Saudi Arabia: Ministry offers tips for parents performing Umrah with children

08:47PM Mon 26 Feb, 2024

Cairo: Saudi authorities have issued a set of guidelines to parents heading to Islam’s holiest site in Mecca to perform Umrah or minor pilgrimage.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah advised parents, among other things, to teach their children to show respect for the Quran, Islam’s holy book, copies of which are readily available at the Grand Mosque where Umrah rites are undertaken.

The ministry also called on the adult faithful to teach their little companions to keep quiet while in the place. Other pieces of advice include escorting them while using escalators for their safety and telling them to seek security personnel on duty across the sprawling place when the need arises.

The guidelines come in the lead-up to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when the Umrah season usually peaks.

Muslims, who cannot physically or financially afford the annual Hajj pilgrimage, go to Saudi Arabia to undertake Umrah at the Grand Mosque.

Host of facilities introduced
In recent months, Saudi Arabia has introduced a host of facilities for overseas Muslims to come to the country to perform Umrah. Muslims holding different types of entry visas such as personal, visit and tourist visas are allowed to undertake Umrah and visit Al Rawda Al Sharifa, where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is located at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina after booking an e-appointment.

Saudi authorities have extended the Umrah visa from 30 days to 90 and allowed holders to enter the kingdom via all land, air and sea outlets and leave from any airport. Women pilgrims are no longer required to be escorted by male guardians. The kingdom has also said that expatriates residing in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are eligible to apply for a tourist visa, regardless of their profession, and be able to perform Umrah.