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Saudi Minister: Hajj visa regulation under fatwa, violations make pilgrimage invalid

Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah at a press conference in Jakarta, Tuesday (April 30, 2024). (Indonesia Window/Ronald Rangkayo)

The official hajj visas which are only issued by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been decreed under fatwa by the country’s Muslim scholars.

 

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, emphasized that the regulations regarding official hajj visas which are only issued by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been decreed under fatwa by the ulamas (Muslim scholars) in the country.

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Fatwa, in Islam, is a formal ruling or interpretation on a point of Islamic law given by qualified legal scholars.

“It has become a sharia rule that hajj pilgrims must have visas which are obtained procedurally. We continue to coordinate with Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs to announce that visas other than hajj visas are not valid, and this is a measure to deal with the promotion and propaganda of fake visas,” he told a press conference after holding bilateral talks with his Indonesian counterpart, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, here on Tuesday (Apr. 30).

Minister Al-Rabiah emphasized that the official hajj visas, which are only issued by the Kingdom’s authorities, aim to maintain the safety of pilgrims, especially while they are in the Holy Land.

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Apart from violations of the visa regulations, strict sanctions will be imposed, he continued, adding that the Hajj pilgrimage carried out without going through the procedures that have been stated in the fatwa will result in the pilgrimage being invalid.

The official hajj visa is one of the facilities provided by the Royal government for pilgrims throughout the world, aiming to facilitate the process of departing and carrying out the hajj, until the pilgrims arrive back in their respective homelands.

“Hajj pilgrims also get ‘Nusuk electronic cards’, and Indonesian pilgrims are the first to get this facility,” Dr. Al-Rabiah said, explaining that the card contains all complete Hajj information, which will help pilgrims know the holy locations for worship.

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The Kingdom government has revitalized a number of worship sites and important locations in the history of the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

“There will be additional sites that are still in the process of revitalization. We call on hajj pilgrims to visit these sites because they are related to the life of the Prophet ﷺ,” he said.

Data from the Indonesian Ministry of Religions states that the quota for Indonesian pilgrims during the 1445 Hijri Hajj/2024 AD is 221,000. Apart from that, Indonesia also received an additional quota of 20,000 pilgrims. Of this figure, 10,000 additional quotas are intended for regular Hajj pilgrims, while another 10,000 are for special hajj pilgrims.

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Thus, the total number of Indonesian hajj pilgrims in this year’s hajj season is 241,000 people, consisting of 213,320 regular pilgrims and 27,680 special Hajj pilgrims.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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