JEDDAH, 21 Dhul Qadah/19 Oct (IINA)-All Hajj pilgrims should understand that the rules and regulations issued by the Saudi government are meant to ensure proper organization during the holy journey and not to inconvenience anyone, said Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khedairi, the Undersecretary of the Makkah Emirate and Chairman of the Hajj Preparatory and Executive Committee.
In an interview with Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Al-Khedairi said that some pilgrims mistakenly believe that the rules will deprive them of their Islamic rights and will affect their Hajj. This is not the case – the rules are only enforced to ensure the Guests of Allah can perform their rituals in ease and comfort, he added.
“We should be thankful to Almighty Allah for making the Hajj easy for us by decreeing it only once for those who can manage it physically and financially. The wisdom behind the divine legislation is to lighten the burden on Muslims. I hope that those who break the law understand that they are making Hajj difficult for their Muslim brothers.”
He said people who perform Hajj without a permit, sleep on the roads and litter at the holy sites are transgressing the laws of Almighty Allah. All these malpractices make it more difficult for the government to serve pilgrims effectively.
“The Emirate of Makkah, led by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Chairman of the Hajj Central Committee, is responsible for ensuring everyone’s safety during the Hajj journey. This responsibility is a collective one shared by the government agencies, institutions of civil society, citizens and residents. It is an integrated effort shared by all these partners for the sake of the Guests of Allah. It is not a one-man show.”
He said the Hajj campaign entitled “Hajj is Worship and Civilized Behavior” is meant to make pilgrims aware of negative and incorrect behavior. This includes traveling without permits, sleeping in places that hamper the movement of pedestrians, machinery and cars, and littering.
Al-Khedairi said the emirate’s second project, “The culture of Islamic hospitality”, is currently being developed and will be launched next year. “It is basically meant to upgrade the quality of services offered to visitors and Umrah and Hajj pilgrims and will be carried out by young Saudi boys and girls.”
“These youths believe that the blessing bestowed on them by Almighty Allah, to be close to the Holy Mosques, is a responsibility. They are required to be hospitable towards their guests and to look after them from the time they arrive to the time they leave the Kingdom. But the Guests of Allah also have a responsibility to adhere to the rules which have been drawn up to help facilitate their Hajj.”