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Author Topic: Swine flu fears could delay Hajj  (Read 1254 times)
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« on: May 18, 2009 05:20 AM »

Can't quite understand what they mean here about "delaying the pilgrimage"Huh? You can't exactly change the date now can one... Seems to me like the country Egypt wants to put a ban on letting their people go or maybe Saudi could put a ban on international visitors. I remember vaguely reading something about them doing that in the past like during the 1800s or something there was plague in constantine (istanbul) or something anyone remember?? But for real if swine flu continues to spread it's going to be crazy -- J.


Swine flu fears could delay Hajj

BBC News

Thousands of people pray around the Kaaba, during the Hajj
Millions of people attend the annual Hajj, due this year in November.

The Muslim religious authorities in Egypt have suggested delaying the annual pilgrimage to Mecca because of the spread of swine flu.

Egypt's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ali Jumua, has called for a religious edict to decide how long the pilgrimage rites of the Hajj could be postponed.

At least two million people took part in the last Hajj, which falls this year in November.

More than 7,500 cases of swine flu have been reported worldwide.

In an interview with BBC Arabic radio, Dr Ibrahim Negm, an advisor to the Grand Mufti, said Sheikh Ali Jumua supported a view already outlined by Mohammed Tantawi, the Grand Imam of the al-Azhar Mosque.

Pandemic alert

Mr Tantawi says that the pilgrimage rites could be postponed if the World Health Organisation declares a global pandemic, and raises its pandemic alert from five to the maximum six.

At that point, he says, Islamic researchers would meet to discuss a possible delay.

Doctors at the Mexican hospital housing a student with swine flu
A Malaysian student is in hospital in Kuala Lumpur suffering from swine flu

Mr Negm insisted however, that both the Grand Mufti and the Imam believed this was a technical issue, which should be dealt with by the ministries of health, environment and agriculture.

The Mufti of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdel Aziz Haddad, has urged Muslims to delay any pilgrimage to Mecca for the next two or three weeks.

He also advised the faithful to pray in the open air to avoid contracting, or spreading, the swine flu.

First case

As well as the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which all Muslims are required to make at least once if they have the means, the faithful can also make a lesser pilgrimage to Mecca, known as umra, at any time of the year.

No cases of swine flu have been reported in any Gulf or Arab countries. But pilgrims travel to Mecca from around the world, including countries where the swine flu virus has been confirmed.

The WHO says the number of confirmed swine flu cases has risen by more than 1,000 in the last 24 hours. More than 7,500 people have gone down with the flu, in 34 countries, and 65 people have died, mainly in Mexico, where the outbreak began.

Malaysia has confirmed its first case of swine flu - a student who arrived on a flight from the United States on Wednesday. The authorities are trying to trace the 199 passengers and crew from the flight, though they believe some of them may have travelled on to Indonesia.

Hero Member

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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009 06:13 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro

I read this article yesterday too and couldn't work out what they meant either.

Is there a distinction being made betweem lesser pilgrimage (Umrah) and greater pilgrimage (Hajj)  Huh?

Either way, with summer approaching and lots of people going, it's probably be best to take precautions (whatever they maybe!!)

PS If anyone is going to Umrah this summer, let us know how it went and what changes there are in Makkah and Madinah.

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]

Jr. Member

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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009 10:27 AM »

As Salaamu Alaikum,
reading this article something just didn't seem right to me and i'm truely not trying to be in disagreement with egypt's grand mufti and the imam of the al-azhar mosque (and may Allah guide me if i'm wrong) but I don't think that considering changing the date of a event that Allah command to be done at a specific time should ever be change by any human being under any situation (unless Allah ordains it to be changed).  it brings to my mind sura 9 ayat 37 in the translation of the Quran by yusuf ali: "the postponing (of the sacred month) is an addition to disbelief ..." and the hadith narrated by saud: the Prophet (saas) said" if you hear of a outbreak of plague in a land do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place."(bukhari, book #71, hadith #624).I don't know if the swine flu can be considered a plague at this time but I think the countries and the individuals who are affected should take the hadith into consideration on a personal level. surely whatever Allah decree will come to past and us trying to change what is commanded will not prevent it. (Allah Knows Best)


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