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?
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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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Hajj may be cancelled this year, Saudi Hajj Minister asked companies not to make any commitments. pic.twitter.com/4Uq2tnkBys— muhammad hussain (@journalist1991) March 24, 2020
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:
The Saudi Arabia ministry has 'hinted' that Hajj of 2020 might be cancelled due to #CoronavirusPandemic across the globe. However, no confirmation has been announced, so its just a small hint they've given about today.— ✨ (@EngineerLarki) March 24, 2020
Amd this is the really heart broken news #Coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/d5O6BJWDOz
Alright, there are high chances that Hajj may be cancelled this year.— sheikh danish iqbal (@danziqbal) March 24, 2020
The point is, we need to understand the seriousness of this issue. Let’s not continue the chain this time.
Educate people, break the chain, stay home, stay safe.#CoronaVirus
Mosques closed— H (@_haroonmahmood) March 23, 2020
Hajj Likley to be cancelled
Ramadan potentially without Taraweeh
Guys Hajj might be cancelled this is hectic.— Martial Mata's.✨ (@ammarah_07) March 24, 2020
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