Shaista Fatima/New Delhi
While the Hajj pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam, Umrah is considered "minor Hajj". Like Hajj in Umrah too millions of Muslims travel to Makkah from around the world to visit the Great Mosque of Makkah (Masjid al-Haram) and perform various religious rituals.
According to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Riyad a total of 4.8 million foreign pilgrims have performed Umrah since the beginning of the Islamic year which started at the end of July 2022.
Among these, Indian celebs like Sania Mirza, Aly Goni, Asim Riaz, Hina Khan were also a part.
Aly Goni, who debuted from Spiltsvilla season 5, rose to fame from Yeh hain Mohabbatein. He took to Instagram to share his picture from the Masjid-Al Haram. He wrote, "Alhamdullilah (ThankGod)". The actor also shared a pic with co-actor and friend Asim Riaz.
Asim Riaz who is best known for his appearance in Indian reality show Big Boss season 13, is an an Indian model, actor, rapper and fitness specialist. He has humoungous fan following on his social media handles and is recognised for his music albums like Kalla Sona Nai, Khayal Rakhya Kar and so on.
While he also performed his first Umrah, he took to Instagram to share his pic with Aly Goni. He too wrote, "Alhamdullilah(ThankGod)"
Hina Khan aka Akshara of Star Plus's show Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and recently Komolika of Kasauli Zindagi Kii needs no introduction. While the actor is loved beyond borders and countries for her performance, she performed her second Umrah. She took to Instagram to share her pics and wrote, "Doosra umrah mukammal..(Completed second Umrah) Mashallah Jazaakallah .. May Allah accept our umrah and dua.. Thank you Allah for making it easy for us all.."
Last but not the least India's tennis sensation Sania Mirza who recently declared her retirement from Tennis, also performed her first Umrah with her son and family. The ace tennis player took to Instagram to share her happiness and wrote, "It has been the most amazing and fulfilling time here .. may Allah call us back again and again..In sha Allah."
After the announcement made by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, it is now permissible for a woman to perform Hajj or Umrah without a mahram (male guardian).
Moreover, according to the announcement, “trustworthy women or secure company” will be able to accompany them instead.
As a result many single women accompanied by their parents or immediate family are now seen performing Umrah at their convenience.
According to the Saudi Arabia, "security has also been reinforced throughout the Kingdom, in all means of transportation and at the ports to provide women with security and protection."
A Saudi news website was quoted saying, "Strong infrastructure has been established in legislation, including the anti-harassment system, surveillance cameras are obligatory in vital areas, including airports, border crossing ports, the Grand Mosque, the Prophet’s Mosque and others."
These facilities guarantee women’s safety as they do not have to worry about performing their pilgrimages without a mahram or male guardian.