Haj: Wait for official statement from Saudi govt, says Zulkifli

General view of Kaaba at the Grand Mosque which is almost empty of worshippers, after Saudi authorities suspended umrah amid a fear of the Covid-19 outbreak, at the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia March 6, 2020. — Reuters pic
General view of Kaaba at the Grand Mosque which is almost empty of worshippers, after Saudi authorities suspended umrah amid a fear of the Covid-19 outbreak, at the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia March 6, 2020. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Senator Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri has advised all parties to wait for the official statement from the government of Saudi Arabia regarding the status of this year’s haj season.

He said there has been no official statement or instruction released by Saudi regarding the issue thus far.

“I will discuss tomorrow (Tuesday) with the Saudi Ambassador to Malaysia Datuk Dr Mahmoud Hussien Saeed Qattan to obtain an explanation ...after that, I can take action or make a statement,” he said when contacted by Bernama, today.

Zulkifli was asked to comment on a news that went viral on social media alleging that Saudi Arabia officially cancelled this year’s Haj and put a stop on Umrah for 10 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting further, Zulkifli said any form of news should be be investigated, in line with the Islamic principle that advise its adherents to ensure that the news that reached them is obtained from a trusted source and free of doubt.

Recently, Saudi’s Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Muhammad Saleh Taher Banten requested for countries around the world to wait before finalising this year’s Haj plans until the Covid-19 outbreak is over.

Saudi has postponed the Haj several times in the past, including in 1918 following an outbreak of flu that claimed more than 10 million lives worldwide. — Bernama

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