Top religious scholars back Saudi Arabia’s decision to hold ‘limited’ Hajj

June 23, 2020

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia's highest religious body on Monday endorsed the government’s decision to allow a very limited number of people from within the Kingdom to perform Hajj in order to protect the health and safety of pilgrims.

In a statement carried by Saudi Press Agency, the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and the Saudi government for their great efforts to serve the
two Holy Mosques and Muslims.

The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Islamic learning, also backed the move, calling it a wise decision that is compatible with the Shariah. Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayyeb said that the decision takes into account the continuity of the Hajj pilgrimage while reflecting the concern for the safety of the pilgrims of God’s Sacred House.

Sheikh Al-Tayyeb said that personal safety is the most important part of Islamic law. The move also reflects the awareness of the leadership of the Kingdom of the seriousness of the coronavirus, especially in light of its rapid spread, threatening the lives of people everywhere, the Al-Azhar chief said.

In a statement, Al-Azhar praised the efforts of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman in serving and facilitating pilgrims and keeping them safe.

Meanwhile, the Muslim World League also issued a statement on behalf of its scholars under the umbrella of the Supreme Council of the League, the Islamic Jurisprudence Council and the World Supreme Council of Mosques, endorsing the precautionary measures taken by the Saudi government for Hajj this year.

In a statement issued by Secretary-General of the League and Chairman of the Association of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa said: “The emergency circumstance of the coronavirus pandemic represents an exceptional case that Shariah should take with great care and consideration, in order to preserve the safety of pilgrims.”

The statement continued that the League contacted a number of senior muftis and scholars of the Islamic world immediately after the decision, as the nation’s scholars affirmed its wisdom as a precautionary measure required by legal necessity, given that this feared pandemic still represents a significant risk.

The Egyptian Dar Al Iftaa also affirmed that the Kingdom’s decision is consistent with the provisions and purposes of Islamic Shariah to preserve the lives and safety of pilgrims.

The United Arab Emirates Council for Fatwa and Shariah also praised the decision.

The Council stressed that everyone should abide by the instructions issued by the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman based on its sovereign and legal responsibility to care for pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors and help them to maintain the health and safety of all.

In a statement issued on Tuesday after its meeting chaired by Sheikh Tahir Mahmud Ashraf, the Council of Pakistani Scholars endorsed the Kingdom's wise decision to preserve the health and safety of pilgrims.

The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) commended the decision taken by Saudi Arabia with regard to this year’s Hajj.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ANIC affirmed the importance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s decision at the present time, in order to preserve the interest and health of Muslims and control Coronavirus pandemic to prevent its spread at local and global levels.

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