Saudi shows full readiness in organizing Hajj

Saudi shows full readiness in organizing Hajj
Muslims around the world were gathering at Masjidil Haram (the Grand Mosque), where the Ka'bah is located, on July 2018. (Indonesia Window/Libertina)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Hajj pilgrimage is certainly to be the largest religious event in the world with at least 2.5 million Muslims will be gathering at the same place and time to perform a series of rituals that are also the same.

Those who perform the Hajj are being the guests of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala so that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the host becomes more serious in welcoming them with indulging various facilities to make the pilgrims could perform all the rituals with peace, comfort and secure.

The Kingdom Government is doing its best in serving the pilgrims, including immigration services which are carried out since they were in the respective country through the Makkah Route initiative, expansion of the Grand Mosque complex in Mecca and the Nabawi Mosque in Madinah, convenient transportation, and guarantee security.

Those works show that Saudi Arabia does it best solely to serve the pilgrims from all over the world which this year is expected to reach around three million people.

These massive works are carried out not at all for political interests as rumors of the issue have been circulated from certain parties both in Saudi Arabia and outside the country.

Upon receiving reporters from various countries in Makkah on Tuesday (Aug 6), the President for the Council for the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Abdul Rahman As-Sudais said the worship contained a “message of peace” and called on pilgrims to avoid behavior that could lead to Hajj politicization.

Saudi shows full readiness in organizing Hajj
The Chairperson of the General Council of the Grand Mosque and the Nabawi Mosque (the Prophet’s Mosque), Sheikh Abdurrahman bin Abdul Aziz As-Sudais was conveying the readiness of the council in welcoming the Hajj 1440 Hijr pilgrims at the office in Makkah on Tuesday (July 23, 2019). (Saudi Government)

“Hajj is not a platform for politics or sectarianism, but for unity among Muslims,” ​​he stressed, adding that in order to achieve this Saudi Arabia promotes moderation and a peaceful life.

On that occasion, Sheikh As-Sudais also asked journalists to help spread the message peace throughout the world and convey the truth of Islam and avoid misinterpretations about the faith.

Special treatment

Called as the guest of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the pilgrims get a number of special treatments provided by the Saudi government, including visa application and other administrative matters since they were in their respective countries, including for those from Indonesia.

Unlike previous immigration procedures which required pilgrims to complete visa application and approval at the Saudi embassy and waited for hours in queue at immigration outlets in Jeddah or Madinah, and took care of baggage that takes also hours, now all the procedures have been short cut with more effective and efficient facilities.

The improved services now allow pilgrims to pass immigration checks in their country, and therefore when they arrive in Jeddah or Madinah they could go directly to their hotels by modern buses or trains operating with the latest technology, including electronic ticketing services.

As they are heading to hotels, staff members are taking care their luggage to take them to the hotels, waiting for their owners.

Saudi shows full readiness in organizing Hajj
The first group of Indonesian pilgrims from the Jakarta embarkation were enjoying the Makkah Route facility at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Banten on Sunday (July 7, 2019). (Indonesia Window)

According to Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla who attended the launch of Makkah Route at the Soekarno-Hatta international airport on July 7, 2019, the facility was an extraordinary facility.

“This service is extraordinary because it saves time and energy. King Salman as the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques has carried out this service very well,” he remarked.

Makkah Route is just one of many the kingdom’s programs to achieve the 2030 Vision when 30 million people from all over the world are expected to visit Mecca and Madinah to perform the Hajj and umrah.

This year, Makkah Route serves about 225,000 worshipers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan and Tunisia.

Security

To secure the implementation of the 2019 Hajj, Saudi Arabia has deployed various security forces, among others the Hajj surveillance center, crowd management center, 911 Center (integrated security operations center), the National Security Command and the armed forces.

On Sunday (August 4), Saudi Arabia staged a parade of the forces to show that the kingdom’s armed forces are ready to give full support to the successful implementation of the 2019 Hajj.

Among these forces are 17 joint special forces units, including anti-terrorism units which demonstrated their skills and was covered by the media from 20 countries.

To monitor every single movement during the Hajj, the Kingdom has an underground modern and integrated monitoring facility in the Grand Mosque complex.

With modern technology and systems, every incident, for instance, theft or pick pocketing, people who fall asleep, as well as sick and lost worshipers, in the entire room of the Grand Mosque can be identified at real time.

The officers will immediately go to the site of the incident and mobilize assistance to those in need.

Saudi shows full readiness in organizing Hajj
Security officers at an underground control room were watching screens displaying images captured from crucial points at Masjidil Haram (The Grand Mosques). (Indonesia Window/Libertina)

To further provide for the convenience of pilgrims, the Saudi Kingdom has also provided translators on information regarding the implementation of the Hajj in several languages ​​including Indonesian, English, Japanese and Urdu.

The translation is also applied to the Arafat sermon that will be delivered during wukuf – the core procession of all the Hajj rituals on 9th Dhulhijjah which falls on August 10, 2019 – at the Namirah Mosque, with the addition of sign language.

Sermons from the Grand Mosque will also be translated into several languages ​​which are expected to make it easier for pilgrims to understand the lectures delivered in Arabic.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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