Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Reflections from Hajj and a vision of it under the Khilafah


Our journey began from Riyadh where I had flown in early Dhul Hijjah. With only a few days remaining we prepared for our journey to Taif , the Miqat for the Pilgrims from the Najd region.

Once we arrived in Taif we changed into our Ihrams which is one of the preconditions for those who want to perform Umrah or Hajj. We made the Niyyah to perform Hajj and made Dua to Allah (swt) to accept our Hajj. After that we left Taif for Makkah.

We arrived in Makkah on the 8th and by afternoon we reached Mina where Hujjaj (Sing:Haji- Pilgrim) are to stay overnight. Mina has a mountainous terrain and mostly covered with mountains, access to it is via roads made by making tunnels into the mountains. Some of them are as long as 2 kilometers. There are separate tunnels for vehicles and those who prefer to walk. Most of the plains of Mina have been covered with Tents which are permanently erected.  Over 3 Million Haji’s stay in this otherwise empty town during this night and the three days after returning from Muzdalifah.

We arrived in Mina and rested until later in the midnight after which we woke up for Tahajjud and prepared for our departure to Arafah.

Arafah is about 7 Km from Mina and it was further from our camping ground In Mina, We left on foot for Arafat and walked aver 2 km beyond the borders of Mina and towards Muzdalifah from where we were able to board a lorry which was going to Arafah. The lorry driver made it an opportunity to make money and charged every one boarding the back of his lorry. Children, elders, women everyone jumped into the back of the lorry and we left for Arafah.

Traffic management in most of the pilgrimage sites is poor and roads are narrow and there is a lack of adequate Transport Systems.

The driver dropped us at the boundary of Arafah from where we walked into Arafah. While we walked we could see so many buses stuck in queues to enter Arafah. There were a special lane for the kings guest from different countries, every now and then we would see Armoured convoys speed up on that road. We later saw them entering a high fenced compound next to the Masjid , this was the guest house for the Kings Guests.

The Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “ الحج عرفة “ or “Hajj is Arafah“. The Arabic text implies a very important concept of the meaning of Hajj. This short statement means that the whole hajj and its validity is confined in the actual day of Arafah i.e. Hajj becomes valid only when the day of Arafah is observed and witnessed by those who undertake the journey, the pilgrims. Regardless how long the hujjaj stay in Makkah, if they missed that single day, they have then missed the whole Hajj.

In Arafah we attempted at staying close to Masjid Namira so as to follow the Sunnah of the prophet of praying at Namira. The Messenger of Allah, upon his arrival to Arafah, camped outside the plains of Arafah prior to the time of Dhuhr in the location where the Masjid of Namira is now built, once called Wadi ‘Urana.

Unlike the back part of the masjid today, the front part of the masjid is actually outside the boundaries of Arafah where the Messenger had delivered his khutbah or sermon. When he finished delivering the sermon, the Messenger (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) lead the hajj congregation in combined prayer between Dhuhr and Asr, then he moved inside the plains of Arafah until the end of the day.

When the time for prayer approached, Shekh Abdul Aziz Aal Shekh delivered a sermon to remind the congregation who gathered in Masjid Namira and the surrounding areas with what is known as the sermon of Arafah. The adhan or call for the prayer was then announced, the Imam then lead the congrgation in Dhuhr and Asr prayer combined and shortened, each performed in units of two rak’ah with one adhan and two Iqamas.

I was saddened by the fact the Imam did not even once make dua for the Muslims suffering all over the world. At a time when every day there were 100’s being butchered in Syria, the Imam did not even make a mention of Syria during the dua, although he did make dua for the King and the crown prince and the security forces. He even called the King of Saudi Arabia the Imam Al Muslimeen (the Imam of All Muslims).

The title although strange seemed like a political maneuver so as to establish spiritual supremacy of the Saudi king over all the Muslims, it was not very unexpected after having the previous king change his name from Jalalatil malik Fahd (his Majesty King Fahd) to the Custodian of the two holy Mosques so as to improve his image at home specially after it was tainted with several controversies abroad, one which included losing 6 million dollars in a night at a Casino.

The title Imam Al Muslimeen is akin to Ameer Al Mumineen, the title of the Khalifah of the Muslims. The scholars’ titling the head of a state which implements Non Islamic policies in most of its Ministries & departments reminded me of the saying of Imam Abu Hanifa: “When you see the scholar at the door of the ruler, then curse him in his deen, curse him in his deen , curse him in his deen.”

The Saudi Ruling system is a hereditary system in origin established by the British in return of their support for their war against the Ottoman Caliphate. Although formally the Quran is said to be the constitution and the Law, but little preference is given to it. Saudi Arabia legalized Riba In 1386 H when the king issued an edict which can be found under the reference.-Section B, article 1 of the Saudi law, issued by the king’s edict no.M/5 in 1386 AH. This allowed the formation and operation of Riba based banks and they are now they can be seen everywhere, even next to the Mosque in Makkah, The Saudi French bank, the Saudi hollandi bank, the Saudi American bank and many others.

And so that the shari’ah courts would not interfere in the working of these banks, especially the Riba based transactions, the, Shar’i courts were prohibited from interfering in such cases under the “Specialisation” law (articles 20 and 21 from chapter 3 of the System of Saudi Arab Army).

After the salah, the plains of Arafah transformed into a completely different sight, hundreds of thousands of people realized the imminence of the end of this blessed day and hence engaged in a passionate and vigorous du’a and festivity of praise and supplication.

People stood and sat everywhere, on the side of the road, on the mountain of Rahmah and on the top of their cars and buses raising their hands and voices with du’a and shedding tears and worries in a hope that they will be forgiven all their sins.

There is no day better in the sight of Allah than the Day of Arafah. On this day Allah descends to the nearest heaven in a manner that suits His Majesty, and He is proud of His slaves on the earth and says to those in heaven, “Look at My servants. They have come from far and near, with hair disheveled and faces covered with dust, to seek My mercy, even though they have not seen My chastisement. Far more people are freed from the Hellfire on the Day of Arafah than on any other day.” (Abu Ya’la, Ibn Khzayma, al-Bazzar and Ibn Hibban)

Abu Ad-Darda reported that the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “On no other day does the Satan feel so belittled, humiliated, and angry as he does on the Day ofArafah.” The reason for this is the mercy of Allah that descends this day and the forgiveness that He grants to people for major sins, except the day of the battle of Badr, which witnessed a far greater mercy of Allah descending upon people, which caused great sadness to Satan.

I felt ashamed of the situation of the Ummah and was disturbed by the Imams behavior. After the prayer I made Dua for the Ummah, I asked Allah (swt) to forgive us and bless us with his mercy. I asked Allah (swt) that he return among us a sincere ruler, a Khalifah like the Khalifah of the prophet (saw) who would implement his deen among us, who would take care of the affairs of the Muslims and not let their blood flow free. I made dua for Syria and asked Allah (swt) to destroy Bashar and his companions, that Allah (swt) fails the plans of the west to replace him with another stooge. And that Syria, the blessed land of sham was turned in the starting point of the establishment of the Islamic state. I made dua that Allah (swt) that he forgive my sins and that of my Parents and the Ummah.

We continued with the dua until just before the sunset when we packed to leave.

We left for the plains of Muzdalifah after sunset. We decided to walk till the border of Arafah and from there we boarded a similar lorry like we had done the when we came to Arafah. In about 30 minutes we arrived at Muzdalifah. We had arrived much earlier than everyone else and so most of the plains were empty.

We later realized we were lucky to reach so early, those who had taken the official buses provided by their hajj organizers only reached several hours later, some as late as 12 Am. It took them almost 6 hours to cover 7 km!

Those who took the Metro Rail were in no better position. The Metro Rail was a chaos with no proper management. Over 50 people died in the ensuing stampede at the Metro Station.

The azan for Isha Salah has just begun as we arrived at the Masjid Mash’aril Haram. Allah (swt) says:

لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَبْتَغُوا فَضْلًا مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ فَإِذَا أَفَضْتُمْ مِنْ عَرَفَاتٍ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ عِنْدَ الْمَشْعَرِ الْحَرَامِ وَاذْكُرُوهُ كَمَا هَدَاكُمْ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الضَّالِّينَ (198)
“There is no blame upon you for seeking bounty from your Lord [during Hajj]. But when you depart from 'Arafat, remember Allah at al- Mash'ar al-Haram. And remember Him, as He has guided you, for indeed, you were before that among those astray.” [TMQ 2:198]

We camped near the masjid and freshened up and prepared for Salah. After that we some food and rested for a few hours.

Muzdalifah has a real lack of facilities such as hygienic food and bathroom facilities. Most of the food was being sold by private vendors and there were not enough vendors for the mammoth population that was going to stay here overnight. The bathrooms were not adequate and many didn’t even have water. People queued up at the restrooms, it was a nightmare going to the toilet because at each toilet there was a queue of 10 people!

We rested until before Fajr and then woke for tahajjud and freshened up for Salah.

After Fajr we left for Mina, most of our Journey now was to be on foot. We walked over 6 km to our camp where we had left some of our clothes before we left for Arafah. We picked some new clothes to change into after shaving our heads and headed off for the Jamarat.

The rites for this day the 10th of Dhil Hijjah begin with throwing the pebbles, followed by offering the sacrifice, shaving one's head, performing a tawaf around Ka'bah. Observance of these rites in this sequence is sunnah. If one of these is performed before or after another there is no harm, according to most scholars.
This is the standpoint of Ash-Shafi'i based on a hadith reported by Abdullah bin 'Amr who said: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) stood in Mina during the Farewell Hajj, while the people asked him questions and he answered them. A man asked, 'O Prophet of Allah! I was not alert and I shaved my head before slaughtering my animal?' The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 'There is no harm, go and slaughter your animal.' Another man asked, 'I slaughtered the animal before I threw the pebbles?' The Prophet (peace be upon him) told him, 'There is no harm. Go and throw the pebbles.'" The narrator said: "Whoever asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about anything done before or after the other he told him 'No harm done. Go and do (whatever you missed)."'

Abu Hanifah is of the opinion that if someone failed to observe the proper sequence in performing these rites, and he did delay or precede a rite, he must offer a sacrifice, interpreting the words "no harm done" of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to mean that such a person is not guilty of any sin, but nonetheless such a person has to slaughter an additional animal in atonement.

Jamarat was not very far from where we were stationed, it was about 3 km and took us another hour or so to reach the Jamarat. The sight at Jamarat was completely different from what it looked 8 years ago when I had previously performed Hajj. The pillars had been elevated by several meters and they were widened and were accessible by 5 different paths and each of them would lead to a different floor. Altogether there were 5 floors and the Jamarat area was installed with powerful Air Coolers which cooled the Jamarat area.

The planning at the Jamarat was amazing and was done with lot of wisdom except that the pathways leading to and from the Jamarat were an utter confusion and no Policeman was able to guide the people in a proper way. Anyone entering the Jamarat once exiting had to take a 1km detour so as to reach his original position and this was all while walking. The Saudi’s took over 15 years of accidents, stampedes and deaths to realize that the Jamarat had management issues, although now they had taken the initiative of restructuring the Jamarat but still had failed to resolve its management.

The origin of the ritual of throwing the pebbles comes from Ibrahim (as): Al-Baihaqi reported from Salim bin Abi Al-J'ad that Ibn 'Abbas said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "When Abraham (peace be upon him) wanted to perform the Hajj rites, Satan blocked his way near 'Aqabah. (Jamarah Al-Aqabah is on the left side inside Mina; the Jamarah Al-Wusta (the Middle Jamarah) is at about 11,677 meters from the first one, while Jamarah Al-Sughra (the Smallest Jamarah) is 1,564 meters further from the middle one) Abraham threw seven pebbles at him whereupon the Satan sunk into the ground. Again the Satan appeared to him near the second Jamarah. Abraham threw seven pebbles at him and he again sunk into the ground. Once again the Satan approached him near the third Jamarah, and again Abraham threw seven pebbles at him and once again the Satan sunk into the ground." Ibn 'Abbas added, "You throw pebbles at the Satan, and (in doing so) you follow the path of your (great) forefather Abraham (peace be upon him)." Al-Munzhri said: "This is reported by Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahih and by Al-Hakim, and it is sound according to their criterion."

Imam Ghazali explains the wisdom of throwing the pebbles, in his Al-Ihya he says: "As to the throwing of the pebbles, it is an expression of the thrower's intention to obey Allah's commandment, and a demonstration of his humility and servitude to Him. It signifies compliance with divine commandment without any trace therein of any selfish pleasure, sensuous or intellectual.

Once we had thrown the 7 pebbles at the Jamaratil Aqaba, we left for Makkah to perform the Tawaf Al Ifadah. Makkah is about 6 kms from the Jamarat. We walked most of the way as roads leading to Haram were jammed with traffic and most of the drivers were over charging. What would cost 5 Sr in other days was now a 100 Sr Journey.

By the time we reached Haram (sanctuary) it was evening. The electronics flashboards near haram announce that the Haram mosque was full and that the pilgrims delay their Tawaf and pray Salah elsewhere. So we prayed Magrib at a mosque near Haram. After the Salah we freshened up and changed our clothes.
After throwing the pebbles on the 10th day of Zhul-Hijjah and shaving the head or clipping some hair of it, a pilgrim is released from all restrictions of the state of ihram. He may now wear perfume, put on regular clothes, etc., except approaching his wife sexually. This is known as the first removal of ihram. After completing Tawaf AI-Ifada, an essential rite of Hajj, everything is permissible for him including approaching his wife sexually. This is called the second or final removal of the state of ihram.

In the masjid where we prayed Magrib we met a scholar from Afghanistan, we spoke to him in Arabic and introduced ouerselves. He said that he came from Jalalabad and was a teacher at a Maktaba (school), he said that he also was a Mujahid with the Taliban. We asked him about the situation in Afghanistan, he said that with time the Mujahideen had regrouped and strengthened themselves and that they now held influence and control over large areas of the country. He said that in a matter of two years they will retake all of Afghanistan. We asked him what kind of governance would they set up if they were successful, we know that previously when the Taliban were successful they established an Emirate system, we asked if they were going to do the same or something else? He said that they believe in establishing the Islamic Khilafah and nothing else. He said that Khilafah is the only true system of governance and that the Mujahideen now realize the error they committed earlier. We asked him if he knew a group by the name Hizb ut Tahrir which also works for the Khilafah, he said that he knew them very well, he said that in a short time the group has grown large in their country and that they were their companions in this path of reviving the Ummah.

Later after Isha we left for the Haram where we performed Tawaf, we finished Tawaf by Fajr time and after Fajr we rested for sometime and then left back for Mina.

Today’s rites included the stoning of all the Jamarat starting from the smallest Jamara, the sequence of the stoning is maintained.

It is confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to begin with the first Jamarah that is near Mina, then he would go to the middle Jamarah further away, and then he would go to the Jamarah Al-Aqabah.
So following the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) with every stone we made a takbir and then made Dua. Ibn Mas'ud and Ibn 'Umar at the time of throwing pebbles used to say, Allahumma ij'alhu Hajjan mabruran wa zhanban maghfuran "O Allah! Accept this Hajj of ours and pardon our sins".

We made Dua that Allah destroy all of Shaytan’s plans and that of his companions from the humans, that Allah accept our Hajj and make it the last Hajj while the Ummah was being bombed by drones in Pakistan and by Mig’s in Syria and that we return back to Hajj the next year but under the shade of an Ameer who would rule by the book of Allah and the Sunnah of his messenger.

We also saw the mosque of Al-Aqaba which is close to the jamarat, this is the place where the two baya’s of Aqabah had happened. The Prophet (saw) met the Sahaba from madina and took the baya from them which led to the Hijra of the Muslims to Madina & the establishment of the Islamic state in Madina at this spot.

After the jamarat we returned to our camp and rested. The next day the 12th of Dhil Hijjah which is the third day of Ayam-Nahr we left our camp early, we had decided on exiting mina before sunset on the 12th.
We walked over 8 km from our camp before we arrived in Makkah, on the way we also stoned the Shaytan at the Jamarat. The remaining rite was the Tawaf Al Wida’ which is performed once the pilgrim plans to leave Makkah.

Performing this Tawaf was going to be a challenge, many people advised us against doing the tawaf in the crowded central mataf area and suggested that we perform it on the top floor which is less crowded.  My father who was leading us and was our Ameer for the safar decided that we go in the central mataf area. Much unexpectedly it was not very difficult to perform Tawaf in the central mataf area. Although the area was crowded but it was unexpectedly different as people were not pushing each other which is very common during Tawaf and people attempted to help each other and make way for those who wanted to exit or enter the Tawaf, it was at the tawaf we felt a unique change in the attitude of the people compared to my experience in previous Tawafs in Umrahs and in Hajj, someone explaining the behavior said that this was the effect of the Arab spring , it had brought people’s hearts closer and made them realize the sense of being an Ummah. I felt the same and hoped that we could see this behavior resonate in the whole of the Ummah of the Prophet (saw).

Every year about 3 Million people perform hajj with about 1.75 Million of them from outside Saudi and the remaining from inside Saudi. Hajj is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and it is obligatory over any Muslim who has the capability (physical and financial) but the quota of 1.75 million hajis who can do hajj every year from the 1.8 Billion Muslim’s will take at least a few hundred years for them to perform Hajj, considering only those who have the capability to it. The Saudi government’s inability can be understood because of the inadequate space they have to host the pilgrims in the mosques, hotels and in the pilgrim sites. This includes the lack of proper transport systems.

It is one of the duties of the Islamic state to make the Hajj easy for the pilgrims and assist them during the Hajj. The Hajj is not for the locals to make money out of the pilgrims cheating them and overcharging them and it is the duty of the state to ensure this.

Considering the reality of the Saudi state where the whole hajj process is more a money making endeavor than that of assisting the Hujjaj in ibadah, it can be easily understood why they are not very keen on increasing the quota or improving the overall management of Hajj.

How will the Islamic state organize Hajj

The Islamic state will organize hajj with the objective of serving the pilgrims and assisting them in completing this obligation in the best manner possible. Making money out of the pilgrims, be it for the hotels or the transport or food would not be from its aims, it would rather curtail such practices if they happen.
Currently the planning of the Haram mosque doesn’t allow accommodation of more than 3.5 – 4 Million at one time. Considering the current population of the Muslim Ummah and its growth in terms of those accepting Islam the number of Hajis allowed to do Hajj need to be increased. This is the first challenge for the Islamic state. Any increase in the Hajis will require restructuring of the outside area and inside area of the masjid.

In 1982 when King Fahd came to power he announced the expansion of the haram and built an extension now known as the King Fahd extension.  King Abdullah, the current king of Saudi has also announced another extension which is expected to be completed by 2020.

King Fahd’s extension plan required large areas of lands to be acquired from the surroundings of the mosque. Thousands of houses were destroyed which included many relics from the past. A large part of the acquired lands and houses were given away to real estate developers which led to several non-Muslims (who otherwise are not allowed entry into makkah) to open their hotels around Haram. Radission, Sheraton, Intercontinental…all of them have high valued properties surrounding the Haram. Not only this, they don’t mind giving away the holy land to ill-reputed people, not long ago infamous Paris Hilton was allowed to open her franchise showroom in the vicinity of the masjid. 

So the expansion project for the King did not only give him political mileage but also benefited many of his family members who now had stakes in the fledging real estate property in Makkah.

Initially the Islamic state will attempt at increasing the open space surrounding the Haram so that more pilgrims can be accommodated. As temperatures can become very high during summers, the open space would also be covered using mechanical Umbrella shaped shades (similar to the ones used in Madina). Oxygen dispensers would also be installed along with them which will emit oxygen and moisture combined to eat the heat during summers.  This would be initial plan of the state and then extensive makeovers will happen with time covering these spaces and air-conditioning them.

The current structure covers an area of 356,800 square metres (88.2 acres) including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces and can accommodate up to four million worshipers during the Hajj period.
It is noteworthy to mention that the gigantic Shamiyya project to the north west of the Sanctuary is being developed on an area of   of one million five hundred thousands square meters approximately, extending from the extremities of the sanctuary to beyond the second circular road to the north and from the Holy Mosque Street to the east and Jabal al Qaaba road to the west.

The plan includes Al-Shamiya, Garoul, Alqarara wa Alnqa. The area to be developed reached three million square meters distributed among different activities, of which hotels, hotel residences, commercial centers, and markets, general services, in addition to permanent residences for the people.

If only this area which is adjacent to the Haram was converted to a marbled plane praying space for the Pilgrims, it would accommodate 4.5 Million Musallis! And if it was converted into a two storey covered space then that number would be doubled. The existing area for developing AlShamiya includes developing residential and hotel spaces meant for 250,000 people and praying space for only 400,000 people.

The Jabal Omar project to the south western side of the mosque for which more than 600 properties have been seized involves constructing two five-star hotels with 935 rooms, and six three-star hotels comprising 1,255 rooms, across an area spanning 244,800 sq m. Residential buildings reaching 20 storeys to accommodate 100,000 people, 520 restaurants and 4,360 commercial and retail units are also being built. The current plans include a plan to make a 6 storey building for musalli’s to accommodate 100,000 musalli’s.

The Islamic state’s mission would be to ensure that the 5th pillar of Islam can be fulfilled by more and more people and in this endeavor it would not seek to make wealth from the pilgrims rather it would aim at assisting them and aiding them and providing them all the facilities which would make their pilgrimage easy.
Jabal Omar if it is only converted to a plane as mentioned earlier with mechanical umbrella shaped shadings and oxygen dispensers can accommodate 0.75 Million Pilgrims for prayers.

Jabal Khandama another project covering over 600000 Sq Meters of space is being developed into mixed use area mostly hotels and residential apartments and shopping units.  Redeveloping this area as a prayer space will give space to about 2 Million Musalli’s.

All these projects are adjacent to the Haram and can be annexed with the Haram with ease.

In most of these projects properties are acquired often with little or no compensation and in some cases the owners are given less than a week to leave the property.

The jabal kaaba is another of these projects which covers about 46,000 Sq meters. Similar is the case with the Ajyad fortress on the mount bulbul which was destroyed to build the Abraj al bait towers. These towers along with other towering structures are a violation of the Kaba’s sanctity. It is ironical that on one hand airplanes cannot fly from above the Haram but on the other hand high rise towers can constantly dwarf the Haram.

Historic sites of religious importance which have been destroyed by the Saudi’s include five of the renowned "Seven Mosques" initially built by Muhammad's (saw) daughter and four of his "greatest Companions": Masjid Abu Bakr, Masjid Salman al-Farsi, Masjid Umar ibn al-Khattab, Masjid Sayyida Fatima bint Rasulullah and Masjid Ali ibn Abu Talib.

It has been reported that there now are fewer than 20 structures remaining in Mecca that date back to the time of Muhammad. Other buildings that have been destroyed include the house of Khadijah, the wife of Muhammad, demolished to make way for public lavatories; the house of Abu Bakr, Muhammad's companion, now the site of the local Hilton hotel; the house of Ali-Oraid, the grandson of Muhammad, and the Mosque of Abu-Qubais, now the location of the King's palace in Mecca; Muhammad's birthplace, demolished to make way for a library; and the Abraj Al Bait Towers, built after demolishing the Ottoman-era Ajyad Fortress.

The ostensible reason for much of the destruction of historic buildings has been for the construction of hotels, apartments, parking lots and other infrastructure facilities for Hajj pilgrims. However, many have been destroyed without any such reason. For example, when the house of Ali-Oraid, the grandson of Muhammad (saw) was discovered and excavated, King Fahd himself ordered that it be bulldozed in case it should become a pilgrimage site.

The Kings Palace on mount Abu Qubais which covers over 100,000 sq meters will make way for accommodating more pilgrims for prayer.

So if the surrounding region of the Mosque was freed from buildings and even if it was preliminarily converted into marbled open space, it would make space for at least 10 million Pilgrims.

Certain structural changes to the mosque will also have to be performed. For e.g., the mataf (tawaf area) will have to be expanded. Removal of the ottoman era enclosure will lead to much more space in the mataf area and further expansion of the mataf can be done by removing more of the enclosure so that the mataf size increased.

To ease matters for children, women and elderly people, the State would make use of modern technologies such as travelators on the upper floors. Not only will this ease the matters for the pilgrims but will also stop the wheelchair owners from charging people exorbitantly.

As for the evidence why travelators may be used, we know this from the hadith Narrated by Ibn Abbas (RA): In his Last Hajj the Prophet (saw) performed Tawaf of the Ka'ba riding a camel and pointed a bent-headed stick towards the corner (Black Stone). [Bukhari] 
Similarly travelators may be employed between the Safa and Marwa as well.

The second challenge the State will face will be that of the residence for the dwellers of Makkah and the pilgrims. Makkah being a mountainous region has several mountains which cover its terrain. Removing these mountains and developing the areas into residential areas will solve lot of the residential problem. Large swathes of land are covered by these mountains towards the south east of the mosque, and to the north of hijrah district and the south of Mahbas Al jenn parking.

With the growth of the Muslim population, there will come a time when even what the State would have planned will fall short. The state will then have to work on establishing satellite towns next to makkah to house the Pilgrims and city dwellers but such a reality is not expected very soon but will certainly happen when the whole world converts to Islam.

عن تميم الداري قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول : ليبلغن هذا الأمر ما بلغ الليل والنهار ولا يترك الله بيت مدر ولا وبر الا أدخله الله هذا الدين بعز عزيز أو بذل ذليل عزا يعز الله به الإسلام وذلا يذل الله به الكفر وكان تميم الداري يقول قد عرفت ذلك في أهل بيتي لقد أصاب من أسلم منهم الخير والشرف والعز ولقد أصاب من كان منهم كافرا الذل والصغار والجزية
It was narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad, from Tameem Al-Daari, who said that he heard the Prophet (saw) say: “Verily, this matter (Islam) will reach where day and night have reached, and it will not leave a house of Madar (mud or clay) or a house of Wabar (fur of camels and goats, i.e. tents) except Allah will bring it into this Deen, (either) with the honour of an honoured one, or the disgrace of a disgraced one; honour with which Allah honours Islam, and disgrace with which Allah disgraces Kufr.”

The third challenge the state will face is that of transportation. A complete overall of the current transport system is required. A combination of public transport System & Mass Rapid Transport systems (MRTS) will serve the needs of the pilgrims. The Mass Rapid transport systems will be employed in the sacred places such as the Makkah mosque, Mina, Muzadalifa , Arafah initially but will eventually cover all the areas of the Sacred sites.

The design and construction of the MRTS would be underground and would involve several lines at each port. This is so as to avoid congestion at the ports of embarking and disembark. Examples of effective utilization of MRTS in cities like Malaysia, Delhi, London and others will be studied and adopted.

At any station the number of people who can embark on a train and the number of trains that arrive periodically should be planned in such a way so that there are mishaps and accidents due to overfilling of stations.

This year in Arafah, several people died at the metro stations. The reason being that there are 21 trains and each train can take 4000 pilgrims at one point of time but the number of pilgrims who had entered the stations just after sunset was much larger. Many died due to suffocation and some died due to the ensuing stampede. The Islamic state cannot afford to experiment putting the lives of the Muslims are stake so it will plan things in a manner that do not cause hassle for the pilgrims.

As for the public transport, there is a serious lack of public transport vehicles inside the city and the roads are narrow and badly managed. Private cars would not be allowed near high congestion areas like the Haram mosque and Arafah and transport in these areas will be provided by the States vehicles.

As for the challenge the state will face for Mina, Muzdalifa and Arafah. The reality of these towns is similar to that of Makkah, they are mountainous.  Where there are mountains they should be brought down and high storey buildings built in their place. The sunnah for the haji is to stay in Mina and not that it has to be in a tent and therefore high storey buildings will allow very high and effective utilization of space.

The reason why the Saudi government has not attempted at constructing the buildings is because of the very low return on investment on their money. The Islamic states ROI will be the reward for its efforts it would make in making Hajj easy for the Muslims.

The current problem in these three towns is that of transport and space, the MRTS will resolve the transport problem and high rise buildings will address the space constraints.

The current planning of Jamarat is excellent and can accommodate a much larger number of pilgrims than today’s.

Another challenge the state will face is that of food and water. Large desalination plants will be installed in Jeddah to cater to increasing need of water and Zamzam water will be availed at different places around the city and the other sacred places.  A strict control over food quality will be maintained, no adulteration in the food will be allowed and overcharging the pilgrims will not be allowed.

All this will be maintained more by developing the Taqwa in the people and reminding them and less by the stick.

The State will endeavor a similar parallel program in Madina as in Makkah.

May Allah (swt) grant us the victory and allow us to re-establish the Khilafah on the path of prophethood soon.

Ustadh Abu Khalid al-Hejazi

2 comments:

Khalid said...

Best bit was the sheikh from Afghanistan mashallah :) come'on !

Anonymous said...

Mashallah , very well written.
just 1extremely important fact about hajj & the month of dhul hijja +all islamic months is sadly their beginng based on the birth of the moon & not according to Quran & sunnah.Incorrect beginning of dhul hijj means ummah could be Arafah on 8th or 10th of dhul hijja or by chance on 9th. being in Arafah on 9th dhul hijja is Hajj,we can't take chances.Sadly same problem occurs in the month of Ramadhan.Long for rightly guided ruler.