Monday, June 15, 2015

His Highness King Salman Invites 1,000 Umrah Pilgrims

Muslims all around the world do pilgrimage to the two Holy Cities. Now for those who do not know, there are 2 types of pilgrimages that the Muslim men and women can make to the Holy cities. There is the Major Pilgrimage known as Hajj, this annual pilgrimage is one of the few things that a Muslim must do, if he is able, at least once in his lifetimes. Then there is the minor pilgrimage known as Umrah, Umrah can be performed at any given time for most of the year and is not compulsory to any Man or Woman to perform.Both forms of the Muslim Pilgrimages are a tough task especially for those who come from foreign countries just to perform pilgrimage.

These pilgrimages often call upon the Muslims to reside in tents, cannot brush their hair, have to wear pieces of un-stitched cloth and maybe live in conditions which are not at par with the comforts of their own homes. The King of Saudi Arabia is the custodian of the Two Holly Mosques in Islam. All the preparations for these pilgrimages is done by the Saudi Government including arranging transport, drinking water, heating or cooling according to the season etc. These pilgrims who come to the Kingdom to perform these pilgrimages see the King and the Kingdom as their hosts, yet not many can say that they have personally met their host, the King.

Now there is good news for all Muslim Pilgrims, who plan to perform either the major or the minor pilgrimages, now the Host, the custodian of the two Holy Mosques and the King of Saudi Arabia, will host 1000 pilgrims who have come to perform Umrah from anywhere across the world, regardless of race or creed. This new announcement was made by Sheikh Saleh bin AbdulAziz Al Sheikh, who is the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Dawa and Guidance.The King of Saudi Arabia already hosts many pilgrims who come to the Kingdom to perform the Major Pilgrimage or Hajj every year.

These lucky people will get a chance which has been rarely allowed to a common man, as the King can always be seen meeting Heads of State, Military Chiefs, Prime Ministers and Presidents. However now these lucky few will be able to be personal guests of the King himself and will be able to meet him.

Even though this is a great new initiative to make the people feel more in touch with the King, many have criticized the initiative stating that why do only a select few get to meet the King while millions of people make way to the Kingdom. Obviously the King can’t meet each and every pilgrim personally.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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