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Haj Qurrah 2019 is likely to be delayed by at least a week

The Qurrah or Draw is held because number of application received by the Haj Committee of India exceeds the allotted quota

Tuesday December 25, 2018 5:53 PM, ummid.com Staff Reporter

Haj Qurrah 2019

[A rare photo of Hajj In 1953 as captured by National Geographic.]

Mumbai: Haj Qurrah 2019 - the computerised draw of lots conducted to select the final list of pilgrims embarking for Hajj 2019 is likely to be delayed as the last date for receiving Haj Application Form (HAF) was extended by more than a month and various State Haj Committees are still finalising the list of applications.

Moreover, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi while siging the Hajj agreement for the year 2019 had requested the Saudi authorities to increase India's Haj quota from the existing 170,000 to 190,000. The ministry is expecting a positive response on its request but the final decision will be taken only by the Kingdom.

The Haj Committee of India had started receiving Haj Application Form (HAF) 2019 from October 18, 2018. The last date of application was initially fixed as November 17, 2018. It was however first extended to December 12, then again by a week and up to December 19, 2018.

Owing to extension of the last date to apply for Haj 2019, it is most likely that the Haj Qurrah 2019 or Draw of lots will be delayed. According to Haj Committee of India sources, Haj Qurrah 2019 will start only by the end of January first week or start of the second week.

According to the Haj 2019 Action Plan, the Haj Committee of India was supposed to conduct the Hajj Qurrah 2019 or Draw of Lots in the last week of December, 2018. The Qurrah is set to be fully computerised and will be held at respective State Haj Committee headquarters.

The Haj Committee of India while announcing the extension of the last date of Hajj Application Form had also directed the State Haj Committees to complete the Haj Qurrah by the end of the ongoing month December. Sources at Haj Committee of India however revealed that it is still preparing the final list of Haj Applications it has received. "The task will be completed only be the first week of January 2019. Unless the final list is prepared, Haj Qurrah process cannot be started", sources said.

Accordingly, the last date to submit Advance Haj amount and Haj pay in slip by the selected pilgrims, which is fixed as the first week of January 2019, can also be pushed to later half of January.

India has been allocated based on population of Muslims in the country a Haj quota of around 1.70 lakh by Saudi Government. The quota is then distributed by the Haj Committee of India to respective states based on the number of Muslims living there.

In 2018 however a total of 175,025 pilgrims performed Hajj from India. Out of them, pilgrims numbering 70% of the total quota went through the Haj Committee of India, rest all opted for Private Tour Operators (PTOs) to travel to Makkah and perform Haj.

The Qurrah or Draw is held because number of application received by the Haj Committee of India exceeds the allotted quota

Meanwhile, the Haj Committee of India has enabled the link for the applicants to check Cover Number for Haj 2019. There are two options to check cover number. One is by entering Passport Number and the other is directly entering Haj Cover Number received while submitting the application to confirm registration.

Haj Cover Number is important as all communications, Haj Draw or Qurrah and Hajj accommodation and travel arrangements are made using Cover Number as reference.

Applicants should note that Hajj 2019 Flight Schedule from all embarkation points will be released by the Haj Committee of India only after the process of the Haj Qurrah is completed. However, as per the Haj 2019 Action Plan, the first outbound flight for Haj 2019 will depart from India on July 01, 2019. The last outbound Haj 2019 flight will be on August 03, 2019. The first inbound Haj flight from Saudi Arabia to India will be on August 14, 2019.

Coinciding with Eid al Adha, Haj is the annual ritual to commemorate the sacrifices made by Prophet Ibrahim, his wife Hager and their son Prophet Ismael. The likely date of Wuqoof e Arafat - the key ritual of the Hajj, is August 09 or 10. As the Islamic calendar is based on sighting of moon, the final date will be decided once the new moon of the month of Dhul Hijjah is sighted.

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