Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Posts Tagged ‘Haj’

Selamat Hari Raya Aidul Adha

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Today Muslims the world over celebrate Aidul Adha. 

This festival is celebrated the day after the gathering at Arafah, one of the most important rituals of the Haj. The Haj is the annual pilgrimage that is obligatory on every physically and financially able Muslim.  

Arafah is a plain about 21.3 kilometres from Mecca. We believe that it was in Arafah that Nabi Adam A.S. and Hawa reunited after being separated for many years. Thousands, if not, a couple of millions of Muslims, all dressed in the obligatory ihram gather for the compulsory presence in Arafah.

 arafah02.jpg

The gathering at Arafah. I got this picture from autumnzapple.   The view is something like people all in white as far as the eye can see. It was here that the Prophet delivered his powerful final sermon. A message that should be read and re-read as guidance.

My wife and I performed our Haj in 1990. That year there was a tragic accident that resulted in the deaths of almost 1,500 pilgrims. By the Grace of the All Mighty, my wife and I were completely unaware of this huge tragedy till we were at the airport on our return trip back home.  

I have often wondered how the city of Mecca can take this mass movement of people that happens over such a compressed period of time. This is sure to tax severely any city, but somehow the city of Mecca handles this. The number of pilgrims is restricted by the Saudi Authorities by quotas given to other Governments in the issuance of Haj visas. I am sure that in addition a large number of people sneak in without proper documents. I think the official number of pilgrims is in excess of 2.5 million.  

I am grateful that my wife and I could perform the Haj when we were young and physically able. Many of the pilgrims are old yet somehow they get or find the strength to carry out the physically taxing rituals of the Haj. 

My wife and I hope, Insya’Allah, to be able to perform another Haj. We have not fixed any target dates yet. In Malaysia, the demand is far higher than the quota that is allotted to Malaysia by the Saudi Arabian Government. So the waiting list is like 6 years.  

Maybe it is time to register our interest.

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