Umrah Grand mosque Saudi Arabia
Over 4 million pilgrims performed Umrah during the first 20 days of Ramadan, according to Saudi official figures. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Saudi authorities have limited issuing mandatory permits for undertaking umrah or lesser pilgrimage in the last 10 days of the current holy Islamic month of Ramadan to first-time pilgrims in an effort to curb overcrowding, according to a local newspaper.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that permits to perform umrah in the final days of Ramadan at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca are available to worshippers who did not obtain such permits earlier in the sacred Muslim month, news portal Ajel reported.

“An umrah permit in the last 10 days can be issued on condition that a previous permit for the pilgrim was not issued during holy Ramadan,” the portal quoted the ministry as saying.

Earlier this month, the ministry urged Muslims to be satisfied with one umrah in Ramadan, a usual peak of the ritual, saying this helps curb jostling and allow other Muslim fellows a chance to undertake their Umrah. Over 4 million pilgrims performed Umrah during the first 20 days of Ramadan, according to Saudi official figures.