JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia has officially canceled sending Muslim pilgrims to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, after the country left out Indonesia from its list of 11 countries that are permitted to send pilgrims in the annual ritual.
Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas pointed out that the ban applies to all Indonesian nationals that go on pilgrimage through the Indonesian hajj quota or other means.
“The government decided to curtail sending [Indonesian] pilgrims for the hajj after [Saudi Arabia] has not cleared Indonesian nationals to go there. They were also unclear whether they will end or extend the closure of the airport there on July 14,” he said.
"Most of all, the global Covid-19 pandemic is still a threat to the health and safety of the pilgrims, including Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. In Islamic teaching, keeping one's life safe should be a consideration in policy making."
Indonesian Consul for the Hajj and Umrah (minor) Pilgrimage in Jeddah Endang Jumali confirmed Yaqut’s statement. “The Saudi government has yet to announce the operational aspects or mechanism for the holding the hajj during the [Covid-19] pandemic,” he said.
“They also have not given any information on the hajj quota [from Indonesia] or other technical aspects of the pilgrimage.”
The Indonesian government has yet to finalize a number of aspects for the 2021 hajj, such as the flight contract, down payment for the pilgrimage, preparation for the travel documents as well as the Manasik rites and ceremonies for the hajj.
“Other aspects that we need to deal with are the logistical aspects, such as accommodation, consumption and land transportation. We can only resolve these aspects of the hajj once Saudi Arabia officially gives us the quota for Indonesian pilgrims,” asserted Yaqut.
Saudi Arabia has limited the number of countries which can send pilgrims to the annual hajj because of the Covid-19 pandemic to 11 nations.
The countries on the list, which are France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States, were those that are deemed to get the Covid-19 pandemic under control.
Accoding to the Saudi Public Health Authority (PHA), these nations have managed to stabilize or contain the Covid-19 outbreak within their borders. However, pilgrims from those countries are still subject to quarantine on entering Saudi Arabia.
(Writers: Sania Mashabi, Fitria Chusna Farisa | Editors: Bayu Galih, Diamanty Meiliana)
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