Thursday, April 2, 2020

How many times was Hajj cancelled in history?

“Under the current circumstances, as we are talking about the global pandemic, from which we have asked God to save us, the kingdom is keen to protect the health of Muslims and citizens,” Minister of Hajj and Umrah Muhammad Salih bin Taher Banten

Though Hajj has been cancelled several times over the centuries, since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's foundation in 1932 it has never missed a year, nor even during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1917-18 that killed millions of people worldwide.

But if Saudi Arabia cancels 2020's Hajj, it will be added to a list of almost 40 dramatic cancellations since the first in 629. Middle East Eye takes a look at some of the most striking cancellations in history:
865: Massacre on Arafat Mountain
During his conflict with the Abbasid Caliphate based in Baghdad, Ismail bin Yousef, known as Al-Safak, launched an attack on the holy Arafat Mountain overlooking Mecca in 865, massacring pilgrims there. The raid forced Hajj to be cancelled.

930: Qarmatian attack
In 930, Abu Taher al-Janabi, the chief of the Qarmatians heterodox sect based in Bahrain, launched an attack on Mecca.
Historical accounts say the Qarmatians killed 30,000 pilgrims in the holy city and dumped bodies in the sacred Zamzam well. They also looted the Grand Mosque and stole the Black Stone from its Kaaba, taking it to the island of Bahrain.
Hajj was then suspended for a decade until the Black Stone was returned to Mecca.
The Qarmatians were an Ismaili Shia sect who believed in an egalitarian society and considered pilgrimage a pagan ritual.

983: Abbasid and Fatimid Caliphates
Politics, too, has disrupted Hajj. In 983 political disputes between the rulers of two caliphates - the Abbasids of Iraq and Syria and the Fatimids of Egypt - got in the way of Muslims travelling to Mecca for pilgrimage. It would be eight years until Hajj was held again, in 991.

1831: Plague
Not only conflicts and massacres have cancelled Hajj. A plague from India hit Mecca in 1831 and killed three-quarters of the pilgrims there, who had endured weeks of travel through dangerous and barren lands to perform Hajj.

1837-1858: Series of epidemics
In a span of almost two decades, Hajj was halted three times, leaving pilgrims unable to head to Mecca for a total of seven years.
In 1837, another plague hit the holy city, putting things on hold until 1840.
Then in 1846 a bout of cholera hit Mecca, killing more than 15,000 people, and plagued its inhabitants until 1850. Outbreaks returned in 1865 and 1883.
In 1858, another global cholera pandemic arrived in the city, prompting Egyptian pilgrims to run away en masse to Egypt's Red Sea shores, where they were held in quarantine.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Haramain Sharifain to remain closed from Isha to Fajr

In a shocking turn of events on Thursday, the General Presidency announced that the Haramain Sharifain ( Masjid Al Haram in Makkah and Masjid Al Nabawi in Madinah) to remain closed after Isha Prayers till one hour before Fajr Prayers.

The following restrictions will apply to the Haramain effective today:

--No Prayers in the Mataaf

--No Zamzam Coolers in the Mosque

-- Mosques to close after Isha Salah and re-open 1 hour before Fajr Salah

-- No Prayers will be allowed in the courtyards, only inside the Mosques

-- No sleeping, itikaf, eating and drinking allowed

--People wearing Ihram will not be allowed to enter the Grand Mosque

All these restrictions will remain effective until the Umrah Suspension is valid

Monday, March 2, 2020

Umrah suspended until Further Notice, Haramain gears up Precautionary Measures

The Muslim Ummah woke to a shock on Thursday when they learned that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that all issued Umrah Visas were suspended and 106,000 pilgrims who had arrived to perform Umrah were sent back.

This measure was taken according to sources "urgently in 10 minutes" after the news of new cases of the "Novel Coronavirus" emerged in the Gulf countries and Iran.

Saudi Arabia has said that the suspension on Umrah Visas is temporary and the 'Umrah Ban' will be lifted once the threat of the virus spreading in the Kingdom will decrease.

Authorities immediately set up temperature testing facilities at the gates of the Mosques to screen out potential virus carriers.

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that it had confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus. The Patient was kept in islolation on Sunday whereas they confirmed positive on Monday. The victim had traveled to the Kingdom from Iran via Bahrain according to the Saudi Press Agency

On Sunday, the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques under the directions of Sheikh Abdul Rehman Al Sudais inaugurated some precautionary measures to combat the Coronavirus. A device that pumps spray to sterilize the surfaces and floors were introduced, as well as carpet washing, and sterilizers for hands distributed on the entrances of the Mosque. The number of major cleaning times have increased to 6 a day, in addition to emergency washings if needed.

Masks were also distributed to pilgrims and staff members as a part of the precautionary measures

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

President Sheikh Sudais receives good wishes from Governor, Grand Mufti and Scholars

The President of the Haramain, Sheikh Abdul Rehman Al Sudais met with the Governor of Makkah His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud on Tuesday who congratulated him on his reappointment as President of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.

Sheikh Abdul Rehman Al Sudais also received greetings and prayers from His Excellency The Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Ale Shaikh,

Monday, February 10, 2020

Sheikh Sudais Re-Appointed as the President of the Haramain

Sheikh Abdul Rehman Al Sudais was re-appointed as President of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Holy Mosques on Monday after his 4 year term expired at Sunday Midnight.

His term has been renewed for a further 4 years as per the royal decree issued by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Sheikh Sudais was appointed as President on 8 May 2012 by the Late King Abdullah and his term was renewed by King Salman in 2016 upon its expiration.

Sheikh Sudais was later greeted by Imams of Masjid Al Haram who congratulated him on his reappointment.

Pictures obtained by Haramain Sharifain show the presence of Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al Juhany, Sheikh Bandar Baleelah, Sheikh Yasir Al Dossary, Sheikh Maher Al Muaiqly and Sheikh Faisal Gazzawi

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Sheikh Yasir Al Dossary

Sheikh Dr. Yasir bin Rashid bin Hussein Al-Wadani Al-Dossary is one of the famous reciters in the Islamic world, and the Imam of the Masjid Al Haram, Makkah

Sheikh Yasir Al-Dossary was born in Al-Kharj province in 1980 AD and is married with two daughters and two sons.
He received a bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Sharia at Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University after 7 years he studied a master's degree in comparative jurisprudence from the Higher Judicial Institute at the same university, and then obtained a doctorate in the Department of Comparative Fiqh from the higher institute of the Judiciary. He worked as the Secretary General of the Prince Sultan Association for the memorization of the Quran in air defense.

Sheikh Yasir al-Dossary was ranked among the most influential figures in society, according to the magazine Insan.

He is currently a member of the teaching staff at King Saud University with the rank of Associate Professor, and is the founder of Ayat Quranic Media Group with his colleague Sheikh Nasir Al Qatami. He has memberships in several associations such as: Saudi Fiqh Scientific Society, Saudi Scientific Society for the Quran and its Sciences, and the Saudi society for Dawah Studies and is also a member of the Committee of Europe in the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, and a member of the Al Birr Society in Al-Kharj.

Sheikh Yasir Al-Dosarry has been Imam in many mosques, including Abdullah Al-Khulaifi Mosque, Al-Kawthar Mosque, Imam Abdullah bin Saud Mosque, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz mosque, then came his appointment to the Fahad Al-Dakheel Mosque in Riyadh in 1426 where he led till his appointment as Imam in Masjid Al Haram in 1441.

He was also assigned to lead in Masjid Al Haram in the month of Ramadan 1436 (2015 AD)  and continued until 1440.

First Salah led by Sheikh Yasir as guest Imam of Masjid Al Haram in Ramadan in 1436.

First Salah led by Sheikh Yasir as permanent Imam of Masjid Al Haram in 1441.

Last Edited: 19 October 2019

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Imams and Khateebs appointed in the Haramain by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman approved a number of appointments of  Imams and Khateebs in the Haramain.

Among those who were appointed in Masjid Al Haram are:

1- Sheikh Yasir Al Dossary, who has been leading Taraweeh during Ramadan in Masjid Al Haram was appointed as a permanent Imam.

2- Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al Juhany, who has been an Imam for 10 years was appointed as Khateeb.

3- Sheikh Bandar Baleelah, who has been Imam for 5 years was appointed as Khateeb.

Among those who were appointed in Masjid Al Nabawi are:

1- Sheikh Ahmed Talib Hameed, who was already an Imam of Masjid Al Nabawi was appointed as Khateeb.

2- Sheikh Ahmed Hudaify, guest Imam for Taraweeh was appointed as permanent Imam

3- Sheikh Khalid Muhanna, guest Imam for Taraweeh was appointed as permanent Imam