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Monday, November 07, 2011

Hajj 1432 Hijrah ~ Mahaguru58's Personal Experience at the Jamrats of Mina

My Hajj pilgrimage has almost entered its final phase with the stoning rituals at the Jamrats of Mina. 

We have to walk from the Tabung Haji's leased accommodation for its staff 'White House' located in Syisya and the Tabung Haji's Field Headquarters at the tent city of Moaissem which is about 5 kilometers away. 

The 3 Jamrats are located halfway in between.

3 million over pilgrims congregating at the same time and coming from all over the world, each with their own social customs and habits can pose to be quite a major headache for the host nation @ Saudi Arabian security and enforcement officers.

If I wasn't performing my Hajj right now and witnessing the extreme impact of having all kinds of nationalities converging onto the valley of Mina here with my own eyes, I will not have learned as to how terribly difficult it is for Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj to see to the safety and welfare of 3 million over pilgrims where the majority of them as I have seen it simply do not give a hoot about what cleanliness and hygiene that is a major part of Islam by their irresponsible littering and fouling up of the entire roads leading to and fro the encampment areas and the locality of Syisya!

It is simply too disturbing for me as I absolutely detest such wanton ecological disaster caused by human apathy and couldn't carelessness!

Islam warrants each of its adherents to observe proper hygiene and not to be litterbugs. What I saw was a sad reality that most of those who have come here to perform their Hajj are a self centred lot and really ought to be taught by their respective Hajj authorities as to not be such irresponsible 'Muslims' and smear not only their own self's with such reckless behavior but also wake up to the reality that by performing the Hajj, they ought to be sterling examples of how a Muslim should conduct his or her own self when being in the Sacred Holy Lands of Makkah al Mukarramah?

The sacred lands of our Blessed Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam who once lived here and established the finalization of Allah's Way of Life for all of us the Children of Adam Alaihis Salam who have chosen to firmly believe and have faith in Our Supreme Almighty Lord!

Not to say that I am just focusing on this most negative aspect of the largest gathering of those who are said to be Muslims in my first ever Hajj but what I have seen with my very own eyes really goes against my Islamic principles and understandings of my faith which I hold very, very near and dear to my heart!

I have seen many disgusting mannerisms of those who have come here as pilgrims but whose behavior simply does not merit their being termed as such!

A Haj pilgrim ought to be at his or her best behavior and has reached a certain level of understanding what Islam is all about and how 'taharrah' @ cleanliness is an integral part of it?

Another main cause for concern is the haphazard manner by which most of the pilgrims coming from under developed countries and nation simply clog up the main thoroughfares, roads and streets leading to and fro the tent city of Moaissem and all along the pedestrian walkways right up to the Jamrat buildings.

No wonder that the Saudis are exasperated and drive many of them who are young police, army and enforcement security officers nuts and last night I and many of my fellow Tabung Haji media crew members plus a few elderly Malaysian Hajj pilgrims had the unfortunate exposure to an explosive confrontational skirmish between a young Saudi Arabian security personnel and an equally young Arab youth of black ethnic origin just because the latter wanted to go through a barricade to the other side of the pedestrian flow!

There was quite a lot of heated up shouting, gesticulating angry pushing, beating and slapping of the chests, violent shoving and heated punches flying right before our very eyes! 

I was too stunned to witness such an unexpected fight between the obviously enraged and out of control Saudi Arabian young sergeant who flew into such a rage that could only have been a release of pent-up youthful emotions and rage that defied expression!!!! 

There was no question of missing out on videotaping such an unexpected conflict as the Saudis have a serious aversion to the presence and brandishing of cameras, compact or whatever? 

You risk having your expensive precious cameras confiscated by them if you ever get carried away with wanting to snap those priceless moments or photo ops that you simply can't resist?

I would have had an explosive viral You Tube quality video on my hand and if I chose to publish it would probably be blacklisted by the Saudis from ever getting to step on their lands in the future? Na'uzubillah! :P

Talk about a volcanic explosive eruption of youthful unbridled anger? 

That young Saudi was just uncontrollable and his equally young enforcement officer team had to wrestle him down as he turned into a raging bull who even hoisted up a plastic road divider and wanted to smash it down upon the equally worked up African Arab youth!!!

He ran berserk!!! A raging bull!

The Saudis manhandled the youth and dragged him away to their security office in a container right before the rest of us bewildered Hajj pilgrims! It was like something out of those Hollywood video compilations of human emotional confrontational clips!

We were still sort of trying to make sense of that craziness as we walked through the human mass blanketing the sidewalks, pavements and even the most unthinkable places where we who are used to some sense of normalcy as to life in Malaysia would never even dream of curling up in blankets and the like and doze off amidst the heaps of litter clogging those areas???

It is really quite a challenging experience for a first timer like myself who has yet to be exposed to a situation such as this where the mass of humanity are sort of left to their own devices and then being sternly chased away like cattle by the often enraged youths wearing Saudi security and enforcement uniforms!

To me, both parties ought to be blamed for the growing heaps of garbage and litter scattered all along the road paths and the pedestrian tunnels. 

Sometimes pictures tell the story I am relating here better so feel free to see for yourselves!

Look at the pictures I have displayed above and just try....

Try to imagine how awful is the stench and pong from the mountains of trash piled up all along the roads to and from Syisha and Moaissem in Mina?

You will never want to experience that, I can guarantee you!

Such litterbug Muslims must change their ways if they really, truly want to be termed as Hajee's or Hajjah's?

Travelling all the way to the Holy Lands and leaving behind your trash speaks volumes about who these 'Hajee's really are?

True Muslims will never desecrate the very sacred lands of our Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam, no matter what?



Maarof said...

Tuan Haji,

Don't worry about the rubbish. Since you all are at Mina for less than one week there is not enough time for flies to breed.

MAHAGURU58 said...

Tuan Haji Maarof,

Sad to say that you have missed my main point in writing about the mess that the Hajj pilgrims have caused during this season!

I am questioning the attitude of those who are supposed to be of a certain level of observance of Islamic knowledge and personal levels of hygiene befitting their coming to perform Islam's final pillar of Faith as Haj pilgrims???

What kind of Muslims are those who litter the holy lands of Islam and go about it without any sense of responsibility and care or concern about the mountains of trash and filth they choose to leave behind as a sign of their having been there in our holy lands???

No one's talking about the flies or whatever here?

I'm talking about the attitude of people who are supposed to have reached a level of practicing what they claim to profess?

That's my beef.

Thank you.

kotastar said...

Salam, Semoga saudara menerima haj mabrur. Terima kasih for releasing yr anger and disgust at the attitudes of people esp at Mina. Thankfully we escaped from seeing such 'distraught' affairs at Arafah.I had the same compulsion seeing rubbish, plastics, wrappings and foodstuff littered in tons all over the place at the camp city. That was last year. Yes we closed our eyes, happy that it is no more disturbing us since we took leave of Mina. We left it aside hoping that the cleaners will take over once everyone left the camp city. Yes we need to do something less unhygienic 'epidemic' falls upon the pilgrims in future Haj. Let's start with the Malaysian or SEAsian camp showing cooperation with the Saudi authorities to curtail wanton throwing of rubbish etc. Let's put 'cleanliness' and 'cooperation' as part of the haj syllabus.Another important thing never hoarding food and drinks ( a tendency as free food and drinks are distributed) All discarding away at the last minute as luggage formed another troubling issue. Pity and sad seeing pilgrims carting huge bags when leaving Mina back to Mekkah. Pl take this issue whenever where ever you can. InsyaAllah the future Haj will be free or less eye popping with what you have described. I recollect not seeing such conditions in my earlier Haj in the early 1990''s. Thank you

Maarof said...

Tuan Haji, congratulations for performing all your obligatory Haj requirements. AFAIK the Haj courses run by TH here do not include sanitation practices. Since you are with TH people I suggest you talk to them about this matter. For example during my Haj my room mates in Madinah and Makkah simply dumped their food packets into the room dustbins until they overflowed. It was up to me to transfer the rubbish to bigger bins. I too cleaned the room toilets since none of my room mates bothered to do so. But I consider my deeds as obligations too.

Jangan marah, tuan Haji.

MAHAGURU58 said...

Tuan Haji Maarof,

My being here with the TH Media Crew and hobnobbing with the top brass of TH doesn't mean that I have a free rein to dictate to them as to how to go about their business?

I raised the matter of the overflowing rubbish and sanitation perpetrated by the 3 million over pilgrims coming from all over the world not caused by Malaysian TH pilgrims.

As for the example you gave me, that is an isolated case pertaining to your moment with your Hajj mates.

Its commendable of you to have taken the initiative to clean up after them but as a mature person, you could have advised them there and then to do their part in keeping the room clean and take care of the sanitation of your common bathroom.

I am a guest of TH myself. I can only advise the top people if the time is right and the atmosphere is conducive.

It would be inappropriate for a guest to try and teach his hosts as to how to do their business, wouldn't it?

That's not good adab for a Malaysian Muslim.

Insya Allah, my writings are read by them as well as others all around the world. My message will be understood by those concerned and Insya Allah, the message will reach them eventually.

I have not stopped my writings on TH and the Hajj.

Insya Allah, I will highlight what I find needs action or improvement in my coming articles.

As a Caller to Islam, I have my ways to deliver my message. Insya Allah.

Lets not dwell on the negative all day and night.

There are many other better things that we can share about with our readers. :)


mustapha said...

mina reste le point noir a corriger par le royaume, les images montrent le laxisme des autorités , la saleté peut creer une pandémie,attention messieurs , faite quelque chose pour revoir cette situation.J'étais au hadj 1432 et on a vécu cette situtation.Un peu de bonne volonté.Djazakoum allah khayr