With devotees confused over registration system, Saudi Arabia braces for Hajj

New Delhi: Saudi authorities have geared up to welcome Muslims from abroad for the annual hajj after two years. In the past two years, pilgrims who were outside the kingdom were barred because of the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

However, the Saudi government announced recently that pilgrims from Europe, the United States and Australia could no longer book through travel agencies. The authorities said they have to apply through a lottery system. The decision was announced weeks before the start of the pilgrimage to Mecca from 7 to 12 July.

The Saudi government’s move has confused some of the British Muslims who booked pilgrimages to Mecca. As per the media reports, the announcement by Saudi Arabia is a move to crack down on fraudulent travel agency firms.

The UK-based media outlets say that the people are unable to board a flight due to the problems with a new Saudi registration system continue.

The decision not only affecting the pilgrims, but also the travel companies. The Guardian reported that the sudden change could cause even genuine travel firms to go out of business and travelers may potentially lose thousands of pounds.

It is remarkable that the moon of Zil Hajj is likely to be sighted on the evening of June 30. which will mark the start of the holy month.

The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is expected from the follower to go for it.

It consists of a series of religious rites that are completed over five days in Islam’s holiest city, Mecca, and surrounding areas of western Saudi Arabia.

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