Jumat , 28 July 2017, 18:18 WIB

Minister sees off Hajj pilgrims joining first batch

Red: Reiny Dwinanda
ROL/Fian Firatmaja
Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin
Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, here on Friday, bid farewell to Hajj pilgrims joining the first batch departing for Madina, Saudi Arabia.

He reminded the pilgrims to take care of their health while staying in Madina for several days before proceeding to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage.

There were 388 pilgrims from Jakarta in addition to three paramedics and two Hajj officers.

The farewell ceremony was held at the Pondok Gede Hajj dormitory and attended by Health Minister Nila F. Moeloek, Chairman of Commission VIII of the House of Representatives Ali Tahir, and several others officials.

Minister Moeloek urged the pilgrims to adopt a healthy lifestyle by taking adequate rest, eating nutritious meals, and drinking ample water, as it is summer season in Saudi Arabia, with the temperature reaching up to 48 degrees Celsius.

As many as 5,324 other pilgrims also simultaneously departed on Friday from seven other embarkation points in Bekasi, Surabaya, Solo, Medan, Padang, and Makassar.

Most of the pilgrims are categorized as high-risk, as they are senior citizens.

The Indonesian government has given priority to the elderly to go for Hajj, as the line-up for embarking on the Hajj pilgrimage is extremely long. 

In several regions, Muslims have to wait for up to 27 years due to the Hajj pilgrimage quota set by the Saudi government. 

The total quota of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims this year reaches 221 thousand people, comprising 204 thousand on regular Hajj trip and 17 thousand on the special trip.

The Saudi Embassy has issued visas to 102,663 Indonesians joining the first batch of pilgrims departing for Hajj, an official of the Religious Affairs Ministry stated.

The departure period for the first batch is from July 28 to Aug 11, and the second batch is on Aug 12-26. 

Sumber : Antara