Travel & Tourism

Hajj: List of 13 prohibited items pilgrims should not take to Saudi Arabia

What are the prohibited items you shouldn’t take to Saudi Arabia?

As you are planning for your Hajj trip, see the list of prohibited items you should not take to Saudi Arabia to avoid getting yourself into trouble.

Every nation has its own rules and regulations and ensures that citizens and foreigners abide by them. While some rules are flexible, others are stringent and Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that have strict rules.

One of the rules is the list of prohibited items that pilgrims should not take to the Country for Hajj.

Hajj is an Islamic pilgrimage to Kaaba (House of God) in the Holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia which is usually done annually. Following the Arba’een Pilgrimage in the city of Karbala in Iraq, Hajj is the second (2nd) biggest yearly gathering of Muslims around the world.

The Saudi Arabian Government has prohibited the importation of certain items. Offenders caught smuggling these items will be duly punished according to the Saudi Arabian laws and regulations.

Pilgrims who are preparing to embark on Hajj in Saudi Arabia are therefore advised to not to carry along items that are prohibited in the country.

You could be delayed at the airport, fined or penalized if caught with any prohibited items in Saudi Arabia.

Now let’s find out the list of prohibited items you shouldn’t take to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country that runs an absolute monarchy. Although the country doesn’t have any legally binding written constitution, it is guided by the strict rules of the Qur’an, Sunna and Sharia law.

These laws, rules, and regulations greatly prohibit the importation, sales, and consumption of certain items.

What are the prohibited items you shouldn’t take to Saudi Arabia? See the list below;

List of prohibited items you should not take to Saudi Arabia  

  1. Alcohol

Due to the conservative and religious nature of Saudi Arabia, alcohol is totally banned in the country. Citizens, travelers, and Pilgrims are not allowed to import, sell, brew and consume alcohol in any form.

According to the stringent interpretations of the Qur’an, Muslims should not be intoxicated while praying. Offenders are either sentenced to Prison or severely flogged. It is even a crime to smell like alcohol as you will be arrested.

  1. Medicines

Pilgrims are prohibited from entering into Saudi Arabia with medicines of all kinds (tablet, syrup, injections) unless they are accompanied by a doctor’s prescription.

This doctor’s prescription should be less than six (6) months old and must be in the patient’s name having the following details:

  • Medical diagnosis.
  • The prescription drug’s generic name, dosage, as well as the dosage form.
  • Instructions of the drug usage and prescribed usage duration.
  • Official seal of the doctor or health care provider.

Alternatively, the prescribed medicines can be accompanied by a medical report that is less than six (6) months old. This report must be issued by the medical care provider of the patient with the following:

  • The patient’s personal information
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Treatment plan
  • Medical recommendations
  • The prescription drugs’ generic name, dosage, as well as a dosage form

Also, the medicine should be for personal use. Failure to comply with the country’s requirements may lead to the confiscation of your medicine.

  1. Narcotics

Narcotics are a kind of drugs that are sometimes prescribed by doctors to temporarily relieve severe pains which have failed to respond to other types of pain killers. Narcotics, however, have an addictive potential, therefore they should be taken according to the exact prescription of a doctor.

The importation and use of narcotics and other addictive drugs or substances are banned in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and so, they are illegal.

Examples of Narcotics are Codeine, Fentanyl, Morphine, Tramadol, Methadone, and even kola nut. These can only be accepted into the country on the condition that they are prescribed by a doctor and are taken according to the instructions of the prescription. They also shouldn’t be in a large quantity.

Other kinds of addictive drugs include Heroin, Opium, Cocaine, etc.

In addition to addictive drugs, the importation of kola nuts is also prohibited in Saudi Arabia.

Offenders caught with illegal drugs substances will be arrested, pay fines, or sentenced to death, according to the country’s laws and regulations.

  1. Foreign Currency

Pilgrims are not allowed to carry foreign currency that is more than the required limit or exceeds SAR 60,000.

  1. Books/Magazines

These are materials or publications that are against Saudi Arabia or Islamic beliefs and morality. Items include religious materials, photographs, films, and other entertainment/lifestyle items.

The Bible and Qur’an, as well as other religious publications,  are only allowed for personal use. They are not to be imported in large quantities for commercial purposes.

  1. Games

Currently, about 47 games (gambling, magic, and video games) have been banned by the Saudi Arabian Government. This is as a result of the negative influences (drugs, organized crimes, deaths, sexual themes, dark magic, etc.) it has on the players, especially the younger ones.

Some of the banned video games include Watch Dogs, Wolfenstein, Vampyr, Street Fighter, Assassins Creed, The Witcher 3, God of War, Grand Theft Auto V, among others.

  1. Political materials

One of the prohibited items that pilgrims should not take to Saudi Arabia is sensitive political materials. The use of political items that promotes another country or criticizes the government, Royal family or Islam is not allowed in the country.

  1. Weapons

Explosives, guns, ammunition and other forms of weapons are among the highly prohibited items in Saudi Arabia. The government placed a ban on the development, importation, production, stockpiling and use of weapons.

To possess a legal weapon for personal use in Saudi Arabia, you must be granted a license. Persons caught with illegal arms or weapons will face punishments according to the laws and regulations of the country.

  1. Radio transmitter

Radio transmitters such as magnetic level transmitters, Ultrasonic level transmitters, and Radar fill level transmitters, among others are banned from entering into Saudi Arabia.

  1. Food Items

Every foodstuff that is produced from animal blood is prohibited in the country.

  1. Communication devices

Pilgrims are not allowed to bring in communication devices such as modems, phones, walkie-talkie, and spying equipment.

  1. Fireworks

These include rockets, cherry bombs, firecracker, and Sutli bombs.

  1. Dogs

Pilgrims are also prohibited from taking dogs to Saudi Arabia.

Religious travelers or pilgrims who want to travel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj are advised to abide by the Islamic laws and regulations, as well as the traditions and values of the country.

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Judith Onwuka

Judith Onwuka is a content developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistant on this topic, kindly contact us.

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