|Pakistan's First Independent Complete Daily E-Newspaper|
|ISSN 1729-7915||Editor: Mumtaz Hamid Raofirstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Zil-Hajj 09, 1432 AH
| ||Hajj Sermon:
No Room for Terrorism in Islam, says Grand Mufti
'Pakistan Times' Monitoring Desk
ARAFAT (Saudi Arabia): Grand Mufti of Saudi Arab Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh said on Monday that Islam is based on justice and equity, which admits of no terrorism, extremism and injustice.
Delivering Hajj sermon at Nmira Mosque at Mount Arafat, he said Allah Almighty endowed us with hosts of blessings and boons; guidance of Islam is one of them, adding Islam is not a theoretical religion; instead, it is a practicable Deen (code of conduct).
He said Islam impresses upon its followers to take better care of their families and societies. Islam has discrete ways of worshipping Allah and among them are, five-time prayers, fasting, zakat, charities and calling on people to do good and avoid bad.
Islam forbids markup altogether and prohibits extravagance, as it is a deen of moderation, he said. The Grand Mufti stressed Islam intensely condemns terrorism and extremism, and that it warns strict punishment for those who unjustifiably spill blood and spread mischief on earth.
Sending divine revelations and raising the Prophets was meant for spending the message of Allah’s oneness; and this succession of guidance for human being is in progress, he said.
The Grand Mufti said Allah sent the Last and Final Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) with complete code of conduct and this (Shariah) is in harmony with human nature, as it caters to all man’s natural and material needs. Human inner being (nafs) excites him to do evil.
The Grand Mufti said the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) presented a comprehensive concept of ibadat. Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh said Allah Almighty conferred men with reason and consciousness so that he can differentiate between good and bad. We should respect each other.
Reciting the Talbiyah, "O God, here we come, answering your call," pilgrims set off before dawn in a bid to reach the top of the hill that dominates the plain of Arafat.
Those who managed to jostle their way through the heaving crowds to the top of the hill, which is also known as Jabal al-Rahma, or the Mount of Mercy, sat on the rocky edges reciting verses from the holy Quran and praying.
The granite hill, rising some 60 metres (yards) from the plain and no more than 200 metres (218 yards) in length and of similar width, is topped with a four-metre pillar, the sacred spot where the Holy Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) delivered his final Hajj sermon.
Pilgrims vied to touch the white cement structure, many crying and praying. Below, movement on the plain came to a virtual standstill due to the crowd's size.
At noon, pilgrims filled the Namera Mosque and nearby streets and camps for collective prayer, dressing one of Arafat's main wide streets in white over a minimum of three kilometres (1.8 miles).
The gathering in the plain of Arafat symbolises the climax of the Hajj pilgrimage which began Sunday with more than two million pilgrims flowing from the neighbouring Muslim holy city of Mecca, or directly into Mina -- a tent city that comes to life only during the five-day annual pilgrimage.
There were no immediate reports of major incidents as security officials focused on crowd control. Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz on Sunday put the number of pilgrims from abroad at a record 1.8 million, while some 200,000 permits had been given to local pilgrims, including Saudis and pilgrims from Gulf states.
After sunset, pilgrims move to Muzdalifah, half way between Mount Arafat and Mina, to spend the night. On Tuesday, they return to Mina after dawn prayers for the first stage of symbolic "stoning of the devil" and to make the ritual sacrifice of an animal, usually a lamb.
On the remaining three days of the Hajj, the pilgrims continue the ritual stoning before performing the circumambulation of the Kaaba shrine in Mecca and then heading home.
The Hajj pilgrims performed one of the most vital ritual Wuquf-e-Arafat (stay at Mount Arafat) on Monday. Hundreds of thousands of people were on journey from Makkah to Mount Arafat through the valleys of Mina and Muzdalifa to start Hajj rites.
Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in the lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford Hajj once in life time.
The world’s largest annual pilgrimage, the Hajj, began on Sunday with a pilgrams total up to 2.5 million this year. Authorities say permits have been granted to 1.7 million foreign pilgrims,with a further 200,000 or so issued to pilgrims from within Saudi Arabia and from neighbouring Gulf states.
The passage to Mina marks the official launch of the Hajj on the eighth day of the Muslim calendar month of Zulhajj. The day is known as Tarwiyah as pilgrims in the past stopped at Mina to water their animals and stock up for the following day’s trip to Mount Arafat.
At Mount Arafat, around 10 kilometres southeast of Mina, the pilgrims spend the day in prayer and reflection. After sunset, they move on to Muzdalifah, halfway between Mount Arafat and Mina, where they spend the night.
On Tuesday, the pilgrims’ head back to Mina after the Fajr prayers. They then perform the first stage of the symbolic ‘stoning of the devil’and make the ritual sacrifice of an animal, usually a lamb.
No major incidents have been reported this year since the pilgrims began gathering in Makkah.
The city’s Grand Mosque has been flooded with the faithful, with an estimated 1.7 million taking part in the main weekly Muslim prayers on Friday.
An earlier report said that sacrosanct rites of the world's largest annual pilgrimage, the Hajj continued with earnest devotion by millions of the faithful on Monday. The pilgrimage began on Sunday as hundreds of thousands of Muslims poured into the camp of Mina from Mecca to prepare for the solemn rituals.
This year's number of pilgrims is estimated at up to 2.5 million. On Sunday afternoon, pilgrims were still flooding into the vast plain of Mina, about five kilometres (three miles) east of Mecca, using all possible means to begin their hajj journey.
Buses, choked with both people and luggage inside, carried yet more on their roofs. Tens of thousands sat on the pavements, many of them with their tents for camping. Their sirens screeching, police cars threaded their way into the crowds in an attempt to keep roads open.
Many pilgrims took the buses, but others had set off on foot overnight as they headed for the village that comes to life for five days a year. Authorities say permits have been granted to 1.7 million foreign pilgrims, with a further 200,000 or so issued to pilgrims from within Saudi Arabia and from neighbouring Gulf states.
An interior ministry official said definite numbers will not be announced until Tuesday, the first day of Eid ul-Azha or the Feast of the Sacrifice. This year has seen a crackdown on those who do not have the requisite papers as the authorities try to prevent numbers from getting out of hand.
The passage to Mina marks the official launch of the Hajj on the eighth day of the Muslim calendar month of Dhul Hijja. The day is known as Tarwiah (Watering) as pilgrims in the past stopped at Mina to water their animals and stock up for the next day's trip to Mount Arafat.
At Mount Arafat, some 10 kilometres (six miles) southeast of Mina, the pilgrims spend the day in prayer and reflection. After sunset, they move on to Muzdalifah, half way between Mount Arafat and Mina, where they spend the night.
On Tuesday, the pilgrims head back to Mina after dawn prayers.They then perform the first stage of the symbolic "stoning of the devil" and make the ritual sacrifice of an animal, usually a lamb.
On the remaining three days of the Hajj, the pilgrims continue the ritual stoning before performing the circumambulation of the Holy Ka'aba in Mecca and then heading home.
This year has been incident-free since the pilgrims began gathering in Mecca. The city's Grand Mosque has been flooded with the faithful, with an estimated 1.7 million taking part in the main weekly Muslim prayers on Friday.
The movement of pilgrims between the holy sites is a major worry for the authorities who have had to deal with deadly stampedes in past. Saudi Arabia has used huge revenues for spending on new infrastructure to ease the flow of humanity.
This year, the first phase of the new Mashair Railway -- or Mecca metro -- transported pilgrims between Mina and Mount Arafat through Muzdalifah.
The Jamarat Bridge, where the ritual stoning takes place, has also been expanded to five levels with movement channelled in one direction.
As for security, King Abdullah on Saturday appointed Prince Nayef, his second deputy prime minister, to replace him overseeing the Hajj as he is resting because of a herniated disc.