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General News of Wednesday, 15 May 2024



Saudi Arabia issues Fatwa against illegal Hajj participation

The Saudi Minister directed that the correspondence be delivered to the Ghana Hajj Board The Saudi Minister directed that the correspondence be delivered to the Ghana Hajj Board

The Ministry of Hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken a strong stance against individuals who breach Hajj rules by issuing a fatwa, or decree, declaring such actions illegal.

The fatwa, titled "Scholars Opinion On Performing Hajj Without Permit," was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs And Regional Integration and signed by Saudi Hajj And Umrah Minister Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah.

In response, the Saudi Minister directed that the correspondence be delivered to the Chairman of the Ghana Hajj Board, who has confirmed receipt, according to a Daily Guide report.

The letter, dated 14th May 2024, was also copied to the Director of the 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 provides guidance or clarification on specific matters and can cover a wide range of topics, including religious rituals and social issues.

The issuance of this fatwa comes as a response to an increasing number of individuals participating in Umrah (the lesser Hajj) and then attempting to gatecrash the Hajj rituals, which is against Saudi law. The Ghana Hajj Board has previously advised against such actions.

The Saudi authorities have announced stringent sanctions for those who abuse their visa statuses by attempting to participate in the Hajj without the necessary permits.

This includes jail terms, deportation, and a decade-long ban from entering the Kingdom.

Despite the dangers and illegalities involved, some individuals breach the law due to cost differentials. They illegitimately partake in meals, medical facilities, and accommodations meant for properly processed pilgrims, causing numerous logistical challenges.

To combat this, the Saudi authorities, along with the Ghana Hajj Board, have implemented measures to create an impenetrable barrier for such individuals.

Those attempting to participate illegally face severe consequences, including arrest, imprisonment, deportation, and long-term bans from entering Saudi Arabia.

The first airlift of Ghanaian pilgrims is scheduled for 28th May 2024 from Tamale, with the last flight departing on 31st May 2024.

Flights from Accra will commence on 2nd June 2024 and end on 6th June 2024, with around four thousand pilgrims expected to spend approximately thirty days in Saudi Arabia engaging in various religious rituals.

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