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Indonesian, Saudi Ministers hold bilateral meeting, ensuring best Hajj services for pilgrims

Indonesia’s Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas (left) and Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah (right) at a press conference in Jakarta, Tuesday (April 30, 2024). (Indonesia Window/Ronald Rangkayo)

The regulation regarding official hajj visas has been decreed by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so that pilgrims who violate it, their worship performances will be invalid.

 

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, held a bilateral talk with his Saudi counterpart, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, in Jakarta on Tuesday, ensuring that Indonesian pilgrims would receive best services during the process of performing their pilgrimage.

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“I have had productive bilateral talks with my brother the Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, for 1.5 hours. The discussion was very meaningful,” Yaqut told a press conference after the meeting here.

He explained that the Saudi Arabian government has implemented a regulation that made it easier for Indonesian pilgrims to perform the hajj, including that on visa application in this Muslim majority country and arrivals in the Holy Land.

One of the rules set by the Saudi government that must be of concern to pilgrims is related to hajj visas.

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“The only visa that can be used for the hajj pilgrimage is an official one issued by the Saudi Kingdom,” he underscored, adding that a strict action would be imposed on those who violate the regulation

“This visa regulation has been issued a fatwa by the Kingdom government, so that any hajj pilgrim who violates this will make their pilgrimage invalid,” he added.

Fatwa means an official statement or order from an Islamic religious leader.

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On the same occasion, the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, expressed his gratitude for the warm and kind welcome from his counterpart, Minister Yaqut.

“The Kingdom government is pleased to be able to provide services to Indonesian pilgrims,” ​​he said, while emphasizing that Indonesian pilgrims are the first ones in the world who receive hajj services in the form of ‘Nusuk electronic cards’ provided by the Saudi government.

“The Nusuk hajj electronic card was created specifically for hajj pilgrims, containing all complete hajj information, which helps pilgrims understand the holy sites for worship,” Dr. Al-Rabiah said.

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In addition, the electronic card also provides “a certificate of having performed the hajj, so this can be a beautiful memento for the pilgrims,” he continued.

Regarding the hajj visa, Minister Al-Rabiah emphasized that the official hajj visa which is only issued by the authorities of the Kingdom government aims to maintain the safety of pilgrims.

“It has become a sharia rule that hajj pilgrims must have a visa which is obtained by procedures. We continue to coordinate with the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs to announce that visas other than those for the hajj are incorrect, and overcome false promotions and fake visa propaganda,” he explained.

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He pointed out that in 2023 the number of direct flights from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia and vice versa reached more than 3,500.

“This shows that the longest and most intensive flights to Saudi Arabia are from Indonesia,” Dr. Al-Rabiah noted, adding that there would be additional direct flights and airports, both to and from Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

Data obtained from the Indonesian Ministry of Religion Affairs show that the quota for Indonesian pilgrims during the 1445 Hijri Hajj/2024 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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Therefore, the total number of Indonesian hajj pilgrims this year is 241,000 people, consisting of 213,320 regular pilgrims and 27,680 special pilgrims.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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