COVID-19: it's impact in hajj and umrah and a future direction

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There is a misconception that hajj and umarah is just a worship matter and the consequences of suspending these religious gathering due to the pandemic is only limited to delay of going Saudi Arabia to perform it. However, the purpose of this paper is to focus on the impact of the pandemic in hajj and umrah by exploring its impact on different stakeholders affecting its disruption due to the pandemic. This is a library-based study that uses qualitative method to explore the impact of COVID-19 on hajj and umrah. Thus, provisions of Quran and hadith on hajj and umrah were examined as primary data for the research to establish the importance of the rituals in Islam. Guidelines set by hajj regulators and instruments enabling them in that behalf were examined likewise. In addition, content analyses were made of relevant secondary data from published sources including articles, books, newspapers and web resources that embody scholarly, scientific and religious views on the issue being studied. It is realised that in the first year of the pandemic, while umrah is entirely suspended, hajj was scaled back and performed by 10,000 people altogether, a tiny segment of the over two and half million that partook in the ritual previously. Hajj and umrah have been greatly inhibited and jeopardised by the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in religious, social, economic, psychological effects on the eligible but affected Muslims and Muslims countries. Along these lines, recommendations were accordingly proffered on the way forward to better hajj and umrah management. It is anticipated that the findings of the research would assist policy makers to comprehend the impact of the pandemic on hajj and umrah to ensure that the policies they make in this regard would adequately cover every aspect affecting the stakeholders which is deliberated in this research. It is also expected that the recommendations provided in this paper will assist stakeholders of hajj and umrah to grasp the importance of taking precautions for any crisis similar to COVID-19 when it happens.
Hajj , Pandemic , Religious mass gatherings , Umrah
Muneeza, A., & Mustapha, Z. (2021). COVID-19: It's impact in hajj and umrah and a future direction. Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, 12(5), 661-679.
Emerald Publishing Limited

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