The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has requested all officials on the Hajj 2018 national and state teams, to ensure strict compliance to schedules drawn up for the movement to Mina from Makkah.
Deputy Co-ordinator of NAHCON, Makkah operations and Chairman of the Taradudiyyah committee, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar Tanko, gave the advice while addressing representatives of Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards and Agencies, during a visit to the Mina tent site for Nigerian pilgrims.
He appealed to the state officials in particular, to collaborate with NAHCON in order to achieve strict adherence to the stipulated guidelines on the movement to Mina, set for the 8th day of Dhul-Hijja (August 12).
Sacred Hajj sites
“The previous years’ arrangement for the movement of pilgrims to, Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah and back to Makkah after the required two or three days stay, has not changed,” Alhaji Aliyu said.
He emphasised that: “as has been the practice in recent years and coupled with the harsh weather condition in the Holy land, movement of pilgrims will start from midnight of Saturday (August 11), until the morning of Sunday, the 8th of Dhul-Hijja.
Alhaji Aliyu implored the state officials to ensure orderliness, timeliness and exemplary conduct by their respective pilgrims to the Mashaa’ir (religious) sites.
“Keep the pilgrims indoors until the arrival of buses instead of allowing them to mill out onto the streets and get tired and exhausted before the arrival of the buses,” adding that there was “no need for any haste or rush as no pilgrim will be left behind during the evacuation,” he advised.
“No pilgrim should overwork himself/herself or be agitated about being left behind. When seats in one bus are fully occupied, he/she should wait for the next bus,” Dr Tanko said.
As was the practice in the last two years, all pilgrims are also expected to adhere strictly to the schedules for the Hajj rites in Jamraat (throwing of pebbles).
Voice of Nigeria reports that the Saudi authorities have drawn up a timetable and assigned different times to individual countries to perform the throwing of pebbles, one of the sacred rites of Hajj, to ease congestion and its attendant consequences at the site.
In addition, Saudi Scouts and Guides have been trained, equipped and assigned to lead batches of pilgrims to the Jamaraat site and back to the tents in Mina.
The measure became necessary to reduce cases of pilgrims getting lost in the crowds and the associated hardships in such cases.
Following the sighting of the new Crescent Moon in Saudi Arabia on Saturday the 11th and the start of the month of Dhul Hijjah 1439 on Sunday the 12th of August 2018, activities preparatory to the performance of the rites of Hajj, have peaked in tempo.
The Hajj Rites will commence on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah, which is on Sunday 19th, Arafah will be on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, which is Monday 20th, while Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, which is on Tuesday, the 21st of August, 2018.
Hajj is the last pillar of the five Pillars of Islam, enjoyed by all physically and financially able Muslims at least once in their life.