MAKKAH: The Holy City is hosting more than 2 million Hajj Pilgrims, who have reached here from many countries of the world, to perform Hajj. Saudi Arabia usually divides Hajj quota to all countries of the world according to their Muslim population. Therefore, Indonesia has the sent biggest Hajj pilgrim contingent this year.
Indian Government controlled Hajj Committee of India received 1,70,000 Hajj visas this year. Out of this, 1,15,000 pilgrims are performing Hajj through Hajj Committee of India, while 45000 Indian pilgrims are performing Hajj through private Hajj tour operators.
According to a report, African countries have majority in the top 10 list of Hajj pilgrims contributing nations of the world. There are 4 African nations, in this top 10 list. According to records, Egypt (with 1,08,000 pilgrims) stands as the largest Hajj pilgrim nation in Africa getting 5th position in top 10 countries. Other African countries in the list are Nigeria, Algeria & Morocco.
Last year, Iran could not send their citizens for Hajj due to diplomatic problems between the two countries. However this year, Pilgrims from Iran have also reached Makkah as per the quota allotted to their country. The Hajj quota of all countries, which was decreased up to 20% due to expansion work in Haram, has been rehabilitated this year. Thus, number of pilgrims this year has increased by 20% than previous years.
It has been reported that Saudi Government undertook a massive awareness campaign on the rituals of Hajj among the pilgrims who arrived from different countries of the world. Special lectures are being conducted in various Mosques in Azizia and Batha Quraish districts of Makah, where a large number of Indian and Pakistani pilgrims are staying.
Saudi Government is also using social media to raise awareness about Hajj rituals. These awareness campaigns are being carried out in 8 different languages, including Urdu. Ulemas are also delivering lectures in Mosques where they highlight the significance of Hajj rituals and explain how to perform these, in accordance with teachings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).