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Hajj

Post-Hajj flight operation to begin on August 27

KARACHI: The post-Hajj flight operation will commence from August 27 and the first flight carrying 327 pilgrims will land at Islamabad International Airport. According to a spokesman of Ministry of Religious Affairs, the operation will be completed on September 25 with return of all the pilgrims from Saudi Arabia. On the first day of post-Hajj operation, total 950 pilgrims aboard four flights would reach Islamabad and Peshawar. Some 240 pilgrims would reach Peshawar through Saudi Arabian Airline while PIA would…

Imam Kaaba urges Muslims to adopt piety

MAKKAH: Imam-e-Kaaba Sheikh Hussein bin Abdelaziz Al al-Sheikh while addressing over two million faithful at Arafat from Masjid-e-Nimra urged the faithfuls not to do anything which is prohibited by their states.   He urged the Muslims to keep fearing Allah, adopt piety and not to associate Him with anyone. Those fearing Allah remains on the right path, he added. The Imam said the one who adopts piety succeeds in his/her life. Earlier, the annual ceremony of changing Ghilaf-e-Kaaba was held at the Grand Mosque of…

More than two million Muslims begin hajj pilgrimage

MECCA: More than two million Muslims from around the globe on Sunday started the hajj pilgrimage at Islam's holiest sites in Saudi Arabia, one of the world's largest annual gatherings. The ultra-conservative kingdom, which is undergoing dramatic social and economic reforms, has mobilised vast resources for the six-day journey, one of the five pillars of Islam. "It's the dream of every Muslim to come here to Mecca," Frenchman Soliman Ben Mohri said. "It's the ultimate journey. What worries me is the return to my…

Lost in translation? Not for Muslim hajj pilgrims

Lost in translation? Not in Mecca, thanks to a dedicated squad of interpreters gearing up to help two million Muslims speaking dozens of languages at the annual hajj pilgrimage. The six-day hajj, which starts on Sunday, is one of the five pillars of Islam, an act all Muslims must perform at least once if they have the means to travel to Saudi Arabia. Most of the world's Muslims do not speak Arabic -- Indonesia is home to the largest Muslim community by population, while tens of millions of the faithful are native…

Qatar accuses Saudi Arabia of barring Hajj pilgrims, Riyadh says untrue

RIYADH:  Qatar has accused Saudi Arabia of barring its citizens from this year’s Hajj, something Riyadh denies, saying a diplomatic dispute is not stopping Qataris from making the pilgrimage to Makkah. Although 1,200 Qataris are eligible to perform the haj under a quota system, Qatar says it has become impossible to get permits, blaming the campaign by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to cut trade and diplomatic ties with the country. Abdullah Al-Kaabi of the state-run Qatar National Human…

Saudi Arabia tests Japan-inspired ‘nap pods’ for hajj

RIYADH: Mansour al-Amer swipes a card to reveal a narrow sleep pod, reminiscent of Japan's famed capsule hotels. But this pod is in Saudi Arabia, where the Muslim hajj pilgrimage begins Sunday. The kingdom has plans to introduce capsule rooms in the western city of Mina in the coming days, as an estimated two million Muslim faithful gather for the six-day hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam. The free nap pods are part of new measures Saudi Arabia is rolling out this year in a bid to modernise the centuries-old…

Pilgrims descend on Mecca for ‘smart hajj’

RIYADH: Two million Muslims gather in Saudi Arabia this week for the Hajj as the annual pilgrimage becomes increasingly hi-tech with apps to help the faithful navigate Islam's holiest sites. This year the Hajj comes with the ultra-conservative kingdom witnessing an unprecedented pace of change, finally ending a ban on women driving while remaining firm in the face of any dissent. One of the five pillars of the world's fastest-growing religion, the Hajj is expected to draw two million people from around the globe this…

Saudi hackathon seeks high-tech fixes to Hajj calamities

Fuelled by caffeine, pizza and adrenaline, sleep-deprived programmers in a marathon Saudi contest this week explored high-tech solutions to prevent a repeat of past calamities in the annual Hajj pilgrimage. In a cavernous hall in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, thousands of software professionals and students competed in the kingdom´s first-ever hackathon, a coding festival ahead of the world´s largest pilgrimage later this month. The hajj, expected to draw more than two million pilgrims to Mecca this year, represents a…

Over 7,000 Pakistani pilgrims reach Saudi Arabia for Hajj

ISLAMABAD: Over 7,000 Pakistani Hajj pilgrims have so far reached Madina for the annual pilgrimage through 40 hajj flights. According to an official of Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, as many as 393 intending pilgrims have reached Makkah Mukarma. They would leave for Madina after performing umrah and staying for 8 days. Pakistani pilgrims have been provided resident facilities at Markazia areas of Madina. The pilgrims, according to the official, were being transported to Saudi Arabia from ten gateways…

PIA to operate first Hajj flight on July 14

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Thursday announced the flight schedule for Hajj 2018. The inaugural flight PK-6001 will depart Karachi for Madinah on July 14 carrying around 300 intending pilgrims. PIA CEO Musharraf Cyan Rasul and other officials will be present at the Karachi airport to see off the pilgrims. PIA staff have been instructed to provide all necessary facilities to the passengers. Further flights will be operated from Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Sialkot and Peshawar. PIA will operate…