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Rukhsah in Hajj 2024: Facilitating Worship for the Elderly and Disabled

Rabu, 29 Mei 2024 - 04:32 | 14.39k
Widi Dwinanda, a member of the Ministry's Media Center explaining about Rukhsah. (Photo: MCH 2024 Kemenag RI)
Widi Dwinanda, a member of the Ministry's Media Center explaining about Rukhsah. (Photo: MCH 2024 Kemenag RI)

TIMESINDONESIA, MADINAH – In the spirit of providing the best services for pilgrims, especially the elderly and disabled, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has embraced the "Haji Ramah Lansia" initiative for Hajj 2024. According to Widi Dwinanda, a member of the Ministry's Media Center, this initiative aims to ensure that elderly and disabled pilgrims receive special accommodations (rukhsah) to help them perform their Hajj rituals with ease.

Outlined in the Ministry's guidebook, "Tuntunan Manasik Haji dan Umrah Bagi Lansia," several allowances are designed to facilitate the pilgrimage for these groups.

Rukhsah Keys for Elderly and Disabled Pilgrims

1. Praying in Convenient Locations

Elderly, high-risk, and disabled pilgrims are allowed to perform their prayers at their hotels or the nearest mosque. This easement ensures they receive the same spiritual rewards as if they were praying in Masjid al-Haram.

 "Salat for elderly, high-risk, and disabled pilgrims can be performed anywhere in the Holy Land, whether in their hotel or the nearest mosque. They will still receive the same merit as praying in Masjid al-Haram," explained Widi.

2. Delegation of the Stoning Ritual (Ramy al-Jamarat)

The ritual of stoning the devil is obligatory, and failure to perform it requires a penalty (dam/fidyah). However, elderly pilgrims who are unable to carry out this physically demanding act can delegate it to another person.

"Elderly pilgrims who cannot perform the stoning can appoint someone to do it on their behalf, provided that the delegate throws stones for themselves first before doing so on behalf of the elderly pilgrim for each of the three jamarats," Widi clarified.

3. Accommodations for Tawaf

Tawaf Ifadah, a fundamental part of Hajj, can be challenging due to the crowded area around the Kaaba. Elderly pilgrims are advised to choose less crowded times for performing tawaf. "Tawaf does not have to be done on foot. It can also be done using a wheelchair, by being carried, or using a scooter," Widi noted.

4. Flexible Sai Options

Sai, the ritual of walking between the hills of Safa and Marwah, can be performed on foot, by wheelchair, or scooter, depending on the pilgrim's condition. This flexibility is supported by the Shafi'i school of thought. "Elderly pilgrims can choose to perform sai by walking, using a wheelchair, or a scooter, based on their situation and condition at the time," explained Widi. 

Additionally, Imam Al Nawawi’s advice is recommended, suggesting pilgrims find less crowded times to perform sai to avoid physical strain and potential harm. "If the area is extremely crowded and congested, it is better to avoid being jostled or hurt by others," Widi emphasized.

The "Haji Ramah Lansia" initiative for Hajj 2024 underscores the Ministry of Religious Affairs' commitment to inclusivity and compassion. By providing these rukhsah, the Ministry ensures that elderly and disabled pilgrims can fulfill their religious duties comfortably and with dignity. These allowances exemplify the flexibility and mercy inherent in Islamic law, ensuring that worship remains accessible to all believers. (*)

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