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Mon 29 Oct 2012 09:47 AM

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Nearly 4m performed hajj this year, says Saudi

Senior official says up to 1.4m who travelled to holy city during hajj season did so illegally

Nearly 4m performed hajj this year, says Saudi
A muslim pilgrim throws pebbles at pillars during the Jamarat ritual, the stoning of Satan, in Mina near the holy city of Mecca (AFP/Getty Images).

Almost 4m performed the hajj Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah this year, according to a senior official in the Saudi Arabian holy city.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Makkah governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal described this year’s pilgrimage as “a resounding success”.

The 4m figure included both Saudi Arabian and foreign worshippers, with the latter accounting for the vast majority of pilgrims.

“Islam is a religion of moderation and service to humanity. It is a religion of peace and love and calls for peaceful coexistence with others,” Al-Faisal was quoted as saying. “Unfortunately only negative things about Islam and Muslims are highlighted by the media.”

Al-Faisal added however that up to 1.4m of the 4m pilgrims were undocumented and had performed the ritual illegally.

He said that the holy city was implementing various projects in a bid to curb the number of people, mostly from overseas, who undertake hajj unlawfully. These will include constructing a wall around Makkah’s holy sites.

Authorities in Makkah are also developing the city’s transport infrastructure, including the addition of a metro rail network, and expanding the capacity of the Grand Mosque to allow for more pilgrims during the hajj season.

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Humayun Kabir 8 years ago

My experience of the Hajj is that there is too much commercialization that dictates the planning and development of the city of Makkah and the facilities for hajj. Islam cannot allow such commercial motivation. Good infrastructure with simple and clean facilities will be more appropriate for the pilgrims than the lavish extravaganza that we witnessed last year during the Hajj.

Hussain 8 years ago

Good observation Kabir, i felt the same, furthermore the city of Makkah looks very ragged, i understand that there is a huge amount of floating population, still a lot can be achieved keeping in mind, it is one of the most important cities on earth for Muslims. See Muscat for instance, but the direction of commercialisation that the city has taken is a steroetype to this region.

A train connection from Jeddah airport and city with a brief stopover in Meeqath on the way to Makkah would be great. An onward connection to Madina would be great and an onward connection from Medina to Jeddah airport would be awesome. Look at Zurich or Frankfurt for instance.

What i mean is, if we look at efficiently planning keeping in mind the activities that the pilgrims indulge in, there is a possibility that we can achieve more.

Even if we start by discussing why the above is not possible, we will definitely get somewhere. We are busy building 5star Hotels around Kaaba. May Allah (swt) guide them.