Postponement of Umrah to Protect Pilgrims: Daulay
Member of the House Commission IX Saleh Partaonan Daulay. Photo: Andri/Man
Member of the House Commission IX—overseeing health—Saleh Partaonan Daulay said he could understand the government's decision to suspend Umrah pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. The policy was taken to ensure the pilgrims’ safety, considering the spread of the Omicron variant that had increasingly been worrying. Many countries also took precautionary measures like what Indonesia did.
“Moreover, according to sharia (Islamic law), the requirement for the people to perform Hajj and Umrah are those who are capable (istitho'ah),” Daulay said in his written statement sent to Parlementaria, Friday (24/12/2021). “Being able to perform Umrah does not only mean to be able to bear travel expenses but also give financial support to the pilgrims’ family they left at home. Nevertheless, aside from the two issues, they must also stay safe during traveling. In light of the widespread of this Omicron variant, traveling is now considered to be unsafe.”
The National Mandate Party (PAN) legislator suggested that the pilgrims remain patient about the postponement. “No need to rush if it may endanger your health. We all hope the coronavirus will disappear completely,” he said when he met with the Association of Umrah travel Operators (PPIU). During the meeting, he also asked PPIU to provide all pilgrims with detailed information and explanation.
He further explained matters concerning rescheduled dates of the umrah pilgrimage, the insurance of the pilgrims’ deposit money, and the willingness to return the money if requested. It seemed like a daunting work ahead, but all parties should understand the current situation. “Pilgrims want assurance. Assurance to go on pilgrimage (to the holy city) and performing worship there. Therefore, it is necessary to provide them with an estimated rescheduled date for their umrah pilgrimage,” he added.
“Pilgrims usually want to make sure their funds are safe,” the legislator from North Sumatera II constituency said. “Some even want their money back. The PPIU should fulfill all pilgrims demand and expectation. The government have to ensure no issues will arise from these matters.” (rnm/es-mut)