Saudi Arabia has urged the pious to reconsider making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca this year, raising the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic will cause the first cancellation of the Hajj in centuries.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Banten, counselled “patience” among Muslims worldwide in considering pilgrimages to the kingdom this year until the impact of the coronavirus becomes clearer.
“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is prepared to secure the safety of all Muslims and nationals,” he told state television on Tuesday. “That’s why we have requested from all Muslims around the world to hold off on signing any agreements [with tour operators] until we have a clear vision.”
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