Prayer in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Photo: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

28 February 2018, 12:26

New expenses for Hajj threaten plans of Chechen pilgrims

This year, the Muftiate of Chechnya expects a 20% rise in the cost of trips to Saudi Arabia for pilgrims, reports an official of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims (SAM). According to local residents, the increased cost of the trips for Hajj resulted in a decrease of interest in the pilgrimage among Muslims of Chechnya.

In 2018, the quota for pilgrims from Chechnya is 2600 places, like in the previous year, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was informed by an official from the Chechen SAM on February 27.

He has explained that since the early 2000s, the Saudi authorities allocate more places to Chechnya than provided by the regulations. "The Ministry of Hajj allocates 1000 places for a million Muslims in each country. So, our republic was supposed to get about 1100 seats. However, given the circumstances that residents of Chechnya were deprived of the opportunity to perform the Hajj because of military actions, an exception was made for our republic," said the official from the Chechen SAM.

According to him, this year, taking into account additional fees and duties, the cost of a trip for a pilgrim from Chechnya will increase up to 3500-4000 US dollars.

Imran, a resident of the republic, has shared his observation with the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent and said that in recent years, the interest in the pilgrimage has somewhat decreased in Chechnya.

"I remember that in the mid-1980s and early 2000s, when restrictions were lifted, there was such a great deal of excitement and everyone was eager to go to Mecca. However, at present, this is not the case. Those people, who could afford, performed and still continue performing the Hajj several times. But for ordinary believers who have been saving money for years to go for the Hajj, the opportunities are getting smaller every year, since the prices for tours and travel expenses are rising," said the resident of Chechnya.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Source: CK correspondents

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