Hajj 2018: Pilgrims on shopping spree ahead of hajj rites

Asma'u Halilu, Makkah


Intending pilgrims from around the globe who are expected to embark on hajj rituals by the 19th of August were spotted in shops and malls buying gifts for their loved ones.

Report indicates that, its tradition for most pilgrims irrespective of their social class to buy gifts while on pilgrimage, as it is believed that all gifts from the holy city is special and unique.

Voice of Nigeria’s correspondent in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, gathered that the pilgrims buy variety of gifts comprising of clothing, shoes, bags, perfumes, dates, toys, praying mats, jewelleries and household equipment amongst others.

According to intending pilgrim, Hafis Saeed, “being my first hajj, all my relatives are expecting gifts from me. The gifts will vary, depending on one’s relationship with me but no matter how small, I have to buy gifts for family, friends and associates”.

Saeed further explained that, aside the 800 dollars given to him as basic travelling allowance, he made provision for extra money before arriving the holy city just to shop for himself and also buy gifts.

Another Pilgrim, Hajiya Larai Mamman said, “buying gifts for our loved ones is very necessary no matter the number of times one has performed the pilgrimage. People value gifts from Saudi, even if its date and praying mat you buy for them, it is highly appreciated because of the significance attached to this holy city”.

One of the trader, who is a Nigerian but based in Saudi, Halima Musa said, Nigerian women while on pilgrimage have flare for shopping, saying, she has been on her feet since morning selling goods.

“We know the products they desire and as well sell different qualities of goods and we are mostly patronised by people from the rural areas”, Halima stressed.

Reports show that, the male pilgrims mostly patronise the malls, they are hardly seen in shops or along the road shopping.

While speaking with Alhaji Harun Isa, he confirmed that, he feels more secured and safe shopping at the malls irrespective of the high price, adding that, the heat and population makes it difficult for him to shop along the road.

“The prices in these big hotels and malls are quite expensive but I actually don’t mind because I feel safe and the air conditioners are just cool”.

All preparations have been concluded to commence the 2018 hajj rites which will last for four days.