JEDDAH – The Ministry of Haj has banned the promotion of religious propagators (Du’at) in the marketing campaigns for Haj companies. This has put an end to the debate on whether these companies exploit the names of renowned religious propagators to attract Muslims intending to perform Haj.
To clamp down on the practice, the ministry has warned it will fine violators and prevent them from housing pilgrims in locations around the Haram and other key places, Al-Watan daily reported Monday.
The Ministry of Haj has told Haj companies and operators that they are allowed to appoint religious guides but cannot mention their names in marketing campaigns. The move comes after several Haj operators used popular religious propagators to charge pilgrims extra money.
In another development, several days after Prince Ahmad, Minister of Interior, criticized “five-star” Haj operators, the Ministry of Haj pledged to penalize companies that promise to provide VIP services by imposing a fine of SR100,000 on violators. The ministry took the step after the operators were criticized for offering over the top services such as gourmet meals, satellite TV and high speed Internet access in Haj tents.
“These services did not suit the rituals involved in the fifth pillar of Islam. The Haj is a spiritual pilgrimage, not a luxurious one,” said an official at the Ministry of Haj.