Islamic council commences Hajj registrations

Islamic council commences Hajj registrations
South Sudan Islamic Council leaders during address a press conference in Juba. [Alex Bullen, City Review]

South Sudan Islamic Council (SSIC) has announced the start of the registration period for the Hajj pilgrimage for citizens in the country.

Sheikh Dr Abdullah Barag Rwal, Secretary-General and Head of the Bureau of South Sudan Hajj Affairs, stated at a press conference held at its headquarters in Juba that 616 South Sudanese have been allowed to attend Hajj this year.

“We have been in Saudi Arabia and we are here to announce that our country has been given a chance to make no less than 600 presentations in this year’s Hajj. “

However, Sheikh Barag revealed that domestic pilgrims will only be able to register for Hajj for nine days, meaning the deadline is Saturday, June 11.

He indicated that anyone interested can register with the South Sudan Islamic Council offices in Juba. But that no registrations will be handled outside Juba due to the reorganization of computerised registrations.

Any interested person is expected to pay $5,892, which is equivalent to SSP 2 million, according to the SSIC Head of Bureau of South Sudan Hajj Affairs, and the person must be between the ages of 18 and 65.

Meanwhile, Eliash Chang Gatkouth, SSIC Executive Director of Hajj Affairs, disclosed that people must complete three doses of the COVID-19 vaccination to participate in Hajj this year. He said this is required by the laws of Saudi Arabia which define an immunised person as someone who has completed three doses of the vaccine.

“All pilgrims must follow the health recommendations and take all necessary precautions to ensure their health and safety while completing the Hajj rituals, according to the government,” he emphasised.

He added that the Sudi Hajj Ministry has issued a warning to the Directorate of Immigration that anyone caught fingerprinting for Hajj without first obtaining a permit will be deported from Saudi Arabia for a period of 10 years.

Hajj, also spelt as adjdj or hadj, in Islam, is the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which every Muslim adult must make at least once in his or her lifetime.

The Hajj is the fifth of the fundamental Muslim practices embedded in the five pillars of Islam. The pilgrimage begins on the 7th day of Dhū al-Ḥijjah (the last month of the Islamic calendar year) and ends on the 12th day. All Muslims who are physically and financially stable are encouraged to make the pilgrimage, provided their absence will not place hardships on their family.