The first batch of haj pilgrims safely returned to the Sultanate yesterday morning.
The 248 pilgrims were welcomed by Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman; Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof; Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy Dato Seri Paduka Haji Khairuddin bin Haji Abdul Hamid in his capacity as Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd (DHSB) Board of Directors Chairman; and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Mohd Tashim bin Pengiran Haji Hassan and their spouses.
The arrival hall of the Brunei International Airport was awash with emotion as the returning pilgrims reunited with their families.
The returning delegation comprised seven Haj Affairs Medical Officers, 157 pilgrims, four officers from DHSB, 67 pilgrims from Straits Central Agencies (B) Sdn Bhd and 12 pilgrims and one officer from Al-Hijrah Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd.
To bless the return of the pilgrims, a Doa Selamat was recited by Mosque Affairs Officer Zulkifli bin Haji Murat.
Also present were Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Emad bin Abdul Aziz bin Saad Al Muhanna; Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Deputy Commissioner of Police Dato Seri Pahlawan Sulaiman bin Alidin; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) Haji Mohammad Rosli bin Haji Ibrahim; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications Ir Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof; and Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Religious) at the MoRA Haji Mohd Serudin bin Haji Timbang and spouses.
The returning pilgrims were also welcomed at the airport by directors and senior officials at the MoRA and managing directors of companies operating haj pilgrimage packages in the Sultanate.