First Batch of Japanese Muslim Pilgrims Leaves Tokyo for the Holy Land

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tokyo – (PanOrient News) The first batch of two planned groups of Japanese and Asian-Muslim residents of Japan left Narita International Airport in Tokyo on Sunday, Aug. 12, for the Holy Land to perform the rituals of the pilgrimage known as al Hajj.

Delegations from the Saudi, Philippine and Indonesian embassies in Tokyo bid the pilgrims, called hujaj in Arabic, farewell as they left to perform the Islamic duty, wishing the travelers a blessed pilgrimage and safe return. Al Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia which able Muslims are expected to perform at least once in their lifetime.

The number of pilgrims in the first group exceeded one hundred men and women; 15 were Japanese and the rest were nationals of other countries residing in Japan, including Indonesians, Filipinos and Bangladeshis, according to Farid Ahmad Qinawi, the general manager of Air 1 Travel. Qinawi is the organizer of the trip and the supervisor of the performance of holy rituals. He told PanOrient News that embassy support, especially from the Saudi Embassy, was important. He also said that the Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo had held orientations to explain the rituals and details of the pilgrimage.

Some of the Japanese Muslim pilgrims expressed their great happiness to visit Mecca and al Madinah to perform the duty.

The number of Japanese Muslims and other Muslim residents in Japan has been increasing over the last few years, and Japanese authorities have started providing services in line with Islamic law, in cooperation with the Islamic embassies in Tokyo.

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