As much as Muslims in Malaysia longed to fulfil their Islamic obligations, the current pandemic has made it difficult for them to join millions of other Muslims to come together in Islam's holiest sites, Makkah and Madinah. While Saudi Arabia continues to persevere through the current pandemic, here's what we learned about the status of Hajj pilgrimage for Malaysia this year.
On 11 June 2020, it was announced that Malaysia won't be allowing its citizens to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage this year as the country continues their battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Religious Affairs Minister Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said the decision was made after 'a briefing by the Health Ministry and Tabung Haji and a discussion by the special Muzakarah Committee of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs on 9 June 2020', according to New Straits Times.
Dr Zulkifli had presented an official letter to the Saudi Arabian ambassador for Malaysia stating that Malaysian pilgrims will defer their hajj pilgrimage this year. This letter will then be presented to Saudi Arabia Haj and Umrah Minister, Dr Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Banten.
"I hope all hajj pilgrims will be patient and accept this decision. Tabung Haji will
be issuing an official statement and a list of frequently asked questions on the process of deferring the pilgrimage".
"I urge all Muslims in the country to continue praying to Allah and ask for the elimination of this outbreak and to protect Makkah and Madinah from any untoward incidents," said Dr Zulkifli in the news conference, according to New Straits Times
Dr Zulkifli added that all pilgrims who are scheduled to perform their Hajj pilgrimage this year will have the chance to do so in 2021.
Witnessing the beauty of Kaaba is a surreal moment that every Muslim hope to experience in this lifetime. As Muslims in Malaysia wait for a safer time to perform their Hajj pilgrimage next year, you can read more about the stories of 6 Muslims who share what it's really like to experience the Hajj pilgrimage.