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


Hajj Deaths are the Fault of the Saudi Administration due to their Lack of Welfare for the Guests of the House of Allah


Over 1,300 Muslim pilgrims reportedly died during the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, this month in Saudi Arabia, where temperatures have soared beyond 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). Unmitigated exposure to extreme heat can cause a range of known health harms including organ failure and even death. Heat stress is believed to have caused many of the deaths, a completely preventable event. This reinforces the need for stronger heat protection measures, especially for groups particularly vulnerable to heat stress like older people and people with disabilities. (Human Rights Watch)


“Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars on crowd control and safety measures for those attending the annual five-day pilgrimage, but the sheer number of participants makes ensuring their safety difficult.” (Source) This is a flimsy excuse the Saudi administration projects to its people and to the global media; yet this excuse is absolutely rejected due to their claim of being the Custodians of the Haramain. Had they had any integrity or reverence for their role as custodians, in today’s time and advancement, matters of organization, ease and hospitality is indeed accessible to every Hajj pilgrim despite the millions who seek Hajj. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah annually prepares for the Hajj season and knows the numbers and quotas arriving from every country worldwide and thus is able to make the required accommodations and not allow for pilgrims to die from lack of care and access to medical attention. They too share the weight of this preventable tragedy. Allah (swt) says,

[وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَآ أَحْيَا ٱلنَّاسَ جَمِيعًا]

“And whoever saves one [a life] - it is as if he had saved all of mankind” [Al-Maidah 5:32].

The lack of accountability demonstrated the gross negligence towards the Muslim Ummah who traveled near and far, hundreds of thousands saving for decades to afford the exorbitant costs of the Hajj, proves the hostility of the Saudi regime towards the Ummah making think twice before embarking on such death journeys. Yet the shocking news that the head of the Saudi Entertainment Authority, Turki Al-Sheikh, announced that Riyadh will host the World Cup for Electronic Sports, to be held on the “Boulevard” with the participation of 30 international teams, offering huge prizes worth up to 60 million dollars! The largest prize money in history!!

The outrageous amount of money poured for entertainment when some pilgrims seeking Hajj were denied this Shari’ obligation because of not having specific visas and/or correct permits. There were thousands of people who were forced to return to their home countries banned from performed Hajj after being fined high amounts and even jailed, irrespective of age. HRW reported that unregistered pilgrims were reportedly deprived access to public facilities like air-conditioned tents, misting centers, transportation, or water rehydration areas. “83 percent of [the dead] did not have permits, meaning they were exposed to long distances and periods under the sun without shelter.…” For Muslims to be denied water and shelter in the holiest place on earth, where is the accountability and decency!? Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (saw) as saying: ‏«إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَقُولُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ... يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ اسْتَسْقَيْتُكَ فَلَمْ تَسْقِنِي‏.‏ قَالَ يَا رَبِّ كَيْفَ أَسْقِيكَ وَأَنْتَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ قَالَ اسْتَسْقَاكَ عَبْدِي فُلاَنٌ فَلَمْ تَسْقِهِ أَمَا إِنَّكَ لَوْ سَقَيْتَهُ وَجَدْتَ ذَلِكَ عِنْدِي‏»‏‏‏ “Verily, Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, would say on the Day of Resurrection: …O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink.” Is this how the guests of the Haramain are to be treated!? They do not uphold the obligation of the welfare of the Ummah and the Muslims are disavowed from these so-called “custodians of harm.” Indeed the Saudi clan is not of the same blood as the Ummah.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Manal Bader


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