Hajj pilgrims perform the Farewell Tawaf
The deadline for paying the second instalment of 40 per cent of the total cost was set for Rajab 7. Image Credit: SPA/Twitter file

Cairo: The deadline for domestic pilgrims in Saudi Arabia to pay the last instalment of the upcoming Hajj fees will expire in around two weeks, a prerequisite for getting a confirmed reservation.

The kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has set the 10th of Shawwal, which follows the current Ramadan, as the date for paying the third and last instalment, estimated at 40 per cent of the overall fees for the coming pilgrimage season.

Failure to pay the instalments in full as scheduled results in cancellation of the reservation.

The ministry had earlier pointed out that domestic pilgrims can pay cost of Hajj for this year’s pilgrimage in three instalments, unlike before when the fees were paid in one go.

Such pilgrims were allowed to pay 20 per cent of the cost as a first instalment within 72 hours of making the reservation.

The deadline for paying the second instalment of 40 per cent of the total cost was set for Rajab 7.

read more

The third and last instalment must be paid by 10/10/1444, i.e. less than two months before the onset of the Hajj season due in late June this year.

The official Hajj permits will be issued as of Shawwal 15.

Muslims residing inside the kingdom, who applied for this year’s pilgrimage, have to meet certain requirements to ensure a confirmed reservation.

The ministry said a confirmed reservation for such pilgrims requires, among other things, that the applicant and escort meet eligibility terms.

Other requirements include validity of data provided by the applicant and their conformity to the government data.

Overseas pilgrims

Moreover, Hajj-related cost instalments should be paid as scheduled.

The ministry has unveiled four packages for domestic pilgrims wishing to attend the 2023 Hajj with costs ranging from SR3,984 to SR11,841.

Last January, electronic registration opened for domestic pilgrims in the kingdom. Domestic pilgrims are selected randomly through an online lottery system after being approved to perform Hajj, one of Islam’s five obligatory duties.

Only overseas pilgrims holding Hajj visas and Muslims having regular residency in Saudi Arabia are allowed to perform the rites.

Saudi Arabia has said there will be no limits on the numbers of pilgrims from around the world for the upcoming Hajj season, reversing earlier restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past two years, Saudi Arabia downsized the numbers of Muslims allowed to perform Hajj to prevent spread of COVID-19. Around 2.5 million Muslims used to attend Hajj annually in the pre-pandemic times.

Muslims, who can physically and financially afford Hajj, have to perform it at least once in a lifetime.