Non-obligatory prayers banned in mataf during Ramadan

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Worshipers praying inside the mataaf obstruct pilgrims and visitors performing circumambulation. — File photo
Worshipers will not be allowed to offer non-obligatory prayers in the mataf (circumambulation) area till the end of Ramadan, according to instructions issued by Emir of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who is the chairman of the Central Haj Committee.
No Iftar meals will be allowed inside the mataf.
The Emir ordered to clear the mataaf area in order to allow pilgrims performing circumambulation to complete their Umrah without hindrance.
Worshipers and pilgrims will be allowed to pray the five obligatory prayers inside the mataaf.
The Emir’s instructions came after he looked into reports that worshipers praying inside the mataaf obstruct pilgrims and visitors performing circumambulation.
Meanwhile, cars will not be allowed to enter the central area around the Grand Mosque in Makkah in Ramadan, Makkah Arabic daily reported on Monday quoting Director of Traffic Police in the holy city Col. Bassim Al-Badri.
“The move is aimed at reducing congestion in the areas near the Haram and also for the safety of pedestrians,” he said.
Al-Badri said the traffic department has specified nine parking areas where local vehicles will drop passengers who will be transported to the Grand Mosque by shuttle buses.
Al-Badri said five parking lots have been specified for pilgrims and visitors coming from outside Makkah.
He urged citizens, expatriates, Umrah pilgrims and visitors to cooperate with traffic policemen so as to organize traffic movement and ensure a speedy access to the Grand Mosque.
The local parking lots are: Al-Shuhada, Kudai, Al-Rusaifah, Rabwat Mina, Prince Miteb Street, the Jamrat, Daqam Al-Wabar, Al-Zahir.
The parking areas for vehicles coming from outside Makkah are Al-Sharaie, Taif road, Madinah road, A-Laith road and Al-Shumaisi police checkpoint.
Al-Badri asked all motorists to park their cars in parking lots specified for them and to take buses to go to the Grand Mosque.
Saudi Gazzette

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