What you need to know:
- In April 2022, the kingdom announced it would permit one million Muslims from inside and outside the country to participate in this year's hajj, which will take place in July.
Only vaccinated Muslims aged below 65 will be allowed to make the holy pilgrimage to Mecca in 2022 as required by Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s ambassador to Uganda has said.
“As per health restrictions, we have decided not to allow persons beyond 65 years,” said Ambassador Jamal Mohammed Hassan Al-Madani.
On Friday, HE Al-Madani officiated at a sendoff of the first batch of Ugandans set to travel to Mecca for the hajj pilgrimage on June 25.
“Uganda and Saudi Arabia are working well following the good relationships between the two countries. Right. I ask all the pilgrims from Uganda and beyond to behave well while there,” HE Al-Madani told believers at the Saudi Embassy in Kololo, Kampala.
One of the five pillars of Islam, the hajj must be undertaken by all Muslims who have the means at least once in their lives.
Usually one of the world's largest religious gatherings, about 2.5 million people participated in 2019.
But after the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Saudi authorities announced they would only let 1,000 pilgrims take part although they were in 2021 increased to 60, 000 fully vaccinated Saudi citizens and residents chosen through a lottery.
“We request the Muslim community and those who are above the recommended years not to feel bad about it because it’s good for their health,” HE Al-Madani said.
In April 2022, the kingdom announced it would permit one million Muslims from inside and outside the country to participate in this year's hajj, which will take place in July.
Islamic authorities in Uganda say they expect thousands of natives to travel for the hajj which consists of a series of religious rites that are completed over five days in Islam's holiest city, Mecca, and surrounding areas of western Saudi Arabia.
Ambassador Al-Madani also donated Holy Qurans to all pilgrims and asked devotees to read the Holy book while in Mecca- Additional reporting by AFP