By Ismail Abdulaziz
The new Saudi Arabia guidelines on performance of the Hajj rites at the Holy sites have been confirmed as being in line with Islamic teachings and not capable of vitiating the exercise.
Alhaji Alidu Shutti, NAHCON Deputy Coordinator for Makkah and Alhaji Ibrahim Dasina, Chief Executive Officer of the Sunnah TV, an Islamic broadcast outfit in Nigeria, disclosed this at a meeting on Tuesday in Makkah.
The meeting was with NAHCON’s delegation of Islamic Scholars on the Hajj for the purpose of educating the pilgrims on the various aspects of the religious acts.
Shutti said that the new guidelines were initiated to ensure complete safety and comfort of the pilgrims who are mostly first time guest of Allah to Makkah and Madinah.
‘’Over the years, the Saudi Arabia authorities continue to initiate new ways to make the Hajj more accessible and acceptable according to the Islamic injunctions with the sole aim of making pilgrims confortable.
‘’It is in furtherance of this that these new rules are introduced this year. All we need the ulamas to do is to educate the pilgrims on the new procedures, to make pilgrims understand that their Hajj is still correct,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new procedures involve movement of pilgrims at the Holy sites of Muna, Arafat, Muzdalifa, Jamrat and Makkah.
Movement from Makkah to Muna is to now begin on the night of 8th Dhul Hijjah instead of the morning of 9th Dhul Hijjah, also movement from Muzdalifa would be back to Muna instead of the usual procession to the Mosque in Makkah.
Dasina said that the changes made were not such that would cause any breach to the appropriateness of the Hajj processes performed by the pilgrims.
‘’The decision to make these changes was done by the highest body in Saudi Arabic and other Muslims scholars agreed to it. These are widely renowned and accepted schools of thought used in taking religious decisions.
‘’The Ulamas have already scrutinised the new guidelines and decided that it did not go contrary to any Islamic rules nor will it reduce the reward of the pilgrims Hajj. We have been going round to sensitise pilgrims since in Madinah on these aspect of the Hajj,’’ he said.
Dasina said beginning Hajj rites before the 9th of Dhul Hijja would not amount to spoiling ones Hajj because even if the rites were started on the 10th of Dhul Hijja it is still an accepted practice.
He also told NAN that there were special rewards in the observance of Arafat on a Friday which happens to be two special days in Islam.
‘’Arafat day is a day that Allah accepts all the prayers of supplicants and it’s a day of much giving of praises and thanks to Him.
“Similarly Friday is the most important day in the week and entails much recitation of the Quran, supplications and praises. The two are days of festivity.
‘’When these two special days, one comes only once in a year, and the other once in a week, come together at a particular event, then it gives a special religious significance.
“The only Arafat that the Prophet Muhammad (SWA) made was on a Friday. So, a pilgrim has the rewards of an Arafat on Friday as well as performing it the day the Prophet did it,’’ he said.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Angela Okisor/Idris Abdulrahman