With 79,000 citizens in Saudi Arabia for the 2017 hajj, Nigeria makes the top 10 list of countries with highest number of pilgrims in 2017.
Saudi Press Agency reports that 1,584,269 pilgrims have gathered for this year’s pilgrimage.
By August 26, 2017, 1,483,522 pilgrims had arrived by air; 86,149 by land; and 14,598 by sea. Currently, this number has grown to over two million Muslims.
There are only two million people because the Saudi authorities have only 1,000 places for each million Muslim per country, according to Ilmfeed.
Here is a list of the top 10 countries with the highest number of pilgrims for this year.
1. Indonesia — 221,000
2. Pakistan — 179,210
3. India — 170,000
4. Bangladesh — 127,198
5. Egypt — 108,000
6. Iran — 86,500
7. Nigeria — 79,000
8. Turkey — 79,000
9. Algeria — 36,000
10. Morocco — 31,000
The head of the medical committee of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Ibrahim Kana, has issued a health advisory to Nigerians.
At a Pre-Arafat meeting on August 29, 2017, he advised pilgrims to do the following:
– Applying Vaseline on their groin areas to reduce friction burns
– Drinking a lot of water
– Using umbrellas
– Observing strict personal and environmental hygiene, including that involving food
– Wearing comfortable shoes at all times to prevent foot ulcers.
Dr Kana also announced that Nigeria's medical team and ambulances will be available.
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Meanwhile, the Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki has revealed the amount of preparation that has been done at a news conference.
“Everything is prepared. We have our plans, we have people trained to enforce those plans, but this cannot be done only by infrastructure and by what we do.
Pilgrims have their own responsibility, and we hope they comply with the schedule plans and the flow of direction,” he said.
The Saudi Health Authorities have provided 5,000 hospital beds in preparation for sunstroke and heat exhaustion.
15,000 electric cars and wheelchairs have also been provided for by the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
Over 8,000 Saudi boy scouts have been stationed in Makkah, Madinah, the Holy Sites, the Hajj air terminals, the land and sea inlets. They will provide pilgrims with direction and guidance.
To prevent stampedes, protests, and ensure the safety of pilgrims, Saudi Arabia is deploying 100,000 security personnel, 51,000 civilian employees, 100 ambulances, and 30,000 health workers.
Starting today, August 30, 2017, Hajj rituals will begin with pilgrims moving to Muna where they will stay for five days.
There, they will throw pebbles at Satan, slaughter their sacrificial animals and proceed to the Grand Mosque to do tawaf Al-Ifadah.
Next, pilgrims will proceed to Arafat, a valley that is about nine kilometres away from Mecca. They will be here from morning to sunset at the Hajj climax.
Everything will be done by a schedule, set by the Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions when they made the hajj in 632 AD.