The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has appealed to Muslims who had planned to perform the 2021 Hajj to remain strong in faith as their dreams will be realised as soon as COVID-19 recedes.

MURIC, an Islamic civil right organisation, made the call in a statement, signed by its Director, Ishaq Akintola, in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Saudi Arabia, on June 12, restricted the annual pilgrimage to citizens and residents and set a maximum of 60,000 pilgrims in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

NAN reports that the Saudi government said those wishing to perform the hajj must be free of chronic diseases and be vaccinated and between the ages of 18 and 65.

MURIC said: “We reiterate our position that this is a postponement necessitated by COVID-19 pandemic. It is not a punitive measure against the Nigerian government or a disciplinary action against Nigerian Muslims.

“Hajj 2021 has been postponed the same way that several events of massive gathering of people have been postponed in many parts of the world on account of the Corona Virus pandemic.

“We urge all those affected by the postponement to strictly follow guidelines issued by the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) authorities from time to time.

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“We also commend NAHCON for being proactive. It is on record that the commission has already told intending pilgrims who wish to collect the money paid for this year’s hajj to come forward.

“To that extent, therefore, MURIC commends NAHCON for being transparent and accountable without being forced to do so.”

(NAN)

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