Muslims around the world are preparing for Eid al-Adha to celebrate the end of the Hajj pilgrimage.
But the effects of the pandemic are already being felt globally, ahead of the festivities.
Al Jazeera’s Sara Khairat reports.
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In This Story: COVID-19
Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.
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In This Story: Hajj
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims, who visit the Kaaba, a cubic structure at the centre of the Grand Mosque.
Because the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Islamic year is about eleven days shorter than the Gregorian year, the Gregorian date of Hajj changes from year to year. In 2020 AD (1441 AH), Dhu al-Hijjah extends from 22 July to 19 August.
According to the official published statistics between 2000 and 2019, the average number of attendees is 2,269,145 per year, in which 1,564,710 come from outside Saudi Arabia and 671,983 are local.
In June 2020, while not cancelling the Hajj outright, the Saudi Government announced that they would only welcome “very limited numbers” of pilgrims who are residents of Saudi Arabia due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.