Khaled from carrying out 17 field tours of the holy sites in recent weeks.
Khaled Al-Faisal has successfully accomplished several cultural and developmental goals during the various posts he has held in the Kingdom. He has carried out giant humanitarian projects, like rectifying the status of 250,000 Burmese (nationals).
With the revelation of the assassination plot, people’s confidence in the security authorities has increased. Reports on preemptive strikes against terrorists are a source of great pride for the Saudis.
Riyadh rubbishes report Israel involved in Haj e-bracelet
Sunday 4 September 2016
JEDDAH: The Saudi Embassy in Cairo has strongly denied reports that the Kingdom contracted Israeli companies to ensure the pilgrims’ security during the Haj season this year.
“Reports that some Egyptian media outlets circulated citing the Israeli radio that Saudi Arabia contracted Israeli companies to secure pilgrims this year are untrue and mere allegations,” the media office of the embassy said in a statement.
The office urged media outlets to contact the embassy to verify such news before reporting, to “preserve their credibility” with the public.
Quoting Israeli sites, Al-Manar TV, which belongs to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, reported that “Israel spies on KSA through the electronic bracelets the Saudi authorities imposed on the pilgrims.”
Al-Manar quoted the so-called “Haj and Umrah Network” as saying that Saudi Arabia contracted Israeli company G4S to supply the electronic bracelets that each pilgrim must wear upon arrival and until his/her departure.
“These GPS-enabled devices can find the position of any pilgrim at any time, and in case an accident happens, the Saudi authorities may need to take information from the Israeli company,” Al-Manar TV said.
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health advised local Haj pilgrims that cardiac patients can perform Haj provided their health condition is stable.
An MoH official said cardiac patients can perform Haj provided they have no chest pain or dyspnea, no recent heart attacks that necessitated hospitalization, cardiac catheterization, or artery bypass surgery.
The announcement was made at the Haj phone-in service relayed by the ministry through its toll-free number, 800 249 4444, to help pilgrims, who need online advice on Haj matters through the ministry’s website, and on the social networking site Twitter @saudimoh.
“Cardiac patients should have good control of diabetes and hypertension, and ensure they are healthy in general, as well as consulting their doctors prior to the performing of Haj.”
The official also advised of the necessity of taking vaccinations such as meningitis and seasonal flu vaccine. Heart patients, especially those with a weak heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), are susceptible to serious complications in case of getting infected with influenza, which would lead to heart failure.
It was also advised to keep a sufficient stock of drugs that could be used for their entire pilgrimage. “They also should make sure to take prescribed medicines regularly, and not to stop taking them for any reason. Also, coronary artery atheroma patients have to carry along nitroglycerin tablets; these are the medication put under the tongue and to be taken when chest pains occur.”
“Those who suffer from cardiac problems should avoid mental and physical strain, and psychological disturbances. They should pay attention to the type of food and reduce salt in food, and keep away from overcrowded areas. In case of any chest pain, they should seek immediate medical help, or call the Red Crescent on 977, or the unified center on 911, for necessary action.
The official pointed out that sunstroke is riskier for cardiac patients, especially when using diuretics, which increase possibility of dehydration, in addition to the various blood thinners, such as aspirin and others which increase the risk of fainting and sudden falls, and the possibility of bleeding.
“Cardiac patients must take sufficient amounts of liquids and juices and avoid staying under the direct sun because of the high temperature during Haj season. They are advised to avoid physical strain as much as possible, and in case of having any symptoms, such as headache or vomiting, or feeling very tired, have muscle pain or high degree of body temperature, they should get enough rest and take sufficient amounts of liquids and juices, as well as using antipyretics.”
The phone-in-service is offered by a team of conversant call attendants who give instant replies to callers who seek medical advice for their pilgrimage to the holy cities.
The medical team comprises consultants, cardiologists, medical specialists, pharmacists and dentists. The program is handled by a group of Saudi women who are working in the ministry and its city hospitals here.
All callers are assured strict confidentiality of the information provided during their telephonic inquiries and men suffering from chronic ailments such as diabetes and hypertension are free to ask questions about their dose of medicines and how they should store their insulin during the pilgrimage, while women could inquire about vaccine and matters concerning their menstrual cycle and how to prevent it during the pilgrimage.
u cant say that. i hate saying this and i hope its not kufr but i dont even feel like im somewhere special when I makkah and madinah anymore. Alhamdulillah Allah has given me taufeeq to go every year but i have to be honest. unless im in the mataf and close to the ka'bah or standing at the grave of rasoolullah i wouldnt know if im somewhere sacred or las vagas. its lost all its spirituality, character, history and purpose.
Allah forgive me im not saying im a saint and given the haramain its due respect but we all know what goes on these days. people on phones whilst giving salaam ( even telling people on other end of line to give their salam) people taking selfies ( worse is just before iftar time) doing silly dua poses, sleeping around the masjid like its a hotel, iv seen people even play games on their mobiles whilst on phone. whilst its true what others do shouldnt affect me but end of the day the people and sorrounding has an effect.
i look at the stories of the salaf or even recent era, one haj was enough to make changes in their lives, but today we go yearly and has no affect, also there is lack of mujaahida. alhamdulillah i been twice for hajj and it felt more like a holiday camp rather than a spiritual journey, all the so called hardships dont exist ( i give shukr i didnt have any hardships) but wasnt part of hajj meant to be the struggle? or maybe my heart is impure and thus i cant take full benefit of the haramain, im only expressing my own feelings and thoughts. no need to pass fatwas on me
Saudi Arabia's top cleric has said Iranians are "not Muslims", a day after Iran's supreme leader denounced its management of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, the grand mufti, said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's accusations were "not surprising".
"They are the sons of the Magi," he said, referring to Zoroastrianism, a religion that once dominated Iran.
Deep suspicions exist between predominantly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and its mainly Shia Muslim neighbour.
On Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei accused Saudis of "murdering" pilgrims caught up in a stampede at last year's Hajj.
"The heartless and murderous Saudis locked up the injured with the dead in containers - instead of providing medical treatment and helping them or at least quenching their thirst," he said, without providing evidence. "They murdered them."
The ayatollah made the allegation on the anniversary of the stampede, which killed at least 2,426 people, including 464 Iranians, according to an unofficial count.
The Saudi authorities, who say 769 died, have made few details of their investigation into the stampede public but previously rejected criticism.
Sheikh Al Sheikh was dismissive when asked by the Mecca newspaper about Ayatollah Khamenei's comments.
"We must understand these are not Muslims," he was quoted as saying. "They are the son of the Magi and their hostility towards Muslims is an old one, especially with the People of the Tradition [Sunnis]."
Animosity between Sunnis - who make up an estimated 85-90% of Saudi Arabia's population - and Shia - about 90-95% of Iran's population - goes back to a 7th Century schism.
Hardline Sunnis - including many adherents of Wahhabism, the austere form of Islam practised by the Saudi ruling family and religious establishment - often describe Shia as "rejectionists" who have strayed from the true faith.
The war of words between the clerics also comes nine months after Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran in response to attacks on Saudi diplomatic compounds in Iran by people angered by the kingdom's execution of a prominent Shia cleric convicted of terrorism offences
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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