2020 Int’l Hajj Cancellation: Remain calm, we’ll protect your interest, NAHCON tells intending pilgrims

…Muslim World body, top scholars back S/Arabia’s decision

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Following the news of the cancellation of 2020 Hajj for intending pilgrim world over other than domestic pilgrims by Saudi Arabia, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has urged intending pilgrims to remain calm adding that necessary arrangements are in place to protect their interest.

Meanwhile, top Muslim bodies and scholars have continued to hail Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow only domestic pilgrims, not more than 10,000 for the 2020 hajj.

Top scholars lauded the decision saying it was well thought out in order to protect the health and safety of pilgrims.

The Commission in a statement signed by Head Public Affairs, Hajia Fatima Sanda Usara, appreciated the prayers and support extended to it from all segments of the society as well as the outpour of interests and enquiries by individuals, pressmen and other stakeholders over the cancellation of international pilgrimage for 2020 Hajj.

The statement reads: “The Commission’s leadership, board members and management welcome the news with complete surrender to the will of the Almighty, and commend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this brave decision.

“NAHCON is sensitive to all the enquiries and concerns that greeted Saudi Arabia’s much-awaited decision. Hence, the Commission assures the general public that as soon as its leadership fulfils all administrative, cum official requirements, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NAHCON shall hold a press briefing where all your enquiries and way forward will be addressed.

“Meanwhile, NAHCON urges intending pilgrims to remain calm as necessary arrangements are in place to protect their interest. The Commission appreciates the prayers and supports extended to it from all segments of the society.”

Muslim World League, top scholars hail decision

Meanwhile, top Muslim bodies and scholars have continued to hail Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow only domestic pilgrims, not more than 10,000 for the 2020 hajj.

Top scholars lauded the decision saying it was well thought out in order to protect the health and safety of pilgrims.

In a statement carried by Saudi Press Agency, the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and the Saudi government for their great efforts to serve the two Holy Mosques and Muslims.

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The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Islamic learning, also backed the move, calling it a wise decision that is compatible with the Shariah. Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayyeb said that the decision takes into account the continuity of the Hajj pilgrimage while reflecting the concern for the safety of the pilgrims of God’s Sacred House.

Sheikh Al-Tayyeb said that personal safety is the most important part of Islamic law. The move also reflects the awareness of the leadership of the Kingdom of the seriousness of the coronavirus, especially in light of its rapid spread, threatening the lives of people everywhere, the Al-Azhar chief said.

In a statement, Al-Azhar praised the efforts of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman in serving and facilitating pilgrims and keeping them safe.

Meanwhile, the Muslim World League also issued a statement on behalf of its scholars under the umbrella of the Supreme Council of the League, the Islamic Jurisprudence Council and the World Supreme Council of Mosques, endorsing the precautionary measures taken by the Saudi government for Hajj this year.

In a statement issued by Secretary-General of the League and Chairman of the Association of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa said: “The emergency circumstance of the coronavirus pandemic represents an exceptional case that Shariah should take with great care and consideration, in order to preserve the safety of pilgrims.”

The statement continued that the League contacted a number of senior muftis and scholars of the Islamic world immediately after the decision, as the nation’s scholars affirmed its wisdom as a precautionary measure required by legal necessity, given that this feared pandemic still represents a significant risk.

The Egyptian Dar Al Iftaa also affirmed that the Kingdom’s decision is consistent with the provisions and purposes of Islamic Shariah to preserve the lives and safety of pilgrims.

The United Arab Emirates Council for Fatwa and Shariah also praised the decision.

The Council stressed that everyone should abide by the instructions issued by the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman based on its sovereign and legal responsibility to care for pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors and help them to maintain the health and safety of all.

In a statement issued on Tuesday after its meeting chaired by Sheikh Tahir Mahmud Ashraf, the Council of Pakistani Scholars endorsed the Kingdom’s wise decision to preserve the health and safety of pilgrims.

The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) commended the decision taken by Saudi Arabia with regard to this year’s Hajj.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ANIC affirmed the importance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s decision at the present time, in order to preserve the interest and health of Muslims and control Coronavirus pandemic to prevent its spread at local and global levels.


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