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Muslim Advice
Muslim Advice

Uzbekistan to ask Saudi Arabia to increase Umrah quota

Uzbekistan will ask Saudi Arabia to increase the country quota for small pilgrimage (Umrah) to 10 thousand people in 2018, the Committee for Religious Affairs under the Cabinet of Ministers said.
According to the representative of the committee, the Saudi Arabia will take the final decision on this issue next year.
"Uzbekistan requires the quota increase because more and more people wish to conduct pilgrimage, this is related to the rise in the standard of living of the population," the Committee on Religious Affairs noted.
The total quota for Uzbekistan in 2017 was increased by 20% to the previous year to 13.2 thousand people, the hajj quota increased by 1.4 times to 7200 pilgrims, and the Umrah quota remained unchanged at 6000.

Uzbekistan: Is Hike in Mecca Pilgrimage Quota Another Sign of Thaw?

Later this month, groups of Muslim pilgrims from Uzbekistan will begin making their way to Mecca, undertaking a religious obligation that most believers in the country can only dream about.

In recognition of overwhelming popular demand, authorities in Uzbekistan earlier this year upped the annual quota for people authorized to make the pilgrimage — to 7,200 from 5,200, the level that has been in place since the early 1990s.

That comes nowhere near the number of Uzbek believers who would like to make the pilgrimage, but it appears to be a rare concession from a government that seeks to balance the promotion of its conservative political agenda with the containment of religion’s role in public life.

UZBEKISTAN: Over 160 year wait to go on haj pilgrimage?

Uzbekistan continues severely restricting the Muslims who can on the haj pilgrimage to Mecca, Forum 18 News Service notes. The state imposes severe restrictions on the numbers of pilgrims and refuses to explain why it does this. People can only get onto the extremely long pilgrimage waiting lists after extensive scrutiny by state agencies including the NSS secret police. Shaira Sadygbekova of Ezgulik human rights organisation has calculated that she will need to live to be 205 years old to reach the top of the waiting list. The head of her mahalla (city district) – one of the agencies which decides who gets onto waiting lists – told Forum 18 that she "will be able to go in 20 or 30 years". Even if people reach the top of the waiting list they may be arbitrarily denied an exit visa to go on pilgrimage. State-run banks often refuse to distribute enough hard currency to pilgrims, according to human rights defenders including Surat Ikramov.

Iran pilgrims to join this year's Hajj: Saudi Arabia

"The ministry of hajj and the Iranian organisation have completed all the necessary measures to ensure Iranian pilgrims perform Hajj 1438 according to the procedures followed by all Muslim countries," the official Saudi Press Agency said on Friday, referring to this year in the Islamic calendar.

For the first time in nearly three decades, Iran's pilgrims - which would have numbered about 60,000 - did not attend the Hajj in 2016 after the two countries failed to agree on security and logistics.

Riyadh and Tehran have no diplomatic relations, and tensions remain as Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia repeatedly accuses Iran of fuelling regional conflicts by supporting armed Shia movements in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain.

But the Saudi Hajj ministry said on Friday that the kingdom, the birthplace of Islam, welcomes "all pilgrims from all the different nationalities and backgrounds".

Iraq’s hajj quota to increase by 2,200 next year

Sheikh Taqi al-Mawla, head of the umrah and hajj commission in Iraq, said on Wednesday that Iraq’s hajj quota will increase by 2,200
Sheikh Taqi al-Mawla, head of the umrah and hajj commission in Iraq, said on Wednesday that Iraq’s hajj quota will increase by 2,200 pilgrims next year.
“We [worked] to figure out the realistic number of Iraq’s population...and Iraq has thus been granted [the approval] of adding 2,200 pilgrims to next year’s hajj,” Mawla said.
He added that there are agreements with Saudi Arabia to increase Iraq’s hajj quota to 34,000 pilgrims each year.
The umrah and hajj commission had previously announced that Saudi Arabia has specified Iraq’s quota at 32,500 pilgrims for this year.

Pakistan urges Saudi govt to increase its Hajj quota

as the former’s new population figures following the ongoing census in the country are expected to show a dramatic increase.
Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Muhammad Yusuf met with his Saudi counterpart Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten in Jeddah on Tuesday.
Yusuf called for an increase in the Hajj quota from the current 179,210 to 194,210.
The minister had requested the increase last month too at a meeting with Benten in Peshawar.
Federal cabinet approves new Haj policy
The Saudi minister has expressed his willingness to accept the demand.
A Religious Affairs Ministry official, who was present at the meeting, confirmed that they had received a positive feedback from Riyadh and were hopeful that the increase in quota would soon be given the nod.
The official added that Islamabad had made the demand based on the estimated new population statistics.
SC orders action against illegal Hajj operators

Haj quota for Pakistan increased

ISLAMABAD: The Haj quota for Pakistan has been increased to 179,210 applications for 2017. The quota had been reduced in 2013 due to expansion work in the Grand Mosque.
“An agreement for the year 2017 has been signed with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Haj quota has been enhanced from 143,368 to 179,210,” Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousuf said here on Thursday.
He was briefing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif regarding arrangements for the 2017 Haj.
The prime minister was informed that the Saudi Haj ministry had been requested to increase Pakistan’s quota by at least 15,000 on the basis of the country’s current population.

Under government scheme, applicants who have performed Haj during the last seven years will not be eligible to apply in 2017

Bangladesh Haj quota reduction may continue for next year

Bangladesh has urged Saudi authorities to reconsider the 20 percent cut in quota of foreign Haj pilgrims and also to implement the electronic web portal service for Haj from this year to expedite various Haj processes.
Bangladesh Religious Affairs Minister Mohammed Mutiur Rahman discussed these two vital subjects with Saudi Haj Minister Dr. Bandar Al Hajar on Sunday when he met with him at his office in Jeddah, Mohammad Nazmul Islam, Bangladesh consul general said.
“We discussed a wide range of subjects related to improvement of Haj services to pilgrims, including introduction of the electronic web portal and also the need to restore actual quota” Islam said, adding that the Haj ministry had informed that the 20 percent reduction in quota would be applicable not only this year but also next year due to the expansion project at the grand mosque.

30,000 Bangladeshis to miss Hajj this year due to quota restriction

Ministry officials said at a press conference on Tuesday that 101,750 people would be sent to Saudi Arabia this year for Hajj as per Bangladesh’s quota.

Of them, 10,000 will go on government packages and the rest on private arrangements.

Religious Affairs Minister Matior Rahaman requested the additional 30,000 people wishing to perform Hajj to ‘keep patience’.

He requested the agencies to give priority to these people failing to perform the ritual this year during next year’s Hajj.

Of them, nearly 10,000 have already deposited their money and the remaining 20,000 applied for Hajj registration through private agencies.

Ministry Deputy Secretary Md Faizur Rahman Faruqui said total 111,012 people had deposited money for Hajj, though only 91,908 were registered.

Among the depositors, 9,254 are being barred by quota restrictions.

Number of Hajj pilgrims from Azerbaijan to exceed quota this year

The quota for Azerbaijani pilgrims this year is 600. However, 900 pilgrims will join this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.

The pilgrims will depart on August 24. The pilgrimage package per person costs 3,850 US dollars. Unlike the previous years, pilgrims have not been offered VIP or cheaper packages. The flights will be carried out by AZAL. Azerbaijani pilgrims will be sent altogether by airplanes. The registration for Hajj pilgrimage from Azerbaijan can only be done through the CMO.

Malaysia’s haj quota for this year back to 27,800, says Jamil Khir

The Saudi Arabian government has reverted the quota for Malaysian haj pilgrims this year to the original figure of 27,800, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said today.
He said the move automatically revoked the 20 per cent reduced quota for haj pilgrims which was implemented in 2013.
"Malaysia thanks the Saudi Arabian government for returning the original quota for our haj pilgrims," he said after presenting donation worth more than RM36,000 to seven mosques and 47 surau which were affected by the flood at Dewan Tanjung Mas here.
Jamil said the donation was to ease the burden suffered by the mosque and the surau's management following the flood in Kelantan.
"This is not the first or the last. The federal government will continue to help the people," he said.
It was reported that Saudi Arabia had decided to reduce the number of haj pilgrims following the extension work at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Malaysia's haj quota restored to 30,200 pilgrims this year

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's haj quota has been restored to 30,200 pilgrims beginning this haj season.
Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said the approval was obtained during King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia's historic visit to Malaysia at the end of last month.
"Aside from securing RM31 billion in investments from Saudi Aramco and Petronas, an agreement was also reached to restore the 30,200 haj quota from 22,000 pilgrims three years ago," said Abdul Azeez (BN-Baling).
Abdul Azeez said this while debating a motion of thanks to the royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had previously said that Malaysia's request for an increase in the haj quota had been met positively by King Salman.
The Saudi government had also announced the restoration of a Malaysian haj quota from 27,900 pilgrims for this year's haj season compared to 22,230 since 2013.

Haj quota for pilgrims restored to 27,900 this year, says Tabung Haji

The statement said the Saudi government had restored the quota after the Haj quota for foreign pilgrims was reduced in 2013.
It said Saudi Arabia’s Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh Bentan said this to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom in an annual Haj meeting in Jeddah last Wednesday.
“On behalf of the Malaysian Government, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department thanked the Saudi Arabian government for reinstating the haj quota which is very much welcomed by all Muslims,” it said.
The statement added that the cost for performing the Haj this year had increased to RM19,550 compared to RM18,890 last year.
“Although the cost had been increasing every year, TH had maintained the pilgrimage cost for each Muasassah pilgrim at RM9,980 since 2009.
The Haj subsidy borne by TH for the haj season this year is expected to be RM200 million,” the statement said.

Malaysia’s Haj quota is 30,200 this year

He said the increase was achieved following discussions during the recent visit of Saudi Arabia ruler, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud here recently.
King Salman is also Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
“I am happy to state what transpired during the visit... thank God, TH was given a 30,200 haj quota this year compared to 22,230 people in the past three years,” he said when debating the address of the Yang Dipertuan Agong at the Dewan Rakyat here today.
Since January, the Malaysian Haj quota was brought back to 27,900 pilgrims compared to 22,230 people since 2013.
Abdul Azeez said the visit of the Saudi Arabian monarch also brought numerous other benefits apart from investments in the country.
He said the visit also proved the credibility of the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who drew the attention of Saudi Arabia which had picked Malaysia as the first country for its king’s working visit to Asia. — Bernama

There Are 17,000 South African Muslims Still Waiting To Attend Hajj

There are 17,000 South African Muslims on the waiting list to go on the annual Hajj pilgrimage, The South African Haj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) told HuffPost SA on Friday. Many of them have been waiting since 2013 to do the once-in-a-lifetime trip.
The backlog comes after Saudi Arabian officials drastically reduced the quota of South Africans allowed to enter the Kingdom during the Hajj period. Over 2.5 million Muslims attended the event, which takes place this weekend in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and is compulsory for Muslim believers who have the means to do so, according to the Qu'ran.
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Only 2,500 South Africans will attend the pilgrimage this year, the Sahuc says, which costs around R40,000 per person for six weeks, excluding flights.
President Shaheen Essop expressed his disappointment with Saudi authorities in 2015, when the quota for South Africans was first reduced.

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