Hajj 2016: Abide By Stone Throw Timing, Nigeria Tell Pilgrims

By Bashir Bello

imageMakkah (Saudi Arabia) — To avert reoccurrence of stampede and prevent other unforeseen circumstances during the 2016 hajj exercise, Nigerian pilgrims have been called upon to abide by new arrangement of stone throw at Satan in the Jamrat.

Makkah Coordinator of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Dr. Aliyu Tanko made the call yesterday while sensitizing pilgrims from Adamawa State on the new arrangements.

Dr. Tanko said, currently the Ministry of Hajj of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is working on the stipulated time each country will be expected to do the stoning of Satan.

He said, upon release of the timing, pilgrims will be grouped in batches of 250 and attached with a leader or guide, who would lead them to do the stoning.

He appealed to the pilgrims particularly the women, to abide by the timing and give them maximum support and cooperation to ensure the arrangement succeed.

According to him, “In the past what is obtainable is when pilgrims arrive at Muzdalifah, short stay or long stay, from Muzdalifah they pick their pebbles and head straight to Jamrat where they throw stones.

“But because of what happened last year, the authority took proactive measures in order to protect the lives and properties of the pilgrims. They decide to redirect that instead of everybody (pilgrims from the whole world) in Muzdalifah to be heading towards the Jamrat, they will return back to their tents in Mina.

“And then there is schedule for every country to go and throw the stone. Again, there is a guide assigned to every state that will be carrying the pilgrims in 250 batches. This guide who knows the terrain and root would lead these pilgrims from their tent to go and throw the Jamrat and bring them back.

“And by this arrangement, the issue of pilgrims missing their road which use to be very common and endanger many pilgrims is now over. So we are now soliciting for the cooperation of the pilgrims to obey their leadership so that everything will go smooth and they return back to Nigeria safely.

“So adequate arrangements have been made on these to ensure that within no time or in any case even if it will take longer time, the safety of the pilgrims is paramount.

“Again, right now the Ministry of Hajj, Saudi Arabia is working on the schedule for the whole world. And we hope by tomorrow (Tuesday) the schedule will be out. And when it is out, Nigeria will take it own and so it will relate to all the states in the federation. So that every state will know the exact time they are expected to move on the first, second and third day,” he said.

The Makkah Coordinator is however expected to take the sensitization lecture to the Team of Armed Forces and other pilgrims from Nigeria in Makkah.

A stampede had occurred during the 2015 hajj, claiming the lives of over 2000 pilgrims.

Saudi authorities have earlier announced a 12-hour ban on grouping of regular pilgrims from their tents in Mina to the Jamarat area, to throw pebbles at the pillars symbolizing Satan during the three days of the ritual from Dhul Hijjah 10-12 (Sept. 11-13).

The ministry said the procedure was taken to ensure the safety of the pilgrims and prevent overcrowding.

An announcement by the authorities on Wednesday said during the first day of the ritual, there will be no grouping of pilgrims to the Jamarat from 6 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.

It said on the second day, the ban will be from 2 p.m to 6 p.m., and on the third and final day it will be from 10.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 
Saudi authorities said they reached an agreement on the procedure with Tawafa establishments and the Haj companies who handle pilgrims from all countries.

Posted by on 05/09/2016. Filed under Islam, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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