Saudi Arabia begins official registration of foreign pilgrims for Hajj 2024

Agencies
December 26, 2023

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Jeddah: Saudi Arabia has begun official registration of foreign pilgrims for Hajj 2024. “Muslim pilgrims from all over the world can now register along with their families for Hajj 1445/2024 through the Nusuk Hajj application under the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah,” the Center for International Communication (CIC), under the Ministry of Media revealed on Monday, December 24.

Pilgrims from the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania can apply for the pilgrimage through Nusuk Hajj application. 

More details about the registration can be had from hajj.nusuk.sa website.

Nusuk Hajj is the gateway to a journey of a lifetime. It is the one-stop-shop platform, overseen by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. It offers pilgrims a variety of Hajj packages offered by authorized service providers, ensuring a seamless lifetime spiritual experience.

The pilgrims can register their names through the website after creating their own personal account with giving an email address and select the current country of residence from the provided list, which includes all countries served for Hajj 2024.

Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is sacred and obligatory for every able adult Muslim. Just like the other important practices in Islam, Hajj comes with its own set of rituals to be followed diligently during this sacred journey.

It is noteworthy that the Hajj of 2023 was the first full-capacity annual pilgrimage in the post pandemic period. A total of 1,845,045 pilgrims, including 1,660,915 foreign pilgrims and 184,130 domestic pilgrims, performed last Hajj. Among them, the number of male pilgrims accounted for 969,694 while the number of female pilgrims reached 875,351. Pilgrims from Asian countries totaled 1,056,317, accounting for 63.5 percent while the number of pilgrims from Arab countries stood at 346,214, representing 21 percent of the total pilgrims.

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News Network
June 16,2024

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Muslims around the world mark the Eid al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice) as this year’s celebrations are overshadowed by Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip and its deadly violence in the West Bank.

Eid al-Adha was celebrated on Saturday in several Arab nations including Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, while 9 other Muslim countries such as Iran, Malaysia, Iraq, India, and Oman celebrate the holiday on Monday.

Gazans perform Eid al-Adha prayers in the rubble of their neighborhoods amidst the devastation of destroyed homes and buildings where nearly 37,300 Palestinians have been killed since the war began more than eight months ago.

“We usually come to the Eid prayers cheering, with smiles everywhere on the streets. This Eid, I’ve come to the Eid prayers mourning, I’ve lost my son,” says Umm Muhammad Al-Katri who is performing her prayers in rubble in Jabaliya refugee camp.

In al-Quds, Israeli forces once again took harsh measures against Palestinians trying to mark Eid al-Adha in Al-Aqsa Mosque, with entry restrictions and physical assaults on worshipers.

WAFA news agency reported that around 40,000 Palestinians managed to attend prayers inside the mosque, while others were left with no choice but to pray outside the mosque as they were denied entry.

It also reported that Israeli forces disrupted the movement of Palestinians in various parts of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, erecting checkpoints and halting vehicles.

“We are in great pain and we are living through the difficult moments with our brothers in Gaza and in every place where they face calamities and hardships,” said Mahmoud Mohana from Ramallah.

“But with God, they will find their reward and will be elevated. We ask God to lift this distress and quicken the salvation of this nation from this oppression and brutality,” he added.

Jordanians came to the streets in a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, following Eid al-Adha prayers.

The protest, held outside Al Kalouti Mosque near the Israeli Embassy in Amman, demonstrates the unwavering support of the Jordanian people for their Palestinian counterparts.

Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah on the lunar calendar every year, which marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Around two million Muslims undertaking the pilgrimage this year perform the last major ritual of the Hajj, the “stoning of the devil” in western Saudi Arabia, many of them have said that during the rituals taking place, they were praying for their Palestinian brothers and sisters and for Gaza.

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Agencies
June 16,2024

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Masses of pilgrims on Sunday, May 16, embarked on a symbolic stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia. The ritual marks the final days of Hajj pilgrimage and the start of the Eid Al-Adha celebrations for Muslims around the world.

The stoning is among the final rites of the Hajj, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It came a day after more than 1.8 million pilgrims congregated on a sacred hill in Mount Ararat outside the holy city of Makkah, which Muslim pilgrims visit to perform the annual five-day rituals of Hajj.

The pilgrims left Mount Arafat on Saturday evening to spend their night in a nearby site known as Muzdalifa, where they collected pebbles they have used in the symbolic stoning of pillars representing the devil.

The pillars are in another sacred place in Makkah, called Mina, where Muslims believe Ibrahim’s faith was tested when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son Ismail. Ibrahim was prepared to submit to the command, but then God stayed his hand, sparing his son. In the Christian and Jewish version of the story, Abraham is ordered to kill his other son, Isaac.

Pilgrims will spend the next three days in Mina, where they walk long distances on pedestrian-only streets toward a multi-story complex housing large pillars. There, they cast seven pebbles each at three pillars in a ritual meant to symbolize the casting away of evil and sin.

While in Mina, they will visit Makkah to perform “tawaf,” circumambulation, which is circling the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque counterclockwise seven times. They will make another circumambulation, known as Farewell Tawaf, at the end of Hajj and as they prepare to leave the holy city.

The rites coincide with the four-day Eid Al-Adha, which means “Feast of Sacrifice,” when Muslims with the financial means commentate Ibrahim’s test of faith through slaughtering livestock and animals and distributing the meat to the poor.

Once the Hajj is over, men are expected to shave their heads and remove the shroud-like white garments worn during the pilgrimage, and women to snip a lock of hair in a sign of renewal and rebirth.

Most of the pilgrims then leave Makkah for the city of Madinah, about 340 kilometers away, to pray in Prophet Muhammad’s tomb, the Sacred Chamber. The tomb is part of the prophet’s mosque, which is one of the three holiest sites in Islam, along with the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

All Muslims are required to make the Hajj once in their lives if they are physically and financially able to do so. Many wealthy Muslims make the pilgrimage more than once. The rituals largely commemorate the accounts of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Ismail, Ismail’s mother Hajjar and Prophet Muhammad, according to the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book.

More than 1.83 million Muslims performed Hajj in 2024, Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah said in a briefing, slightly less than last year’s figures when 1.84 million made the rituals.

Most of the Hajj rituals are held outdoors with little if any shade. It is set for the second week of Dhu Al-Hijjah, the last month in the Islamic lunar calendar, so its time of the year varies. And this year the pilgrimage fell in the burning summer of Saudi Arabia. The heat soared to 47 degrees Celsius (116.6 F) at Mount Arafat on Saturday.

This year’s Hajj came against the backdrop of the devastating Israel-Hamas war, which has pushed the Middle East to the brink of a regional conflict.

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News Network
June 15,2024

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The Abu Dhabi branch of the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi is set to start its first undergraduate courses in September — a milestone expected to kickstart the school’s further expansion in Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

The Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi is a public engineering institute in the Indian capital, one of 23 IITs operating across the country and offering undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate-level programs.

Run by the Indian Ministry of Education, it is considered one of the best centers of excellence for training, research and science in India, and is globally ranked 45th in engineering and technology in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024.

The institute’s UAE branch is funded by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education based on an agreement with the Indian government signed in July 2023.

Currently hosted by Zayed University, the IIT-Delhi Abu Dhabi started its teaching program in January with a master’s course in energy transition and sustainability, which paved the way for full-fledged operations to be launched in the academic year 2024-25.

“The undergraduate program is a flagship program of the IITs and hence its launch is significant,” Prof. Shantanu Roy, director of the IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi, told Arab News this week.

“We would like to reach out to international students in the GCC countries. We will also be rolling out our research programs shortly and would like to engage with partners in Abu Dhabi, UAE and the region. IIT-Delhi Abu Dhabi will serve as a meeting point between IIT Delhi and its long 60-plus years legacy in teaching and research, and partners and collaborators in the UAE and neighboring countries.”

The two upcoming undergraduate programs will have a batch of 30 students each. Most of the students will enter based on the institute’s new examination, which the director said was customized for the UAE.

“A significant number of Emirati students have registered ... We see many students in our outreach programs,” Roy said.

“Eleven out of 18 students in our inaugural master’s program in energy transition and sustainability are UAE nationals. They are doing very well, and we are proud of them.”

The offshore campus is a part of the UAE-India comprehensive economic partnership agreement that came into force in May 2022.

The UAE branch is the IIT’s first campus set up abroad.

“The opening of the IIT campus in Abu Dhabi is indeed a significant milestone,” Sunjay Sudhir, Indian ambassador to the UAE told Arab News. “Now, in September, the first bachelor of technology courses in computer science and energy will commence.”

He said that IIT operations would not only strengthen the institute’s global brand, but also Abu Dhabi’s position as a hub for high-tech and innovation.

“The IIT-Delhi campus will be an important part of the innovation ecosystem of this country,” Sudhir said. “We expect a strong linkage between the IIT-Delhi campus and other research teaching establishments and also industries.”

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