Cairo: In a gesture of appreciation for their diligence, a Muslim performing Umrah or minor pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca was seen massaging cleaning workers at the site.
Clad in the white-snow Umrah Ihrahm seamless robe, the pilgrim appears in an online video performing massage on one worker after the other in the courtyard of the mosque.
With his hands, he nimbly rubs and kneads each worker’s head and shoulders to relieve their pains.
The volunteer whose identity was not given looks happy as he completes the stint.
Thousands of workers are engaged in cleaning and disinfecting the Grand Mosque, which is experiencing an upsurge of worshippers during Ramadan.
As many as 19.6 million Muslims got access to the holy site for performing prayers and Umrah in the first 20 days of Ramadan, according to official figures.
In an attempt to bolster various services at the sprawling site, a Saudi state agency in charge of Islam’s two holiest sites has introduced a number of artificial intelligence-based services in the Grand Mosque frequented by millions of the faithful from around the world.
The smart services include robots for sterilisation, disinfection, guiding visitors and pilgrims about rituals and providing fatwas (religious edicts) on queries.
Robots were also used during last year’s Hajj pilgrimage to distribute bottles of Zamzam water at the Grand Mosque as part of precautions against COVID-19.
The General Presidency for Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina has put in place plans an integrated service system designed to meet needs of worshippers during the month of Ramadan, which usually marks the peak season of Umrah.