SHAFAQNA – And whoever leaves his home migrating toward Allah and His Apostle, and is then overtaken by death, his reward shall certainly fall on Allah, and Allah is all – forgiving, all -merciful.100:4
The catastrophic disaster of Eid al-Adha in the holy land of Mina, which resulted in the death and injury of hundreds of guests of Allah, has caused deep sorrow and concern: sorrow for a large number of believers and pilgrims of Allah of various nationalities who lost their lives, and concern for the fate of administration of the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina.
The Ahul Bayt (AS) Foundation of South Africa (AFOSA) would like to deeply express our most sincere condolences and empathy to the families of the victims.
This tragedy is the latest in a long line of incidences which point to gross negligence or mismanagement of the Hajj. While we acknowledge that crowd control with such numbers is not an insignificant takes, the management of religious events in other countries with less resources and far larger crowds demonstrate that it is not impossible. Furthermore, the fact that these disasters have been repeated in the Hajj suggests that there is either an unwillingness or incapability to learn from such disasters.
AFOSA also strongly rejects the notions that there should be no accountability for these disasters as “it is Allah’s will”. This approach is contradictory to the teachings of Islam and inconsistent with Quranic pronouncement.
AFOSA also notes that part of this mismanagement is due to granting preferential rights and location to certain pilgrims who can afford it. This is against spirit of Hajj as an example of human universality and all human beings being equal, this commercialisation has occurred not only in Mina, but across the holy land at the expense of irreplaceable Islamic heritage.
AFOSA calls for a thorough, independent inquiry into this disaster and for strong remedial action which will ensure that these types of disasters do not repeat themselves on a regular basis.