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SAHUC introduces mission workers to aspiring pilgrims for 2023 season

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By Aneeqa du Plessis

Masha Allah! (God has willed)

The sounds of Labbayk Allah-humma Labbayk (Here I am, O Allah, here I am) reverberated through the Oaklands High School Hall as aspiring hujaaj (pilgrims) filled the venue with anticipation of the beckoning Hajj 2023/1444 AH season.This comes as the South African Hajj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) hosted its second Hajj roadshow in Cape Town earlier today.

The attendees were addressed by Western Cape Chairperson of SAHUC Mohammad Groenewald, Second Deputy President at the MJC SA Shakyh Riaad Fataar, Dr Salim Parker, Head of Mission at SAHUC, Hafith Ismail Kholvadia and more.

Shaykh Fataar urged pilgrims to use their time wisely when honouring their invitation from Allah SWT.

“Don’t make salaah (pray) in the hotel! Make salaah (pray) in the blessed Haram. Sacrifice the niceties that you are afforded daily to make the most of the moments you are granted by the Almighty because you don’t know if you’ll be back,” added Fataar.

For those who long to stand on Mount Arafat, Fataar reminded despondent attendees to keep pleading to the Almighty to grant them an invitation.

“Never feel as if your duaa (supplication) has been lost in translation. Either Allah SWT grants it, invests it for you or protects you from calamity,” added Fataar.

Meanwhile, Dr Salim Parker said even though the World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared the Covid-19 emergency over, Saudi Arabia officials still require pilgrims to have a vaccine certificate. Local pilgrims are also required to produce meningitis, yellow fever and influenza certificates.

“You need to pace yourself on this journey. You should consider Hajj as a pyramid and you want to be at your best health when you reach the top, [the day of] Arafat. Try to rest before the five days of Hajj. Rest and drinking Zamzam (superior well water) is much more significant than a shot of B-12,” explained Dr Parker.

He further urged pilgrims to use medical staff as they would back at home and to practice patience, tact and respect at all times.

Meanwhile, Hafith Ismail Kholvadia urged pilgrims to check their attitude before embarking on this holy pillar of Islam.

“Challenges are inevitable but what will ensure we have a smooth journey is how we handle the tests that Allah SWT places along the way. You need to remain calm and collected at all times. If we are able to treat each other with respect, I am confident we will overcome any trial. We are here to serve you as Allah SWT’s guest and we will do everything we can to ensure you have a pleasant Hajj, insha Allah Ameen,” said Hafith Kholvadia.

Lastly, regarding the ready-to-go list, SAHUC Secretary General (SG) Moaaz Casoo said the Saudi Kingdom has been mum on the quota increase as US and European countries only received their accreditation a few days ago.

“Time is against us but we remain hopeful that an announcement will be made by the Saudi Ministry in the coming days,” added Casoo.


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