June 23, 2020 (New Delhi) A day after Saudi Arabia announced to bar arrivals from abroad to attend Haj due amid pandemic outbreak, the government on Tuesday decided to refund the application money of pilgrims without any deductions.
‘’Honoring the decision of the Saudi Arabia Government in view of serious challenges of Corona pandemic and keeping in mind the health and well-being of the people, it has been decided that Muslims from India will not go to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj,’’ said Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi from his official twitter handle.
Saudi Arabia on Monday announced that only ‘’a limited number of individuals’’ would be allowed to perform the major Muslim pilgrimage this year. The host country informed that only people from other nationalities who are currently residing in the country would be allowed to attend the Haj.
“This decision is taken to ensure Hajj is performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective while observing all preventative measures and the necessary social distancing protocols to protect human beings from the risks associated with this pandemic and in accordance with the teachings of Islam in preserving the lives of human beings,” said Ministry of Minority Affairs in a press statement released on Tuesday.
The annual pilgrimage, which is set to begin this year at the end of July, draws over 2 million Muslims around the world for a week-long schedule of intense worship and rituals in Mecca.