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If someone asks "What is the largest annual transnational religious event in the world today"? The answer can only be Hajj in Islam.


As a basic religious lesson, every year in the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, millions of devout Muslims go to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia for a pilgrimage. In 2019, this number will reach more than 2.5 million. This year's COVID-19 pandemic came suddenly and intensified, which directly led to the suspension of this religious practice. In July of this year, less than 10,000 people participated in the Hajj to Mecca with the permission of the Saudi government.


Somewhat deserted


(Picture: CGCSaudi / twitter)▼

(图片:CGCSaudi / twitter)▼

With the gradual improvement of the epidemic situation, Saudi Arabia gradually resumed the Umra pilgrimage similar to the Hajj on October 4. So, what is Umra? What is the difference between Umra and Hajj?

随着疫情的逐步好转,沙特阿拉伯于10月4日逐渐恢复了朝the类似朝U的朝圣之旅。那么,朝m是什么? Umra和Hajj有什么区别?

Hajj is one of the five pillars of religious work in Islam. According to the doctrine, every adult Muslim with financial and physical strength must make his best efforts to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his life. During the five days from December 8 to 12 in the Iraqi calendar, Muslims must complete all the Hajj rituals prescribed by the Shariah.


Even if you are physically inconvenient, you can’t stop the Hajj


(photo: memberhs / shutterstock)


The etiquette of Hajj is very complicated, and not everyone has the opportunity and ability to participate. So the simple and short Umrah, Umrah, was born, which means "visiting densely populated places".


The body is difficult, but the heart still faces it


(Muslims in Turkey pray towards Mecca)


(Photo: Andrzej Lisowski Travel / Shutterstock)▼

(照片:Andrzej Lisowski Travel/Shutterstock)▼

The difference from the positive is that Umra is voluntary and can travel to Mecca throughout the year. The time required is only a few hours and the material cost is lower. The flexibility of this event itself is also loved by Muslims from all over the world. It is a "quick spiritual journey" that is truly voluntary.


Muslims get pilgrimage convenience


Saudi Arabia gets continuous tourists throughout the year


Allah is happy to see it happen


(Photo: Andrew V Marcus / Shutterstock)▼

(照片:安德鲁五世·马库斯/ Shutterstock)▼

We will discover the characteristics of the latter by comparing the processes of the dynasty and the puja.


The basic process of the dynasty consists of 6 steps: One is to receive ordination. Before entering the forbidden area of ​​Mecca, pilgrims must take ordination at the five major barriers outside the area. On the basis of ensuring that words and deeds are prudent and abide by the “no killing/haircutting/nail cutting/cutting flowers and trees/evil thoughts” and other regulations, proceed to the second step-feasting. After entering the city of Mecca, take a short rest and go to the Forbidden Temple, watch the Kaaba and praise Allah (when there are few people, you can go forward and kiss the black stone).


Make a pilgrimage in an almost perfect human image


(Image: Sony Herdiana / Shutterstock) ▼

(图片来源:Sony Herdiana / Shutterstock)▼

Then is the third step around the Kaaba. After arriving at the central square of the Forbidden City, you have to walk around the Kaaba 7 times in a counterclockwise direction. This scene is the most spectacular in the entire activity process. After completion, the fourth step is to enter the Mina Valley before December 9, and then arrive at Mount Arafat, 25 kilometers southeast of Mecca, for a day to commemorate Muhammad and deliver a final speech, and confess his faults and sins. And pray for forgiveness from Allah.


Mount Arafat is also known as "Mountain of Mercy"


Even if the legends of Muslims are not consistent


But all the pilgrims will stay here for a day


(图片:mirzavisoko / Shutterstock)▼

(图片:mirzavisoko / Shutterstock)▼

The fifth step is a somewhat dangerous shot. The last step is the return of the pilgrims to slaughter cattle and sheep to sacrifice, and enter the Eid al-Adha. Before leaving Mecca, he had to cruise the Kaaba again, which is also called the resignation.


The stone shooting ceremony symbolizes the blow to the devil


There are also requirements for the number of hits on the stone pillars, which is also the most dangerous aspect of the hajj ritual.


(Photo: Zull Must / Shutterstock)▼

(照片:Zull Must/Shutterstock)▼

It can be seen that the Zheng Dynasty is very complicated and emotionally heavy. In comparison, Umrah is much simpler and easier.


In terms of clothes, during the Umrah, men had to cover their bodies with two white unstitched cloths, and women could wear loose robes. After entering the Kaaba, pilgrims should recite the Quran and praise Allah and Muhammad, and make seven deep prayers around the Kaaba in a counterclockwise direction. After completion, you can go to the Ibrahim Mosque near the Kaaba to pray.


The dress code blurs the distinction between gender, nationality and status


It also symbolizes the equality of all mankind


(图片:EimzaawahPhoto / Shutterstock)▼

(图片:EimzaawahPhoto / Shutterstock)▼

<亚搏体育官网登录p>Next, Muslims need to pray back and forth seven times on the two-mile road between Safa Mountain and Marva Mountain, and then they can leave after praying.


Obviously, the Umrah takes very little time, many people can complete it within three hours, and this can achieve the same spiritual enjoyment as the Masamune. Therefore, after a comprehensive study and judgment, Saudi Arabia decided to restore the Umrah which is relatively easy to manage.


Men shave their hair, women cut a small part of their hair, marking the end of the pilgrimage


(Image: Sony Herdiana / Shutterstock) ▼

(图片来源:Sony Herdiana / Shutterstock)▼

As soon as the news came out, Muslims all over the world were "just about to move." So, how will the Saudi government deploy prevention and control? After all, the current new crown epidemic in the Middle East is still in an unstable state, and the cumulative number of confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia has already exceeded 350,000...


Before the country's large-scale oil extraction, the hajj industry was the main source of revenue for Saudi Arabia. Due to the interruption of the epidemic this year, Saudi Arabia has lost billions of dollars in revenue, which has become the key reason why Saudi Arabia is currently preparing to resume the Umrah.


Oil is a limited resource


Religion is unlimited business


(图片:Photographer RM / Shutterstock)▼

(图片:Photographer RM / Shutterstock)▼

On the other hand, meeting the spiritual needs of Muslims that have been suppressed for more than half a year is also an important goal of Saudi Arabia.


In previous pilgrimages, many people did not enjoy the "concentration of faith" brought about by this activity because of the scarcity of approved places. In Egypt, Pakistan and India, if Muslims want to get the opportunity to travel to Mecca, they must pay high fees and go through local officials. As a result, people hope to go to the Umrah at any time, but due to the epidemic, Saudi Arabia has already suspended related activities. For those believers who have saved money for several years, this is a nightmare more difficult to accept than the outbreak of the new crown epidemic.


Muslims make up about a quarter of the global population


The number of Muslims infected with the new crown is also huge


The believers urgently need to pray in the holy city


(图片:tolgaildun / Shutterstock)▼

(图片:tolgaildun / Shutterstock)▼

Therefore, it is very important to gradually restore the hajj industry to restore the Saudi economy and increase its global influence.


However, the consumer groups of the hajj industry come from all over the world, which makes it very difficult to prevent the epidemic. The current practice announced by the Saudi government is to gradually recover in three stages:


The first phase will allow 40% of the people in the past to enter Mecca. These people include only Saudi citizens and foreigners living in the Kingdom. The second stage will start on November 1st, when Muslims from abroad can come, but only pilgrims considered to be "safe countries" are allowed to enter, and the number of daily pilgrimages will increase to 20,000. The proportion of the Umrah shall be controlled at 75%. The third stage is after the global epidemic subsides, the number of people allowed to enter will be restored.


Kaaba during the epidemic


The number of pilgrimage places is still in short supply


(Photo: Leo Morgan / Shutterstock)▼

(照片:利奥·摩根/ Shutterstock)▼

Judging from these three stages, it is quite wise and pragmatic for Saudi Arabia to refer to China's prevention and control experience. At the same time, Saudi Arabia has also worked hard on the details of prevention and control.


First of all, the Saudi official comprehensively guided the Umrah’s specific measures. The Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia issued an instruction on September 28 that participants in the Umrah of their country must be in good health and personally go to relevant agencies to report. Pilgrims from other countries must go through an official agency to obtain visas and provide relevant prevention and control training for pilgrims. Only those who qualify can be allowed to participate.


Simplified pilgrimage process and strict prevention and control measures


Preliminary preparations are done


(Photo: Haramain/ twitter)▼

(照片:Haramain / twitter)▼

On September 27, the Saudi Interior Ministry also stated that it would fine anyone who enters the holy place for pilgrimage without permission of 8,000 riyals. Secondly, regarding the transportation problems of pilgrims, the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia issued a notice stating that “nucleic acid tests must be done in hospitals designated by various countries”. The luggage of pilgrims should also be checked in through logistics companies designated by Saudi Arabia. In order to enter Mecca City after undergoing strict inspection and disinfection by the health and safety departments.


Holy land, being disinfected


(Picture: Haramain/ twitter)▼

(图片:Haramain / twitter)▼

The government will also issue a smart card to each Umrah, which contains specific requirements during the event, and will also issue a bag containing prayer mats, disinfectants, masks and other necessary preventive supplies. It can be said to be very considerate.


Good service


(Picture: Haramain/ twitter)▼

(图片:Haramain / twitter)▼

Finally, the Saudi government will mobilize tens of thousands of relevant personnel to coordinate and supervise the specific details of the Umrah. These personnel are mainly composed of people in the tourism industry who have lost their jobs due to the epidemic, as well as some medical staff and college students. At the same time, Saudi Arabia will send thousands of soldiers to participate in order maintenance.


This shows that Saudi Arabia has made a lot of efforts to open up the Umrah. However, some links in the Umrah are difficult to prevent and control. This is also the distress of the current Saudi government.


Different from the relatively fast-paced travel of people in atheistic countries, in a country with a strong Islamic religion like Saudi Arabia, the pious people move slowly during the pilgrimage process. Let alone whether the epidemic will spread due to the recovery of the Umrah, from the previous Umrah process, these two links are more dangerous.


The first is in the stone shooting link. This link took place before the Eid al-Adha. Although the Umrah does not do this in most cases, many people still choose to find a place that can replace the stone shooting in the front to vent in order not to regret. They believe that this can also express the determination of mankind not to be tempted by the devil and evil and to stick to established beliefs.


The ceremony is simplified, but faith will not be shaken by it


(Photo: TEA OOR / Shutterstock)▼


And this year, the theme was changed to "not be dominated by the new crown epidemic." It is conceivable that many people surround a stone wall, and it is easy to hit the opposite crowd in the process of throwing stones.


There is also an in-depth prayer session near the Kaaba. People want to see Mecca more, kiss the black stone more, and stop on the road for more than a few minutes. This is prone to trampling accidents.




(Photo: hikrcn/Shutterstock)▼


The stampede of the Umrah is divided into entrance stampede, stay stampede, and escape stampede. In this link of praying seven times on the two-mile road between Safa Mountain and Malva Mountain, these three types of stamping are prone to occur. According to statistics, in the past five years, there have been 12 consecutive bad stampedes caused by the Umrah, with more than 600 casualties, most of which occurred here.


At this level of congestion


Once an accident happens, many people will be affected


(Photo: Zull Must / Shutterstock)▼

(照片:Zull Must/Shutterstock)▼

An important reason is the synchronization of the pilgrimage activities. People rush to participate in the activities at the same time. In addition, the weather in Mecca is hot and the number of pilgrims is large and crowded. However, a large part of the staff's energy this year has to be placed on epidemic inspection and prevention and control, and it is difficult to evacuate to places where trampling occurs in time.


Saudi Arabia's opening of Umrah is also related to the epidemic prevention of many Muslim countries


(Image piece: Ahmad Faiza / Shutterstock) ▼

(图片:艾哈迈德·法伊扎/ Shutterstock)▼

At present, Saudi Arabia has cooperated with foreign universities and some high-tech companies to build a crisis management information and early warning system. The government is also continuously strengthening infrastructure construction, expanding the squares inside and outside the holy mosque, overhauling activities facilities, and improving the traffic between Safa Mountain and Malva Mountain.


However, the number of Umrah this year will definitely increase sharply. Whether the plan of the Saudi government can meet this change needs to be observed...


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