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Sunday, June 23, 2024  
16 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Saudi authorities set out Hajj guidelines

Hajj permit is the most crucial step before embarking on the journey
Pilgrims at the Grand Mosque in Makkah pray. Photo via X/@HajMinistry
Pilgrims at the Grand Mosque in Makkah pray. Photo via X/@HajMinistry

The government has urged Muslims undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage this year to be mindful of the guidelines and regulations in place, which are intended to protect the well-being of all pilgrims.

It is necessary to obtain a valid Hajj permit is the most crucial step before embarking on the journey. This requirement applies to citizens, residents, and visitors alike, failing to have a valid permit can result in significant fines and even deportation for expatriates.

During a recent press conference in Riyadh, the Hajj and Umrah Minister, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, launched the “Pilgrimage Without A Permit” campaign in partnership with the Ministry of Interior. The minister emphasized the importance of pilgrims adhering to the regulations and cooperating with the authorities.

An awareness campaign was launched across 20 countries, warning of the penalties for violating Hajj regulations, including attempting to perform the pilgrimage using tourist visas.

During the Hajj, pilgrims are expected to dress modestly and respectfully while at the holy sites. This is not only a matter of following the rules, but also a way to show reverence for the sanctity of the occasion. In the past, some pilgrims have faced fines for not adhering to the prescribed dress code.

Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, the head of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, has emphasized the importance of pilgrims adhering to the proper dress code.

The ihram is a central part of the Hajj and Umrah rituals, as it symbolizes the state of ritual consecration and equality among all pilgrims before Allah.

For men, the ihram consists of two unstitched, undecorated white garments - the izaar (lower body) and the rida’ (upper body). Men are not allowed to cover their heads during this time.

Women, on the other hand, must wear modest, loose-fitting clothing that covers their entire body, except for the face and hands. They are not required to wear the izaar and rida’, but their attire should be free of decorations.

During the Hajj, pilgrims must follow the designated routes and crowd-safety regulations outlined by the authorities.

The government has also warned of severe penalties for those who attempt to bring drugs, alcohol or weapons into the holy sites.

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To combat the activities of criminal groups pretending to be tour operators and those trying to enter Makkah without proper visas, pilgrims are encouraged to report any suspicious activities by calling 911 in the Makkah region.

The director of Public Security in the region, Mohammed Al-Bassami, stated that some violators try to use tourism visas to perform the Hajj, but every person who comes to Makkah has signed an electronic pledge that this visa does not enable them to perform the Hajj. The government has shut down more than 140 fake companies, and they warn that no one will escape punishment, as the system is clear, and all visitors must respect the Kingdom’s policies and regulations.

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