Glimmer of hope for this year’s Hajj: KSA to decide on Jun 15
Published : Tuesday, 2 June, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 139
After reopening of the Masjid al Haram (the holy Ka'aba) and Masjid e Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque) by the Saudi government for Muslims from Monday morning, the pilgrim sending countries including Bangladesh are expecting reopening of the door of Hajj this year.
The Saudi authorities may take a decision on holding the annual Hajj and fix the number of pilgrims from each country by June 15 this year as this year's Hajj will be performed in between July 28 (Tuesday) to August 2 (Sunday) subject to the sighting of the Zilhajj moon.
Although Bangladesh has completed registration of around 66,000 pilgrims for this year's Hajj against its quota of 138,198 allocated by the Saudi government, the decision of receiving Bangladeshi pilgrims will be finalized only after observing the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in the country, according to the Religious Affairs Ministry.
According to the Ministry sources, if the Saudi authorities reopen the door of Hajj performance this year amidst Covid-19 pandemic, only the countries where the virus infection is controlled will be allowed to send pilgrims for Hajj. In such a case, Bangladesh may loss the chance of sending pilgrims, if the country failed to prevent spread of the deadly viral infection by this June.
When contacted, State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Md Abdullah on Monday told this correspondent that the Saudi government has reopened the door of the two holy mosques in Makkah and Medina from Monday morning after around two and half months of closure to prevent the viral pandemic in the country.
"With the decision of reopening the two mosques and restarting all necessary services, we are now expecting that they will also reopen the door of Hajj, the largest Muslim congregation in the world. Bangladesh is now ready to send pilgrims for Hajj performance. Around 66,000 Bangladeshi pilgrims have already completed their registration. If the Saudi government wants, all of them will be able to perform Hajj this year," he said adding that if they want, the full quota can also be filled by this June.
However, everything will depend on the decision of the Saudi government and overall Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country. "The Saudi government will not allow any corona infected country to send pilgrims for performing Hajj this year," he further added. When contacted, Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) President Shahadat Hossain Taslim told this correspondent that he strongly believes that the Hajj would be held this year.
"However, it's not confirmed yet whether pilgrims from Bangladesh will be allowed to perform Hajj this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Saudi authorities will not allow any Corona infected country to send pilgrims this year. But if they allow Bangladesh at least 66,000 pilgrims are ready to fly," he added.