Saturday, 14 Muharram 1446 | 2024/07/20
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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Hajj: A Time of Profit and Death

The time of Hajj just passed and around 1.8 million people traveled to Mecca for the pilgrimage. As Muslims, Mecca and Medina mean a great deal to us – it was the place where Islam was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (saw), the place where the Holy Kaba is situated and the place where the First Islamic State was established. The only other place that is equally close to our hearts is Palestine – the home to Masjid Ul- Aqsa. Abu Darda (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said: «الصَّلَاةُ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ بِمِائَةِ أَلْفِ صَلَاةٍ ، وَالصَّلَاةُ فِي مَسْجِدِي بِأَلْفِ صَلَاةٍ ، وَفِي مَسْجِدِ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ بِخَمْسِ مِائَةِ صَلَاةٍ»“A prayer in Makkah (Ka’bah) is worth 1000,000 times (reward), a prayer in my Masjid (Madinah) is worth 1,000 times, and a prayer in Al-Aqsa Sanctuary is worth 500 times more reward than anywhere else” [Bayhaqi)

And yet, both areas have been ones on which Muslims have died this year - both by the negligence and complete and utter lack of care from the Muslim rulers.

“The death toll from this year's Hajj in Saudi Arabia has exceeded 1,000…More than 658 of the total deaths are from Egypt, with an estimated 630 of them unregistered pilgrims…. Pilgrims who are not registered usually travel with a tourist or work visas, paying significantly lower fees to travel agencies, and do not benefit from Hajj packages that have become increasingly costly.”

And in Palestine, tens of thousands of Muslims have been killed since October the 7th. With the rest suffering from an imposed famine, lack of basic facilities, and continuous attacks from the ‘Israeli’ army.

This is no small matter in Islam. Abdullah bin ‘Amr said, I saw the Messenger of Allah (saw) circumambulating the Ka’bah and saying,«مَا أَطْيَبَكِ وَأَطْيَبَ رِيحَكِ مَا أَعْظَمَكِ وَأَعْظَمَ حُرْمَتَكِ وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَحُرْمَةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ أَعْظَمُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ حُرْمَةً مِنْكِ مَالِهِ وَدَمِهِ وَأَنْ نَظُنَّ بِهِ إِلَّا خَيْرًا»“How good you are and how good your fragrance; how great you are and how great your sanctity. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the sanctity of the believer is greater before Allah than your sanctity, his blood and his wealth, and to think anything but good of him.” (Narrated by Abdullah bin ‘Amr)

And yet, the rulers show so little care for the Muslims – favoring profits over the lives of Muslims, and prioritizing their status in the hypocritical, useless international system over the sanctity of one of the most important places in Islamic history.

The deaths of the Egyptians

While more than half of those who died were unregistered, that didn’t mean that they had not paid a significant sum. “Many Egyptian pilgrims come from poor villages. They spend their life savings on the spiritual journey to the holiest city in Islam. Getting on an official Hajj convoy in Egypt - a country in a deep economic crisis - can cost around $6,000 (£4,700) per person.”

Upon reaching Mecca, despite the intense heat, they were unable to access cooling facilities such as air conditioned tents and buses… with some trying to protect themselves using bedsheets to make a tent.

Bear in mind – these people received help from Egyptian travel agents, who organized their trips and promised them a good service. “Effendiya’s (one of the deceased) trip was organised by a local broker, who charged her half this amount but promised her five-star service. The reality was totally different, they say.” Source: BBC

While the news coming out of Saudi and Egypt seems to suggest that they are taking serious action, by arresting several travel agents and restricting access to the Holy Land, we need to consider their actions carefully to see the true treachery that is in the hearts of the so- called Muslim rulers.

Rulers who have left the people of Palestine in a state of defenselessness against the vile ‘Israeli’ forces- who are so blatant in their dismal of international law and their hatred of the Palestinian population.

Despite the continuous atrocities against the Muslims of Palestinians, the Saudi royal family has not dismissed the possibility of normalization with the Jewish entity. They have simply said that they want a Palestinian state established first. Is that their version of condemnation? The Jewish entity has killed thousands, tortured women and children, denied them access to their basic needs- but the Saudi royal family is willing to contemplate normalization with the Jewish entity?

It’s not surprising really, when you consider their betrayal of the Islamic State in the past. Or when you consider the fact that they have a strong economic relationship with the USA. A staunch supporter of ‘Israel’ and their atrocities.

“The United States is Saudi Arabia’s second largest trading partner, and Saudi Arabia is one of the United States’ largest trading partners in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is the third leading source of imported oil for the United States, providing about half a million barrels per day of oil to the U.S. market. The United States and Saudi Arabia have signed a Trade Investment Framework Agreement. Saudi Arabia launched its Vision 2030 program in April 2016, laying out plans to diversify the economy, including through increased trade and investment with the United States and other countries.”

They claim to be the protectors of Mecca and Madina- two of our holiest lands- and of Hajj. And yet, it’s clear from their choices that the protection of Islam is the last thing on their minds.

“Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman identified the pilgrimage as a key component of a plan to diversify the Saudi economy by 2030. …Unlike [the energy sector], where Saudi Arabia always has to worry about future competitors, in the area of Hajj and Umrah, they are guaranteed to have zero competition in perpetuity.” (CNN)

“Khalid, whose first name has been changed for privacy, owned a Hajj tourism agency in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but no longer. He’s since been forced out of business. “I received a license and quota for the first year. In the second, I was asked to pay a 30 percent commission for all Hajj profits if I still wanted the contract. When I protested, the contact at the Saudi embassy told me I could apply normally but wouldn’t get the contract unless an Emir [Prince] recommended me to the Hajj administration...  I didn’t want to go down that path. It’s a holy pilgrimage. How can they do this?” (Source)

While reading this, keep in mind that the Saudi Arabia's ruling royal family has a net worth of about $1.4 trillion. Which is reportedly collected from a number of sources- including oil revenues, the confiscation of land and business, sponsorships of foreign workers for a fee, loans that aren’t repaid and off-budget programs. (NBC)

So while they may not be profiting off Hajj directly, they are certainly profiting off their role as the caretakers of Mecca and Medina, with all the wealth and resources that Allah has given it.

This is why the Palestinians are still being slaughtered

Across the Muslim lands, we have rulers who have given their loyalty to the USA and its system. This has been done for their benefit, and at the expense of the entire Muslim Population.

When the soldiers in Jordan asked why they were not being allowed to defend their Muslim brothers and sisters in Gaza, their superiors responded by telling them that “the enemy is trying to drag us into this to use this as propaganda to tell the world ‘Israel’ is being attacked from all sides”.

The ridiculousness of this statement can’t be put into words. An enemy is attacking our Muslim brothers and sisters, on one of our holiest lands, and the King of Jordan and his agents are scared of propaganda.

The current King of Jordan has a net worth of $750 million. And has spent more than $100 million on lavish homes in the U.S. and Britain.

So, is he, worried about propaganda or about the loss of money and status?

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Fatima Musab
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir

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