Ramadan begins in Saudi Arabia
‘Guidelines for Umrah and prayers announced’
Saudi Arabia has confirmed that April 13, Tuesday, will be the first day of Ramadan. Saudi Arabia's Supreme Court confirmed the date on Monday evening. The crescent moon was sighted by Saudi authorities, local media reported.
On Sunday evening, the moon-sighting committee had not been able to sight the crescent and had decided to meet again on Monday for the sighting that signifies the end of Shaban and the beginning of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is usually 29-30 days long. Eid Al Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and the date is confirmed through the traditional method of moon-sighting.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has set guidelines and protocols for issuing Umrah and prayer permits for the month of Ramadan.
Vaccinations are at the top of the priority list as no worshippers are allowed into either Makkah's Grand Mosque or Madinah's Prophet's Mosque without having received at least one dose of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine.
Permits will only be allowed through the Tawakkalna and Eatmarna apps, and will not be provided for unvaccinated individuals, as the latest Tawkkalna update has designated each category with a color code and barcode specific to their health status.
Unauthorized vehicles will not be allowed in the central region around Makkah, and visitors must arrive on time or risk losing their time slot.
Children will not be allowed to enter either mosques, nor the courtyards around the mosques.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance issued a statement saying that Taraweeh and Qiyam prayers should not exceed 30 minutes in all mosques in the Kingdom. This comes after King Salman issued a decision to permit Taraweeh prayers in the two holy mosques and reduce them to five tasleemat.
The ministry reminded people of the need to follow the preventive measures to ensure the safety, health and security of those visiting the two holy mosques.