Arab Saudi Reduces Hajj Quota, British Muslims Could Face a 10-Year Wait
The recent revelation by Middle East Eye, a media outlet in the Middle East, highlights that Saudi Arabia has informed British parliament members about its intention to "drastically" reduce the number of British Muslims allowed to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. The quota is set to decrease from 25,000 to a mere 3,600 spots.
Members of the All Parliamentary Group on Hajj and Umrah (APPG) from the UK have issued a warning, stating that this reduction in quota could result in a waiting period of up to 10 years for British Muslims to fulfill their Hajj obligations.
The exact figures have yet to be announced, but the Council for British Hajjis (CBH) informed MEE that members of the APPG on Hajj and Umrah are planning to meet with the Saudi Ambassador to the UK later this week.
As reported on the website www.middleeasteye.net on Thursday, May 25, 2023, this meeting is expected to encourage Saudi Arabia to increase the allocation of Hajj slots for the UK.
Saudi officials conveyed to British parliament members that the new quotas for the UK and other Western countries would be in line with those allocated to majority Muslim nations, which historically have been based on a ratio of one slot per thousand Muslims in the population.
Quota figures for majority Muslim nations may vary, depending on the agreements between Saudi Arabia and each respective country.
Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether the Saudi government intends to revise these numbers on an annual basis or what data will be used to determine the eligibility of Muslims to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.