The Chairman, Osun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Olawale Isola, has told intending pilgrims for the 2024 Hajj exercise to complete their payment, before Monday, February 12, to be part of this year’s pilgrimage.
Hajj, in Islam, is the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which every adult Muslim must make at least once in his or her lifetime. The hajj is the fifth of the fundamental Muslim practices and institutions known as the Five Pillars of Islam.
The pilgrimage rite begins on the 7th day of Dhū al-Ḥijjah (the last month of the Islamic year) and ends on the 12th day.
Isola spoke on Saturday, during a meeting held with the intending pilgrims at the State Government Secretariat, Osogbo, Osun State.
The chairman, who said the board had received about 1,350 passports so far from the intending pilgrims, urged others who may be interested in participating in the Hajj exercise to pay before the deadline.
Speaking further, Isola who is also the Deputy Imam of Osogbo Central Mosque, said the Hajj operation requires sacrifices, steadfastness and perseverance to have a rewarding pilgrimage, adding that intending pilgrims must shelf worldly affairs to achieve a rewarding Hajj operation.
He said, “We want all the intending pilgrims from Osun to be patient because Hajj operation needs sacrifices, patience, and steadfastness, everything is based on sacrifice.
“They are going there to serve and worship Allah, not for mundane materials. I implore all of them to suspend all transactions of buying clothes, jewellery and other things till after they are done with Arafah.
“But before Arafah make yourself available for all activities, ensure you all read about Hajj activities. And after climbing Mount Arafah, you can go and buy anything. Every other thing that can’t be rewarded by Allah like fighting, or rioting should be suspended for Allah’s sake.
“The total amount of Hajj fare for our Muslim brothers and sisters for the 2024 Hajj operation is N4, 899,000 and we advise and implore them to pay on or before the 12th of this month, even those who have not paid any amount, they can pay before 12th of February and those that are yet to balance up should do so too.
“We need them to submit their international passports as soon as possible and those who are yet to get their passports can come to our office, we will give them a letter in other to fast-track it.”
On Wednesday, the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board fixed N4,899,000 as the final cost for the 2024 Hajj exercise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
It said the intending pilgrims had till February 12 to pay.
The Assistant Director the Public Affairs unit of the state board, Taofeek Lawal, noted this was according to an announcement made by the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Malam Jalal Arabi, over the weekend.