Very sad and disturbing news about the Saudi government’s restriction of hajj.
Saudi Arabia announced Saturday this year’s hajj pilgrimage will be limited to no more than 60,000 people, all of them from within the kingdom, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement by the kingdom comes after it ran an incredibly pared-down pilgrimage last year over the virus, but still allowed a small number of the faithful to take part in the annual ceremony.
A statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted the kingdom’s Hajj and Umrah Ministry making the announcement. It said this year’s hajj, which will begin in mid-July, will be limited to those ages 18 to 65.
Those taking part must be vaccinated as well, the ministry said.
Who gave this Saudi government the right to block the Ummah from performing hajj and umrah?
فِيۡهِ اٰيٰتٌ ۢ بَيِّنٰتٌ مَّقَامُ اِبۡرٰهِيۡمَۚ وَمَنۡ دَخَلَهٗ كَانَ اٰمِنًا ؕ وَلِلّٰهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الۡبَيۡتِ مَنِ اسۡتَطَاعَ اِلَيۡهِ سَبِيۡلًا ؕ وَمَنۡ كَفَرَ فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ غَنِىٌّ عَنِ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ
In it, there are clear signs and the station of Abraham; whoever enters it becomes secure. Pilgrimage to the House is a duty owed to Allah by all who can make their way to it. As for those who refuse to follow His command, surely Allah does not need anything. (Quran 3:97)
Hajj is an obligatory duty upon every Muslim who can afford and can perform it.
Last year, the Saudi government reduced the number of pilgrims to about 1,000 Saudi citizens and residents, after banning Muslims from around the world.
Meanwhile, Europe is currently hosting the Euro Cup in its full swing, with people traveling from all over the world to attend. Similarly, South America is hosting Copa America with the full presence of an international audience.
International concerts and sporting events are taking place at full capacity around the world despite the “pandemic,” but Muslims are banned from making hajj because… why?
Hajj Is Cancelled But Foreign Tourists Welcome
What makes Saudi’s hajj ban even more indefensible is that the government is actively trying to draw more foreign tourism.
The Saudi propaganda website, Arab News, just recently announced that, not only is “entertainment” resuming in 2021, it is going to be “twice as big.”
Saudi tourism and entertainment seasons are set to return in the fourth quarter of 2021 with more excitement and larger-scale events, Visit Saudi by Tourism Authority announced on Sunday.
Saudi is trying to create “larger-scale events” for entertainment, while restricting hajj.
The launch of the new Saudi Seasons is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan to enrich the lives of Saudis and expats, enhance the quality of life, promote different tourist destinations and highlight cultural, entertainment and sports treasures in the country. […]
In 2019, Saudi Seasons contributed to advancing social and economic growth across the country through a diverse calendar of events and activities with more than 390 key events.
They explicitly are trying to spur economic growth through tourism from foreigners. But they don’t want conservative Muslim foreigners performing hajj. They want liberal Western foreigners attending music festivals, like 2019’s appropriately named BEAST festival.
But it’s not just music festivals. It’s also luxury car shows.
After a 10-year absence, the Riyadh International Motor Show is all set to return in 2021. The event will take place in December this year at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center.
How can the Saudi government justify their blatant double standard?
With more than 50 companies and brands from across the globe rolling into the Saudi capital, petrolheads and car buyers will be able to witness car launches, including debuts and revamped editions of bestselling models, and much more, at the four-day mega show, which runs from Dec. 16 to 19, 2021.
They celebrate kuffar coming to Saudi to party and chase luxury while making excuses about a “pandemic” to shut down the Ummah’s access to Mecca and Madina.
This is an insult and slap in the face of Muslims who just want to visit the country for the purpose of completing the pilgrimage and fulfilling the duty given to us by Allah سبحانه وتعالى, not to mention the massive loss of opportunity to pray and make dua in the two most blessed places on earth.
The question is, when will the Saudi government lift these unjust, evil restrictions? Or are they planning to permanently hold the Ka`ba and Masjid al-Nabawi “hostage”?
Allah is the One who guards His holy sanctuaries and He is the One who will rectify all affairs.