Hajj 2024 and excellent services, initiatives of the Saudi Govt

by admin

MAY the Almighty bless us.  I am present, O Allah!  I am present. You have no partner. Praise belongs to You. Blessings and kingdom are Yours. You have no partner… I am present, my God!  I am present. It was a special favour of Allah, the Lord of the worlds, that He invited me to His door on Hajj this year.  When we prayed in Arafat, stayed in Muzdalifah and were inside Mina, visited Kaaba and Rasool’s grave, these were the moments that can never be forgotten. 

That is, the servant of Allah becomes the embodiment of self-forgetfulness and self-satisfaction by coming to the court of his Lord and Master and getting his love and pleasure.  Hajj is also the most sacred act of worship and an opportunity to attend the bar of Allah.  Makkah is the symbol of the axis of faith. Medina is the heart of the believer.  The glory of both the Harams (sacred places) expresses the Islamic prestige.  Love of both is proof of the freshness of faith.  Devotion to both is the cause of the radiance of faith. Prayers were offered for the safety of Pakistan in the presence of Allah, for all oppressed Muslims including Kashmiris and Palestinians.  May Allah accept these prayers, Amen!

It is worth noting that the best facilities available for pilgrims now could never have been imagined in the past. The renovation and expansion of the Haram Sharif, initiated by Shah Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud, have been continued by subsequent Saudi rulers. The roads to Makkah and Medina have become very comfortable, making it easy for pilgrims to perform the Hajj rituals. The increasing number of pilgrims each year proves the excellent arrangements and facilities provided by the Saudi government. This year, the Hajj arrangements were praiseworthy, carried out under the instructions of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ensuring the safety and security of the pilgrims. On the special invitation of the Saudi government, 2,000 relatives of martyrs and wounded in Palestine were also included in the pilgrimage. The Hajj Sermon was broadcast in 20 languages through various digital channels, and for the first time, a smart robot service was launched to assist with Hajj services.

More than 18 lakh people performed Hajj this year.  In fact, the Saudi government and all institutions related to Hajj used all their resources to serve the pilgrims and provide them with facilities.  Nevertheless, the opportunity of propaganda on the martyrdoms of Hajj pilgrims during this year was not missed by some circles.  It should be noted that this time the Hajj took place in extreme heat, and I am an eyewitness of the martyrdoms caused by the extreme heat and crowds.  Among the deceased, the number of elderly people is high.

Hajj is both financially and physically demanding, so the Saudi government ensured all necessary facilities for pilgrims. Most incidents involved those secretly performing Hajj on visit visas, thus lacking access to government-provided amenities. To address this, a ban on visitors to Makkah and Medina was imposed during Hajj. Despite the arrest of 350,000 illegal pilgrims, many remained, primarily Egyptian residents, prompting the Egyptian government to crack down on companies planning Hajj and Umrah trips in their country. There was no arrangement for these illegal pilgrims to stay inside Mina, so the Saudi government was not responsible. The blame lies with travel agents who take money and apply for visit visas for the pilgrims, then put the damage on the Saudi government. May Allah accept the testimonies of martyred pilgrims, grant them the full reward of Hajj by His grace, and raise their ranks. Amen!

There is no truth in the news of water not being available for pilgrims in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah.  In addition to the excellent actions of the Saudi government, the stories of generosity, hospitality and kindness of ordinary Arab citizens, especially during the days of Ramadan and Hajj, are well known.  I saw that this time too, ordinary Saudi citizens were standing somewhere with fruits for the guests of Allah, somewhere they were offering bottles of water.  The Saudi residents had placed full containers of water, juice and milk at the service of the pilgrims.  During the performance of Hajj rituals, water was being sprayed on the pilgrims and soldiers were standing with umbrellas for the pilgrims.  Many helicopters were monitoring the entire process from the air.  Similarly, ambulances were seen standing ready to deal with any emergency.

During Hajj, excellent arrangements were evident everywhere. Six places have been designated for circumambulation inside the Kaaba, and electric vehicles are available for the elderly and disabled.

However, I have a few requests for the Saudi government. First, improve the taxi system, as drivers charge excessively during Hajj. Second, provide internet facilities instead of expensive mobile SIM cards, so pilgrims can easily contact their loved ones. Third, while the online platform Nusuk has been introduced for registering visits to the Holy Prophet’s grave, many pilgrims, especially the elderly, are unaware or unable to use Smartphone. An alternative solution is needed for them.

Hajj is a symbol of unity through which the message of the collective life of Islam is conveyed.  Hajj is a practical expression of unity on the basis of monotheism and prophethood by erasing class distinctions.  If the Muslim Ummah understands the real objectives of Hajj, then the continuous conspiracies of Jews and Christians can be bluntly answered.  Zionist conspiracies can be pointed out.  Today Muslims are being attacked from all sides.  In such a situation, it is necessary to return to the goals of sacrifice and make Aswa Ibrahimi a leader.

There was no stampede for the first two days at Jamrat.  The devil was easily stoned, but on the third day, a procession of pilgrims came from the front, and an equal number of pilgrims came from the other side, causing a stampede.  In such a situation, it became difficult for the weak and infirm elderly and women to maintain balance and they fall down.  The temperature in Jamrat was also 51 degrees.  Although the Saudi government had installed dessert coolers in many places, still there was a lot of difficulties.  May Allah accept the services of the Saudi government for the pilgrims!

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