180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.
Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government.
The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.
Hajj is a pilgrimage all sane and able-bodied Muslims are meant to make at least once in their lives. Muslims from around the globe make the journey to the holy city of Mecca once a year. While Hajj does not begin until August this year some pilgrims have already begun to arrive in Saudi Arabia.
Muslim pilgrims from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia and India have already begun arriving for the event.
Most governments will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.