In Makkah Makkarama, more Nigerian pilgrims have arrived and begun their Umrah or lesser Hajj.
So far, Pilgrims from at least 8 states are already in Makkah to commence their religious obligations, which includes Umrah or lesser Hajj.
Voice of Nigeria reports that the Umrah entails a few essential steps that must be undertaken. These are:
1- Purification with water either by having a full bath (Ghusl) or performing ablution (Wudhu) in any one of the five Meekats from one’s direction of travel to Makkah;
2- Wearing of the Ihram or garments specified for males who intend to perform Hajj. (In the case of women, any clean garment is permissible) and declaring the intention to perform Hajj;
3- Performing two Rakka’ah Naflah prayers with the intention of Hajj al-Tammat’u, which is a combination of Umrah and Hajj;
4- Pronouncing the Talbiyah or affirmation of intent for Hajj all the way to the point of entry into Makkah;
5- Going to the Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Holy Mosque of Ka’bah) in Makkah;
6- Performing the seven Tawwaf or circumbulation and engaging in introspective supplications for forgiveness, mercy and blessings from Allah (God);
7- Performing two Rakka’ah prayers after the circumbulation;
8- Performing the brisk walk between the hills of Safa and Marwah seven time, beginning from Safa and concluding in Marwah;
9- Shaving of the hair on the head for men and nipping of a third of the finger length of hair for women, to complete the Umrah.
Upon completion of the Umrah, many pilgrims proceed to offer sadaka or alms to the poor while some stay back in the Holy Mosque to continue their supplications and prayers for the rest of the day.
Meanwhile, the total number of Nigerian pilgrims airlifted to Saudi Arabia for the 2018 Hajj has increased to 20,510, from the 17,752 airlifted after the 43rd flight.
According to NAHCON, figures released on Tuesday, six more airlifts have been recorded.
The records show that 551 pilgrims comprising 506 from Niger, 45 from Nasarawa and 4 officials were airlifted on the 44th flight.
Others are: 231 from Sokoto and 1 Medical official on the 45th flight; 561 from Katsina on the 46th flight; 306 from Kaduna and 11 officials on the 47th flight.
Also conveyed to Madinah are 559 pilgrims from Gombe and 2 officials on the 48th flight and 550 from Adamawa and 3 officials on the 47th flight.
More flights are due to arrive on or before the 5th day of Dhul Hijja.