Around 8,000 Kuwaitis will be allowed to perform Haj (pilgrimage) this year, a senior official has said. “We will have 8,000 pilgrims and the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs is concerned with providing them instructions and regulations related to the pilgrimage, in addition to the awareness programs that are disseminated via different media,” Fareed Ammadi, the ministry undersecretary, said.
“The instructions are clear and the ministry stresses the need to comply with all rules and regulations governing Haj and pilgrims,” the official said on Tuesday following a meeting in Saudi Arabia to discuss the arrangements and services for pilgrims coming from Kuwait. All countries are invited by Saudi Arabia to discuss the details of the pilgrimage to ensure the highest standards for pilgrims who congregate in Makkah for the annual ritual.
Haj is the fifth pillar of Islam and requires all physically fit and financially able adult Muslims to perform the pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime. With more than 2.5 million Muslims expected to perform Haj this year, and in a bid to ensure it is incident-free, Saudis have been keen on applying a strict policy and allow only documented people registered with accredited operators to reach Makkah for the six-day rituals.
Saudis have repeatedly warned pilgrims to ensure their documents are in order before travelling to Makkah. Despite massive awareness campaigns in their countries of origin, thousands of would-be pilgrims are turned back from Saudi Arabia or near Makkah every year.
Many people are also duped by non-accredited Haj operators looking to make a quick buck. The Haj season, based on the Islamic lunar calendar, is set to begin on August 30 and end on September 4.
Source: Gulf News