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Adnane Ben.
Boston USA
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Hajj Stampede Gone Ugly!
01:30:44 PM Thursday Jan 12, 2006

It remains hard for me to believe that every year a couple hundred or so of pilgrims are harmed and eventually die during the stampede. Today January 12 of 2006, during the Devil Stoning ritual, it is announced that about 345 pilgrims died!!

Despite all the precautions the Saudi government did, there are still people who die on these circumstances. The government made several design changes to the area of Devil Stoning in hopes it reduces the events of injuries. They built an underground level for more pilgrims; padded the pillar that is stones; added security staff to monitor the people.

What would the prophet have done?

* I know I'm not supposed to joke about this, but I can't resist.. it almost seems they should hand the pilgrims padded head gears (les casques)... if they keep the design of the area like that!.. time to assemble a team of engineers to come up with some innovative way of fixing this loophole!

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6:49 am    January 19, 2006

Rasta Gnawi message
"if anything, the single most obvious of their actions should be that they went to perform the hajj, a basic obligation, and one of the 5 pillars of islam. did you? did I? so don't judge them"

People perform anyone of the five pillars everyday, one of them at least 5 times; doesn't mean they're automotically good people; but then again it is not my place to judge them, only their actions.

"Did you, did I..." etc? Sounds a little accusatory, but no I have not made hajj, and I won't until I am ready to benefit from it.

You keep accusing me of judging pilgrims etc. I think you misunderstand what I am saying. I am definitely not throwing cold water on their intentions. And I am not saying they were bad muslims for standing in harm's way. I certainly believe they were let down by scholars, whoever they might be.

On the scholars: so it bothers you a little that I say let's have two hajj seasons. ok you brought some good points about ash'hurun ma3lumatun etc, but there has to be something else. I mean the whole concept of exactitude in islamic calendar gets shattered at the end of every month when the crescent is sighted. In Morocco we celebrated 3arafa and 3id one day after everyone else, and we had a mighty good time too. We visited with family, we went to the mosq, we performed the sacrifice, and our intentions towards God were not deviant; we just did not see the crescent at the same time as everyone else. So already, you have two hajj seasons: one starting a day later than the one in Mecca.

Don't confuse me with someone who's trying to weaken the arkan of islam or someone who will be happy to see one or more disappear. I just think there needs to be debate over certain obligations in this faith. The concept of halaal and haraam is different from one country to the other depending on local customs; so already there is local ijtihad. Why not broaden it and make public and touch on bigger issues.


3:37 pm    January 18, 2006

hudhud message
"how their faith translates into everyday actions"
if anything, the single most obvious of their actions should be that they went to perform the hajj, a basic obligation, and one of the 5 pillars of islam. did you? did I? so don't judge them. none of these pilgrims could be blamed for what happened any more than you and i could be blamed for any other such tragic accident. accidents are accidents, and no matter how painful or difficult they are to accept, they are reality and they do happen. it's critical to investigate them, to try solving the problems from their underlying causes, but not to judge those who were caught in the midst of the chaos, some of whom died and some of whom were able to escape and survived. i dare you or me or any one of us who weren't there, who didn't experience this situation ourselves, to get caught in the midst of all that confusion unwillingly, unwittingly, and then come out of it judging yourself and others as having contributed to those deaths. would you blame yourself if you had managed to escape and survive? would you say "oh i shouldn't have run away as fast as i could, b/c that route was not allowed for the returns, so the stampede was my fault too" ???

what are you talking about when you say "folkloric rites" ? tawaf, sa3y, ramy aljamaraat are all prescribed practices according the prophet's sunnah. these are not folklore, they are not things that we have come up with ourselves over the centuries. read the seerah of the prophet, read his ahadeeth, how he performed these acts of worship. educate yourself before you label a core islamic duty as "folkloric".

when you basically state that governments are abusing faith to control ppl, that has been the case since the beginning of any form of government coupled with the presence of a predominant religion in the society over which that political system governs. but nowadays the average citizen or individual is even more empowered to learn about Islam on his/her own, without a government telling him what's right and wrong/true and false. this was my point about literacy, about the books of 3ilm that we have allowed to gather so much dust..

"radical transformation" .. a nice sounding expression but what do you mean on a practical level? radically alter the hajj practice? i get the impression that you are asking for the 3ibadah's, the practices of worship themselves, to be changed without first understanding how they were prescribed and why.

it's not the religion that needs changing, and that will never really be changed anyway, since Allah has promised to preserve Islam until the end of time. it is our ignorance that we need to change, and our faulty implementation of these acts of worship which you and I and so many others clearly don't know enough about from an islamic pov.

I will research the calendar question myself and let you know what I find inshallah.


1:38 pm    January 18, 2006

Rasta Gnawi message
"..i think it's sad that we sit there saying ppl aren't really able to "find god" or find faith or reconnect spiritually simply b/c disasters like this stampede happen ..." When are we then to raise questions? The good scholars that could raise questions in times of tranquility are not amongst us. Us, the general populace, have no choice but to rely on disasters to ask questions.

"everything, however, makes me doubt the ability of people to improve their connection with their faith"--> I am certainly not judging people's faith here. I allow myself, however, to judge their connection with their faith, which is nothing more than how their faith translates into everyday actions. I can see the actions, not what is in people's hearts. The stampedes are not a pretext that I use to question those connections. They are part of a series of manifestations of bad connections.

On the calendar, I found nothing in my malik and shafi3i library that talks about it; do make suggestions please. The closest I have is an Ahmed Amine's expose on pre-Isam arabian practices that talks a bit about the different calendar systems used, but nothing about the ones specifically used by the prophet or after him; it would seem our system is one adopted by khalifa Umar, but do correct me again.

Islam claims 1.5bln adherents. Only 2.5mln perform hajj every year (quota system.) Why not then introduce other ristrictions: maybe only certain aged people should perform it; or maybe a quota on age; or maybe you need to apply for hajj visa 5 years prior (not the most fair.) Many faiths have pilgrimages of their own; how about setting up a study to understand the meaning of a pilgrimage in faith as a generic requirement and then how it applies to Islam, and then from that coming up with satisfactory recommendations. Why not forget the folkloric rites altogether and focus on the essence and then translate that into action. I don't know what the answer is... I have not read all the Malik's and shafi3i and the rest of that junk; but I have not seen many who have and who can speak with an open-mind about any of these questions. In my mind, most people are trying to preserve the form and not the substance. What I believe in with all my heart is that we need radical transformation; otherwise our own goverments will always play the faith card and guide us in the way they want in the name of preserving the faith.


1:11 pm    January 18, 2006

hudhud message
"I don't see why pilgrims should get away
with it."
no one is "getting away" with anything. to say someone is "getting away" with something implies an intent to cause harm and a willing, full awareness of what is going on and what the person did/might have done. a stampede is a sign of mass confusion, chaos, lack of order, and a breakdown somewhere in the management as well as a natural reaction in human psychology. instinct kicks in, telling each person to run away from the danger (flight), and the result is mayhem.
when a stampede happens, whether in makkah or any other place, it's the result of many factors, but as you mentioned not following directions could be one of them. then again, it's hard to enforce rules with such a huge volume of traffic. do any of us have a *clue* how many staff and undercover security are patrolling about in al haram at any given time during the hajj season? there is a huge effort already in place, but of course there is always room for improvement. that's why, both to save lives from the risk of a possible stampede, and just to make the experience more comfortable, we need to think practical - what is doable, not just to avoid potential chaos, injury, or death, but also to make the experience more comfortable and manage the pilgrimage even better.

furthermore, we must remember that these risks are still rather small in the grand scheme of things, and the percentage of those injured or even killed relatively is still very small, when you consider how many ppl do the hajj year after year after year in peace and safety. don't let the media terrify us into avoiding hajj. of course each and every life is precious, and they do get a huge reward (jannah without hisaab, look it up yourselves if you don't believe me). and yes we should try harder, to make things better still.

so? practical solutions??? back to the drawing board. i suggest that each country set up special workshops either at a local or regional level for those who have obtained a hajj visa, so that they could be educated not just about the 3ibadah but also about the entire hajj experience and how to navigate makkah and environs, where they need to go, when they need to be there, how to come back safely to their lodgings, etc. this can be a sort of training if you will, so that before people arrive in Makkah they are given a chance to ask questions and feel more secure. many hajj groups now have their own leaders as well as teachers and administrators, to help their own group learn the rituals and also take care of their logistical needs. so there is already a mechanism in place that can be used as a vehicle to introduce more improvements. there are millions of hajeej each year now, but if we start the educational process at a micro level, with the hajj groups, or at a regional/local level, this could help even more. a small guidebook on how to perform the hajj is nice to have, but it may not answer all the other questions about issues the hajeej face (accomodations, food and water, routes to come and go) etc.
people are not stupid. when you train and educate them that it's for the safety of their own lives and others' that they can only come from a certain route (and then have the authorities on the ground enforce that very carefully) things can improve.

has anyone here on raioo been to hajj? i'm curious to know if the pilgrims get a little map of the area of the haram, the hotels and tents areas, the places they have to go for sa3y, ramy aljamaraat, wouqouf 3ala 3arafah, etc. does this exist? just like when you go to visit someplace, you can buy these cute little tourist maps that show the routes and main points where you need to be, and landmarks in the area so that you can get more familiar. I think if this doesn't already exist, it should be given out free of charge to every single person who is granted a hajj visa.

adnane as much as i love wikipedia, and even though many things in wikipedia and on other websites can be good interesting sources of learning, our first point of reference should still be to the sources from quran and sunnah whether it's to learn about ramy aljamaraat or any other aspect of our deen..


12:18 pm    January 18, 2006

Adnane Ben. message
Well, I think what you're saying in essence is not subject of disagreement here: reading knowledge left behind by scholars. That's fine. But over here, we have the problem of pilgrims despite their earnest intentions to perform a hajj, some end up not following directions set forth by authorities for example. Or may be, and I am speculating, may be too excited or even selfish to perform a specific ritual at a specific time and place just because this is what their Madhab told them to do. As opposed to looking at the interest of the general pilgrimship and avoid what could result in hurting people. For all my gut feeling tells me, anything a pilgrim does or doesn't do with the intention of saving lives is in itself a huge reward. Let us remember the verse that talks about he who saves a life is as if he has saved the whole humanity. And the other verse, he who kills a life without intention (maybe the case here) is still faulty but could remedy through the proper remedy choices (save a life, give money, fast etc.). And I believe this applies to all people and at any time and place. I don't see why pilgrims should get away with it.

A quick refresher on the jamarat at wikipedia


11:32 am    January 18, 2006

hudhud message
"everything, however, makes me doubt the ability of people to improve their connection with their faith"
we have no right to judge each other on this subject. i think it's sad that we sit there saying ppl aren't really able to "find god" or find faith or reconnect spiritually simply b/c disasters like this stampede happen (and they have happened throughout human history anywhere there have been huge crowds, be it during pilgrimage to makkah, or to a hindu temple, or to a giant statue of buddha, or or or). this is why i'm saying we need to not just criticize, but criticize constructively by coming up with concrete, practical suggestions to improve safety conditions during the hajj.
so, rasta suggested more than one hajj season (or did i misunderstand you?) my belief is that we should not alter the hajj season b/c both quran and sunnah are very clear about when and how hajj should be conducted. remember the verse "alhajjou ashhouroun ma3loumaat, faman farada feehinna alhajja falaa rafatha wala fousouqa wa la jidaala filhajj". even during the prophet's time hajj was a big crowded event, (sallallahou 3alayhi wa sallam), but we have to put things in perspective. the mosque space itself (the "haram") was not nearly as expansive and wide and developed as it is today. they were less ppl, but also in a smaller space, so they probably felt squished too relatively speaking. now we are more ppl but also more space, but we still feel squished, perhaps more than in past centuries b/c now modern means of transportation allow for many more ppl to travel to the same place at the same time from greater distances, while this was something extremely costly to do in the past, and involved arduous land and sea journeys that often crossed harsh climates and terrain, sometimes taking many months if not a year or more to accomplish. things have changed, for better or for worse, but they have definitely changed a lot.

if we alter the hajj season, we are altering the entire islamic calendar. should we then have two months of thul hijjah? ok, then why not two ramadans? the way ppl ignore the hadiths about crescent sightings nowadays we have fallen into a heated debate that already results every year in at least two eid el fitrs, and now ppl are messing with yawm 3arafah and eid el adha too. you yourself rasta commented in a previous post that moroco must be on a different lunar path or something (forgive me if i forget your exact wording, but you had a great point). what's left of this islamic calendar? rasta in one of your previous posts you also asked about where we get this calendar from. EXCELLENT question, and how did you research it? did you look on the internet only, or in the books of imam malik, shafi3i, and others? how about in the books of hadith of bukhari, muslim, abu dawud, tirmithi, for example? or did you just give up b/c you couldn't find a fast easy answer on the world wide web? i'll tell you something, i put a lot of stock in the islamic calendar that the prophet 3alayhi ssalate wassalam lived by, and many aspects of it are definitely mentioned in the quran (ramadan, thul hijjah, muharram just as examples). but you did much better than me b/c i neither researched this on the web, nor opened a book of hadith or fiqh or sunnah or tafsir to look it up. i should. i want to, and i hope i will sooner rather than later. but in the meantime, i still don't want ppl messing around with this calendar, nor with the sunnah of our dear prophet. i vaguely remember some of the things my mom taught me as a kid, about the islamic calendar being 12 months, about each month based on the lunar sighting whether it will be 29 or 30 days, and that it was based on the sunnah. now all that's left for me is to go back to these sources of knowledge and do some digging on my own. but just b/c i am ignorant on this topic doesn't mean i think it should be changed. we need to have more respect for the islamic calendar, for the hajj, and for the sunnah in general. before crying out "change this!" about something in islamic practices that we may or may not like, we need to understand why it is the way it is first, how the prophet practiced it, how we should implement it, then what can and cant' be changed/improved, and how best to do that.

i hate being idealistic without being practical, so back to the concrete suggestions. how can we make hajj safer? some ppl think the limits/quotas that are currently put in place on the number of pilgrims coming from each country are unfair. but maybe they were implemented for this very reason of safety, to curb the overcrowded conditions and at least lessen some of the 'traffic' if you will. what else can be done/changed within the *logistics* and not the Islamic practices of hajj in and of themselves?

if you change the times and the way we were commanded to perform salate, is it still salate?
likewise if we alter the practice of hajj, is it still hajj?
there are such things in fiqh as "moubttilaat asalate" and same goes for hajj, for sawm ramadan, for sadaqah and zakat, etc. there are certain things we shouldn't alter b/c they would change the very nature of that 3ibadah. there are certain things we should maintain b/c they are practices based on quran and sunnah. and then there are other things that we can change in terms of the physical conditions, the planning of the haram area, the plan and design of the city itself, the pilgrim's accomodations, the flow of traffic, the number of ppl entering the city during hajj season, the flow of pilgrims coming and going to do ramy aljamaraat, entering and leaving the haram, etc. but again it's a HUGE challenge. which one of us thinks herself/himself qualified to point fingers and criticize if we can't even come up with better solutions? talk is cheap especially for us who haven't even been to hajj to practice the duty, much less to observe how it is managed now on a logistical level and examine how we could improve the experience further.

if you yourself have questions about "why hajj, why stoning, why tawaf" this is great, and i would encourage you to research them from the pov of quran and sunnah. use the knowledge that the scholars you have expressed admiration and respect for have left behind for us to learn from.

adnane, i agree with you completely that nowadays we don't unfortunately have such great scholars like imam malik rahimahoullah, but there are some good knowledgeable teachers that we can still learn a lot from, plus on a community level overall, with literacy rates being so much higher today than during past centuries, we are much more capable nowadays of doing our own research in the great books of 3ilm rather than constantly relying on one person or local imam/teacher as ppl long ago used to do. we can look at multiple sources, examine the evidence or daleel presented in each case from quran and sunnah, think for ourselves and try to understand. the question is whether we-- i -- am going to be humble enough to try learning from them, to ask questions, and to dig in the resources that are available today, rather than immediately criticize the ummah for a vaccuum of great scholars and lament the loss of those who lived centuries before me. we didn't lose imam malik, shafi3i, ghazali, abu dawud, or any of them. there was no "loss". they left us a huge treasure, but did i set aside the time to discover it? sad to say i did not. i know more about a completely unislamic financial system than i know about my own faith, which i have always claimed is a big part of my identity. what does that make me???

and let's not forget that one of 3alaamaat assa3ah (the signs of the nearing of day of judgement) is "qabd al3ilm, the taking of knowledge through the deaths of 3oulamaa, that there would be fewer and fewer such scholars to guide people and help them learn their deen as we get closer to qiyaam assa3ah. but let's not blame God and say why is he punishing us for our own ignorance when he is the one who took the souls of those scholars, etc. He put them on earth for a reason, they left behind much great 3ilm for us, and we have so many opportunities to learn and explore, if only we overcome our own ego and reach out to ask questions with a positive, curious, sincere attitude.

Allahouma rzouqni 3ilman nafi3an.


5:45 am    January 18, 2006

Rasta Gnawi message
My bottom line lies with the bodies of 361 people who thought they were walking the path of the prophets, only to be crushed to death by hords of drones unable to justify their presence or actions at that moment. Nothing that has happened or been talked about clouds my view of hajj; everything, however, makes me doubt the ability of people to improve their connection with their faith.

So as to take speculation out of it, here is my bottom line:
Sunnah is not a prison or a school of thought. It is a way of life that promotes clear-minded thinking about life and beyond. And if one thinks they can apply everything that the four scholars had written, then one must teach all of us how to live with contradictions.

Here is a question: could someone remind me of the story behind the stoning?


9:10 pm    January 17, 2006

Adnane Ben. message
"..In any case, the debate concerning when laylat alqadr might/not be is not the same as suggesting that we should drop one of the 5 pillars of Islam, be it hajj or zakat.."

Now, wait, wait! I have read the discussions, and don't recall anyone suggesting to drop the Hajj! that would probably be blasphemy. What I remember is a suggestion to create more seasons to accomodate the gigantic number of Houjjajj from around the world. That would be a type of Ijtihad that plays with the time dimension, as opposed to the place dimension since one cannot probably suggest to create a second Kaaba, or double the number of "Devil stoning" pillars. Please remedy.

Also, it is true hudhud, that one cannot name a single scholar today who writes articles, opinions, analysis, research papers, white papers, books that act as a fresh reminder, a genius application of Islam to modern problems that didn't possibly exist in Imam Malik's time for example.

Oh, and given the impressive instant media nowadays, we would have heard of him or her if they existed!

Ok, I admit, it's not me :)


5:17 pm    January 17, 2006

hudhud message
"Asr; so the rumor goes. Just like the 27th ramadan night is the qadr night"

there are strongly referenced tafsir explanations of 'asalate alwusta' as mentioned in the quranic verse "haafithou 3ala ssalawati wassalati lwusta wa qoumou lillahi qaaniteen". i'm going to look them up bi ithnillah.

nothing in islam tells us exactly when laylat alqadr will fall, so there is no need for sarcasm on something that God has already told us we don't know. but thanks for raising this point which I myself had asked about this ramamdan.. i already forgot the hadiths that i had read about this. (eh, premature alzheimers!?) i'll try to go back and review them, but i remember the meaning being that 1st, we don't have a clear-cut answer about which night it is, 2nd we do know from sunnah that it's more likely to be one of the odd nights among al3ashr alawakhir, 3rd that some of the sahabah (i believe al3abbas, the prophet's uncle) thought that the most likely could be the 27th, and 4th the 7ikmah or beautiful wisdom behind this secret is that it should encourage us to make more efforts in 3ibadah and dou3aa during all of ramadan and especially during all those last ten nights which are indeed very special..

In any case, the debate concerning when laylat alqadr might/not be is not the same as suggesting that we should drop one of the 5 pillars of Islam, be it hajj or zakat (remember the khawarij? why did abu bakr radiyallahou 3anhou struggle so hard with them?) or salate or sawm ramadan or the shahadah. we need to keep all 5 to be practicing islam at least at a basic "doing my duty" level. and that's not even "imaan" the faith within the heart, that's just the do's that we need to maintain overall.
wallahou a3lam..


4:35 pm    January 17, 2006

hudhud message
just curious, is that your bottom line? so one person's negative experience is going to cloud your view of something so sacred, so valuable, and so integral to Islam as Hajj?

it's easy for you and me to judge. we haven't been there have we? but i want to at least give it a try. no matter how hard it may be, no matter how many nay-sayers are out there. fact is that the vast majority of ppl who return say that it was an incredible experience, and definitely worth the effort.
the promised ajr alone should encourage us to at least try..

"Our ignorance is not an inherent flaw. It is simply the manifestation of failed ijtihad, or for that matter lack of mujtahideen."
forgive my firmness, but no, here I think you are misunderstanding the very purpose of ijtihaad. it's not to educate us about basic requirements that aren't even in question. our -- my own -- ignorance is a manifestation of me not learning enough, when the sources of 3ilm are definitely out there. number one: quran and sunnah. number two, the real scholars that you and I and so many others do have much respect for, like imam malik that you mentioned, who have contributed so much, and left us with a vast wealth of knowledge -- how many of us have even tried to read everything they left us and try sincerely to understand and apply it?
why are we blaming the so-called scholars that you seem to hint don't really exist nowadays, when we ourselves both as a community on an educational and spiritual level, and as individuals haven't made enough efforts to learn what is already out there?
why is it so hard for me, for all of us, to admit that "i don't know" and not to point fingers at anyone, but rather to crack open some volumes and study islam as if we were not muslim, i.e. by not taking things for granted and assuming that maybe we already know it (and therefore don't need to read up on it or ask more questions), or assuming that scholars nowadays don't do enough ijtihaad (do we even know the proper meaning and rulings about when ijtihaad is applicable and when it's not, what are the conditions involved, etc), or assuming that whoever tries to follow the sunnah isn't "thinking outside of the box" ?
i won't lose my kool. but i do want to learn more, and i'm not going to blame my own ignorance on anyone but myself, nor will i ask for ijtihaad on something that i haven't yet researched enough from quran and sunnah, nor will i ask for the methods of 3ibadah to be altered simply b/c I am afraid of being injured or stampeded to death or of facing hardships and pain and discomfort (which are all possible risks and not everyone gets affected, it's still a small percentage that are hurt when you realize how many millions year after year complete their hajj in peace and safety overall) in the middle of attempting to carry out an important pillar of the five basic pillars of Islam. God only asked me to try, once in my lifetime, if I can do it, and he is rahman raheem. He will help me do it, and if I can't then He of course is well aware why not, and ultimately my judgement is in his hands alone.

Hajj is sacred. It's so well-covered in quran and hadith, and those two sources (rather than my or yours or any scholars or any human opinion - be it ijtihaad or personal judgements) should be our first source of answers. well, if I -- we -- call ourselves good practicing muslims at least..


4:04 pm    January 17, 2006

Rasta Gnawi message
Asr; so the rumor goes. Just like the 27th ramadan night is the qadr night.

Anyway... In keeping with rasta ways, I must keep kool wid tings.

However, I still believe that this nation is paying the price for lack of ijtihad. Our ignorance is not an inherent flaw. It is simply the manifestation of failed ijtihad, or for that matter lack of mujtahideen. Give me the name of one person who has written something that has revolutionized Islam of late; I'm talking Imam Malik-type stuff. The majority of the stuff is political shit that sits in the a little place called cat-litter in the back of our head.

ok. lost my kool for a second. My apologies.

It saddens me that we don't have people willing to think outside of the box. Everything is confined within walls of "faith." Maybe God wants us to find him through evolution. By the way, don't let a single muslim soul fool you into believing they have found god. All you need is a little trip in a small muslim town to see how far they are still. Or maybe all one needs is to delve into the slums of the shiite-sunni argument to unravel the fragility of our current faith.

A little deviation, but interesting that it branches out of an argument of why innocent souls were lost during hajj. Too many things interconnected... but I still go back to the source of all problems: lack of ijtihad; fear of coming up with something new. People say all the mean things they wants about bid3ah, but they themselves perform at least one every day.

I just met a haaj who came back from haj this year. His impressions: "I'm never going back there again." Sums it up for me all too easily and nicely.


3:31 pm    January 17, 2006

hudhud message
asalate alwustaa is asr prayer..

3:29 pm    January 17, 2006

hudhud message
"the scholar ought to get back the Ijtihad that they have abandoned so long ago in favor of rigid doctrinal and folkloric rites. This nation has been paying the price since."

my opinion wallahou a3lam is that we are paying the price of our own ignorance on this and many other subjects. there is still some ijtihaad going on, but it's a tricky gray zone, and it's not meant for subjects like "why hajj" when that is more a question (and a good one) that has already been answered by quran and hadith. just b/c we don't know it well enough or don't understand it doesn't mean we need to change the seasons or the method of performing hajj.
"men istatta3a ilayhi sabila" means if you have the physical means (ie you can afford it financially and you're in good enough health, and there are no other extremely difficult circumstances keeping you away). if we can afford to go travelling to other places for fun, we should try to give hajj a bigger priority especially since we only need to do it once if/when we are able.. it's such an important part of our faith, the experience is life-changing, it's kaffarat athounoub, forgiveness from all sins as the hadith says "kayawmi waladat hou oumouh" you come out of it pure like the day you were born..

we should still keep doing hajj the way the prophet 3alayhi ssalate wassalam did it, during the season that he did it, but yes safety needs to be improved since modern day hajj has grown so much and there are literally millions of ppl trying to do the same things at the same time in the same place..

so what concrete suggestions and practical ideas can we come up with on this subject? it's an enormous logistical challenge, trying to manage such a huge crowd year after year. i would be scared to have such a responsibility on my shoulders, but i would also wish that there is constant improvement in terms of the management, safety, comfort, etc..


2:33 pm    January 17, 2006

Rasta Gnawi message
I usually like to keep things on the hush hush, but I'm affraid you've unravelledthe mystery. It is I, that distinguished scholar of the century :))) lol

There is a hadith to that effect. People speculate as to who that scholar is each century; it remains on e of those laylatu l'qadr and assalatul wusta type of things


2:33 pm    January 17, 2006

Rasta Gnawi message
I usually like to keep things on the hush hush, but I'm affraid you've unravelledthe mystery. It is I, that distinguished scholar of the century :))) lol

There is a hadith to that effect. People speculate as to who that scholar is each century; it remains on e of those laylatu l'qadr and assalatul wusta type of things


2:32 pm    January 17, 2006

Rasta Gnawi message
I usually like to keep things on the hush hush, but I'm affraid you've unravelledthe mystery. It is I, that distinguished scholar of the century :))) lol

There is a hadith to that effect. People speculate as to who that scholar is each century; it remains on e of those laylatu l'qadr and assalatul wusta type of things


12:54 pm    January 17, 2006

Adnane Ben. message
Good questions. And on another note, I've heard that somebody related that prophet Mohammed said that every hundred year or so, a scholar develops to sort of renew the Muslim Ijtihad. I wonder if this is true, and if so, have these people been identified throughout the history of Islam? I would be curious to know who is today's distinguished scholar..

12:11 pm    January 17, 2006

Rasta Gnawi message
I don't question their intentions, nor do I doubt their sincerity. I just feel that if you've known that year after year, the same incident happens at the same place doing the same hajj roukn, then maybe one needs to think more carefully. People in jamr get so emotional they truely believe that they are in fact stoning shaytan!..

The scholars of this great religion need to come up with a better way to perform hajj. Maybe have two hajj seasons 1 or two months apart. I mean, I still have serious doubts about the accuracy of this hijri calendar that we're using, why not adapt something else that actually fulfills the spirit of hajj. Maybe the nyyah that people should have must be explained. Why perform hajj anyway? True it's a rukn of Islam, but liman stata3a ilyhi sabilan. Why was there an exception made? What are we in fact trying to achieve? We are walking the trail of several prophets in remembrance of them, their path to Allah, and hopefully finding our own path to Allah; my own explication. Are there other that can be viable; not sure; the scholar ought to get back the Ijtihad that they have abandoned so long ago in favor of rigid doctrinal and folkloric rites. This nation has been paying the price since.


11:01 am    January 17, 2006

hudhud message
it's not absurd it's 100% true and i'll try to look up the daleel from hadith for you. anyone who is innocently killed in the middle of doing 3ibadah (praying or hajj for example) is promised jannah without hisaab just like a shaheed b/c they were yes facing some risks and hardship but they endured it liwajhillah.
of course, this doesn't mean it's a good thing or a happy thing that these stampedes take place! of course not. but Allah mach rayeh ydaya3 elajr dialhoum, innahou rahmanoun raheem. these hajjeej tried their best with a sincere intention and they will get a great reward for whatever hardships they face (thirst, heat, hunger, discomfort, and certainly if they get injured or killed in stampede or even if they just die a natural death during hajj for example).

as for whose fault it is, i didn't hear that about the reasons (truth be told i haven't watched much news lately been too busy) but allahou a3lam anaya 3ilmi 3ilmik, but i think they should definitely take more big steps to further improve the safety conditions and comfort of the hajjeej into consideration. may Allah have mercy on us all and grant us "hajj mabrour"


3:48 pm    January 14, 2006

Adnane Ben. message
I still have one, stainless steel, CASIO DATA BANK - 510, TELEMEMO 50, and if I'm not mistaken I think it's yours... still works!

2:34 pm    January 14, 2006

Rasta Gnawi message
plus it, I heard the stampede was caused by authorities trying to make way for some important figure.

authorities are busy preparing for the big shopping season after Eid. Anyone ever got those electronic watches where you can store telephone numbers?


10:54 am    January 13, 2006

Adnane Ben. message
Authorities should do this:

1. Allow a radius of 4 or 5 meters around the pillars where people stand to do their ritual. Nobody is allowed to enter this circle beyond capacity. Hence need for strong wall of staff monitoring in this fashion.

They have to leave another 4 meter-radius outter circle empty, or for passage in and out of the inner circle.

The rest (and there will be many) will be outside of the circle and will all have to accept that they will have to give Fidya.

The issue is how do the authorities monitor that nobody outside the 5 radius circle won't throw a stone.


7:18 am    January 13, 2006
" but remember that those who die en route to hajj or while performing the hajj are promised jannah without hisaab.. "

Most absurd.. never heard of it. In my opinion, you see people die at the same place every year, you see a large crowd acting savage, you get the hell out of the way. Is God going to reward for taking risks with your life like that. If you can't complete jamr then give charity as fidyah.


6:38 pm    January 12, 2006

Adnane Ben. message
all the peace. I just think people in hajj don't deserve unnecessary suffering under the hands and feet of other pilgrims, whether they're promised heaven or not. Yet who am I to criticize the facilities? a person who's never been there to judge fairly. Most pilgrims are first-timers and inexperienced in dealing with the crowd. Maybe the pilgrims themselves did their best to avoid this. The problem continues to occur each year though, and under similar I guess..

3:33 pm    January 12, 2006

hudhud message
but remember that those who die en route to hajj or while performing the hajj are promised jannah without hisaab..

as for design, i have yet to see what it looks like (i may be nicknamed "elhajjah" but i was just a baby back then, don't remember a thing ;)

maybe they should somehow monitor the flow of people taking turns to do the ramy aljamaraat so it doesn't get too crowded with people pushing and falling and getting hurt or stampeded?? although given the millions who come every year this would be an enormous logistical challenge..

the hotel collapses -- now that was also really scary.. i'd rather put up with a tent and a bottle of water for a few days...


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