Islamic Lifestyle

First pilgrims from Indonesia to depart for haj July 6

The first of Indonesia’s haj pilgrims will depart for Saudi Arabia on July 6, says the ministry of religious affairs.

Four flights of 1,800 pilgrims will fly Saudi Arabian Airlines departing from Surabaya and Batam.

According to the ministry, 105,573 pilgrims from Indonesia will fly on Saudi Arabian Airlines and 111,072 on national carrier Garuda.

All Saudia flights carrying Indonesian haj pilgrims will depart from five locations: Batam, Palembang, Jakarta Bekasi, Jakarta Pondok Gede and Surabaya.

Garuda flights will leave from nine locations: Aceh, Medan, Padang, Jakarta Pondok Gede, Solo, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan, Makassar and Lombok.

446 Indonesian haj officials are scheduled to fly out before the pilgrims, on Thursday, July 4.

Indonesia’s haj pilgrims quota for this year is around 230,000.

The quota of haj pilgrims per country is based on 0.1 percent of its Muslim population.

This formula was decided by the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1987, but the final count for each year is also subject to the discretion of the Saudi authorities. For example, all foreign pilgrim quotas were slashed by 20 percent from 2013 to 2016 to accommodate the expansion of facilities at Al Masjid Al Haram in Mecca.

The haj is expected to begin on August 9 this year.

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