Indonesia’s hajj quota for 2023 consists of 203,320 regular hajj pilgrims and 17,680 special hajj pilgrims, besides 4,200 people serving as personnel dealing with the country’s pilgrimage affairs.
Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia’s hajj quota for 1444 Hijri or 2023 totals 221,000, and there is no age limit, the Indonesian Minister of Religion, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, has said.
“Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), the 2023 Hajj mission has begun. Today (Jan. 8) I signed a hajj agreement with the Saudi Minister of Hajj. Indonesia’s hajj quota for this year is 221,000 pilgrims,” Minister of Religion Yaqut noted after signing an agreement to organize the haj pilgrimage in 1444 Hijri/2023 AD, between the government of Indonesia and the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah, Sunday (Jan. 8).
The signing of the agreement was carried out by Indonesia’s Minister of Religion, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq F Al Rabiah, according to the Indonesian Ministry of Religions in its official statement quoted by Indonesia Window on Tuesday.
Indonesia’s hajj quota consists of 203,320 regular hajj pilgrims and 17,680 special hajj pilgrims, and this year Indonesia will receive a quota of 4,200 people serving as personnel dealing with the country’s hajj pilgrimage affairs, Minister Yaqut said.
In addition to the quota, the agreement also regulates the landing of planes in Jeddah and Madinah, as well as several new policies related to Hajj pilgrimage services.
During the talks between the two ministers, it was also agreed that there would be no age limit, Yaqut said, adding that because of the pandemic in the past, the Saudi Arabian government limited the age of pilgrims, and at that time, the Kingdom government set the age requirement for pilgrims in 2022 to be under 65 years.
“According to the agreement, this year there is no age limit for pilgrims. This means that pilgrims aged 65 years and over can also go on pilgrimage this year,” he explained.
The meeting with Minister Tawfiq was also used by Minister Yaqut to lobby for an additional quota for Indonesia.
The minister said that the waiting list for Indonesian pilgrims is very long, and hoped that there would be an additional quota for Indonesia so that it could reduce the waiting list for pilgrims.
“It of course depends on the kindness of His Majesty King Salman, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and the Minister of Hajj,” he said.
Minister Tawfiq said that he was very happy to be able to provide an additional quota for Indonesian pilgrims, considering that Indonesia is an important country for Saudi Arabia.
According to Tawfiq, Saudi Arabia continues to prioritize the comfort and safety of pilgrims.
“Comfort and safety are priorities. However, I say, Indonesia will always get priority in obtaining additional quotas,” he said.
“(Maybe) there are countries that have reduced their hajj pilgrims so that quotas can be given to Indonesia. Of course, everyone misses hajj (under normal conditions),” he continued.
Regarding the ongoing transformation of haj pilgrimage services in Saudi Arabia, Tawfiq said that currently there is no muassasah (organization for haj guides), because the organization of hajj is carried out by syarikah or companies.
There are six syarikah (companies) appointed to carry out this year’s pilgrimage services. Every country, including Indonesia, can choose syarikah in preparing services.
Minister Yaqut expressed his gratitude because Indonesia was invited to be involved from the start in the 2023 Hajj process, including the invitation to attend the hajj congress.
Reporting by Indonesia Window