Meeqat in Taif busy with influx of pilgrims

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Cii Radio|Ayesha Ismail|29 August 2017|07 Zhul Hijjah 1438

 

Nearly half of Haj pilgrims come by road and Meeqat is a matter of importance for them. One who intends to perform Haj or Umrah must wear the Ihram at Meeqat, which is the designated area and final point where pilgrims are required to be in a spiritual state. Wearing Ihram is a physical manifestation of it as the pilgrim embarks on his spiritual journey.

The Taif governorate has the rare distinctions of having two crucial locations of Meeqat from where the vast majority of pilgrims coming by the land route cross into Makkah. These are Meeqat Wadi Mahram, which is also known as Meeqat Hada, and another one is Qarn Al Manazil. Meeqat points in Taif having an ancient history for serving the pilgrims since the early period of Islam, as it was the gateway for pilgrims starting from Iraq visa Qassim to Makkah.

More than 2,500 commercial establishments largely restaurants, food kiosks, grocery shops, fuel pumps and ihram cloth centres, Islamic publication vendors exist in Meeqat areas in addition to some hundreds of seasonal traders during the Haj season. All of them work round the clock.

Qarn Al Manazil, commonly known as Al Sail on Makkah-Riyadh Highway, is 55 km to the north of Taif and is an important Meeqat point from where most of Kingdom’s and GCC pilgrims cross into Makkah.

A relatively small village largely confines itself to the sale of food, ihram and other relevant items while boasting of top medical and Civil Defense facilities. It bustles with activity with the influx of pilgrims, especially during Haj season. “We are so busy to the extent that we’re even not able to attend phone calls,” said Akbar, an Indian employee who sells Ihram clothes near the Meeqat in Sail. “We expect a huge increase in influx in next couple of days,” he said.

The maintenance of mosques and larger public utility facilities adjacent to it is the responsibility of Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawa and guidance through the maintenance of mosques department but the Taif Municipality also actively plays an important role. In fact, nearly 20 various government agencies have been engaged in serving pilgrims at Meeqat.

Besides the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, it is at the Meeqats and nearby areas in Taif where the Health Ministry is deploying the maximum number of personnel to serve the pilgrims round the clock.

“We play an important role in creating Haj awareness among pilgrims at Meeqat,” said Abdulaziz Al Mudrah, director of Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawa and guidance in Taif, in addition to looking after the maintenance of Meeqat complexes that constitute mosques and public toilets, parking slots etc.

The ministry has been executing Meeqat service expansion project at the cost of SR98 million in the first phase to provide comfort for transiting pilgrims.

Source – Saudi Gazette