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Hajj: Saudi Invents Anti-bacterial Ihram Clothing for Pilgrims

The two-sheet outfit, made of unstitched white cloth, is treated with silver nanofibers

Ihram, a special white clothing for pilgrims, is one of the prerequisites of Hajj. Every Muslim man and woman has to wear it from the point of Miqat, which is predetermined for all hajj pilgrims traveling from different countries.

As this year’s hajj will be different, due to COVID-19, Saudi Arabia made sure to use its technical capabilities to provide special nano-Ihram clothing that is treated with silver nanofibers, Gulf News reported.

The silver nanofibers, developed by Saudi inventor Hamad Bin Ali Al Yami is distinguished by its cotton fabric that prevents the reproduction of bacteria, and enhances preventive measures for the safety of pilgrims.

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Used for the second year in a row, the nano-Ihram clothing dates back more than three years with the aim of limiting the transmission of infection among pilgrims.

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Al Yami said they used the silver nonofibers in the fabric of Ihram as the metal was used in medicine in the past as an antiseptic for wounds, and as a purifier when placed in water vessels.

“Silver is used globally to sterilize surgical tools, doctors’ clothes and medical teams in hospitals, and from here was the idea of using this technology in making Ihram clothing,” Al Yami said.

“What encouraged me most was that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj and Umrah Research conducted in 2008 an experiment that relied on nanotechnology in the manufacture of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral materials to purify the carpets in the Two Holy Mosques and the covering of the Kaaba, which showed a decrease in microbial growth,” Al Yami said.

Saudi Arabia will host another downsized hajj from Saturday, with only residents fully vaccinated against the coronavirus permitted and overseas Muslim pilgrims barred for a second year.

The kingdom seeks to repeat last year’s success that saw no virus outbreak during the five-day Muslim ritual.

It is allowing 60,000 residents of Saudi Arabia to participate, higher than in 2020 but drastically lower than in normal times. People will begin to arrive on Saturday, a day before the start of rites.