First 50 state-sponsored pilgrims depart for Hajj

Pilgrims at the airport to depart for Hajj. (Photo/Islamic Ministry)

The first 50 state-sponsored pilgrims have departed to Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage on Friday.

Providing state-sponsored Hajj trips for 1,000 low-income individuals during his five-year term is an electoral pledge of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. The cabinet endorsed executing the pledge for the first Hajj season during his presidential term in a meeting held on December 5th  of last year, just three weeks after assuming office.

A draw was held among the list of people eligible for Zakat al-Mal at the Islamic Ministry on March 10th to select the first 50 individuals who will receive state-sponsorship Hajj trips under this initiative.

As per the Ministry, the list of people on the draw included 667 people between the ages of 50 to 69 out of the 982 people on the list of people eligible for Zakat al-Mal in the year 1444.

Pilgrims at the airport to depart for Hajj. (Photo/Islamic Ministry)

The ID card numbers of the 667 people were used for the draw which Islamic Ministry assured was held under a policy formulated by the Ministry to ensure transparency where the participants of the draw can view the proceedings.

The Ministry also said the names of an additional 10 alternatives were drawn in case any of the 50 people selected by the draw are unable to embark on the Hajj pilgrimage over unforeseen circumstances.

As per the Ministry, 10 individuals from the 50 selected for state-sponsored Hajj trips this year, forewent the opportunity. In light of this, the opportunity was offered to the 10 alternatives in the order they were drawn.

48 state-sponsored Hajj pilgrims departed on Friday, while two other state-sponsored pilgrims departed on last Friday and Monday respectively.

Islamic Ministry is covering the traveling expenses, stay and meals for pilgrims residing outside of the Male’ area, who would have to travel to the capital for their departure to Saudi Arabia.

Pilgrims at the airport to depart for Hajj. (Photo/Islamic Ministry)

The first group of pilgrims from the Maldives embarking on this year’s Hajj pilgrimage departed to Saudi Arabia on last Friday. They included 298 pilgrims accompanied by 26 aides.

Meanwhile, 330 pilgrims accompanied by 23 aides departed on Monday and 339 pilgrims accompanied by 23 aides departed today.

Like previous years, Islamic Ministry, this year as well, has made arrangements for pilgrims to travel to the airport from Male’ area.

Saudi Arabia approved a quota of 1,000 pilgrims from the Maldives for Hajj pilgrimage this year. Excluding aides, a total of 980 pilgrims from the Maldives are set to perform Hajj pilgrimage this year.

This year’s Arafat Day will fall on June 15th