THE haj – among the five pillars of the Islamic faith – is markedly different this year.
Few pilgrims were seen circling the Kaaba while following social distancing, as opposed to millions who occupy the place every year.
Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, numbers will have to be restricted and social distancing and sanitation measures will be put into effect during the pilgrimage.
Pebbles used for the ‘stoning of the devil’ ceremony will be sanitised and handed to pilgrims and no pilgrims will be allowed to touch the Kaaba or kiss the black stone at its corner – both of which are regular customs during the haj.
During prayers in congregation, participants will have to wear a mask and keep themselves socially distanced from other worshippers. – July 31, 2020.