July 16, 2024

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Slow pace of pilgrims’ facilitation unnerves tour operators, hajj commissions

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As Nigerian pilgrims, various states and federal government agencies with oversight for hitch-free facilitation and the concerned airlines have begun making frantic efforts to airlift the fraction of pilgrims yet to depart, while the Saudi Arabia government announces that the annual Hajj pilgrimage will begin on the 26th June 2023, with Eid Al Adha, the festival of the sacrifice, coming up two days after.

The hope of appreciable numbers of these remnants of pilgrims hanged in the balance as their concerned tour operators are seen in last-minute deals to draft available airlines to render a helping hand for the intending pilgrims to actualize their lifelong ambition and spiritual obligation.

To this end, Arik Air which had earlier reneged in the schedule had resumed airlifting of pilgrims yet, between 5000 and 7000 pilgrims are in the throes of inadequate capacity by travel agents and may miss this year’s hajj.

Alh. Zikirullah Olakunle Hassan, Chairman, NAHCON

The announcement of the new moon sighted came both from Saudi, and the Sultan of Sokoto, also is the President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III.

The Sultan declared Monday, 19th June 2023, as the first day of Dhul-Hijjah 1444 AH, the 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar, after the crescent moon was sighted.

It means Dhul Hijjah will begin on Monday, allowing for the start dates of both Hajj – which falls on the eighth day of the month – and Eid Al Adha, which commences on its tenth day, will be determined.

Hajj will begin on Monday, 26th June, followed by Arafat Day, the following day, with Eid Al Adha celebrations will begin on Wednesday, 28th June 2023.

To the Muslim ummaah, the entire month of Dhu Al Hijja is holy, with a series of days important to the Muslim faith.

Dhu Al Hijja is considered one of the four sacred months for Muslims, called Al Ash-hur Al Hurom


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