ARAFAT: Sheikh Bandar Bin Abdulaziz Balila in the Hajj sermon spoke about the pandemic and asked the people to follow Prophet’s (PBUH) teachings regarding them, saying that the Prophet (PBUH) had asked people avoid areas where there are signs of plague. “The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said that people should not go out of the area where the plague has spread and people from other areas should not go there,” said Sheikh Bandar as the pilgrims performed Hajj under coronavirus restrictions. In the sermon, Sheikh Bandar urged Muslims to establish equality, eliminate enmity and hatred amongst each other. He also asked everyone to forgive one another for the sake of Allah. The imam of the Grand Mosque said that Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and urged those who can take the holy sojourn to complete it. Pilgrims pray for COVID-free world at Mount Arafat Thousands of masked pilgrims gathered on Mount Arafat on Monday to repent for their sins while doing Hajj, expressing hopes for peace and an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites in Makkah and Madina, had barred worshippers from abroad for a second year running and has restricted entry from within the kingdom under special conditions to guard against the coronavirus and its new variants. Only 60,000 Saudi citizens and residents, aged 18 to 65, who have been fully vaccinated or recovered from the virus and do not suffer from chronic diseases, were selected for the rite, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.