Smriti Irani visits Madinah, interacts with Haj and Umrah volunteers

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Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani on Monday visited the city of Madinah during her two-day visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

“Undertook a historic journey to Madinah today, one of Islam’s holiest cities included a visit to the periphery of the revered Prophet’s Mosque, Al Masjid Al Nabwi, the mountain of Uhud, and periphery of the Quba Mosque – the first Mosque of Islam. The significance of the visit to these sites courtesy Saudi officials, intertwined with early Islamic history, underscores the depth of our cultural and spiritual engagement,” the minister wrote on X.

She was accompanied by the Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, V. Muraleedharan, and senior officials.

The visit to Madinah was followed by a visit to the mountain of Uhud and the Quba Mosque. The Mosque is the first Mosque of Islam while Uhud Mountain is the final resting place of several early Islamic martyrs, says a communique issued from the Minority ministry.

During her visit, the Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024 was signed between India and KSA. As per Agreement, a total quota of 1,75,025 pilgrims from India has been finalised for Haj 2024 with 1,40,020 seats being reserved for pilgrims to proceed through Haj Committee of India and 35,005 pilgrims would be permitted to proceed through Haj Group Operators.

Ms. Irani and others also interacted with Indian volunteers who provided services to Indian Haj pilgrims, including during Haj 2023. They also had a brief conversation with Umrah pilgrims from India and sought suggestions to make arrangements to ensure that Haj 2024 would be a comfortable experience for the Indian pilgrims.

“The Government of India is deeply committed to assist in providing facilities and services to Indian Muslims who undertake the Haj pilgrimage, thereby providing them with a comfortable and fulfilling experience,” the Minister said.

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