2. Hajj Application (Government Scheme)
To apply via government scheme, the form needs to be filled with care. The list of required documents is provided with application form. Friends and family should make group together, maximum persons per group being 14. There are three major sections,
- Main form – having general details and address information, nomination of group leader (form number) and mahram. Details of your payment and bank account are also added here.
- Medical section – to be filled by medical officer of a government hospital. They require passport (number) and basic information, age and blood group. You may mention special medical conditions if applicable.
- Receipt – To be returned to applicant (one copy) and is the most important document if you get selected. This one is very similar to matric roll number slip with photograph, name/form numbers of group leader and self address/passport number.
- There also a declaration which mostly contains stuff like you do not reserve any right to challenge if anything goes wrong and will abide by laws/policies.
It is recommended not to wait till last date and submit your form ASAP and clarify anything you do not understand with the bank representative. Here are some general guidelines about application (not necessarily true for this year),
- Take special care in entering your name. Follow the spelling and nomenclature same as one in your passport.
- Group of 6 (12 if male and female) are best if possible, male and female group members get separate rooms with 6 or more persons per room. If your groups size is smaller than 6, you will be accommodated with other groups.
- Groups from same/nearby area/towns where applications are submitted are normally accommodated together with same flight schedules.
- It’s better to have some experienced person, already been to Hajj/Umra, and/or someone with sufficient religious knowledge in your group.
- Members of a group may get different rooms in same building. You can talk with other persons to make suitable room partner arrangements.
- Once the form is submitted with payment, receipt is given back with signatures of bank representative. This is your only proof of application so keep it safe. Plastic coating (soft) is recommended.
- After submission of form a hard copy of data will be provided to group leader and your data will also be available online and you can verify on the website http://www.inquiry.hajjinfo.org/. In case of mistake, visit your bank to get it corrected.
- Result of balloting will be sent via SMS to group leader (meaning entire group is successful). It will be updated online on website (http://www.inquiry.hajjinfo.org/) and a letter from ministry of religious affairs within 1-2 days will also be received. (If the letter is not received, no need to worry, as this is not necessary for later stages. Only form receipt is necessary with CNIC/passport).
Qurbani/Sacrifice via Govt. Arrangement
This is one of the trickiest decisions on has to make while filling the form. There are two types of slaughter house available for Hajj sacrifice, Open and Closed. Open door slaughter houses allow pilgrims to purchase and make sacrifice personally, while closed ones implement slaughtering by Proxy. The government option for sacrifice uses Proxy type. Here are some details about government sacrifice arrangements followed by few suggestions regarding the option,
- Government arrangement does not give you flexibility, you are provided a coupon 1 or 2 days before leaving for Mina (8th Zilhaj) and a time when your sacrifice will be performed. It may be on first day, second, or even third day (but not likely).
- For this option, whatever is the communicated time for sacrifice, it is better to wait 3-4 hours before Halaq/Qasr (Shaving head).
- Similar proxy coupons can be purchased from Makkah or Medina (at almost similar or higher rates).
- A single nominee for a group of 30 persons using proxy arrangement can visit slaughter house to confirm/witness the sacrifice.
Based on above mentioned information, here are some suggestions,
- The recommended option is not to opt for Government option and perform sacrifice on you personal arrangement by visiting the slaughter house (at walking distance <3Km from Camp site) after first day Rami. You can get the details about slaughter arrangements on this link.
- There are services providers who allow make arrangements for sacrifice and also allow you to visit and perform the ritual yourself. This can be done either online (if you know some reliable service provider). Also the Muallim people at your Makkah residence provide you contact details for such service providers.
- I would not recommend a private service provider unless he allows you to visit the slaughter house at the time of sacrifice to witness or perform it your self on 1st Day (10th Zilhaj).
- Most the people you ask whether to opt for government arrangement for Qurbani will discourage you from doing so quoting that you’ll have to stay in Ihram till your time for Sacrifice. Except for some psychological pressure, there is no harm to wait till you sacrifice time by govt. scheme.
- If you are not an active person or having elder group members or female/children group members who require care it’s better to opt for Government option.
- You can always purchase coupons from banks/Saudi official service providers which are similar to government option if you have not selected government option and later find out that personal arrangement is not feasible for you.