With the last 10 days of Ramadan upon us, millions of pilgrims are flocking to the holy city of Mecca for prayer and reflection. While this time is marked by deep spiritual significance, it is also a time of heightened risk for accidents and injuries. To combat these dangers, Saudi Arabia has issued a new guide for pilgrims’ safety. The guide covers everything from traffic safety to heat stroke prevention, and is part of the country’s larger efforts to make the annual pilgrimage safer and more manageable for all who embark on it. By implementing these guidelines, pilgrims can focus more fully on their spiritual journey and less on potential hazards.
The Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia has released a guide to preserve the security and safety of pilgrims and worshipers during the last 10 days of Ramadan. The guide includes updated instructions announced at the beginning of Ramadan to make the ritual performance easier for pilgrims. New measures have been implemented to facilitate the pilgrims’ access to the central area around the Grand Mosque.
The Ministry has clarified the different ways which pilgrims can use to reach the Grand Mosque. Pilgrims can use public transportation buses from King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah or from car parkings to the public transportation stations in the central area around the Grand Mosque. To reach the Grand Mosque, pilgrims can also use taxis, the Haramain station from KAIA to Al-Raseefa station in Makkah, or walk on foot from the residential units in the central area and the neighborhoods adjacent to the Grand Mosque. Alternatively, pilgrims can reach the Grand Mosque through a private car driven by non-Umrah pilgrims, who drive them to the nearest location to the mosque or to places of residence.
The Ministry of Interior has announced that the roads in the central area around the Grand Mosque will be designated only for passers-by, and all kinds of vehicles including motorbikes and bicycles will be prohibited at all times. Vehicles parked in locations affecting pedestrian movement will be towed, and their owner or authorized person will be subjected to a traffic violation.
Pilgrims entering the Grand Mosque must abide by the directions determined by the security men, in addition to adhering to the directions through the doors of the Grand Mosque as determined by signboards. There are luminous panels placed on the main doors of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, which indicate the status of the sites inside the Grand Mosque and show if there is a possibility of availability of places for prayer there. The green light displays that pilgrims can enter because of the available places, while the red light indicates that entry is prohibited due to space in all the sites being full.
Pilgrims can reach the circumambulation (Tawaf) through the corridors leading to King Abdulaziz Gate, King Fahd Gate, Umrah Gate, and Peace Gate. The grand floor has been designated to pilgrims with disabilities, where they can use electric vehicles.
The Ministry has stated that pilgrims are not allowed to transport personal belongings to the Grand Mosque and its courtyards or to hang them on the windows of the mosque from the inside and outside or to leave them in the courtyards. Collecting donations and engaging in commerce is forbidden in the Grand Mosque. Pilgrims are prohibited from using electrical sockets (plugs) that have been allocated for maintenance work, for personal purposes, to avoid electrical short circuits.
To make the pilgrimage process easier, the guide also includes a barcode for all internal and external parking lots, in which maps show how to reach the Grand Mosque while coming for Umrah or praying during Ramadan. Additional information can be found through a link available in the guide.
In conclusion, the guide issued by the Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia has provided updated instructions to make the ritual performance easier for pilgrims during the last 10 days of Ramadan. The guide has also announced the different ways in which pilgrims can use to reach the Grand Mosque and has provided measures to ensure the safety and security of worshippers. The guide has also clarified prohibitions to make the pilgrimage process easier for everyone. Pilgrims are encouraged to follow the instructions issued by the Ministry of Interior to make their experience in the Grand Mosque peaceful and fulfilling.