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Published On: Sun, Oct 5th, 2014

Hajj: Saudi Health Ministry assists 345 sick pilgrims at Arafat, as five Cubans perform first hajj

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From Mohammad Ibrahim, in Mina, Saudi Arabia.

Ministry of Health spokesman, Dr. Khalid Mirghalani said a total of 345 sick pilgrims of different nationalities were given assistance to perform Hajj rituals on Friday at Mount Arafat.

According to him, the sick pilgrims included those from Saudi, Egyptian, Lebanese, Indian, Bangladeshi, German and other nationals. The spokesperson who disclosed this to Arab news said among the sick pilgrims, there were 218 from Makkah, 32 from Madinah and 95 from hospitals in Arafat and Muna.

“They were taken to Arafat by a fleet of buses and ambulances organized by the Ministry of Health to fulfill the most important ritual of Hajj, The standing on Mount Arafat on this day is the most essential part of the pilgrimage, without which the Hajj is considered void.

“The pilgrims were taken in a fleet composed of especially-equipped ambulances and accompanied by experienced health care professionals, fully prepared for any emergencies,” he said.

He added that assisting sick pilgrims in their Hajj has become a sort of tradition and is being implemented by the Ministry of Health. “In the past years, the ministry has assisted between 300 to 500 sick pilgrims”, he said.The practice stems from a moral responsibility to enable sick pilgrims to complete their Hajj pilgrimage for which they have spent a lot of resources.

Mirghalani stressed that the tradition of assisting sick pilgrims also comes in line with the teachings of Islam and is a part of social responsibility as well. Similarly, five pilgrims from Cuba are performing Hajj this year as guests of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah. It was gathered that it was for the first time, Muslims from Cuba arriving in the Kingdom to perform Hajj.

Abdullah Al-Modlej, executive director for the programme of the King’s guests at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs said.

Al-Modlej said the five-member team includes leader of the Muslim community in Cuba. He noted that the ministry deputed one preacher to lead Taraweeh prayers for Muslims of Cuba during the last Ramadan. According to him, there are no mosques in Cuba and therefore, the Muslims hired a wedding hall to offer prayers.

“On the first day, the number of worshippers who came to attend prayers was around 130 and the second day their number shot up to 500, and this number increased further by the end of the fasting month,” he said. Several new Muslims from Korea and Europe have also arrived to perform Haj as the King’s guests, Al-Modlej added.


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