The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK (ABH), a national Hajj-specific organisation working for the welfare and wellbeing of pilgrims, expresses its joy and extends congratulations to Hajj pilgrims from around the world on completing a safe Hajj season this year.
It is a great relief that, by the blessing of the Almighty, this year’s Hajj pilgrimage was free from any major incident or tragedy. In the past, thousands of innocent Hajj pilgrims have lost their lives in deadly stampedes, fires in Mina, and outbreaks of fatal infectious diseases. These incidents caused a huge amount of grief and distress amongst the Muslims around the world.
The Association of British Hujjaj commends the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for improving infrastructure and facilities around the holy places and for its remarkable work to ensure that pilgrims performed Hajj safely with ease and comfort.
In the past, most of the tragic incidents which occurred during Hajj and Umrah were due to the lack of awareness of vital lifesaving health and safety precautions and information amongst pilgrims. A vast majority of pilgrims are from rural areas of the country of their origin and are exposed to daunting crowds of over two million people for the very first time in their lives. Harsh weather, blazing sun, exhaustion, fatigue, lack of coordination, planning and discipline amongst themselves makes it impracticable to avoid unnecessary hardship and makes prevention of any catastrophe more difficult.
Association of British Hujjaj strongly urges the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all other relevant governments from around the world to make health and safety education and training mandatory for their prospective pilgrims. It should be ensured that pilgrims are well trained and aware of lifesaving preventative measures before leaving for Hajj. Informed pilgrims will be able to safeguard their own wellbeing and can help prevent any future loss of innocent human lives. Appropriate awareness and knowledge can also help prevent outbreaks of any infectious diseases during Hajj and the spread to other countries by the Hajj returnees. The Kingdom can also save on significant amount of resources which it is currently spending to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of pilgrims.