Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, on Sunday (March 28) announced that the suspension of fast breaking meals, or so-called iftar, distribution and performing i’tikaaf (the Islamic practice of staying at a mosque for worship for a certain period of time) at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah would continue during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan.
He said that the presidency is preparing to provide individual ready-made iftar for those visiting the Grand Mosque and that is in cooperation with the concerned committee at the Makkah emirate, Saudi Gazette reported.
Meanwhile, the distribution of suhoor or predawn meal among visitors, worshipers and others in the areas of the Prophet’s Mosque and its courtyards and premises will be forbidden.
The major highlight of the Ramadan plan is tackling the pandemic by adhering to precautionary measures, “the first of which is taking the vaccine, keeping physical distance and wearing a mask in order to preserve the health and safety of pilgrims, and worshipers” he said.
Sheikh Al-Sudais announced the presidency’s full readiness to receive pilgrims and worshipers.
“The mataf (an area for circumambulation around the Holy Kaaba) will be designated only for umrah pilgrims and there will be five designated areas inside the Grand Mosque and its eastern courtyard for performance of prayers,” he said.
“Translators working at the Grand Mosque will provide guidance service and translate questions to scholars who will issue fatwas (religious edicts) in 23 languages,” he said, adding that there will also be sign language interpreters for the Friday sermon.
In addition, special prayer areas and toilets for people with special needs will be available in front of the Ajyad Bridge and King Fahd Gate in the eastern courtyard of the Grand Mosque.
Reporting by Indonesia Window