Most Muslims long to perform Hajj (even if it is not farz for them) and visit the holiest places on earth. However, one of the biggest hurdles for most people is the cost of the Hajj journey.
This year has been disappointing for many Pakistanis who were planning to perform Hajj this year. The exorbitant cost (1,200,000+) made it impossible for them to go.
Despite the difficult circumstances, 175,000 fortunate Pakistanis will perform the sacred pilgrimage this year.
On Sunday, Religious Affairs Minister Talha Mahmood announced that the first Hajj flight will depart on May 21 from Karachi and Islamabad.
During his press conference, he mentioned that the cost of several items was less than the previous year.
Providing a breakdown of the costs, he mentioned that in 2019, the rental price for buildings in Makkah was 2,600 riyals, whereas this year, it has been reduced to 2,100 riyals.
He said the travel expenses were $1,000 last year, but the cost is $900 this year.
He asserted that although the buildings should have been rented during Ramazan, the task has been accomplished now. The government is also paying a subsidy of 720 Riyals for each Qurbani.
This seems surprising considering the sky-high cost this year. And despite the back-breaking cost, the minister warned the pilgrims of possible difficulties.
He said that challenges were anticipated for the upcoming pilgrimage and advised pilgrims to be prepared for a potentially demanding experience. However, he assured that endeavors were underway to minimize the hardships encountered during the pilgrimage.
Beware! Hajj Training is Mandatory
The federal minister emphasized that all pilgrims must undergo training before undertaking the sacred journey. He cautioned that failure to comply with this requirement would result in rescheduling their hajj flight.
Additionally, he asserted that each pilgrim would receive a complimentary SIM card while in Saudi Arabia.