Saudi Arabia announces stringent penalties for unauthorised Hajj pilgrims


Cairo: Saudi Arabia has announced stringent penalties against individuals attempting to perform the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage without an official permit.

Worshippers throng the courtyard of the Grand Mosque around the Holy Kaaba. This year’s Hajj rites are expected to start around June 14, contingent upon the new moon sighting.Image Credit: The Saudi Ministry of Hajj/file

The Ministry of Interior said that enforcement would begin next month, targeting those violating Hajj rules in Mecca, the Central Area, and sacred places from June 2 to June 20.

This year’s Hajj rites are expected to start around June 14, contingent upon the new moon sighting.

Citizens, foreign residents and visitors caught within the designated areas without a pilgrimage permit face a fine of SR10,000, with the penalty doubling upon repetition.

Expatriate violators will also be deported and banned from re-entering the kingdom.

Additionally, individuals transporting violators and illegal pilgrims could face up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of SR50,000. Expatriate transporters will be deported after serving their term.

Saudi Arabia has issued warnings about fake campaigns and websites targeting Muslims planning to perform Hajj, emphasizing the importance of official channels to secure pilgrimage access and safeguard pilgrims’ rights. The Ministry of Hajj stressed the necessity of obtaining a Hajj permit, echoing a recent statement by the Council of Senior Scholars, Saudi Arabia’s highest Islamic body, which deemed performing Hajj without an official permit as sinful.

Hajj, one of Islam’s five obligatory duties, must be performed at least once in a lifetime by Muslims who are physically and financially capable.

Source: Sherbini