Hajj is one of the most spiritual experiences of Muslims all around the world where thousands and millions of Muslims assemble to perform this holy act. Hajj is among the five pillars of Islam and is compulsory, once in a life span, for mature Muslims having necessary bodily and monetary capability. The government is also managing and making this holy duty easier for its citizens. Although with time, the Hajj rituals are very simplified and made easier due to renovations and constructions, yet there are hardships due to growing number of pilgrims visiting Makkah Mukkaramah every year. Muslims from all over the world are keen to perform Hajj. They are free to practice their religion and visiting the holy city gives these Muslims a chance of renewing themselves.[irp]
Reported from Makkah, the UK born Pilgrim performed Hajj 30 times in his life. He also directs a group of UK pilgrims through the pilgrimage during the Hajj period. Briton Mustapha Mohammad said that he is the organizer and guide of almost 200 pilgrims from Great Britain. He said that he guides and briefs them through the Hajj rituals. He feels that this is very important and it’s his responsibility to serve the pilgrims of his nation. According to him, it has been many years since he is associated with Tawafa Association. Performing Hajj costs SR 25,000 if visiting from the United Kingdom.
He added that he is satisfied to be the leader for pilgrims who perform Hajj for the very first time. They are typically so afraid of it because it is all fresh to them. But the gladness on their faces when they finish their pilgrimage is priceless, he said. He learned and gained knowledge through the numerous Hajj he performed. He became well-informed about his belief and religion and built a system of people who can assist and direct to him. He also stated that the Kingdom is doing its best to make Hajj as effortless as possible.
Mustapha Mohammad has 4 sons and all of them have performed Hajj with their mother under his direction. His own father performed Hajj 2 times and his first Hajj was in 1964. British pilgrim Mohammad Atheem said that he has performed Hajj 10 times in his life. Atheem never faced any problem when performing Hajj. He said that those who perform Hajj for the first time are always worried but they are glad after performing all the rituals. He or his friends never faced any annoyance when they came back from Hajj to their home country. They are given full rights to perform their religious acts.[irp]
After successfully performing Hajj, the pilgrims can introduce themselves with the name ‘Al-Hajji', and get respect in Muslim culture. However, Islamic scholars recommend that Hajj should indicate a Muslim's holy commitment, and should not be a measurement of their social position. Hajj brings closer and unites the Muslims from all around the world irrespective of their race, color, and society, which acts as a sign of equal opportunity.
Source: Saudi Gazette