Makkah to host hajj symposium during pilgrimage

Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque during the annual Haj pilgrimage in Makkah September 27, 2014. (Reuters)

The 39th annual hajj symposium will be held this year under the theme: “Honoring of the hajj rites,” hajj Minister Bandar Al-Hajjar announced.

He said prominent Islamic scholars, Fiqh (jurisprudence) experts, researchers, academicians and men of letters from Saudi Arabia and abroad will participate in the annual gathering which will be held soon.

He said the theme was picked from the recommendations of the previous symposia and also from suggestions made by a number of scholars. “Honoring of the hajj rites is a manifestation of the strong belief in God. Performing the rites correctly is a reflection that the hajj is right and acceptable,” he said.

The minister said the symposium, which is held every year in Makkah during the haj season, will focus on the consummate services being provided by the Kingdom to the pilgrims.

“The symposium will also cover the great development projects being implemented in Makkah, Madinah and the Holy Sites for the welfare of the pilgrims,” he added.

“The symposium will consolidate the principle of the rational dialogue between scholars on the issues facing the Ummah. The hajj is a great confluence of millions of pilgrims, who flock to the Kingdom every year”, he said.

Hajjar said for about four decades the ministry has been holding this symposium every year. “The symposium will provide scholars from various parts of the Islamic world with an opportunity to sit together and debate issues concerning pilgrims and the nation,” he added.

Meanwhile Makkah Emir Prince Mishal Bin Abdullah received in his office on Monday the Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah and discussed with him the ministry’s efforts in securing enough quantities of foodstuffs and consumer supplies to the pilgrims.

The Emir asked the minister to take stern measures aimed at controlling prices and said all the needs of the pilgrims should be secured.

He also received the governor of the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Darrab, who briefed him about the commission’s efforts to ensure the pilgrims with easy and fast communications.

“Our network s covering all the accommodation facilities of the pilgrims in Makkah, Madinah and the Holy Sites,” the governor said.

The commander of the hajj security forces Maj. Gen. Abdulaziz Al-Soli has strongly warned against politicizing the pilgrimage and said anyone who endeavors to propagate his political views during the hajj will be severely punished.

“We will never allow any change in the objectives of the haj, which prevent corruption, badmouthing and heated arguments,” he said.

Soli said random fingerprinting last year uncovered about 4,000 expatriates who tried to enter Makkah without hajj permits. “They were deported and banned from coming to the Kingdom for 10 years,” he added. “The Saudi drivers who transported illegal pilgrims were imprisoned and had their cars confiscated,” he said.

Assistant commander of the security forces for traffic affairs Maj. Gen. Abdulrahman Al-Muqbil said until Sunday more than 8,300 buses had transported more than 400,000 pilgrims from Madinah to Makkah without any problems.

He said so far about 900 vehicles transporting illegal pilgrims were confiscated. “No hajj buses will be allowed to come from Madinah to Makkah after 11 p.m.,” he said.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Sept. 28. 2014.

 

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