Mecca Limits Hajj Visitors to One Thousand

Typically, Mecca is flooded with Muslim pilgrims. That won’t be the case this year. (Photo courtesy of Unsplash.)

Every year, millions of Muslims descend on the city of Mecca for a holy pilgrimage. The trip, known as the Hajj, is one of the five pillars of Islam and a crucial part of Muslim culture.

But thanks to efforts to combat COVID-19’s spread, the Hajj is going to look much different this year. According to Perry LaHaie of Frontiers, “Last year 2.5 million people went on the hike to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, but this year because of the pandemic, there are only going to be about 1000 people at this Hajj in Mecca.”

Primarily by blocking airports and international travel, Saudi Arabia is trying to keep numbers down as much as possible. So this year on July 28, one of the smallest groups in the history of the Hajj will visit Mecca on their once-in-a-lifetime journey.

It’s a devastating blow to many Muslims who have prepared their entire lives for this trip. It emphasizes the uncertainty LaHaie says is a regular part of Islam.

“There is this underlying current of fatalism that doesn’t make promises,” he says. “If you’ve performed really well in your life and done a lot of good things, you’re still aren’t sure if you’re going to make it into heaven.”

And with the Hajj off the table, some Muslims have started asking difficult questions. LaHaie hopes Christians can step in with the answers.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray for Muslims looking for answers in the wake of this unconventional Hajj.
  • Ask God to bring His truth to Muslims even in dreams and visions during this Hajj.
  • Thank Him for the firm hope He provides.