Thursday, January 12, 2006

It's Time to Change the Haj Rituals

So far 345 bodies piled up in the streets of Mecca waiting to be buried and more than 1000 lay down injured in the hospitals after the becoming-annual-routine stampede during the last day of Muslim pilgrimage rituals: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/4607238.stm


This is happening every year (in 1990 the number exceeded 1000) since the Haj started to bring more people every year in the past 3-5 decades… the Saudi authorities know this will happen every year and did not move to take any serious action to prevent/reduce it…

Those who claim themselves Muslim imams are held responsible for not advising the Saudi authorities to change the Haj rituals in order to prevent this annual mass killing that especially targets women, children and older and sick people…

It’s not true that the Haj rituals could not be changed. We have to make up our minds (Ijtihad) the same way the second Caliph Omer bin-Khattab made it 12 years after the Prophet Muhammad’s death (in the Seventh Century). The Caliph had stopped the distribution of the War Spoils (Ghana’im) according to the Quran and noted that the clear verse (Aya) had not been working any for that time.

Numbers of progressive Muslim thinkers are suggesting to seriously considering the creation of multiple replicates of the original site, Satan Shrine, that hundreds get killed in stampede each year. Even some more are suggesting virtual sites (on large screen like those used during large crowds) in different locations around the Kaaba…

The Saudi royal king carries the title of “Servant of the two Shrines” and it’s time to hold him accountable.

Mohamed Elgadi

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