Pilgrims concluded hajj on Thursday in a very unique atmosphere occasioned by the global pandemic, leading to the ban of international pilgrims.
Being one of those selected for hajj this year, Dina, a Jordanian pilgrim, shared her personal experience.
“We didn’t dress up in lavish clothes and jewels, we dressed in joy,” Dina told The National.
“The memories I made here are priceless, and they are all with strangers with whom I have spent the days of Hajj and created a deep bond with.
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“I can’t explain it. But caring for each other through every step may be one reason.
“From carrying each other’s loads on the long journey between sites, pushing wheelchairs for people in our group or applying soothing ointments to ease their pain and heal blisters on their feet from walking in the heat, we have done it all.
“It feels so good to be there for each other regardless of where they come from. It’s an invaluable and hidden lesson that Hajj teaches us.”
Hajj consists of several ceremonies which symbolizes the essential concepts of the Islamic faith. They also 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.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saudi government cut the number of pilgrims to only 60,000 to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Asma, a Saudi pilgrim, also shared her experience at this year’s Hajj.
“Today was the first day we got to relax,” Asma said. “Once we took off our ihram, purified ourselves and dressed for tawaf, we went to the Grand Mosque and offered dhuhr prayers and tawaf al ifadah.
“We met our friends from other camps on the way there and in the courtyard of the Grand Mosque.
“We exchanged `Eid greetings and had a fresh meal together before we prayed asr in the Grand Mosque and came back to our camp.
“It’s a beautiful feeling to be able to do that with people you just met.”
Pilgrims have returned today (Thursday) to the holy city of Makkah to perform the last ritual of a very special and different hajj.
In the last ritual of the annual pilgrimage, the white-clad pilgrims performed the final Tawaf (circumambulation) as they walked seven times around the Ka`bah in the Grand Mosque complex in Makkah.