All is set for 5428 Ghanaian pilgrims to be airlifted to saudi Arabia for this year, starting next week, Hajj Chairman of the Pilgrims Affairs Office, Ghana, has announced.
Alhaji Abdul Rauf Tanko Ibrahim made the disclosure last Saturday during a seminar organised for prospective pilgrims by the Hajj Agents Association of Ghana at the Hajj Village in Accra in collaboration with his office.
The seminar was informed by the need to prime pilgrims with the knowledge about the rituals making up the pilgrimage and the dos and don’ts in especially a foreign country.
For some pilgrims, this is their first foreign trip.
The Hajj is one of the five pillars and Muslims are enjoined to perform once in their lifetime if they can.
According to the Chairman, Nas Air would start transporting the pilgrims from September 16-27.
He stated that there would be 12 flights in all, with the first flight expected to contain 450 passengers.
The pilgrims would be away for a month, he added. He went on to assure that all arrangements have been concluded to ensure a smooth pilgrimage for his compatriots.
This, he said, has witnessed a slight decline in the number of pilgrims; last year had 5490 compared to this year’s 5428.
The Chairman urged pilgrims to exhibit good morals and manners during the pilgrimage especially towards other pilgrims the come in contact with.
Alhaji Abdul Rauf dissociated his office from the $100 being charged by some pilgrims for the animal sacrifice during the Hajj. While in the Holy Land, he said pilgrims have the option of doing the sacrifice of performing an alternative ritual in place of it. Such collection for his office, he said, was not proper.
This year, his office has secured accommodation not close to their primary places of worship; something he said would save them from the usual hassle.
The Chairman of the Hajj Agents Association of Ghana, Alhaji Issah Umar, in a welcome remark, indicated that last year’s
edition was timely and won the hearts of all for which he saluted the Pilgrims Affairs Office.
By Melvin Tarlue
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