Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabia, stated in a statement that the requirement for Mahram that women perform Umrah and hajj was lifted, which means that women can participate in Umrah and Hajj instead of Mahram. He said that no quantity of Umrah and Hajj visas was subject to change, and visitors from Saudi Arabia on any visa anywhere in the world can today take part in Umrah and Hajj.
Mahram is derived from the word “Haram” meaning something sacred or forbidden. It is believed that in Islamic laws, Mahram means a person you cannot marry, and it is acceptable to visit people without a head scarf and shake hands with them and hug them when you want. So, a non-mahram signifies that it’s not Haram to get married, but there are a few exceptions. Also, it means that you must wear the hijab in the presence of a non-mahram.
The Minister of Hajj and Umrah stated that he would like to cut down on the costs for Hajj and Umrah; however, it is contingent on other aspects. As an example, the cost of the Masjid al-Haram expansion project is more than the 200 billion mark in Saudi Riyals. It is the largest expansion project ever undertaken by Masjid al-Haram, which is currently in process.
Dr. Tawfiq further said that the latest technology is being employed and digitized to offer facilities for the Haram Sharif pilgrims, including robots. Several countries claim that these so-called reforms were only implemented to divert public attention from Saudi Arabia’s continuing human rights violations