After two years of hajj restrictions due to pandemic, Hannah Tamimi, a member of the Muslim Community Center in Charlotte, thought she finally got the opportunity to perform the life-time journey in 2022.
However, a series of new restrictions announced by the Saudi hajj authorities has dashed all her dreams and disappointed Muslims around the world.
Though women were allowed to travel to hajj without a male guardian for the first time, the new rules have cancelled hajj guide system through which Muslims in the west have relied on for decades to perform the rituals.
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“I was let down and I was shocked at the same time,” Tamimi told WFAE.
“The ministry has basically canceled hajj guides and told us we have to navigate hajj through an online portal,” she said. “It’s been traditionally done this way for Muslims in the west for so many years.”
Muslims from around the world pour to Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Hajj, which runs from July 7-12, consists of several rituals, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith. They also commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.