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Saudi Arabia Announces Stringent Penalties for Hajj Pilgrims Without Official Permit

SR10,000 fine, deportation for illegal pilgrims; SR50,000 fine, jail for transporters

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on May 9, 2024, 11:47:58

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saudi arabia, hajj, pilgrims to hajj, hajj regualtions

Saudi Arabia has announced strict penalties for individuals attempting to undertake the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage without an official permit.

The Ministry of Interior has declared that enforcement will commence next month, focusing on those breaching Hajj regulations in Mecca, the Central Area, and sacred locations from June 2 to June 20.

This year's Hajj rituals are anticipated to commence around June 14, subject to the sighting of the new moon.

Residents, citizens and visitors found within the designated areas without a pilgrimage permit will incur a fine of SR10,000, with the penalty doubling upon repeated offenses. Expatriate offenders will also face deportation and a ban from re-entry into the kingdom.

Moreover, individuals aiding violators and unauthorized pilgrims could receive up to six months imprisonment and a maximum fine of SR50,000. Expatriate facilitators will be deported upon completion of their sentence.

Saudi Arabia has cautioned against fraudulent campaigns and websites targeting Muslims planning to perform Hajj, stressing the importance of official channels for securing pilgrimage access and safeguarding the rights of pilgrims.

The Ministry of Hajj has emphasised the necessity of obtaining a Hajj permit, echoing recent statements by the Council of Senior Scholars, the kingdom's highest Islamic authority, which has deemed performing Hajj without an official permit as sinful.

Hajj, one of Islam's five obligatory duties, must be undertaken at least once in a lifetime by physically and financially capable Muslims.

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