A Saudi pilgrim seen on a smart wheel, the self-balancing electric scooter, has left Muslims questioning the use of the unicycle to perform the holy pilgrimage in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. A video clip of the pilgrim dressed in white has been circulating around social media.
The man can be seen going around the holy mosque of Kaaba in Makkah to perform 'Tawaf', which is a part of the Umrah pilgrimage. The Umrah pilgrimage, which can be taken at any time of the year unlike the annual Hajj, involves circling Kaaba seven times to perform a 'Tawaf' followed by the 'Sa'i', where pilgrims walk swiftly between the hills of Safa and Marwah inside the Kabah mosque.
Handicapped and older people can usually be seen performing the ritual on wheelchairs that are driven around by family members or hired workers. Questions are now being raised whether smart wheels can be permitted for healthy people who are able to perform the pilgrimage on foot.
"My view is that roller shoes should not be allowed. People usually circumambulate the Kaaba and focus on their prayers and supplications to God," said blogger Abdul Rahman, reported Gulf News.
"This man and others would be focusing rather on keeping their balance on their moving shoes. They should not be allowed."