Malawian Muslims who have made intention to perform hajj this year should not get panic with the reports from Saudi Arabia to cut down or not to send Pilgrims for the next two years, Al-Manasik Travel and Tours for Hajj and Umrah has said.
Saudi Arabia recently made an appeal to all countries to cut down the number of pilgrims performing Hajj for the next two years has led to a decline in fortunes for travel agencies that specialize in Hajj and Umrah services.
The development follows extensive renovation work in Makkah which is being undertaken and hence, has reduced the number of pilgrims arriving this year for Hajj and Umrah.
An appeal has since been made by Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia to the all Muslims across the world to respect the decision in the long-term interest, benefits and comforts for all pilgrims.
Meanwhile Director for the firm Sheikh Jaffar Omar Chawala has since said that the arrangement will hugely affect those countries that send more pilgrims.
“We as Malawian Muslims we will definitely not be affected by this development because we normally send few pilgrims for hajj. But for countries like Indonesia and United Arab Emirates UAE who send over 200,000 pilgrims annually.
“It would be unfair for Southern African countries like Malawi who already send less than hundred pilgrims to be told not to send Muslims for hajj this year,” he said.
Currently the firm’s Executive Director Sheikh Amman Matiya is in Zambia for visa processing for the Muslims who have already committed to travel with it for this year’s prayers.
“So far 48 Muslims including Mozambique and Zambia nationals have met our conditions and will travel with us. But the door is still open for those who have intentions to perform hajj with our guidance. Actually as of now we have already received some passports from quite a number of Muslims for their visas to be processed hence travelling to Saudi Arabia,” Sheikh Chawala said.
He further described Al-Manasik’s package as reasonable as this year’s trip requires one to pay four thousand Dollars that catters for air ticket, accommodation and local transport.
“For the local transport that means before the actual hajj, we will take them to important historical places such as Minnah and Arafah in Makkah. And Masjidul Qiblutain, Mount Ohud and Masjidul Qubaa in Madnah after the prayers,” he said.
Reporting by Ali Blessings Idi