Registered intending pilgrims aged over 65 will not be allowed to perform Hajj this year, said State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Faridul Haque Khan on Monday.
"People aged above 65, who have already completed registration for Hajj cannot go to Saudi Arabia this year. The Saudi government has made the decision not only for us but also for the whole world."
He came up with the information while responding to questions from journalists at a discussion titled 'Digital Transaction in Nagad Islamic Financial Management'. Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters Forum (BSRF) organised the discussion at the Secretariat.
The state minister said holy Eid-ul-Azha will be observed on 9 July (depending on the moon sighting). This year, a total of 57 thousand 856 pilgrims will be able to perform Hajj from Bangladesh.
He said, "Pilgrims could not perform Hajj in the last two years. By the blessings of Allah (God), we are going to perform Hajj this year. We will complete a bilateral agreement in this regard with Saudi Arabia soon."
Faridul Haque said his ministry is working on the holidays including Friday and Saturday to ease the Hajj process within only 34 days as the time is too short this year.
BSRF President Tapan Biswas presided over the programme while Nagad Executive Director Mohammad Aminul Haque, Nagad Islamic Shariah Supervisory Committee Chairman Prof HM Shahidul Islam Barakaty, Islamic Foundation's Imam Training Academy Director Md. Anisuzzaman Sikder, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Masudul Haque, general secretary of the Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters Forum moderated the discussion.