Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas expressed optimism about Indonesian Hajj pilgrims departing and being able to perform Hajj this year despite lack of clarity from the Saudi Arabian government regarding the implementation of Hajj.
“I am optimistic about (Indonesian) Hajj pilgrims departing this year,” Qoumas stated as quoted from the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ official website here on Wednesday.
Qoumas asserted that his ministry will continue to make efforts, so that Indonesian pilgrims would be able to perform Hajj in 2022. Moreover, the departure of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims had been delayed for two years due to the global COVID-19 pandemic
The two-year delay has affected the pilgrims’ waiting period that is getting longer. However, he is optimistic of the Saudi Arabian government re-holding the Hajj pilgrimage in 2022, especially since the relevant authorities had earlier allowed to conduct Umrah pilgrimage.
Qoumas affirmed that in the near future, a team from the Ministry of Religious Affairs plans to fly to Saudi Arabia to discuss the certainty regarding the implementation of Hajj for 1443 Hijri / 2022 AD.
“We continue to pursue the certainty of the departure of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims this year. In the near future, the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ team will go to Saudi Arabia to discuss it,” he stated.
Qoumas stated that technically, his ministry is ready to dispatch the Hajj pilgrims. However, he reminded that the Indonesian people should also be able to accept a quota restriction that could likely be applied by the Saudi Arabian government later.
Thus, if the policy is implemented later, the number of Indonesian pilgrims that departed will not be the same as the figures recorded during the Hajj pilgrimages before the pandemic.
“Hopefully, this year, we would be able to dispatch Hajj pilgrims. We continue to lobby the Saudi Arabian government to facilitate the departure of Hajj pilgrims this year,” he remarked.