First time ever, non-Muslim delegation from India allowed to visit Islam’s historic sites in Medina

The Irani-led delegation thus is the first group of non-Muslims to enter the city and visit historic places of Islam. The Saudi Authorities granted special permission for the visit on Irani’s request.

New Delhi: The Indian Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs, Smriti Zubin Irani, accompanied by V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, recently visited Madinah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

This unprecedented visit marks the first time a non-Muslim delegation has been welcomed to Madinah.

The visit is part of an ongoing diplomatic mission, aligning with the signing of the bilateral Haj agreement for Haj 2024 between India and KSA.

The delegation, comprising senior officials from the Ministry of Minority Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs of India, is aimed to strengthen ties and gain valuable insights into the arrangements required for the upcoming Haj pilgrimage, the official statement said.

On January 8, 2024, the delegation visited the revered Prophet’s Mosque (Al Masjid Al Nabwi) in the Markazia area of Madinah, followed by a pilgrimage to the historic mountain of Uhud and the Quba Mosque, the first mosque of Islam. The delegation also took the opportunity to engage with Indian volunteers dedicated to serving Haj pilgrims, extending appreciation for their selfless efforts during Haj 2023.

Additionally, interactions wiwere held with Umrah pilgrims from India. The significance of this visit lies in its potential to offer a first-hand insight into the intricate arrangements required for ensuring the comfort and well-being of Indian pilgrims during Haj 2024, the statement said.

Smriti Irani held discussions with the Indian diaspora, comprising dedicated Haj volunteers and community members. She also engaged in dialogues with the  Saudi and Indian business professionals, emphasising the crucial role of economic ties in fostering strong bilateral relations.

In addition to these engagements, the minister embarked on a visit to Al-Balad, Jeddah’s historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Madinah, also known as Medina, stands as one of the holiest cities in Islam and holds profound religious significance for Muslims worldwide. Nestled in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia, Madinah is renowned as the city to which the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) migrated, marking the inception of the Islamic calendar.

Click to comment
To Top