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June 15, 2021

Women allowed Haj without guardian

 
June 15, 2021

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has allowed women to register for the annual Hajj pilgrimage without a male guardian.

In its registration guidelines issued for this year's Hajj for domestic pilgrims, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said women did not need to have a male guardian to register, and could do so along with other women. “Those wishing to perform Hajj will have to register individually. Women can register without a Mahram [male guardian] along with other women,” Al Arabiya News quoted the Saudi Hajj ministry as saying.

In 2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had granted permission to women to travel abroad without approval from a male guardian.Last week, Saudi Arabia had announced that it would allow 60,000 residents, vaccinated against Covid-19, to perform Hajj this year, as the kingdom bars Muslims from abroad from entering the country for the annual ritual for a second straight year.

The Hajj – a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lives – typically packs millions of pilgrims into the holiest sites of Islam.Because of the coronavirus pandemic, only up to 10,000 pilgrims took part in the Hajj in July last year, a far cry from the 2.5 million who participated in 2019.

This year’s pilgrimage, scheduled to be held in July, would be limited to those who have been vaccinated and are aged 18-65 with no chronic illnesses, the Hajj ministry said.The Hajj would be “open for nationals and residents of the kingdom, limited to 60,000 pilgrims”, the ministry added.