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Itikaf to resume at Holy Mosques after a two-year gap

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MAKKAH: The ritual itikaf (a period of retreat in a mosque) will resume at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan after a hiatus of two years, state media reported on Wednesday.

Head of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, making the announcement in a statement, said the presidency would start issuing permits through its official website soon. But he noted that specific conditions and criteria would be set.

The religious ritual of itikaf is observed in Ramadan during which Muslims stay in mosques for the purpose of worship.

Itikaf was suspended in 2020 after the outbreak of coronavirus and it continued in 2021 as a precautionary measure for curbing the spread of the pandemic, according to the publication.

During the last 10 days of the holy month, as many as 100,000 worshippers used to perform the religious ritual at the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madina.

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