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Saudi introduces robots to aid worshippers at Grand Mosque

Saudi introduces robots to aid worshippers at Grand Mosque

Jeddah: Saudi authorities have deployed a fleet of guidance robots at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. These robots are designed to assist worshippers in performing religious rites and accessing religious guidance in multiple languages.

The introduction of these guidance robots aims to streamline the process for worshippers, providing them with easy access to essential religious information and services. Chief of the Presidency for Religious Affairs, Abdulrahman Al Sudais, emphasized the importance of leveraging advanced technology to disseminate the principles of moderate Islam effectively.

Al Sudais said, “Utilising digital and electronic apps and artificial intelligence to enrich the worshippers’ experience is a mainstay of the presidency’s plan for the holy month of Ramadan to impart the message of moderate Islam to the world in several languages and facilitate guidance presentation”.

The guidance robots offer services in 11 languages, including Arabic, English, French, Russian, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Chinese and Bengali. This multilingual approach ensures that worshippers from different linguistic backgrounds can benefit from the assistance provided by the robots.

Equipped with a 21-inch touchscreen interface, the robots provide users with online access to clerics who can address their religious queries promptly. Whether it's seeking fatwas or clarifications on religious practices, worshippers can rely on these AI-driven assistants for guidance.

The current lunar month signifies the peak season of Umrah, the minor pilgrimage, at the Grand Mosque. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, both from within the kingdom and abroad, converge at the mosque to perform Umrah and engage in prayers during Ramadan.

To accommodate the influx of worshippers, Saudi authorities have implemented various measures at the Grand Mosque. These include allocating specific areas for Umrah pilgrims, such as the circumambulation courtyard around the Holy Kaaba and the ground floor of the mosque.

By designating certain gates for pilgrims' entry and exit, authorities aim to prevent overcrowding and ensure a smooth flow of worshippers within the mosque premises. These measures contribute to a comfortable and hassle-free experience for those undertaking religious activities during Ramadan.

With designated entry and exit points, pilgrims can navigate the Grand Mosque more efficiently, minimizing congestion and facilitating orderly movement. This strategic arrangement is part of the broader effort to enhance the overall pilgrimage experience for worshippers.

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