THIS year’s pilgrimage season (Hajj) did not witness any problem. This is a remarkable success – a result of the Saudi leadership’s commitment to guarantee the comfort of pilgrims, in addition to deep concern for their safety and security.
Hence, on this day when pilgrims start returning to their countries, more praises for the success of this season continue to pour from various parts of the Muslim world.
The detailed organization and safe management of the crowd of millions within a few days despite the limited geographical space are outstanding and compelling responses to everyone who called for internationalization of ‘Hajj’.
They came out of the darkest caves to impose their opinion on one billion and a half Muslims through rhetoric to cripple the security of the two holy Islamic sites in a bid to transform them into dais of division between Muslims.
Discordant chants launched a few years ago were just attempts to revive the dark history whose pages were written with an ink of animosity and hatred on the House of Allah.
Since the pre-Islamic era, those who attempted to destroy this house have realized that it has its own protector. They were afflicted with a disease which subsided only when they decided to let go of the idea of bringing down the Ka’aba.
The same happened to Abraha Al-Ashram who wanted to replace the Ka’aba in the Arabian Gulf with his church which he built in Sanaa, decorated with gold, silver and captivating gem stones.
Abraha and his soldiers marched to Makkah on board elephants with the sole intention of destroying the Ka’aba; but their march was futile especially when they were intercepted by birds pelting them with stones. The words of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) grandfather Abdul Muttalib were forever enshrined in history when he responded to those asking him to protect the house: “The House has its own protector.”
In recent history, there have been repeated attempts to dishonor the sacredness of this holy house whether through those instigating creedal sedition in which the culprits are supporters of Iran’s regime through what is known as marching innocence against polytheists that they have been promoting for several years, or triggering the stump similar to what happened two years ago, or even shedding the blood of pilgrims through terrorist attacks as it happened in the 1980s, and recently, targeting holy sites with Iranian long range missiles launched by the Houthis.
All of these attempts are aimed at projecting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as being unable to protect the pilgrims. This is followed by calls to internationalize the two holy sites, which means, bring up an alternative force to control the destiny of pilgrims and subsequently allow this force to impose its decision on the Muslim world.
Nonetheless, it is necessary to thwart the endeavors of these people as per the words of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who said after the conquest of Makkah: “Allah made this town sacred on the day He created the earth and the heavens; so it is sacred by the sacredness conferred on it by Allah until the Day of Resurrection.
“Fighting in it was not lawful to anyone before me, and it was made lawful for me only during an hour on one day, for it is sacred by the sacredness conferred on it by Allah until the Day of Resurrection.
“Its thorns are not to be cut, its game is not to be harmed, and the things dropped are to be picked up only by the one who makes a public announcement of it, and its fresh pasture is not to be cut.”
If not for the expansion projects of the Saudi monarchy, the place would not have been able to accommodate millions of pilgrims. Expansion is continuous in this holy site, spearheaded by the kings of the third Saudi State in the past 86 years.
No country is able to spend billions as the kingdom has done to upgrade the holy sites and to reduce the troubles of pilgrims visiting the House of Allah. This could only be achieved through the commitment and determination of its leaders to serve Muslims diligently. These characteristics are upheld by the kings of Saudi Arabia.
Almighty Allah put the sacred house in this sacred place. Without any doubt, He is the protector of the house as mentioned in the Holy Quran (5:97): “Allah has made the Ka’aba, the sacred house, a maintenance for the people, and the sacred month and the offerings and the sacrificial animals with garlands; this is that you may know that Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and that Allah is the Knower of all things.”
This can only be achieved if there are people who devoted themselves to be the trustees of this site and work tirelessly to ensure the comfort of the visitors of Allah who come to perform their rituals in the best possible way.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times