Haj no more as tough as it used to be once

Haj no more as tough as it used to be once
Updated 02 October 2015

Haj no more as tough as it used to be once

Haj no more as tough as it used to be once

JEDDAH: Haj is the fifth pillar of Islam and it is the duty of every Muslim who has the financial and physical ability to perform it at least once in a lifetime. He/she is supposed to withstand the difficulties encountered while undertaking the pilgrimage.
In ancient times, the Haj journey was fraught with dangers — pilgrims were robbed of their money and belongings by bandits while some even died from sickness, hunger and thirst.
At that time, there were no modern transportation options such as aircraft and cars. Some pilgrims went to Makkah on foot, or on camels and mules, meaning they had to spend several months traveling in order to reach their destination.
In the present time, going to Makkah to perform Haj has become easier due to the availability of convenient transportation options such as aircraft and air-conditioned buses, as well as housing units equipped with all necessary facilities.
Pilgrims can now access all of the required services that enable them to be devoted to worship alone during their journey. Because of this, there has been an ongoing increase in the number of pilgrims performing their rituals year after year.
Seeking to absorb this increase, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has implemented several expansion projects at the Holy Mosque and at the Jamarat Bridge in order to accommodate as many pilgrims as possible each year. This is in addition to identifying a specific ratio of pilgrims from each state according to their populations. This therefore provides an equal pilgrimage opportunity to Muslims. both inside and outside the Kingdom.
Recently, the Kingdom issued the decision to ensure that all pilgrims are registered at official campaigns to enable them to get formal permission for performing their ritual. The move has prevented illegal pilgrims from entering the Kingdom, and has led to a positive crackdown on fraudsters. The Passport Department has also launched a campaign, “No Pilgrimage without Permit”, to underpin this decision, and to eliminate the unsafe phenomenon of sleeping in the streets during the Haj season.