2021 Hajj: The Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, has commenced registration and payment for the year 2021 Holy pilgrimage to Mecca and Medinah.
A release signed by the Executive Secretary of the Board, Alhaji Salau Babatunde indicated that intending pilgrims are to pay initial Hajj fare deposit of N1.2m, in not more than three instalments.
The release further stated that those who intend to rollover their initial 2020 Hajj fare deposit, are required to visit the Board for proper documentation.
It enjoined other intending pilgrims to pay all necessary fares, as they would be accorded priority on the basis of first-come first-serve, urging them to visit the Board at the New Secretariat Complex, Block B, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta for further enquiries.
The release also informed that Hajj Savings Scheme, designed for those who intend to build their savings over a period of time, towards performing Hajj has now commenced.
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.
In Islamic terminology, Hajj is a pilgrimage made to the Kaaba, the “House of God”, in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah, Salat, Zakat and Sawm. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God (Allah). The word Hajj means “to attend a journey”, which connotes both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intentions.
The rites of pilgrimage are performed over five to six days, extending from the 8th to the 12th or 13th of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Islamic year is about eleven days shorter than the Gregorian year, the Gregorian date of Hajj changes from year to year. In 2020 AD (1441 AH), Dhu al-Hijjah extends from 22 July to 19 August.
The Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century AD, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham.
It was cancelled last year to foreigners due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s (2021) Hajj will begin in the evening of Saturday, 17 July and end in the evening of Thursday, 22 July.