As the climax of the Hajj season has come and sadly gone, the many hujjaj will be leaving the sacred lands over the next few days taking with them ever lasting memories. On Monday, hujjaj performed their Tawaf Al Wida (Farewell Tawaf) around the Kaaba in Makkah as they sealed their five day journey,
“Many of us are very much satisfied on how the hajj has gone off this year… things went off very smoothly and the chances of having stampedes were very limited,” says Qari Ziyaad Patel, an aid worker from the Al Imdaad Foundation.
About 2 million pilgrims are in attendance this year. Patel explained and praised the amounts of effort and preparations Saudi authorities needed to achieve to make sure the pilgrimage went off smoothly.
“406 patrols are happening around the major sites of hajj. This year they had some senior female security personnel as well to also assist the hujjaj. Over 5000 cameras kept a close eye on every inch of the holy sites. Saudi authorities had also conducted various drills before hajj to make sure the equipment, the personnel, the people, the resources were all ready,” he explained.
“The security standard was an international standard going the extra mile to make sure everything goes well. There were 200 ambulances on standby who attended to people who needed medical attention.”
There have been continuous upgrades on the holy sites in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia especially the Haram of Makka. Patel later explained how these upgrades created more ease for hujjaj.
“There has been great improvement and we can see the Saudi authorities and our different agents making it very easy for the hujjaj.”
Whether past or present, all hujjaj related to the fact that hajj is a life altering experience. Many hujjaj often find it difficult to describe their emotions and experiences on Hajj but Patel profoundly explained to us his personal experience.
“Hajj is something that brings every one down to earth… it’s a real humbling experience, a school of life,” he said simply.
The annual Hajj is the largest human gathering on Earth and with it comes many noble attributes, one of them are to assemble all humans equal in front of their lord. Patel later expressed some of his prominent highlights of hajj and how it personally impacted his life.
“For many people one of the epic highlight in one’s life is when one goes on this of blessed journey of hajj and this should serve as a very strong turning point to change our life for the better. This is the significance of hajj… to become a better person a better Muslim, a better human being and being an advantage to the rest of humanity.”
“This is where brotherhood is really formed and for me if I ever felt the true Ummah [Muslim community] and what it means to be part of the ummah, this is where you feel it. There is no amount of words to describe how we feel to have been here.” VOC