By Syed Hussain Ali Sajjad
Hyderabad: The decision of the Shoura Council of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to levy a visa fee for performing Hajj and Umrah for the second time and there after consecutive times have evoked and imposed SR 2000 S audi Riyal angry reactions from Muslims all over the world.
Pilgrimage to the House of God “The Holy Kabah” should not be restricted by any Person/Dynasty or Government. It is the basic fundamental Islamic right of every Muslim. Instead of restriction the Custodian of the Holy Mosques should facilitate the Muslims all over the world specially the poor and the down trodden in performing Hajj and Umrah.
The Shoura Council of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia imposed SR 2000/- Saudi Riyal on Umrah Pilgrimage who wants to perform Umrah second time in a Hijri Calendar Year apart from to performing Hajj for second time which comes only once in year has to be paid an amount of SR 2000-00. (Two thousand Saudi Riyal). The important thing the person who had performed Hajj, now his Wife, Mother, sister, daughter wants to perform Hajj and he wants join them as “MEHRAM” he also has to be paid the imposed visa fee SR 2000/- Is the imposed fee not going against Shariat Law. With regard to Umrah so many pilgrim wants to perform Umrah in the month of Ribiulawal during the Birthday day of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.S) and again in the holy month of Ramadhan, they have to pay the imposed visa fee of SR 2000/-
It is worthy to think that in Iraq there are 5 occasion in an Islamic Calendar Year Millions of pilgrims gather to performed rituals (Ziarat) of Holy Places, there are no harsh fees imposed by The Government of Iraq on pilgrims. Alike Saudi Arabia, Iraq is not much wealthy but still The Government of Iraq manages to provide all facilities to the pilgrims (Ziareen).
According to the sources Iraq hosts more than Millions of pilgrims on every occasion and during Arabian (40th day of procession) they hosts nearly 40 Million pilgrims (Zaireen) every year and everyone returns back home safely. Though there are continuous attacks on Iraq by the terrorist groups like Daeesh (ISIS), Al Qaida and other terrorist group, the Government of Iraq never failed to provide facilities to the pilgrims (Zaireen).
Middle-East experts point out that the factors which led the Saudi ruler to impose such harsh decision on the Islamic Hajj and Umrah is the continuous decline in the prices of Oil and the reckless spending of the Al Saud Family to dissolve the Shia ideology throughout the world which resulted in depletion of their wealth. The world knows that drastic decline in the oil prices have shaken many economies in the world. But they are survived by making cosmetic changes to their financial institutions and spending.
But what led a wealthy Middle East Kingdom to implement not only economic reforms in the country but also forced them to generate revenue from Muslims who wish to perform the sacred Islamic rituals of Hajj and Umrah?
The analyst says that if one closely looks in the kingdom’s activities since last one decade it is clear that fear sycosis of the Al Saudi Dynasty about the influence of Iranian Revolution and Shia’s among the Middle Eastern Arab nations which are ruled by Sunni’s have drained them Billions of petro-dollars in opposing the Shia ideology and school of though. Funding was done right from Indonesia in South east Asia to United Sates of America for propagating the extreme Salafi ideology (which is practiced by Saudi Arabia) in other words Wahhabism.
If we examine the ongoing crisis in the Middle-East and Africa almost in all the places you will find direct or indirect Saudi involvement. In Syria direct funding and support to extremist groups like Al Nusra Front, creating instability in Iraq, direct military involvement in Bahrain and Yamen, support for Salafi extremist groups in North and central Africa are few examples where Saudi Money and resources are heavily involved.
Saudi Opposition figures based in London say that, if you expand your expenditures more than your income sources then you are sure to crumble on your own feet. This is what happened with the Saudi economy right now, they cannot stop the payment of Al Nusra Mercenaries in order to dethrone Bashar Al Asad, military involvement in Bahrain and Yamen, Financial assistance to Egypt and Pakistan for their support have caused a big dent in the Saudi coffers.
Explaining further they said that in order to mitigate the financial crises the Monarchy is deviating from Islamic principles by Imposing fee on Hajj and Umrah performers, abolishing the practice of following Islamic Calendar in payment of salaries to the government staff and raising government fees etc., which are regrettable and should be rolled back immediately.
It is high time now for Government of Saudi Arabia and its allies should think about to stop going against the Shia ideology and Iran in order to propagate Salafi ideology to safeguard their dynasty (Kingdom Ship) in the Country. (Press Media of India).