Cairo: A Saudi state agency in charge of the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site in Makkah, has finalised preparations to receive Muslims who have registered for undertaking the Islamic rite of I’tikaaf or seclusion in the last 10 days of the current month of Ramadan, an official has said.
E-registration of I’tikaaf applications has been completed and separate places have been designated at the mosques for the I’tikaaf worshippers, added Abdullah Al Suli, the deputy chief of the General Presidency for Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques for Guidance Affairs.
“No I’tikaaf will be allowed in other sites inside the mosque or its courtyards,” he said, without giving figures about the eligible I’tikaaf applicants.
“I’tikaaf at the Sacred Mosque is handled according to thorough plans whereby human resources and equipment are harnessed to provide a system of integrated services meeting needs of male and female worshippers during the month of Ramadan,” the official added.
The General Presidency opened registration for I’tikaaf on the first day of Ramadan that started on March 23 and said applications would be received until the permitted number of people wishing to perform I’tikaaf is registered.
I’tikaaf means a Muslim stays at a mosque for the sole purpose of worshipping and coming closer to Allah, following the example of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
The ritual is usually performed in the last 10 days of Ramadan.
Chief of the General Presidency for Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Abdulrahman Al Sudais had earlier said the sites at the Grand Mosque can accommodate nearly 2,500 I’tikaaf worshippers as part of an operation plan for Ramadan.
Last year, Saudi Arabia allowed I’tikaaf to return during Ramadan to the Grand Mosque after a suspension of two years due to pandemic-induced restrictions.