Monday, June 17, 2024

Saudi Arabia Bans Visit Visa Holders from Entering Makkah for Hajj

In preparation for the upcoming Hajj season, Saudi Arabia has announced that people with visit visas will not be allowed to enter Makkah from Thursday, May 23, to Friday, June 21. This restriction aims to ensure the sanctity and security of the Hajj pilgrimage.

The Ministry of Interior specified that during this period, only those with a valid Hajj permit will be permitted to enter the holy city of Makkah. This restriction aligns with the Hijri calendar dates of 15 Dhu al-Qadah 1445 to 15 Dhul Hijjah.

This directive is part of broader measures to manage the large number of pilgrims and maintain order during Hajj. The Saudi Fatwa Council has previously emphasized the importance of having a valid Hajj permit, highlighting that it helps ensure the safety and well-being of all pilgrims.

Since May 4, residents of Saudi Arabia have also been required to present permits to enter Makkah. Those without valid Hajj permits are strongly advised to avoid attempting to enter the city during this period, as there will be strict penalties for violators. Authorities have emphasized that these measures are crucial for managing the large influx of pilgrims and ensuring a smooth pilgrimage experience.

In addition to the permit requirement, authorities have mandated that all pilgrims carry their identification cards at all times during the Hajj period. This measure is designed to facilitate security checks and ensure that only authorized individuals are present in Makkah.

Preparations for the pilgrimage are well underway. The Saudi authorities have developed comprehensive security and organizational plans to handle the millions of pilgrims expected to visit. These preparations include crowd control measures, medical facilities, and emergency response plans to address any issues that may arise during the pilgrimage.

A significant ceremonial event marking the start of the Hajj season is the raising of the Kaaba’s ‘Kiswa,’ the cloth that covers the Kaaba. This event signifies the official commencement of the Hajj season and is an important tradition in the Islamic world.

The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and holds immense religious significance for Muslims around the world. By implementing these entry restrictions and preparation measures, Saudi Arabia aims to provide a safe, organized, and spiritually fulfilling Hajj experience for all pilgrims.

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