Muslim worshippers walk around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: A sermon delivered on the Day of Arafat, which marks the pinnacle of Islam’s annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, will be interpreted in 50 languages this year, a Saudi official has said.

Head of the Religious Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Abdulrahman Al Sudais said the number of languages for interpreting the sermon on the Day of Arafat due Saturday has increased to 50 to impart moderate Islam and promote affinity, fraternity and cooperation among humanity. The interpretations target about 1 billion people across the globe.

Upon a directive from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the project of the Arafat sermon interpretation was initiated in 2018 in five languages.

In a space of a few years, the number has surged to 50 languages.

This year’s sermon will be delivered by well-known Saudi cleric Maher Al Mu’aiqaly. Last month, a royal approval was made assigning Al Mu’aiqaly, an imam and preacher at the Grand Mosque, to give the sermon on the Day of Arafat.

The 55-year-old cleric is famous for recitation of the Holy Quran while leading Muslims in prayers at the Grand Mosque, Islam’s most sacred place, in the Saudi city of Mecca.

More than 2 million Muslims from inside and outside Saudi Arabia are expected to perform Hajj in and around Mecca amid maximum efforts by authorities there to ensure they will undertake the rites with ease and comfort.