Ashrafi urges pilgrims to avoid political, sectarian activities

Backs Saudi Arabia’s Fatwa on Hajj regulations

ISLAMABAD   -  Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Chairman, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Sunday underscored the importance of maintaining the sanctity of Hajj as a purely religious duty and urged pilgrims to refrain from engaging in political and sectarian activities during their pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. In a media talk, he specifically advised pilgrims to avoid carrying political flags, banners, or pictures, and to steer clear of political gatherings or communal debates.

Ashrafi emphasized that adherence to Saudi laws and regulations was crucial for a successful and respectful pilgrimage.

Highlighting the scale of this year’s pilgrimage, he mentioned that between 68,000 government-sponsored pilgrims and an additional 90,000 private pilgrims were expected to perform Hajj. He noted that all operations related to Hajj would be completed by June 12.

He also reminded prospective pilgrims that performing Hajj required official permission and those intending to perform Umrah or holding an Iqama must secure the necessary approvals to participate in Hajj.

Ashrafi announced his full support for the recent Fatwa issued by the Supreme Council of Ulema of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, “which mandates that performing Hajj without official permission is impermissible.”

He appealed to all Muslims to strictly adhere to the rules and regulations set by Saudi Arabia regarding Hajj. “The Fatwa of the Council of prominent Ulema of Saudi Arabia is clear: Performing Hajj without the required permissions is a sin. We urge all intending pilgrims to respect this ruling to avoid legal complications,” Ashrafi stated.

He said the leadership of Saudi Arabia had previously warned that all Hajj arrangements must be made through approved companies, and they had announced heavy fines and legal consequences for those attempting to perform Hajj without proper authorization. He reiterated this warning and encourages all pilgrims to comply with these regulations to ensure a peaceful and lawful pilgrimage.

Ashrafi also emphasized the importance of booking Hajj only through companies authorized by the Saudi government. Unauthorized bookings and travel arrangements would be considered illegal, and violators would face severe penalties, he added.

He further addressed an unfortunate incident involving Pakistani beggars in Haram, calling it a source of national shame and urging better conduct from all pilgrims.

Ashrafi expressed gratitude to the Saudi government for their exceptional Hajj arrangements, specifically thanking Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, for the ‘Route to Makkah’ programme.

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