Hajj: Spiritual journey of patience, perseverance

 June 17, 2022  

Performing Hajj by Muslims is one of the pillars of Islam recommended by Allah.

The Almighty Allah has asked Muslims to visit Makkah and Madinah at least once during their lifetime and pray if they can.

Performing Hajj is a spiritual journey of patience and perseverance and anyone who sets out to embark on the holy trip must be ready to abide by the rules, steps, rites and obligations.

A 2022 Nigerian pilgrim in Madinah, the favoured town of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) on the spiritual journey after many years gives account of the journey as the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) indicates that  3,481 pilgrims from Bauchi, Borno, FCT, Lagos, Nasarawa and Osun states have arrived and accommodated.

Part of the services offered by NAHCON during Hajj operations include accommodation, medical services, feeding, transportation and receptions.

Accommodation in Madinah has already been arranged by NAHCON for all states and the FCT and all pilgrims arrived at the embrace of staff of the commission from the airport, into the buses that convey them to the various hotels.

Similarly, pilgrims in Madinah are provided with clinics in their hotels to cater for their health as a remedial effort; but serious cases are expected to be taken to Saudi hospitals for referral.

In the hotels, Saudi authorities are on the ground to collaborate with Nigerian officials to ensure the smooth comfort of pilgrims.

While the Saudi officials facilitate proper placement of pilgrims into designated hotels as agreed in the contract as well as inspect the sanitary condition of the location, each pilgrim is put into a group and given a tag to identify the hotel and room number. The NAHCON accommodation committee ensures this happens seamlessly.

NAHCON has also set up a big clinic at its office where medical personnel comprising doctors and nurses offer consultations; taking of vital signs and prescription drugs, all happening online/paperless.

Feeding of pilgrims for Hajj 2022 has been contracted to four caterers to take care of the expected 43,008 Nigerian pilgrims coming to Madinah as part of the rites for the Hajj.

To allow for healthy feeding, NAHCON feeding committee ensures that its members are with the caterers from the beginning of the preparation of the two meals per day to the final distribution to state feeding committees in the hotels.

The pilgrims have so far been visiting the traditional holy sites like the Prophet Muhammed’s Mosque which has the capacity to accommodate between 1.6 million to two million worshippers, where it is believed that one prayer in the Mosque is equal to 1,000 prayers in any other Mosque, apart from the Holy Mosque in Makkah where the Ka’abah is situated.

The Madinah Mosque is also where the graves of the Prophet and that of his two companions, Abubakar and Umar are located. It is also close to the graves of the companions of the prophet and his family members.

Pilgrims have also been visiting other sites like the Masjid Al-Ahzab, Quba Mosque, Mount Uhud and Masjid Al-Qiblatain, among others. These are sites where important events happened during the time of the prophet and his rightly guided companions.

As the rest of the over one million pilgrims across the world converge for the Hajj 2022, the Nigerian pilgrims will be moved to Makkah for the five days of holy rites of the Hajj proper by going to Mina, staying for the day in Arafat, spending the night at Muzdalifa and coming down to the Holy Mosque in Makkah for circumambulation of the Ka’abah.

The pilgrims will thereafter offer the sacrifice of a ram, in line with the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim AS, before returning to Mina to do the two or three days of the stoning of the devil at Jamrat.

In all the rituals of the Hajj, patience, sacrifice, contentment, committing no sins, and having a sense of universal brotherhood with other pilgrims is greatly encouraged.

Similarly, prayers for oneself, the nation, family, relatives and friends are also encouraged. (NAN)

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