With just a week left before the annual Hajj in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom has been working round the clock to ensure that pilgrims are well taken care of.
The annual pilgrimage is expected to take place from 7 to 12 July.
Eid-al-Adha or the day of sacrifice is also acknowledged during these five days of Hajj and is expected to be celebrated on Sunday, 10 July in South Africa.
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After two years of restrictions with the last hajj in 2019, Saudi Arabia will be hosting about one million pilgrims during Hajj 2022 with an additional 150,000 pilgrims from within the kingdom.
South Africa has a quota of 1,132 pilgrims who will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage in 2022.
With the world focused on the annual hajj, Saudi Arabia shared some stats on this year’s Hajj which include:
13 languages to be used at the airport to welcome pilgrims400,000 hours of volunteer services in ten different sectors195 catering companies to provide around 4.8 million meals a day10,000 litres of sanitizer per day to sterilize the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
The one million pilgrims being hosted by the Kingdom is a far cry from the massive numbers that have attended the annual pilgrimage which every Muslim is expected to embark on once in his lifetime if they can afford it.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia hosted between 2.5 and 3 million pilgrims.
With South Africans and the rest of the world not being allowed to perform Hajj in 2020 and 2021, the waiting lists for SA have ballooned to a backlog of about sixteen years from a previous amount of between five and eight years.
South Africans have to register and be accredited with the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) before embarking on the journey of Hajj.
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