The ritual itikaf will resume at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan after a hiatus of two years. This was announced by Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
Al-Sudais said the presidency will start issuing permits through its official website soon, and that will be in line with the specific conditions and set criteria.
Itikaf, the ritual of staying in a mosque solely for the purpose of worship and meditation, was suspended at the Two Holy Mosques during Ramadan in 2020 following the outbreak of Covid
-19 pandemic. The suspension of itikaf continued during the Ramadan of 2021 as a precautionary measure to stem the spread of coronavirus
As many as 100,000 worshipers used to perform itikaf in the two mosques during the last 10 days of Ramadan.
In 2019, the presidency had allotted rooftops of the mosques for itikaf with separate shelves and safes. Each worshipper is given their own locker with key for keep their belongings, which include a prayer rug, pillow, light bed sheet and ihram clothes.
The presidency has also launched an online portal to give guidelines and registration facilities for the prospective worshippers intending to perform itikaf.