Ramadan in the Haram, Makkah 2021

Ramadan in the Haram, Makkah 2021

Above two pictures: Ramadan in the Haram, Makkah, last year (2020)  and  Ramadan this year
الحمد لله رب العالمين
Worshippers pray around the Kaaba, the holiest shrine in the Grand mosque complex in the Saudi city of Mecca during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Saudi authorities said only people immunised against COVID-19 will be allowed to perform the year-round Umrah pilgrimage from the start of Ramadan, the holy fasting month for Muslims.
Mask-clad worshippers entered Mecca’s Grand Mosque in batches to perform the ritual of circling the sacred Kaaba, a cubic structure towards which Muslims around the world pray, along socially distanced paths.


According to the ministry, three categories of people are considered “immunised” – those who have received two doses of coronavirus vaccine, those administered a single dose at least 14 days prior, and people who have recovered from the infection.


The policy has effectively raised the Grand Mosque’s capacity during Ramadan to accommodate 50,000 umrah pilgrims and 100,000 worshippers per day, according to state media.


Worshippers arrive for prayers around the Kaaba, the holiest shrine in the Grand mosque complex in the Saudi city of Mecca.


In late July last year, the kingdom hosted a downsized hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam. Only up to 10,000 Muslim residents of Saudi Arabia were allowed to take part, a far cry from the 2.5 million Muslims from around the world who participated in 2019.


An aerial view of the Grand Mosque complex in the Saudi city of Makkah, during the first day of Ramadan.


The Ministry of Interior issued a warning that a SR10,000 ($26,671) fine will be issued to pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah without permits, and a SR1,000 fine for worshippers trying to enter the mosques without one.
Pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during Umrah, marking the holy month of Ramadan.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance had issued a statement saying that Taraweeh and Qiyam prayers should not exceed 30 minutes in all mosques in the Kingdom. This comes after King Salman issued a decision to permit Taraweeh prayers in the two holy mosques and reduce them to five tasleemat.