Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on Tuesday has announced the return of Itikaf in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah during the upcoming holy month of Ramzan after a gap of two years.
The general president of the affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Dr Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais, said that Itikaf will be available according to specific controls and criteria.
The permits for Itikaf will be available soon through the official website of the presidency of the two holy Mosques.
Itikaf has been suspended in the two holy Mosques on Ramzan night since April 21, 2020, as part of a set of precautionary measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Many muslims choose to spend the last ten days of Ramzan in Itikaf, where one focuses solely on worshiping God and refraining from getting involved in worldly affairs.
The Sunnah is to remain in the Itikaf for ten days, but at least one day and one night.
When is Ramzan 2022 in Saudi Arabia?
The first day of the holy month of Ramzan 1443-2022 in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, Kuwait, the Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco and other Arab countries is predicted to fall on April 2, 2022, Arabia Weather reported.
A study conducted by Arabia Weather showed that the sighting of the crescent of Ramzan 2022-1443 will be possible after sunset on Friday, April 1, 2022, where astronomical calculations indicate that the central coupling (central new moon) will happen at dawn on Friday, April 1, 2022, 03:24 am Makkah time.
The moon will remain in the sky of Makkah after sunset for 15 minutes, and the age of the crescent will be about 15 hours, which means that seeing the crescent will be possible, and therefore Ramzan is expected to be on Saturday, April 2, 2022, in all Arab countries.
The exact date of the start of Ramzan and Eid-ul-fitr will be confirmed closer to the date, based on the moon-sighting tradition.
Lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions in the Kingdom
On March 15, Saudi authorities have given the green light to mass iftar banquets in the holy month of Ramadan at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah after a nearly two-year suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This step comes after the developments announced by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, in implementation of the decision to lift the precautionary measures in the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque.
On March 5, 2022, the Kingdom has lifted most COVID-19 restrictions. This included scrapping social distancing among worshippers at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque. However, worshippers are required to wear face masks.
The immunisation check to enter both holy sites has been scrapped for all worshippers.
The ministry has also cancelled the once-obligatory registration of immunisation data for overseas Muslims to get an Umrah permit.
The Saudi authorities has also cancelled mandatory submit of certificate of vaccination against COVID-19, PCR tests as well as institutional and home quarantine for arrivals in the kingdom.