JEDDAH: The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has allocated 100 scholars to answer questions from pilgrims and worshippers during their Hajj journey.
Spread across 10 different locations inside Makkah’s Grand Mosque, the 100 scholars comprise elite judges and university faculty members trained to answer questions in person or on the phone through seven booths operating around the clock.
Director general for dawah and guidance at the Grand Mosque, Majid Al-Masoudi, said: “Responses offered by scholars to pilgrims are compatible with the outcomes of the Two Holy Mosques Fatwa document and its impact on facilitating the journey of pilgrims and worshippers.”
Scholars also offer responses about Hajj rituals in line with the frequent fatwas to avoid irregular fatwas, unify ijtihad (independent reasoning by an expert in Islamic law), and avoid racist and hate speech.
Worshippers can also have their questions answered by robots at the Grand Mosque. The presidency is offering this service in the main entrances of the Mataf area to take advantage of technology and artificial intelligence.
These robots support 11 languages to guide pilgrims from around the globe, including Arabic, English, French, Russian, Persian, Turkish, Malay, Urdu, Chinese, Bengali, and Hausa.
They guide pilgrims on how to perform their Umrah rituals, issue fatwas, answer questions and provide opportunities for people to communicate with scholars remotely.
The four-wheeled robots feature 21-inch touchscreens and a smart stopping system that allows them to be moved easily. They also feature high-resolution cameras for clarity when transmitting images, high-resolution headphones, and a microphone with high-capture quality that allows clear sound transmission.
The robots work on a Wi-Fi wireless network system with fast and high data transmission.
A similar scholars’ initiative was launched by the presidency during the previous Ramadan season, with 30 Muslim scholars to help worshippers answer their questions on the correct performance of Umrah rituals and give fatwas.