Vacated slots for haj this year all filled up, says Idris Ahmad

A file picture of Muslims perform Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, with social distancing in place on Feb 26, 2021. - Reuters

JOHOR BARU: All the slots vacated by those offered by Tabung Haji (TH) to perform the haj pilgrimage this year, numbering more than 1,000, have been taken up, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Senator Datuk Idris Ahmad.

He said priority was given to those who had been listed to perform the haj in 2020 and 2021.

"The list of prospective pilgrims is updated every day. If there is a vacancy, those at the top of the waiting list are given priority.

"For the first stage, 1,000 people declined the offer (to perform the haj), and these vacancies have all been filled up," he told reporters after the pre-launch of the national-level 2022 Quran Recitation and Memorisation by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi at the Iskandar Johor Islamic Centre here Thursday (May 26).

A total of 14,306 Malaysians will perform the haj this year, with the first flight to the holy land set to depart on June 4.

For this year's haj, only those aged 65 and below with no chronic diseases and possess the Covid-19 vaccination certificate were eligible. They are also required to submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test performed within 72 hours of the time of their departure to Saudi Arabia.

On this year's national-level Quran Recitation and Memorisation to be held at the Iskandar Johor Islamic Centre from June 9 to 18, Idris said it would involve 84 participants, involving 42 in the men's category and 42 in the women's category from 14 states.

He said the event is scheduled to be opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on June 12, while the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar is scheduled to close the event and present prizes to the winners.

The national-level Quran Recitation and Memorisation is annual programme organised by the Federal Government and is managed by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) since 1979 with the aim of promoting Islamic teachings in Malaysia. – Bernama

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Tabiung Haji , Haj , Pilgrimage , Idris Ahmad


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