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Smartcards Revolutionize Hajj Pilgrimage Experience in 2024

Minggu, 12 Mei 2024 - 03:37 | 11.71k
Hilman Latief, the Director General of Hajj and Umrah Affairs at the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs. (Photo: Kemenag RI)
Hilman Latief, the Director General of Hajj and Umrah Affairs at the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs. (Photo: Kemenag RI)

TIMESINDONESIA, JAKARTA – As the Hajj 2024 pilgrimage season approaches, a new era of technology is reshaping the journey for Indonesian pilgrims. The Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia has announced a groundbreaking requirement: the use of smartcards for all pilgrims embarking on the sacred journey to Makkah.

This move marks a significant leap forward in ensuring the authenticity and security of pilgrim data. Hilman Latief, the Director General of Hajj and Umrah Affairs at the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs, highlighted the importance of this innovation. "Smartcards are introduced by the Saudi government to uphold the accuracy and validity of pilgrim information," stated Hilman during a press briefing in Madinah on Friday, May 10, 2024.

Unlike previous years, where smartcards were merely a topic of discussion, 2024 sees their practical implementation. Each pilgrim will receive a smartcard embedded with a QR code, a digital gateway to verifying their identity and pilgrimage status. This QR code system simplifies the process of validating pilgrim data, providing instant access to crucial information with a quick scan.

"All pilgrims are required to carry this smartcard, which serves as their digital identity. The QR code embedded within it ensures swift verification of their pilgrimage details," Hilman expalined.

However, the distribution of smartcards follows a strategic approach. While a limited number will be distributed domestically, the bulk of distribution will occur just before departure to Makkah or upon arrival. This strategic deployment aligns with the Saudi government's plan for intensive smartcard checks at various checkpoints, including terminals, mosque precincts, and public areas.

"The Saudi authorities have announced rigorous inspections at multiple locations. Any discrepancy between a pilgrim's smartcard and official data will result in penalties," Hilman said.

Smartcards aren't just a bureaucratic requirement; they unlock access to sacred sites crucial for the pilgrimage, such as Arafah, Muzdalifah, and Mina. Saudi security personnel will conduct thorough checks, enhancing security and ensuring orderliness during the pilgrimage.

The introduction of smartcards signifies a new level of accountability and monitoring throughout the Hajj pilgrimage. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has prepared backup smartcards to mitigate the risk of loss or technical issues.

"While we hope for smooth proceedings, we are prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. Our backup smartcards serve as a safety net," assured Hilman Latief.

With smartcards at the forefront of pilgrimage technology, the Hajj 2024 season promises to be a testament to the seamless integration of tradition and innovation, ensuring a safe and fulfilling spiritual journey for all Indonesian pilgrims.(*)

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Editor : Khodijah Siti
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