Thursday, 15 December 2011

My Hajj 2011 Experience

My Hajj 2011 Experience

Dr. Mozammel Haque

I am fortunate enough this year to be invited by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. I must thank the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, who invited me as his guest along with others from the United Kingdom. It is a rare honour shown to us, to my person and to the Muslims throughout the country.

We came to the King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, where we were well received by the Royal Protocol and then we were taken to the Jeddah Conference Palace where we stayed for one night and then we were taken next day morning to Makkah at Safa Palace where we fresh up ourselves and had fresh ablution and then went to Haram Sharif to perform Tawaf and Sa’i. Then we came to Mina, we stayed there and then went to Arafat to perform other religious functions as instructed by Islam. We did the rituals of Hajj according to the arrangements provided by the Royal Protocol.

I have done a lot of Hajj before. This is my 14th Hajj. The last Hajj I did 15 years ago and I have seen a lot of hardships during the Hajj. So now at an advanced age I so much appreciate all these facilities that have been given to us which has made our Hajj very easy that I thank Allah the Almighty first of all He has given me once again this life opportunity and secondly I thank the Saudi Monarch because of whom we are able to come for Hajj this year because there were no planning whatsoever to come for Hajj but suddenly out of blue the invitation came and within days all the things were prepared and we come here and we have been received by Royal Protocol at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport Jeddah and straight away we were taken to Jeddah Guest Palace and after performing our Umrah at Masjid al-Haram Makkah which was done also in a very easy way.

What I can say that the facilities which are provided to us they are because we are guest but the facilities that are provided to pilgrims they are in general are enormous, so big that no person could imagine what is the state of affairs now in comparison with what it was in thirty years ago. We also remember that many time some of the tents caught fire and then many many people had been burnt alive. That was because those tents did not have all these precautionary measures which can stop the fire.

I performed Hajj this time as Royal guest after nearly 15 years and I found situation everywhere, whether that is in Mina, Muzdalifah, Arafat and Jamarat completely different. There is no way to compare what I have noticed this time with those I had experienced and seen 20 years before. At that time, if you look at the Masjid al-Haram, the area around the Haram was not doubled; there were very few quality hotels nearby or far enough; the floor of Safa Marwah was not cool and now if you go you will see it is very cool at the moment.

Incredible progress has been made; each year there is massive progress. Massive construction and infrastructure is built up in Jamarat for stoning the Satan. Even the five floors and each floor is connected to one route. After stoning the Satan the pilgrims this time never turn back but they went straight to exit and then follow the direction to their tents.

Another wonder is the Monorail which is built up upon a very massive structure. The pilgrim can feel the care the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is taking for the welfare of the pilgrims every year by concentrating how to improve the Holy Sites.

The kingdom is doing a lot to show that we are all God’s guests to the Holy Land. We were well received, well-treated and well-served, best of their ability. The problem of hosting millions of people at a particular time and moment is enormous. I must commend the Kingdom not many countries in this world can do this. Over three/four million guests at one time and giving them an adequate transportation, accommodation, feeding is a really wonderful job. I think the credit must go to the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and his leadership. Above all, the pilgrims are the Guests of Allah Almighty. Alhamdo Lillah, God supports the cause and that’s why we have a heat free pilgrimage this year. Equally I must repeat my recommendation to the Kingdom, to their resources, to all people in this year’s Hajj. The job is well-done.

1 comment:

mark tag said...

Umrah is like a smaller Hajj, you do not do all of the practices such as the throwing stones at the pillars of satan etc, It's just visiting Mekkah and Medina. the Umrah only consists of doing twaf (circumambulating the kabbah) and walking/running from mount safa, marwa, whilst in the ehram. Those who perform Umrah have to perform Hajj too.
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