Hajj 2020 Khutbah: 'In adversity, turn to your Lord with humility, penitence, and hope'

Sheikh Abdullah bin Sulaiman reminds everyone no matter the circumstances "Allah's mercy is always more expansive"

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Sheikh Abdullah bin Sulaiman, delivering the Hajj sermon from Masjid-e-Nimra, in Makkah, on July 30. — Screengrab from video courtesy @ReasahAlharmain

Delivering the Hajj sermon in Makkah from Masjid-e-Nimra in Arafat, Sheikh Abdullah bin Sulaiman on Thursday said that in times of adversity, such as the current coronavirus pandemic, we must turn to our Lord "with humility, penitence and hope".

"My dear audience, life in this world does not remain free of difficulty, and this is why Allah, the Most Exalted, instructed us to persevere," said Sheikh Sulaiman.

He said that adversities "serve as a test for people", and "allow those who persevere to be distinguished from those who are impatient".

Sheikh Sulaiman reminded everyone that "no matter how difficult circumstances may become in this world, those difficulties do not last forever".

"Allah's mercy is always more expansive, and the relief He grants is always near."

Today, on the ninth of the Islamic ZilHajj month, pilgrims arrived at the plains of the Mount Arafat amid special arrangements for the “downsized” Hajj due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

General clinics at Arafat have been installed which will have doctors, consultants and intensive care nurses to help pilgrims. The health provisions will also deal with any pilgrim suffering from a heat stroke or stress.

A camp has been prepared by the government in Arafat to isolate any COVID-19 patient among the pilgrims for medical treatment. On the other hand, the Saudi Civil Defence forces will be ready to provide security to the pilgrims as they make their way to the holy place.

"All parties involved are carrying out their tasks to handle any risks according to the general plan for the Haj pilgrimage,” said The commander of the Civil Defense for Hajj, Maj. Gen. Hamoud Al Faraj.

Saudi authorities have limited the number pilgrims attending this year's Haj to 1,000 to contain the spread of COVID-19. However, some local reports state that as many as 10,000 pilgrims will be performing the Hajj.

Kaaba Kiswa replaced

The Saudi Press Agency reported that the Kiswa of the Kaabah was replaced Wednesday night and in accordance with tradition, the process was administered by the staff of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.

In a statement, the deputy head of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques said that the Kaabah had been cloaked with a new Kiswa which comprised of four sides and a sitar (curtain) for the door.

“The process began from the side of the Hateem (a semi-circular wall opposite the northwest wall of the Kaaba), because Al-Mizab (a rainwater spout made of gold) requires a special opening at the top. After consolidating all the sides, the corners were fixed by sewing them from the top of the cloth to the bottom,” he said.

As many as 200 Saudi craftsmen are engaged in producing the black curtain at the King Abdul Aziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa, Al-Mansouri said.