Iranian Pilgrims on First Umrah in Nearly a Decade Asked to Pray for Gaza

9:42 - April 22, 2024
News ID: 3488033
IQNA – An Iranian Hajj official has asked the first group of Umrah pilgrims in nine years to include Palestinians and Gaza in their prayers in the holy land.

1st group of Iranians take Umrah pilgrimage after nine years


On Sunday, 500 pilgrims left Tehran and Mashhad for the holy city of Medina to mark the resumption of Iranians’ Umrah pilgrimage after a nine-year hiatus. 

A ceremony was held at Tehran’s International Imam Khomeini Airport to say farewell to pilgrims. The ceremony was attended by a number of Iranian officials as well as Saudi Ambassador to Iran Abdullah bin Saud al-Anzi.

“Umrah is a light. Pray for yourself and your generation. Today, the circumstances are harder for our children compared to the past because remaining religious has become more challenging,” said Hojat-ol-Islam Seyed Abdol Fattah Navab, the representative of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Hajj and pilgrimage affairs.

“Religious teachings also urge us to appreciate security and health. You know that our brothers and sisters in Gaza are suffering. They are living with hunger and under tough conditions. We should remember all Muslims in our prayers, especially Palestinians who are being martyred by the arrogance,” he stressed.

The request came as the Israeli aggression on Gaza since October 7 has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. 

Read More:

Seyed Abbas Hosseini, head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, was another speaker at the event who appreciated the efforts of 18 different institutes and organizations in Iran for resuming the Umrah pilgrimage after nine years.

He also expressed appreciation for the measures taken by the Saudi Ambassador for facilitating the pilgrimage.

Hosseini also called on Umrah pilgrims to respect the laws and regulations in Saudi Arabia.

According to plans, more than 5,000 Iranian pilgrims will perform Umrah in the lunar Hijri month of Shawwal (which will end on May 10).

The first batch of pilgrims from Iran had been scheduled to take part in Umrah for the first time after 9 years in December last year but the dispatch was delayed due to some problems.

Read More:

Umrah differs from Hajj in that the latter is a lengthier visit which is done once a year and performed once in a lifetime by able-bodied Muslims who can afford it.

Iran stopped sending Umrah pilgrims to Saudi Arabia after two Iranian teenage boys were harassed in an airport in the Saudi city of Jeddah in March 2015.

That came nearly a year before the two countries cut their diplomatic relations.

Iran and Saudi Arabia re-established diplomatic ties in March 2023 through a China-mediated agreement, marking a significant development after severing relations in 2016.