Hajj is being commercialised

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Hajj pilgrim at Arafat
(Picture: SPA)

It’s becoming more difficult for people to perform the holy pilgrimage the Hajj as prices escalate.

Academic Na’eem Jeenah says there has been a greater commercialisation of the pilgrimage. He adds that this religious practice is being controlled and ruled by people who are entirely political in the manner in which they treat the Ummah.

You have a case where contracts for some of the aspects of Masjid al-Haram and the Hajj have been given to a company for example that is close to the party in India that oppresses and wants to conduct a genocide against Muslims. The Hajj therefore has become much more difficult in terms of just our conscience in participating in the pilgrimage… And so in a while I certainly believe the preeminent aspect of the Hajj is its spiritual aspect, the opportunity to find a new form of relationship with our Creator and new form of relationship with others from the Ummah that the political and socio-economic aspects that have been imposed on the Hajj really are quite challenging

This year Saudi authorities introduced what has been called a lottery system for those seeking to embark on the journey of a lifetime from Europe, Australia and the Americas. Pilgrims were chosen through a random draw. A process that left Muslims confused and uncomfortable.

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