Speaking to the haj pilgrims, Saifuddin advised them not to strain themselves too much while observing their prayer rituals during haj.
He pointed out that there was a tendency among pilgrims to worship in high spirit while in the Holy Land. Sometimes this made them perform their rituals in a manner that proved detrimental to their health, such as a lack of adequate rest or less consumption of healthy foods.
But the minister was quick to add that he was not asking the pilgrims to limit themselves, but simply wanted to emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy congregation as undergoing a long pilgrimage could drain their stamina.
In other words, they should not physically exert too much during worship or they would find it difficult to conclude such an important pilgrimage.
"Whatever practices Hajj involves, do not ever forget the original intent with which we go to the Holy Land to worship, which is the peak of wukuf. Moreover, this first group will get more time than other pilgrims to do so, so please do not force yourself," the minister reiterated.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Nila Moeloek reminded that pilgrims should be aware about the spread of the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) disease, of which many cases were being reported in Saudi Arabia.
She asked the pilgrims to remain healthy and stay away from camels as they could act as potential vector for the Mers-CoV virus.
In addition, Moeloek also cautioned the worshipers to avoid getting hospitalized in Saudi Arabia, unless absolutely necessary, as this could lead to someone contracting the MERS- CoV virus at the hospital itself, she added.
(Reported by Anom Prihantoro/Uu.INE/KR-BSR/A014)