Hajj 2018: Saudi Arabia begins to receive pilgrims

Saudi officials receive the first batch of Hajj pilgrims on Saturday in Jeddah. SPA
  • About 107,000 Pakistanis will perform Hajj under the government Hajj scheme and 77,210 pilgrims will do so through private Hajj schemes
  • Pilgrims were offered dates and prayer mats by the Saudi authorities

JEDDAH: The Hajj 2018 season has begun, with the first flights arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Malaysia on Saturday.

King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport, Madinah, are witnessing the start of pilgrimage flights, in which all public and private sectors operating in the airport finished preparations for serving pilgrims from all over the world.

Pakistan has started operating Hajj flights and the first Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-7001, carrying 171 pilgrims from Karachi, landed in Madinah early on Saturday morning.

On the second flight, 186 Pakistani pilgrims reached the King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah from Islamabad through PK- 741 and were welcomed by Pakistani consulate officers. Saudi Deputy Minister of Hajj Abdullah Al-Fataah and other Saudi officials were also present.

According to Hajj policy 2018, a total of 107,000 Pakistanis will perform Hajj under the government Hajj scheme and 77,210 pilgrims will do so through private Hajj schemes. Hajj flights are also scheduled from other major cities of the country including Peshawar, Multan, Sukkur, Lahore and Faisalabad.

“We have made excellent accommodation, food and transportation arrangements for all the pilgrims with the cooperation of the Saudi government,” Imran Siddiqui, spokesperson for the Pakistani Ministry of Religious Affairs, told Arab News.

He said 184,210 Pakistanis will perform Hajj this year, while flight operations will continue from Saturday till Aug. 15.
Siddiqui said the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad remained open, even in weekends, to process visas and other official requirements for people intending to perform their Hajj.

The Jeddah airport also received the first flight carrying pilgrims from Bangladesh, 419 in total.
Pilgrims were offered dates and prayer mats by the Saudi authorities.
The passengers were received by Vice President of the General Authority for Civil Aviation Sulaiman bin Hamad Al-Bassam, Director General of King Abdul Aziz International Airport Essam Fouad, and a number of government and airport officials.

The Madinah airport also received the first flight carrying pilgrims from Malaysia.

The first Hajj flight from Kabul also arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, carrying 345 Afghan pilgrims.

Hajj flights have started from Kabul and Herat but others will soon leave from Kandahar and Balkh airports, confirmed Faiz Mohammad Osmani, Minister for Hajj and Religious Endowments, on Saturday.

An estimated 30,000 Afghans will perform Hajj this year, out of which the government will sponsor 500 — mainly the family members of those who fell victim to the country’s ongoing war.

The operational plan for the Hajj season this year included preparations for receiving pilgrims and the training of governmental bodies at the airport for finalizing their processes swiftly.



Categories: Arab World, Asia, Saudi Arabia

Tagged as: , , , ,

5 replies

  1. I had the opportunity to perform Hajj 3 times: 1970, 1975, 2006 and Umrah a couple of times in between. A great experience indeed !


    Each ẓāhirī symbol and bāṭinī meaning form a pair (zawjayn ). Thus, the physical Ka‘bah has an esoteric (bāṭinī) counterpart without which it possesses no true meaning and for whose sake the Ka‘bah itself is established. The physical Ka‘bah, the physical House of God, is not an immutable structure; it has been demolished, damaged and rebuilt several times throughout history. The physical Ka‘bah is not inherently pure; it has been the site of idol worship for generations and only regained its purity due to the intervention of a Prophet or Imam. Thus, the Ka‘bah cannot be the House of God in the fullest sense because it is inanimate and suffers from both decay and corruption. The Prophet Muhammad, according to several Sunni hadiths, admitted that the physical Ka‘bah is not even built on the original pattern and foundations of Abraham and that he would have demolished and rebuilt it had he not feared the reaction of the Quraysh who were still attached to the customs of jahilliyyah.===

    There is no thing special about Kaaba—- why Muslim want to kiss and cry at Kaaba?
    Islam has became a dogmatic religion, , not logic any more.

    My quedtion to Rafiq: did you kiss Kaaba?

    All love ❤️

    • No, I did not, although I touched it. I am a simple person and do not make all that much fuss about these things. I do not ‘worship’ the Kaaba and I do not consider it ‘shirk’ to perform the rituals there. Whether the first house of Allah was exactly here or there does not matter. The main purpose of Hajj is to demonstrate UNITY.

    • Well, regarding The Aga Khan’s ‘spiritual’ side: https://www.celebfamily.com/politician/prince-karim-al-husseini-aga-khan-family.html divorces due to his ‘extramarital affairs’ … mmmm ???? Not exactly an example of a spiritual Imam. I would have wished that the Aga Khans would have married from within their community. I am sure they have beautiful, educated and religious ladies that would be suitable for him, rather than American actresses and such. Yes, I think we have to look at the ‘over-all’ picture here.

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