Saudis Issue Fatwa On Hajj Gate Crashers

Some of the non-Hajj visa holders at the airport yesterday

 

In their latest action yet  against persons who breach Hajj rules the Ministry Of Hajj in the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia has issued a Fatwa or a decree on the illegality.

A correspondence on the subject titled “Scholars Opinion On Performing Hajj Without Permit” has been forwarded to the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And Regional Integration and signed by the Saudi Hajj And Umrah Minister  Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah.

The Saudi Minister has directed that the said correspondence be served the Chairman of The Ghana Hajj Board who Daily Guide can confirm is in receipt of.  The 14th May 2024 correspondence has been copied The Director, Middle East Bureau of the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And Regional Integration.

A fatwa is a legal pronouncement made by qualified Islamic leaders, known as Muftis or ulama on issues related to Islamic law. It is typically issued in response to a specific question or situation and serves as a guidance or clarification on the matter. It can cover a wide range of topics including religious rituals, moral conduct and social issues.

There has been an unusual patronage of the Ummrah of the lesser Hajj by persons, many of who gate crash the Hajj rituals in breach of Saudi law.

This is the first time that Saudi authorities have issued a fatwa on the illegality about which the Ghana Hajj Board has advised against.

Those who abuse their visa statuses by attempting to use non-Hajj entry permits for the annual pilgrimage as many Ghanaians have done over the years will this year face very stringent sanctions as announced by the Saudi authorities.

Culprits breach the law because of the cost differentials regardless of the dangers they expose themselves to.

To the Ghana Hajj Board Ghanaian nationals who gate crash the Hajj ranks partake in meals earmarked for pilgrims duly processed for the purpose creating multitude challenges. They also illegally enjoy the medical facilities and accommodation meant for Ghana Hajj Board pilgrims the total number of who is used for the purpose of logistic planning.

This year however measures announced by the Saudi authorities including the aforementioned fatwa and the Ghana Hajj Board’s have created an impenetrable barrier for them.

Those who would be arrested would serve a jail term in Saudi Arabia, deported and banned from entering the Kingdom for a decade.

Yesterday at the Kotoka International Airport Terminal Three there was an unusual number of Muslims en route to Saudi Arabia to illegally partake in the Hajj whose peak is due in the middle of June.

While some Ghanaians genuinely acquire the Ummrah or lesser Hajj visa for that purpose many are they whose intention is to illegally attempt performing the Hajj with a permit which precludes the performance of the annual pilgrimage.

The Saudi authorities issue four categories of entry permits namely Hajj, Business, Tourist or Working Visas each of which has strict rules underpinning them.

The first airlift of pilgrims from Ghana is due on 28th May 2024 from Tamale en route to the Saudi city of Madina the last one being on 31st May, 2024.

The Accra flights will commence on 2nd June 2024 and end on 6th June 2024.

The about four thousand or so Ghanaian pilgrims will spend some thirty days in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where they would engage in assortment of religious rituals.

By A.R. Gomda

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