Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik :: News
Posted October 3, 2014on:
Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik
2 million pilgrims march to Mina for Haj
Mina: Clad in white seamless cloth, tens of thousands of Muslims from across the world on Thursday moved from the holy city of Makkah to nearby Mina marking the beginning of the annual Haj pilgrimage.
Chants of ‘Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik’ (O God, here I am answering your call) and Allahu Akbar (God is Great) reverberated as the pilgrims, wearing the ihram or the two-piece seamless white garment, began moving to the tent-city of Mina in groups, located 5 km to the east of Makkah.
Among the first group of pilgrims to arrive in Mina were Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.
Most pilgrims embarked on the journey onboard buses arranged by their respective Haj missions and the Saudi government but some others preferred moving on foot.
“All Indian camps in Mina have been inspected and are in order,” Indian Consul-General B.S. Mubarak told PTI. “No major issues so far. All arrangements are satisfactory.”
In a message to the Indian pilgrims before they left for Mina, Mubarak said, “Be patient. Eat healthy food. Do not get exposed to heat. Know your tent number and pole number. Take less luggage and keep some dry fruits and fruits.”
“Always try to go in small groups if you have some problem approach the Haj mission,” he said.
Mohammad Shahid, an Indian pilgrim from Amroha, told PTI, “After all the Indian pilgrims had reached here, they were served breakfast by the Mission and later another meal.”
“People are spending their time reciting the Qur’an, praying and discussing matters related to the pilgrimage. Some pilgrims, including many elderly, were also resting after the trek on foot,” he said.
Many elderly people are part of the Indian group, including a 109-year-old man from Murshidabad, West Bengal, and another centenarian from Bagpath, Uttar Pradesh.
India’s Haj Goodwill delegation this year comprises two senior BJP leaders and is led by Arif Beg, a former Union Minister. Abdul Rasheed Ansari, national president of party’s minority wing, is accompanying Mr. Beg.
India gets a quota of about 1.7 lakh pilgrims annually from Saudi Arabia. Indian pilgrims go to Makkah through the Haj Committee and private tour operators.
Emotional scenes were witnessed in Mina as on arrival many pilgrims couldn’t control tears and many continued to thank Allah for making it possible for them to perform Haj.
The annual Haj pilgrimage has so far been incident-free.—PTI
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