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4 months ago

Ramadan 2024: More than 8 million Muslims perform Umrah so far

MAKKAH: More than 8 million Muslims have performed Umrah in the first half of the holy month of Ramadan, according to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.


A total of 8,235,680 people have performed the ritual since the season began, the ministry said.


Medina and Mecca have been bustling with pilgrims from across the globe during what is considered to be the most sacred month in the Islamic calendar.


Ramadan marks the month-long period when Muslims around the world refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. The ritual – a requirement for all able-bodied Muslims – encourages those practicing to focus on spirituality, prayer and charity.


Unlike Hajj, Umrah can be performed by Muslims at any time of the year. Though not compulsory, Umrah holds spiritual significance for Muslims.


Ramadan sees hundreds of thousands of Muslims from inside and outside Saudi Arabia flock to the Grand Mosque to perform the pilgrimage and offer prayers.


Restrictions to prevent overcrowding


Last week the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced restrictions on performing Umrah more than once during Ramadan as part of efforts to prevent overcrowding during the sacred month.


The initiative aims to reduce congestion, ensure fair access to Umrah for all, and effectively manage crowds during peak periods, according to the ministry.


To enforce the policy, the Nusuk platform – the electronic portal used for Umrah permits – will display an error message for users who attempt to request a second permit for Umrah.

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