- The government of Saudi Arabia has banned pilgrims from outside the Kingdom from participating in the 2021 Hajj
- Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umrah disclosed this on Saturday, June 12, saying that only 60,000 residents and nationals living in the Kingdom would be allowed to perform Hajj
- The ministry stated that the decision became necessary due to the spread of coronavirus in many continents of the world
Makkah, Saudi Arabia - A report by The Nation indicates that the intending Nigerian pilgrims and others outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would again miss Hajj this year.
Legit.ng gathered that the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umrah made this known on Saturday, June 12, saying that it would limit this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to 60,000 residents and nationals living in the Kingdom due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The minister said in a statement:
“In light of what the whole world is witnessing from the continuing developments of the coronavirus pandemic and the emergence of new mutations, Hajj registration will be limited to residents and citizens from inside the Kingdom only."
Daily Nigerian also reports that the ministry added those who are between the ages of 18-65 and are fully vaccinated, have received their first dose at least 14 days prior, or those who are vaccinated and have recovered from a COVID-19 infection are allowed to register.
We will prioritise the health and security of pilgrims
Quoting the Kingdom Hajj and Umrah ministry, the Saudi Press Agency, the safety, health, and security of the pilgrims would be prioritised.
"The ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirms that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia always prioritizes the safety, health and security of pilgrims."
Also, PM News reports that in last year’s Hajj, 1,000 people already residing in Saudi Arabia were selected to take part in the Hajj.
According to the report, two-thirds were foreign residents from among the 160 different nationalities that would have normally been represented at the Hajj.
One-third were Saudi security personnel and medical staff, adding that the Hajj pilgrimage this year is expected to begin in mid-July.
Saudi Arabia sacks director of Imam's department for delaying Fajr prayers
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that President Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Sudais, the head of the two most prestigious mosques in Saudi Arabia, relieved the director of Imams and Muadhin department of Masjid Al Nabawi of his duties.
It was reported that a statement posted on Haramain's Facebook page indicates the director was sacked following a delay in the Fajr prayers on Wednesday, June 9, for over 45 minutes between the Adhaan and Iqaamah.
The statement also indicates that the authorities have subsequently assigned an Imam, a backup Imam and three Muadhins for each prayer.