People who do not go on Hajj due to COVID should donate money: Italian cleric

Italy: The imam of the Italian city of Florence has said that Muslims who are unable to go on Hajj or Umrah this year due to restrictions on COVID-19 should donate the money allocated for this purpose to those in need.

According to an international news outlet, Imam Izzedin Elzir said, “While we wait for the vaccination plan to work at full swing in our country, I invite anyone who can to donate the money they would have spent for the pilgrimage to families who find themselves in a difficult situation. For their holy pilgrimage, they should wait for next year”.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had already instructed that "Only those who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from the disease will be allowed to enter the Grand Mosque in Makkah."

It was also stated that to be allowed to enter Makkah and Madinah, it is necessary to have taken both doses of the COVID vaccine fourteen days earlier.

Former president of the Council of Islamic Communities in Italy, Elzir described the Saudi measures as “very right.”

"The Prophet of Islam has taught us that where there is an epidemic, we should not enter or leave," he said.

He also thought that "worshipping God is important to us, but we must also take care of our own lives and the lives of others."

"Every year one to one and a half thousand Muslims go for Hajj from Italy and I am sure that only 500 will be able to go this year."

The imam of the Sicilian city of Catania also agreed with the Saudi measures. “It is absolutely right to ask that whoever takes part in Umrah is immunized. Health protection comes first,” said Abdelhafid Kheit.

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