Scaled down Hajj takes place in Mecca

The annual Hajj is taking place in the sacred city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage is the most important event in the Muslim calendar. It can last six days and is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims. All adult Muslims should attend Hajj once in their lifetime. They must be physically and financially capable of going on the journey and must be able to support their family during their absence. This year's Hajj has been scaled down because of measures for coronavirus. The pandemic has postponed numerous events. This has caused disappointment for pilgrims.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj announced it was greatly limiting the number of pilgrims allowed to enter the holy site this year. Officials said they wanted to avoid any outbreaks of COVID-19 and lower the risk of infection. Many Muslim-majority countries have cancelled pilgrimages to Mecca. This means Mecca will get a tiny fraction of the two million Hajj pilgrims it usually receives. This year, just a few thousand Saudi Arabian citizens can attend. The news did not upset twenty-two-time pilgrim Wafa Shaheen. She said: "I know there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this precious spiritual time."