Shia pilgrims allowed to visit Baqi cemetery in Medina as Saudi Arabia eases restrictions

Al-Baqī, also known as Jannat al-Baqi is the first and oldest Islamic cemetery of Madina where four of the Shi'a Imams (a) and many other noble Sahaba and the Tabi'un are buried. [Photo: Wikimedia Commons]

Saudi Arabia has eased some of its restrictions on the pilgrimage by Shia Muslims to Baqi cemetery in the city of Medina, Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The restrictions have been eased for this year’s Hajj from June 23 to July 1, according to a report released by Iran’s Fars news agency on Sunday.

The report said that male pilgrims, many of them Shia Muslims from Iran, were allowed to visit Baqi cemetery, aka Jannat ul Baqi, a holy place where some Shia Imams and members of the household of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) are buried.

They were able to recite religious prayers and eulogies that are special to the pilgrimage and were previously banned.

Women are allowed to pay tribute to Baqi cemetery from behind fences that surround the cemeter

Hajj is a major religious ritual and must be performed at least once during the lifetime of an able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.

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