The government of Saudi Arabia is thinking about an intensive change which could allow female pilgrims to perform the hajj without a male guardian, in keeping with an Arab News report.
The hajj, from the Arabic word for pilgrimage, is an obligatory religious duty for Muslims. Every year in the last month of the Islamic calendar, more than 1,000,000 human beings tour all together to Mecca over a six-day period.
For Saudi Arabia, it’s a lucrative business—and a logistical nightmare.
Under Saudi Arabian law, any woman under the age of forty five in search of a hajj visa has to tour with a ‘mahram’—a male “guardian,” typically associated by blood.
Women over 45 may travel with a “prepared group” instead, provided they’re ready to furnish the Saudi embassy with a “no objection letter from her husband, son or brother authorizing her to tour for Hajj with the named group,” according to a Saudi authorities website. “This letter ought to be notarized.”
Women who aren’t met by their sponsors have within the past no longer been allowed to enter the Saudi Arabia or hold on different flights. Violating the policy might also lead to exile. The coverage does no longer practice for girls who are contributors of the minority Shia sect, who makes up approximately 10% of all Muslims: Shia scholars, in contrast to their Sunni peers, have dominated that ladies may additionally tour alone at the hajj in the event that they feel they’ll be safe.
It’s just one part of the lengthy, bureaucratic method of applying for the hajj. In recent months, however, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has instituted a variety of high-tech solutions to form the hajj easier to access. A new digital platform, Maqab, was launched last year, allowing visitors to streamline their application.
In light of these adjustments, and of Saudi Arabia’s new electronic visitor visas, hoteliers and others have requested the authorities to liberalize some situations for woman travelers and reduce price lists on corporations.
Many of these capability changes echo the ones unveiled by means of crown prince Mohammad bin Salman as a part of the authorities’ Vision 2030 agenda, which include allowing unmarried vacationers to share a motel room. He has also re-introduced movie theaters and given Saudi girls the right to drive, and rent a room of their own.
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