Muslims in Saudi Arabia, gulf countries celebrate Eidul Azha amid COVID-19 outbreak

MAKKAH AL MUKARMAH: Joy and celebrations are sweeping across Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other gulf countries on Friday as Muslims observe Eidul Azha with religious fervour to commemorate the Sunnah and sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS).
Over a billion Muslims from around the world are celebrating Eidul Azha, which is also known as the “Festival of the Sacrifice’.
In Saudi Arabia, Eid prayers have been offered at Masjid-e-Nabvi and the Grand Mosque in Makkah. The pilgrims, who spent the whole night in the open sky offering prayers in Muzdalifa have started moving towards Mina.
After reaching Mina, they will perform stoning at Jamarat Al-Aqba, sacrifice animals, shave their heads and then leave for Makkah to perform Tawaf Al-Ifada and Sai, two other pillars of Haj.
This time, just 10,000 Muslims, all resident in the Saudi Arabia, performed Hajj due to coronavirus pandemic.
Workers continuously cleaned and disinfected the holy site on, in uniforms resembling those of hospital staff.
Pilgrims had to undergo COVID-19 tests before arriving in Makkah and will be required to quarantine afterwards.
Attendees were given elaborate amenity kits that included sterilized pebbles for the ritual Stoning of the Devil, disinfectant, masks and a prayer rug, according to the hajj ministry.
Several health facilities, mobile clinics and ambulances were on hand, the ministry added, available to pilgrims who were required to wear masks and maintain social distance.
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