As the blessed month of Haj dawns upon us, hujjaaj from around the world have converged in the noble city of Makkah, awaiting their departure for the pilgrimage. To get an update on the latest developments within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, VOC spoke to Head of Mission for the South African Haj and Umrah Council (SAHUC), Ismail Coovadia.
Coovadia explains that while temperatures within the kingdom continue to soar, with a high of 47 degrees, the experience thus far has been wonderful.
He says that first time hujjaaj are naturally overwhelmed by the experience and are in high spirits as they await their departure for Mina.
Hujjaaj are scheduled to make their way to Mina on Saturday in preparation for the day of Arafah.
Coovadia notes that most South African hujjaaj have left for Aziziyah, a town located on the outskirts of Makkah, and are taking it slow as they prepare for the days of haj, with one or two groups making ziyara of the mountains.
Given the fears of possible unrest, following the recent bombings within the kingdom, Coovadia affirms that all preparations for the days of haj appear to be on track.
“Things are running smoothly and we haven’t had any major issues. It is all now preparation for the big day and we will be going around advising hujjaaj about what to expect [during haj] and what the procedure for departure on Saturday includes,” Coovadia continued.[Eid al-Adha SA is scheduled for Monday, September 12, 2016.]