MAKKAH —A top Saudi scholar has urged pilgrims to stay away from any acts that would politicize the annual pilgrimage.
As many as 835,487 pilgrims have arrived from abroad for the upcoming Haj as of Sunday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported quoting the Department of Passports.
A total of 803,753 pilgrims arrived through King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah while 22,352 have came through various land crossings and 9,382 by sea.
Head of the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais described the Haj as a „message of peace“ and asked the guests of God to stay away from behaviors that would politicize the pilgrimage.
„You should perform your Haj rites in peace, ease and comfort away from political slogans and behaviors that are against the noble values of Islam,“ he told the pilgrims.
Sudais said, „Islam is against all forms of extremism, terrorism and destruction and asked the pilgrims to spend their time in getting to know each other and cooperate for the good and welfare of all.“
Meanwhile, more than 40,000 people trying to enter Makkah to perform Haj without permit were turned back from various police checkpoints on roads leading to the holy city.
Commander of Al-Bahita checkpoint along the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway Maj. Gen. Mutlaq Bin Saeed Al-Otaibi said no pilgrim without permit would allowed to proceed to Makkah or the holy sites.
A team from the Saudi Geological Survey Authority is checking the physical features of the Zamzam water and is collecting samples of the blessed liquid for microbic and chemical tests to make sure the water is safe.
Tariq Aba Al-Khail, spokesman for the authority, said they had been doing similar tests every Haj season to ensure the purity of the water distributed to the pilgrims.
The Zamzam refilling center is filling 10,800 bottles with a capacity of 200mm every hour to be distributed among the pilgrims in their places of accommodation in Makkah and the holy sites.
On the other hand, the Saudi Company for Ground Services said it was offering consummate services to pilgrims at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah.
CEO of the company Omar bin Mohammed Najjar said they served as many as 1,918 flights carrying 287,909 pilgrims at KAIA until Saturday. The pilgrims had 550,679 pieces of luggage with them.
He said at the Madinah airport, the service covered 1,116 flights carrying 352,939 pilgrims and 391,479 pieces of luggage.
Director General of Health Affairs in Madinah Dr. Abdul Hamid Bin Abdulrahman Al-Subhi has said more than 7,000 doctors, nurses and technicians are serving visitors of the Prophet’s Mosque since the start of the Haj season.
He said so far as many as 418,785 pilgrims were medically checked and 357,088 of them were vaccinated.