Baca Gitu Loh - Jakarta, Indonesia - Operational implementation of the 1444 H/2023 M Hajj pilgrimage begins today, Wednesday (24/5/2023) in the morning. This was marked by the departure of the first Jakarta-Pondok Gede (JKG 01) embarkation flight group.
The departure of the 388 JKG 01 pilgrims was released by the Minister of Religion Yaqut Cholil Qoumas and the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Indonesia Sheikh Faisal Abdullah Al Amudi at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Tangerang, Banten.
Also present were representatives of relevant ministries/institutions, MPR Deputy Chairperson Yandri Susanto, Deputy Chairperson of Commission VIII DPR RI Tb Ace Hasan Syadzili, Director General of Hajj and Umrah Management (PHU) Hilman Latief along with a number of other echelon I and II officials, as well as expert staff, staff Special, and Minister of Religion Experts.
Arriving at Soeta Airport Minister of Religion Yaqut immediately greeted the congregation in the departure lounge and inspected the fast track room.
"Next year we will try to fast track not only here but in several places, especially in provinces where there are many congregations. We ask for the prayers of all ladies and gentlemen," said Minister of Religion Yaqut while visiting the fast track room with Sheikh Faisal Abdullah Al Amudi.
The Minister of Religion said that this year's congregation is the people chosen to go to Baitullah, fulfilling the fifth Pillar of Islam, namely the pilgrimage. According to the Minister of Religion, the pilgrimage requires excellent physical condition. Therefore, pilgrims must always pay attention to health aspects while on their way, in Saudi Arabia, until they return to Indonesia.
"Don't push yourself too much in activities, including sunnah worship, especially if you feel that your health is inadequate," said the Minister of Religion when releasing the congregation from the Garuda Indonesia plane that was going to Medina, Saudi Arabia.
Conditions in Saudi Arabia, continued the Minister of Religion, are different from those in Indonesia. There, the weather is much hotter, so the whole congregation must be able to adjust. The government has prepared officers to provide health services for pilgrims.
"Don't hesitate to ask questions or consult if there are complaints related to health. Officers have also been prepared to provide services, protection and guidance to the congregation," said the Minister of Religion.
This year, the number of elderly pilgrims (elderly) is more than before. The Ministry of Religion is committed to providing the best service for all congregations, including the elderly.
The Minister of Religion asked the officers to be more friendly and caring towards the elderly congregation. All pilgrims are also invited to jointly provide care for the elderly in their entourage.
Indonesian pilgrims are encouraged to bring the necessary items needed during the pilgrimage. Pilgrims are asked to avoid carrying luggage that has nothing to do with and does not support them in worship.
"Even though this has entered the political year, there is no need to bring party or organizational attributes. Moreover, they are taken for photographs in the area of the Grand Mosque or the Nabawi Mosque. If caught by Saudi Arabian security forces, they can be subject to punishment," he said.
Gus Men, his nickname, also reminded the congregation about the prohibition against carrying any form of amulets. This is because doing so can be subject to shirk articles in Saudi Arabia, and the punishment is severe.
"I hope that the congregation can use social media wisely while in Saudi. Don't carelessly create negative content while in Haramain and then upload it on social media. So once again I order, just focus on worship," said the Minister of Religion.
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196,377 Indonesian Pilgrims Paid Hajj Fees to depart this year. There are still 6,943 congregations have not