Haj operator, Al Anwar Express Hajj and Umrah, has been added to the South African Haj and Umrah Council’s (Sahuc) list of accredited operators for 2018, after a dispute over the pelting ritual was resolved this week. Following the conclusion of Hajj 1437, a complaint tabled against the operator was directed to Hajj authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the operator’s handling of jamarat proceedings. Al Anwar Express had not allegedly complied with the pelting times prescribed by the Jamarat Committee of the Ministry of Hajj during haj last year.
Speaking to VOC Breakfast Beat on Monday, Shaykh Abdurahmaan Laily said the accreditation came after a “to and fro” between various role-players in the haj industry as well as the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and the Muassasa. He said the operator was relieved that the matter was resolved and thanked the Saudi authorities “for allowing truth to prevail”.
“We thank Allah SWT that we as Al Anwar could defend our stance of wanting to give each hujjaj the opportunity to enact the ritual of pelting in the manner of the Nabi Muhammad (saw),” he said.
“Part of defending that stance was that our hujjaj would never have a sense of remorse that they did something different to the way they were taught in haj classes.”
Laily pointed out that it “was not a violation” of the hajj regulations but merely an “observation” stated in a correspondence by the Ministry of Hajj.
“The situation has been a lesson learnt for all the operators and Sahuc that it is possible for all hujjaj to stand our ground and perform our manaasik in the manner in which we have been fortunate to do throughout history. We should not bow down to others and create an unnecessary precedent that doesn’t allow us that privilege.”
Asked how other operators would be impacted, Laily said: “I’m sure they will say there is benefit in being able to opt for the pelting in the sunnah time or later in the day which is cooler and more conducive to the elderly, the weak or infirm to be able to undertake pelting without the risk of heat stroke or other risks to their health.” VOC