Muslims flock to Mecca ahead of Hajj pilgrimage

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SHAFAQNA - Muslims from across the world are assembling here ahead of Hajj when they would move to Makkah to perform the annual pilgrimage.

The Masjid-e-Nabvi [mosque of the Prophet], located in the centre of Madina city, is thronged by lakhs of Muslims everyday from morning to evening to offer prayers.

Devotees make every possible attempt to ensure that they reach Riyaz-ul-Jannah, a specific area near the resting place of Prophet Muhammad, to offer their prayers.

The Hajjis are leaving no chance to offer as many prayers as they could, feeling it’s a lifetime opportunity to pray in the Prophet’s masjid.

The pilgrims hailing from different countries cannot communicate with each other as their languages differ but when it comes to offering prayers and supplication they ensure that they make each other comfortable.

Blacks, whites, the strong and the frail, rich and the poor, all pray shoulder with shoulder in a beautiful display of Islam’s message of equality.

Most hotels around the masjid are full and the people who cannot get accommodation stay put within the masjid premises. Muslims from Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia outnumber the devotees from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Indonesians perform Hajj at an early age. They believe that Hajj is mandatory before marriage.

Local Arabs ensure that they provide all facilities to Hajjis. They distribute Zam Zam water, dates and other eatables among the devotees. The assistants ensure that elderly people who cannot walk are ferried in the wheel chairs available within the masjid.

Several thousand Hajjis from Kashmir present in Madina like others are busy performing their religious duties. Despite facing several problems related to food and accommodation, they are in no mood to complain, saying, “It’s not appropriate for a person to be complaining at a holy place like Madina.”

An Assistant Commissioner Revenue (ACR) of JK government, acting here as the nodal officer for making arrangements for the pilgrims, told Greater Kashmir, “We are looking into all the aspects and are trying our best to ensure that Hajjis don’t face any problems.”

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