All of us know about the relationship Saudi Arabia has developed with Qatar recently. On 5th June 2017, Saudi Arabia with 5 countries terminated all relations with Qatar including flights, visa, border, and embassy. The decision created a lot of stories in the electronic media. Many criticized Saudi Arabia for the decision without understanding the reason why Saudi Arabia cut down relations with Qatar. However, it was not an end, Saudi Arabia put up 13 demands from Qatar government to reinstate relationship which was not honored. Nevertheless, since the beginning of this problem, Saudi Government has been persistently saying that they have boycotted Qatar, not Qataris. We treat Qataris as our brothers.
In this regard, King Salman has ordered the Saudi authorities to open Salwa borders for Qatari pilgrims who want to perform Hajj this year. It is a very sensible decision which should be admired. Makkah and Madina are not the property of Saudi Arabia or any other country. Every Muslim has an equal right to it. King Salman, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has ensured that pilgrims from every corner of the world are given easy access to the Holy Land including pilgrims from Iran and Qatar. Making arrangements for Hajj is not an easy task and all the credit goes to the Saudi authorities for managing it so well.
Free Hajj flights on the expense of King Salman
As we know that there are no flight operations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, King Salman has also ordered to start special flight operations between Jeddah and Doha to transport pilgrims. In this regard, Saudi Arabian Airlines has allocated seven flights on board Boeing 777-300s — very modern aircraft — to transport Qatari pilgrims from Doha to King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA). Departure flights will be from Aug. 22-25, while return flights will be on Sept. 5 after the end of the Haj session. All these flights will be at the expense of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
Qatari pilgrims have started arriving through Salwa Border in Saudi Arabia. Around 100 pilgrims arrived on Thursday. We believe that this remarkable decision taken by King Salman will break the ice between two neighboring countries. We hope to see the prosperous relation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
In the year 2017, Hajj is expected to start from August 30, 2017, when pilgrims will be heading to Mina. 31st August is expected to be the Day of Arafah and Eid is expected to be on 1st of September 2017. In the Islamic literature, the first 10 days of Dhul Hijja are very important. Muslims all around the world should make special prayers during these days.