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Incessant Hajj Tragedies: The Urgent Need for Muslim World to Take Over Operation

Mal. Yusuf Abdullahi
In the name of Allah who states "….. and whoever goes forth from his house flying to Allah and His Apostle, and then death overtakes him, his reward is indeed with Allah and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful" Q4:100

Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noble servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.

Let the piece of this week start with the heart – felt condolence to the entire Muslim world and the actual families affected by the loss of our dear sisters and brothers, – the honourable guests of Allah – who lost their lives in the sincere service of the Most High! 

A lot has been said and written on the unfortunate 9/11th crane collapse and the subsequent stampede that killed the only Allah knows number of pilgrims. With the read contrasting versions between the Saudi kingdom and international stakeholders including victims in the incident, most important thing is the measure to take to avert recurrence, and this is the focus of the discourse this week.


Based on the earlier statistics made available by the Saudi authorities, the figures of the loss was disclosed as; Iran; 131, Morocco; 87, Nigeria; 35, India; 14, Pakistan; 7, Algeria; 3,  Indonesia; 3 and Netherland; 1. The earlier 9/11th crane collapse has claimed 111 lives and 331 injured. Our continuous sympathy to the families of those affected by the tragedy and prayers to Allah to accept them as martyrs and give the families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

In Nigeria, we lost prominent personalities like Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf mni, and professor El – Miskin. A veteran journalist, freedom fighter and human liberator, Hajiya has immensely contributed in a multi – faceted dimension in the socio – economic development of our society and the world at large. I could recall her excellent presentation on the Zionist atrocities in Palestine  at the Arewa house – Kaduna, in 2008. The programme was organised by the Islamic movement in Nigeria at the 60th anniversary with the invasion of Palestine.

Similarly, she has attended the recent (July), First annual conference on the 2014 Quds day masaccare in Abuja. Her write up on Al – Quds day: for Palestinians and martyrs was very exciting and enlightening.

We have also shared a number of functions with the late Professor El – Miskin as a prominent Islamic scholar. Our last meeting was in Kaduna when he paid a condolence visit to the family of a brother.

Consequent to the sad event, Muslim leaders, organisations and individuals  all over the world express their views. Some of the few captured from both print and mass media include the following;


The full text  of Grand Ayatollah, Sayyid Ali Khamne’i following the Mina tragedy killing hundreds of pilgrims including 141 Iranians as translated into English, 24th September, 2015.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. "To Allah we belong, and to Him we return" Qur’an 2:156

The today’s catastrophic event in Mina, during which a large number of Gods guests and believers who had migrated towards God from different countries lost their lives, caused great sorrow in the world of Islam and turned their Eid (celebration) into mourning. In our dear country too, tens of families, who were eagerly waiting for their dear ones to return from their Hajj pilgrimage, are now mourning for them.

With a sorrow – stricken heart and sympathy of this grievous event – to the immaculate soul of the Great Messenger (God’s greetings be upon him and his household), to the holy presence of God’s Wali, the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for him), who is the principal mourner of this tragedy, to all the families of the deceased and to all mourners throughout the world of Islam particularly in dear Iran.

I ask God the Forgiving, the Merciful and the Rewarding to bestow  His special mercy on these honorable guests of His and to help, with His kindness, the injured to recover as soon as possible.

I would like to point out the following matters;

1. My representatives and the Hajj organisations should continue their strenuous effort – as they did throughout today to identify the deceased, to cure the injured, to return them back to the country, and to provide the public with information on this regard as quickly as possible. And all people who can help them in this effort should do so.

2. They should also extend their help to pilgrims from other countries in whatever ways they can and they should fulfill their brotherly and Islamic obligation towards them.

3. The Saudi government should accept its heavy responsibility in this bitter event and it should meet its obligations based on the principles of truth and fairness. The mismanagement and improper measures that caused this catastrophe should not be overlooked.   

4. By Allah’s favour, those who lost their lives in this event are among those mentioned in this enlightened Qur’anic verse "He who forsakes his home in the cause of Allah, finds in the earth many a refuge, wide and spacious. Should he die as a refugee from home for Allah and His Messenger, his reward becomes due and sure with Allah" Qur’an, 3:100

This is a great comfort for the families of the deceased. They rushed towards the worshipped, after doing Tawaf, endeavoring in the way of God and spending the blessed hours of Arafat and Mash’ar and while performing Hajj rituals. For this reason, they will benefit from the One’s grace and mercy.

With my condolences once again to the mourners, I declare three days of national mourning in the country.

Greetings be upon Allah’s righteous servants.

Sayyid Ali Khamne’i.  


The emir has strongly disputed claims by Saudi authorities that Africans were largely responsible for the stampede. "we are therefore urging the Saudi authorities not to apportion blames for pilgrims for not obeying instruction. He said pilgrims who complete the ritual should not cross those who are approaching the holy site. They should not cross each other"


After extending his sincerest condolence through his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the president has urged the king Salman to ensure a comprehensive and thorough exercise that would identify any flaws in Hajj organisation with a view to avoiding a recurrence of such tragedies during the annual pilgrimage"


In a response to a question on the Thursday’s tragedy, the leader of the Islamic movement said the management of the hajj, the two holy mosques and other sanctuaries in Saudi Arabia are responsibilities of the Muslim world, and not the exclusive preserve of the Al – Saud royal family. In a similar statement during a condolence visit to late Hajiya Balkisu’s family, the sheikh said the city of Makkah is home to every Muslim and whatever therein belongs to all Muslims. Muslims of all nations should be involved in the management of the hajj operations for effective coordination, welfare and safety of pilgrims.


"….. we were walking up to around 10:30 am  when we stumbled. In front of us, about 50 – 100 metres, we sighted Saudi security officers barricaded the road. That was how everybody stumbled. Those at the back were not aware that the front was no longer moving, and those at the front were stopped by the Saudi security.

On the solution to the frequent problem, the emir said " I think all the countries need to be part of the Hajj operation, because these people only think the hajj is for them alone, they arrange it the way they like. If all the Muslim countries would have a stake in the way the hajj preparation and the security arrangement are done, I think that will help"


"…..though this may not be the time for apportioning blames, there a lot of blames to apportion. There are many questions that need answers. A certain Saudi prince has been reported to have blamed Africans for the tragedy. It may be true; but another report says some princes claimed royal right of way and hade the poor pilgrims’ road blocked. Wallahu Aalam – only Allah knows, but we must also be made to know".


With greater concern and spiritual foresight, the late Imam insisted on the need for the Muslim world to be responsible for the management of the holy sites and the conduct and control of the entire Hajj rite. He has observed the need for a better and more scientific means to handle the ever capacity expanding affair irrespective of the huge revenue generated by the kingdom and fluctuating nature of petroleum market. Devising a better means of resources as observed by the Imam is very inevitable, as every Muslim will be happy to send his or her donation to that cause weather opportuned to perform Hajj or not.


The need for a thorough investigation for a decisive action cannot be overemphasized. The question is who will do the investigation to the confidence of Muslim world? The tragedy has become frequent and there was strong allegation that a Saudi prince, his military and police convoy were responsible for painful incident.

Many people misinterpret such unfortunate event as destiny. Even if it was, that does not exonerate anyone responsible. The national hajj commission, Nigeria has already demanded Saudi Arabian authorities to include Nigeria and other countries whose citizens were involved in the prove. The Saudi authorities should know that only such an independent and united investigation will be meaningful and acceptable to the Muslim world.

Wassalamu alaikum.