A 104-year-old woman from Indonesia has arrived in Saudi Arabia for Hajj.
The oldest among more than 220,000 pilgrims traveling from Indonesia this year, Baiq Mariah has arrived in Jeddah.
“We have given her special attention and assistance. Some of our officials also departed to assist her,” an official from Indonesia's Religious Affairs Ministry, told The Jakarta Post.
Health needs of elderly pilgrims are given special attention
While Mariah has been provided with extra care to accompany her on the religious pilgrimage, officials also said she is in good health and will have no trouble completing the Hajj rituals.
Consul General of the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah, Mohammed Hery Saripudin, told Arab News that there are about one million Indonesians on a wait list to participate in Hajj, most of them elderly. Due to their age, health risks increase. According to Saripudin, 20 Indonesian pilgrims have already died this year.
But special precautions have been put in place to decrease the risks as much as possible.
"Besides a Hajj consul officiating in the consulate office in Jeddah, we have two more Hajj offices in Makkah and Madinah to help Indonesian pilgrims," Saripudin said.
He also explained that each group of pilgrims are accompanied by medical professionals, who can attend to their health needs.
Mariah isn't the oldest ever
Many Hajj pilgrims are elderly, and while Mariah could be the oldest this year, even older Muslims have made the religious pilgrimage in the past.
Habib Miyan from India was over 120 years old when he completed Hajj back in 2004, according to the BBC. While Miyan's pension papers said he was 125 years old at the time, he claimed to be 132.
"Almighty Allah is great. I am so grateful to all those who helped me in performing my Hajj," Miyan said upon returning from Saudi Arabia.
Elderly pilgrims demonstrate the dedication of Muslims globally
Earlier this month, a video of a man carrying an elderly woman around the Kaaba for Hajj went viral.
A social media user explained that the man "spotted the elderly woman struggling to make the walk around the Kaaba. She was refusing to use a wheel chair because then she wouldn't be able to see the holy site and this is why he decided to carry her throughout the tawaf."
These stories show the dedication and commitment of Muslims from around the world. Despite age, health and physical disabilities, millions journey to Mecca annually to complete the Hajj.