As millions of Muslims prepare to flock to Saudi for the lifetime journey of Hajj, the first Hajj pilgrims arrived Thursday, July 4 in the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
The first pilgrimage batch for this year has arrived in King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah within the framework of Makkah Road Initiative which will include 225,000 pilgrims from five countries.
“Pilgrims at the airports of Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Tunisia, will benefit from this initiative and will experience complementary procedures at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah,” said an official from the Saudi Ministry of Interior which has announced the launch of the initiative.
Interestingly, the initiative aims to improve services offered to Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and enhance the efforts of governmental agencies in serving them.
The plan will also give the opportunity for the largest number of Muslim pilgrims to perform their rituals in comfort, ease, and tranquility.
The services include customs and passport procedures, facilitating health requirements, as well as sorting luggage according to transportation and housing arrangements in the two holy cities.
Muslims from around the world pour to Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Hajj consists of several ceremonies, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.
Hajj 2019 will commence on Friday, 9th of August 2019 and will continue till Wednesday, 14th of August 2019; in the evening time.