Heavy penalties await hajj visa violators, Saudi Arabia warns 

 The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of the Kingdom of Saudi has warned that heavy penalties await pilgrims performing holy pilgrimage without the valid hajj visa.

The Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior stipulated a penalty of deportation and fine of 10,000 SR on anyone caught performing hajj without the authorised hajj permit.

A statement by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, said the commission has received a similar message through the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Abuja, disclosing the stand of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars on the matter.  The council issued a Fatwa (a legal ruling given by recognised religious authority) to the Muslim Ummah emphasising the prohibition of performing hajj without a permit.

The commission said the letter stated in part: “The council in its Fatwa, urged pilgrims to adhere to rules and regulations, aimed at enabling Muslims to perform the hajj in safety and tranquility.”

However, it would be recalled that NAHCON had issued several warnings in the past against Nigerians falling into the bait of scammers making so many job offers for the pilgrimage season. In the same letter received by NAHCON on May 22nd, 2024, the Saudi Ministry of Interior similarly advised persons against “becoming victims of the several fictitious companies and fake accounts on social media who claim to be agents/ authorities to facilitate hajj using Umrah, Tourism, Work, family visit and other types of Visa at attractive rates.”