Unlawful Haj ‘unacceptable’

FOOLPROOF SECURITY: Agencies in Jeddah join the “911” unified call center of security operations room in Makkah. (SPA)
Updated 20 August 2016

Unlawful Haj ‘unacceptable’

RIYADH: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, who is also the chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars, has warned those who are planning to perform Haj using unfair means.

Criticizing fraudulent ways, he said it is absolutely wrong to hoodwink security forces by crossing Haj checkpoints in normal dresses and then donning the ihram in the holy city.
The injunction is specifically aimed at undocumented domestic pilgrims who try to sneak into the holy city every year.
He said those pilgrims this year must be those who performed Haj in the past not less than five years ago.
He explained that a large number of pilgrims arrive for Haj and the government has made arrangements in such a way that there is no stampede and all pilgrims complete their rituals without hassles.
Al-Asheikh said entering Makkah without a permit is against the rules and that it is important to abide by the regulations.
He said it was the duty of every individual to boost security by following the guidelines issued by the authorities.
He stressed that the decision to allow only documented pilgrims in Makkah was taken keeping in view people’s interests. He said violating the rules is unacceptable.
Al-Asheikh said Haj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is mandatory for every Muslim, provided he or she fulfills required conditions for performing the pilgrimage.

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.