Saudi Hajj ministry confirms measures for Qatari pilgrims, says Doha government blocking access to Kingdom

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Saturday it had taken several measures to ensure Qatari Hajj pilgrims could enter the Kingdom for the upcoming season, but that Doha was blocking access for its citizens. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 17 July 2019

Saudi Hajj ministry confirms measures for Qatari pilgrims, says Doha government blocking access to Kingdom

  • Statement said the delegation from Doha left meeting without signing any agreement
  • Statement also rejected Qatari claims the Kingdom was trying to “politicize” Hajj season

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Saturday it had taken several measures to ensure Qatari Hajj pilgrims could enter the Kingdom for the upcoming season, adding that the Qatari government was blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

Following a meeting of the ministry and a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country coming into the Kingdom, a statement said the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreement to enable access for it citizens.

In response to Doha’s actions, the statement said the Kingdom welcomed Qatari worshippers completing their applications once they arrived in Saudi Arabia.

The ministry said during the meeting it had called on the relevant authorities in Qatar to allow pilgrims to enter the Kingdom to perform Hajj and that Saudi Arabia was “keen to enable Qatari residents to perform religious rituals.”

A statement from the ministry rejected claims by Qatari officials that Saudi Arabia was putting obstacles in the way of worshippers from Qatar, adding that it had facilitated "several electronic portals" for Qatari citizens to book their places.

The statement also rejected Qatari claims that the Kingdom was trying to “politicize” the Hajj season.


Saudi’s Qassim prepares over 200 mosques for Friday prayers

Updated 04 June 2020

Saudi’s Qassim prepares over 200 mosques for Friday prayers

  • Volunteers will help worshipers disperse between mosques
  • The first call to prayer will be announced 20 minutes earlier

DUBAI: Islamic authority in Qassim region have approved 205 mosques to perform Friday prayers according to new regulations, state news agency SPA reported.

The first call to prayer will be announced 20 minutes earlier, and khutbas – religious address delivered by the imam – to last at maximum for 15 minutes.

Also, volunteers will help worshipers disperse between mosques.

Mosques across the Kingdom, except for those in Makkah, have opened their doors to worshippers on Sunday, May 31, as coronavirus restrictions ease.

Last week, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh called on Muslims to respect ongoing safety measures inside mosques, such as bringing their own prayer mats, wearing masks and washing hands prior to entering the vicinities.

Al-Asheikh said preventative measures will remain in place to ensure a safe return of worshipers to mosques for Friday prayers from May 31 until June 20.