Is Hajj cancelled this year? Islamic pilgrimage faces uncertainty in 2020

Muslim pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram, Saudi Arabia on August 14, 2019, after stoning the Jamarat pillars that...

The decision would be unprecedented, but is Hajj cancelled this year?

As the situation escalates, government guidelines are becoming stricter. 

In the UK, Boris Johnson addressed in a recent statement that some are ignoring the safety measures in place and has now urged the public to only leave the house for work (if absolutely necessary), shopping (only for essentials and infrequently as possible) and for exercise alone or with a member of their household just once a day. 

Businesses continue to announce temporary closures, with schools and places of worship also closing their doors to prevent the coronavirus from spreading to unaffected households. 

Many events have been postponed or cancelled, but the Muslim community is becoming very concerned regarding this year's Hajj. 

It's said that Muslims are obliged to embark on the annual pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime, journeying to the holiest city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia to join millions of others. 

This year's is due to take place on Tuesday, July 28th until Sunday, August 2nd 2020, but will it go ahead?

Muslim pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram, Saudi Arabia on August 14, 2019, after stoning the Jamarat pillars that...Muslim pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram, Saudi Arabia on August 14, 2019, after stoning the Jamarat pillars that...

Is Hajj cancelled this year?

No, Hajj is not cancelled as of yet. However, under current circumstances, cancelling this year's pilgrimage hasn't been ruled out by government officials. 

A number of hopefuls have already expressed concern...

In an interview with the National Observer, a man named Muhammad Siddique  - who has spent five years saving for the pilgrimage - expressed: "If it's spreading more, it's better to lose money and not go for Hajj this year... we have to take preventative measures."

Already, the Saudi government has restricted travel into the country in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Given the expense of embarking on this annual pilgrimage, it's reasonably worried many. Cancelling Hajj would be unprecedented, but it could prove inevitable, as agreed upon by senior community advisor at the Islamic Society of North America, Abdalla Ali. 

According to the earlier source, he weighed in: "It's never happened before, but this year it's likely because they already closed all the universities, schools and major events."

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Twitter users weigh in on Hajj uncertainty

The possibility of many not being able to attend Hajj this year has understandably upset a lot of people. 

A number have taken to Twitter to offer their thoughts in the face of uncertainty. Check out a selection of tweets:

 

 

 

 

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