Uzbekistan: Hajj Pilgrims Face More Stringent Requirements
The Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Uzbekistan has published an edict listing detail on the stricter requirements for worshippers hoping to embark on the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Since the death of the late President Islam Karimov, the authorities have loosened their stance toward the country’s devout Muslims, including by dramatically increasing the quota for people allowed to make the pilgrimage to the faith’s most holy site. There are concerns, however, that the trip is often carried out by the better-off and as purely as a status-boosting initiative, squeezing out those with less money.
Religious authorities have decreed that genuine Muslims should know that the hajj can only be performed once in a lifetime and that pilgrims should have the financial and physical wherewithal to complete the trip. The fatwa also states that the regular observance of basic daily Islamic duties is mandatory for hopeful applicants.
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