Q: In their thirst for mock Umrahs, travel operators in South Africa are defrauding the Saudi Government. They are advising prospective travellers to apply for a renewal of their passports earlier than required even though the traveller’s current passport is valid and not due to renewal until after several years/months have lapsed. In other words, a traveller can have more than one valid passport and they use their latest passport to apply for UMRAH visa and they renew it again for future trips.
This means that the prospective traveller can travel for Umrah multiple times during a 24 month period without paying the additional repeat Umrah visa fee of SAR2000.
This is causing the SAUDI government a loss of revenue and is a false representation of the traveller’s historical travel.
The contention from the prospective traveller is that the repeat Umrah visa fee is Zulm and therefore they are not liable for the Saudi Holiday Visa Fees. They also stated that the Ulema are doing it so why shouldn’t they do it as well. Please advise if this current trend is permissible for an upright Muslim ?
A: In all fairness, I suggest that you find out from the Saudi Government what is the reason for charging this additional umrah fee.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)