The phenomenon of pilgrims sleeping outside their tents has become material for the reflection of the Ministry of Religion. The Ministry of Religion is still coordinating with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj so that this problem can be fixed.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs will conduct an evaluation related to the facilities for Indonesian hajj pilgrims in Mina. Due to the lack of beds in the dormitories or tents in Mina, some hajj pilgrims are forced to sleep outside.
Director General of Hajj and Umrah Organizing of the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag), Hilman Latief said that before Indonesian hajj pilgrims use tents, the capacity of the hajj pilgrim accommodation tents has been calculated. However, there are several tents in the dormitories that exceeded their capacity so that the hajj pilgrims have to move their mattresses outside the tents.
“To provide comfort for the pilgrims, there is a maktab tent that should have been used as a warehouse, but it has been repurposed as a sleeping area for the pilgrims,” said Hilman, on Friday (June 30, 2023).”
Hilman realizes that the use of beds in tents has an impact on the capacity of the number of Hajj pilgrims who can be accommodated inside the tent. “In the past, when pilgrims slept without mattresses, they could sleep squeezed together,” said Hilman.
The use of beds for Hajj pilgrims in the accommodation tents has entered its second year. The use of beds inside the tents and its impact has also been discussed last year.
Prospective pilgrims await the departure schedule at Terminal 2 of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Tangerang, Banten, on Tuesday (23/5/2023). The Ministry of Religious Affairs will be sending 7,510 members of the hajj pilgrimage on May 24, 2023.
“The use of this mattress started last year, but only 50 percent of the members of the hajj congregation used it. It turns out that if everyone uses the mattress, some people will be displaced. Moreover, Indonesia has obtained an additional quota of 8,000 people. Meanwhile, the condition in Mina has not changed significantly,” said Hilman.
According to Hilman, that becomes a material for reflection in the future. His party is also still coordinating with the Ministry of Hajj of Saudi Arabia so that the problem can be found a solution.
Not only the issue of mattresses, but another issue noted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs is the availability of consumption or food. The delay in the arrival of food for pilgrims is also accompanied by the problem of limited water supply in the camp. If the supply of clean water is disrupted, the camp kitchen will be hindered from cooking.
“The Minister of Religious Affairs, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, has made many notes. This will soon be communicated to the Minister of Hajj, including the design of next year’s Hajj implementation. Tents like these certainly cannot be expanded any further,” said Hilman.”
His party also continues to mitigate and request partner companies in charge to handle the consumption and housing of hajj pilgrims even better.
Several Indonesian hajj pilgrims entered their camp in Arafah on Monday (26/6/2023). The movement of hajj pilgrims to Arafah marks the beginning of the peak of the 2023 hajj worship.
Previously, in its official statement, a member of the Indonesian House of Representatives Commission VIII, Endang Maria Astuti, stated that Indonesian hajj pilgrim tents in Mina were over capacity. In the field survey results at Indonesian Maktab Numbers 66, 67, and 68, out of a total of approximately 360 pilgrims per group, the tents were only able to accommodate around 260 hajj pilgrims.
“Meaning, there is a difference of 100 members of the congregation which makes the space unfit, resulting in them having to sleep cramped. Even some had to sleep sitting down because there was not enough space,” said Endang on Thursday (29/6/2023).”
The government should properly calculate the total number of hajj pilgrims who will occupy the tents. For example, if the number is 2,000 people, the capacity of the tents must be accurately determined and calculated to accommodate that number of people.
Endang continued, this has become a complaint from the members of the congregation. They feel uncomfortable. In addition, there is a water overflow pouring from the toilet that makes the bed wet. Although the Hajj congregation only experienced it for two nights, it can disrupt the health of the congregation.
Several pilgrims also took the initiative to make emergency tents. They used their ihram clothing as a roof to avoid the heat. In addition, pilgrims who slept inside used one mattress for two people because the space was narrow.
“Don’t let the government be seen as not being serious about managing the Hajj, especially since the pilgrims have already paid for it. Don’t let there be an image that is not good for the people of Indonesia,” said Endang.
Pilgrims throw a jamarat in Mina, Saudi Arabia, Thursday (29/6/2023). Members of the pilgrims throw pebbles at three stone monuments, namely ula, wustha and aqabah. This is a symbol of casting out demons as well as removing negative traits in humans. Pilgrims also mabit (stay) in Mina for two days.
Endang assessed that the government has failed to anticipate the additional quota for the Hajj pilgrims. The government should have accurately calculated the total number of Hajj pilgrims who will occupy the tents. For example, if the number is 2,000 people, the capacity of the tents that can accommodate 2,000 people should be ensured and calculated accurately.
“If the current condition persists, I am confident that, for example, the number of hajj pilgrims is 2,000, but the tent capacity is only for 1,800 people. This kind of situation must be anticipated so that it will not happen again next year,” said Endang.
Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of Commission VIII of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Ace Hasan Syadzily, stated that his side will summon officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs after the completion of the 2023 Hajj pilgrimage. The summoning is intended for an evaluation concerning the numerous shortcomings in the organization of the 2023 Hajj pilgrimage.
Ace has some notes regarding the shortcomings of the organization of the 2023 Hajj. Firstly, the Mashariq party did not fulfill its commitment to some components of the masyair during their stay in Arafah, Muzdalifah, and Mina.
Secondly, there were delays in consumption during the stay in Mina for the hajj pilgrims. Many members of the pilgrimage have not received their meals when they needed them. Thirdly, the bathrooms in the Mina and Arafah tents are also far from sufficient for the number of hajj pilgrims. This has resulted in long queues for toilet usage.
“Furthermore, several facilities for the elderly congregation, such as wheelchairs and golf cars, are also not functioning optimally,” said Ace.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony said Monday that those performi…