First South African to Perform Umrah Under COVID-19 Commends Saudi Arabia for Keeping Pilgrims Safe

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Al-Jeem Foundations Sheikh Hassan Yusuf Panday says the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must be commended for doing a phenomenal job in ensuring the safety of Pilgrims who have embarked on the journey of Umrah.

Sheikh Panday is among the first group of South Africans to perform Umrah following the third phase of Umrah resumption on 1 November.

He was speaking to Radio Islam on Wednesday en-route to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s city, the blessed city of Medina Munawwarah in Saudi Arabia after completing his Umrah in Makkah.

With the third phase, as many as 20,000 Umrah pilgrims and 60,000 worshipers are allowed to enter the Haram in Makkah on a daily basis.

Sheikh Panday says Saudi Arabia is managing the regulation of Umrah pilgrims very well ensuring that all pilgrims are kept safe in line with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“I think what is important is just to emphasize in terms of the process of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Hajj and the authorities that is currently supervising this process Masha’Allah, Tabarak’Allah, very well organised and the systems are very set up.”

Sheikh Panday says performing Umrah under COVID-19 conditions is quite different to what people were accustomed to in the past.

“You have to be maintaining the social distancing, wearing your mask at all times. You must ensure that there is two meters in front and behind you, that there is nobody that is coming closer to you. So you go to be conscious of your distance and at the same time, you have to be focused on your ibad’ah as usual.”

Sheikh Panday says despite the various safety protocols that are in place to protect pilgrims, the soul is still connected to the Allah and the blessed lands of Makkah and Medina.