Sorza, IOL Correspondent
Philippines, January 3 (IslamOnline.net) – A total of 2,600 Filipinos have registered with the Office of Muslim Affairs
to perform hajj this year.
leaving for Saudi Arabia is Abdul Ismael, 65, who has just retired as a government employee.
have looked forward to this pilgrimage. I set aside the amount from my retirement pay and paid the registration fee,”
he told IslamOnline.net.
journey is costing Ismael 1,900 US dollars, a little less than the 20,000 dollars retirement package he was paid by the government.
like all Muslims, it is my wish to be able to perform this pilgrimage. That is why I stuck it out with the government despite
the low pay because I know that when I retire I would be able to have enough money to go on this pilgrimage.”
of Muslim Affairs last week told IOL correspondent that the majority of would-be pilgrims are over 50.
them are wealthy but the majority belongs to the average income group of Filipinos like government employees and businessmen.
children who are earning well and are the ones footing the pilgrimage bill.
the economic crisis gripping this largely Christian nation, the number of pilgrims this year has increased by 15 percent or
so, according to the Office of Muslims Affairs.
is one of the five pillars of Islam, and thus an essential part of Muslims’ faith and practice under the condition of
physical and financial ability.
of several ceremonies, meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet
Abraham and his family.
Scheduled FlightsPhilippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Bahnarim Guinomla
said last week that a total of eight flights of Saudi Arabian Airlines will ferry the Filipinos intending to make the spiritual
journey to the holy sites.
that the first group of Filipino pilgrims left the country en route to Saudi Arabia on December 22.
said that based on information from the Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA) all the flights except one will be landing at the Madinah
flight, Saudi Arabian Airlines flight No. SV 865, which will depart Manila on January 13, will land at the King Abdulaziz
International Airport at Jeddah.
the intending pilgrims in the Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport in Madinah will be convenient for them as it will save
them the land travel from either Jeddah or Mecca for the visit to the Prophet’s mosque,” Guinomla said.
has chosen the Philippines as a pilot country for its drive for a safe, acceptable, and comfortable pilgrimage through its
Hajj Awareness Program (HAP).