Jakarta: While Umrah pilgrimage has opened, the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs is still waiting for confirmation from the Saudi Arabian government on Hajj implementation for 1443 Hijri / 2022 AD, the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs has said.
"Certainty about the implementation for Hajj in 1443H/2022 AD is fully under the authority of the Saudi Arabian government," Minister Zainut Tauhid Sa'adi told Commission VIII of the House of Representatives during a working meeting on Thursday.
The Indonesian government coordinated with the relevant authorities in November 2021 to obtain confirmation for Hajj organization, Sa'adi said.
From November 20 to November 23, 2021, officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs met with a number of Saudi Arabian officials, such as the Minister of Islamic Da'wah and Counseling, Abdullatif Al Syeikh, the Governor of Mecca and chairman of the Hajj Central Committee, Prince Khalid bin Al Faisal, and the Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq bin Fauzam Al Rabeah, he informed.
During the meetings, the royal authorities could not confirm the possibility of opening Hajj for prospective foreign pilgrims, Sa'adi said.
Officials also discussed the pilgrims' quota if the Saudi Arabian government decided to open Hajj for foreign pilgrims, since one of the Hajj preparations for the Indonesian government was to obtain a quota for its people, he added.
"The Saudi Arabian government said that they could not start a discussion regarding Hajj organization," Sa'adi said.
He explained that based on normal assumptions, the estimated departure date for the first batch of pilgrims will be June 5, 2022.
Thus, there are just five months to prepare for Hajj, he said.
"Given the wide scope of services for organizing the pilgrimage, the time remaining is very limited. So, various preparations must be made immediately," Sa'adi informed.
Although there is no certainty regarding Hajj, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has asked Commission VIII and the government to start preparations for the little time that is remaining, he said.
"Including the preparations for discussing the costs of organizing the Hajj pilgrimage in 1443H/2022M," he added.