Hajj attendance continues to rise among Maldivians: Islamic Ministry

A growing number of Maldivians are showing interest in taking part in the annual Hajj pilgrimage that kicked off yesterday, meaning both big business and a few logistical headaches for the private groups selected to oversee the holy visit to Saudi Arabia, says the Islamic Ministry.

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Mohamed Didi, told Minivan News that the 1402 pilgrims travelling from the Maldives to Mecca in Saudi Arabia represents a year-on-year growth of local people present during the fifth pillar of Islam – a key requirement of the national faith.

A total of 1142 pilgrims travelled from the Maldives last year for the Hajj, with Saudi officials estimating that about 2.5 million participants were in attendance overall during the 2009 pilgrimage.

Didi says that after originally obtaining a quota for 1000 Maldivians to travel out to Mecca this year, the Islamic Ministry has since been granted an additional 500 places at the last minute after requests to Saudi Arabian authorities to help meet what he says has been increasingly strong interest in attending the event.

However, the last minute nature of this extension has caused some challenges for organisers, according to the ministry. Considering the need for the eight private groups entrusted with arranging pilgrimages from the Maldives to secure transport, accommodation and other travel services, the Permanent Secretary claims that not all this quota has been filled this year due to insufficient planning time.

“Normally a group will rent an apartment [for the pilgrimage] two to three months ahead of Hajj,” added Didi. “This creates an extra burden [for organisers]”.

Alongside the private groups and business that are selected to organise and oversee the Hajj pilgrimage, the government is itself allocated 10 spaces to select participants from across the civil and public service sector to travel to Mecca. Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari is leading the Maldives’ delegation at present.

The Hajj, as one of the five pillars of Islam, is viewed as key a religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out by all able-bodied followers at least once in their lifetime, should they be able to afford the trip. According to Didi, the cost per person for taking part in this year’s pilgrimage is thought to be about Rf 65,000 (US $5000).

For those not able to make their way to Mecca this year though, Didi says that the country will be spending the day fasting and praying ahead of Eid Al Adha beginning tomorrow, an event that will see a number of roads around the capital being closed to accommodate worshippers.

Half of the ground floor of the Islamic Centre by Republic Square in Male’ will also be set aside exclusively for women during prayers, the Ministry added.


22 thoughts on “Hajj attendance continues to rise among Maldivians: Islamic Ministry”

  1. A Muslim has to perform Hajj once in a life time and only if he/she is financially and health-wise able.

    Prophet Mohamed performed Hajj once in his lifetime and guess what? - he lived his life in Mecca and Medina.

    Here are some of the reasons why Maldivian attend Hajj.

    1. To enjoy the trip with friends and do shopping.
    2. To buys goods such as gold, fabric and other goods and make a profit for next year.
    3. To show off as a holy/noble person.
    4. To repent and go to heaven.
    5. To beg and secure finance for next year.

    Among those Maldivians who attend Hajj you will find those with huge debts, those who can't even afford basic needs of life such as housing, those who do not support their ex-wives and children, those who engage in all the immoral activities and attend Hajj to clear off their guilt.

    Precisely, it is a place where you find a lot of hypocrites.

  2. Very reason behind rise of extremism! UK government should ban tourists from visiting Maldives to end this madness!

  3. Seriously most commentators on this site must dwell in the enchanted lands of Cynicsville.

    Just to keep the record straight

    630 AD : Mecca was conquered.

    631 AD : Prophet led an expedition against the Byzantines 'Battle of Tabouk'

    632 AD : In March Leaves from Medina for the farewell pilgrimage

    632 AD : In June Prophet Passed away.

    I could be wrong but if any of you had been paying any attention in Islam class you would have realized with your higher than normal IQ that the prophet barely had time for Hajj.

    But then the mentally 'Evolved' folk of cynicsville don't believe non of that history right.

  4. Maldivian Adamantinoma, Mohamed performed many hajs. You see, the haj was a fertility ritual of the Arabians for centuries before Mohamed (just ponder on the shape of the Black Stone for a clue. His family were the keepers of the Kaaba temple and he would have performed the haj just about every year before he departed for Medina.

  5. @wine & porker.

    You should have done more homework before commenting on any Islamic event.

    Pagan Arabs never did perform Hajj specially as it is prescribed in Islam.
    Tribes from all around the Arabian Peninsula would converge on Mecca. But their main ritual involved circumventing the Kaaba and doing business.

    There is a different even between Hajj and Umra. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was known to regularly perform the Umrah, even before he began receiving revelations. But he performed Hajj only once.

  6. Saudi's have the biggest tourist attraction in the world. And they dont really have to treat the tourists at all.

    Saudi's can treat their tourists like dogs. And they do. Those of you who have gone to Hajj/Umra will have had first hand experience of how a dog is being managed. And I am not talking about pets, I am referring to those stray dogs in some cities.

    Sadly, a part of this culture is rubbed on to Maldivians. Whilst Saudi's can survive with the tourism and blackgold, we dont have anything to offer, other than hospitality and white beaches.

  7. Are we on the wrong side of history? In an age, globalization is making everything so small; the information flow is so fast, every bit of science, every bit of thoughts, and every event that takes place reaches us in a second scale. We see there is no divine power to hit and shoot at his will, but rather accidental and the natural laws are the reasons behind everything we see, earthquakes, Tsunamis, hunger, famine flood, disease are nature’s way of balancing and maintaining the system we live in. When any natural calamity occurs it is not due to someone’s belief, but rather the time and place and the cause for it to happen. It is clear all human being are part of the nature, and we are all to be doomed no matter what we believe and do. It is time, our genes and a place we live determines our fate. If we are not on the right side of the history, than we are destroying our self it’s like suicidal. Today is the age for human rights, freedom of thoughts, and live by golden rule “treat others the way you want to be treated “for everyone to live his life the way he wants to till his end comes.

  8. @hameed
    as it is described in islam. but they did perform pagan worship inside and around the Kaabaa. you can't change that now can you? kaabaa had idols inside it. it had idols in it for centuries. and this pagan worship was ritualistically similar to whats done now by maldivians in white bathrobes.

  9. @ibrahim

    You lost soul or what?

    Kaabaa was first built by Adam (PBUH) for the worship of Allah. Ibraheem (PBUH)along with his first born son Ismaeel, re-built it and raised it on the same foundation built by Adam buried for centuries, at the command of Allah.

    Ibraheem was directed to the site of Kaabaa by Allah. Ismaeel and Ishaac (PBUT) were brothers.

    Muhammad (SAW) is descended from the brethren of Ishaac. The brethren of Ishaac could only be Ismaeel and his descendants. Ishaac's (PBUH) own descendants were the Children of Israel.

    As time went on Kaabaa was desecrated by idols and people started worshipping them!

    Any idol worship traced to it's origins, you would find that it stemmed from the true religion of God.

    The only problem is that people always were tempted by the Iblees (may he be damned) to believe that there should be idols or EQUALS of God for proper worship. (sons, daughters, objects or whatever)

    That's why God sent Muhammad (SAW), the comforter, "a prophet like Moosa" from among the brethren of the Children of Israel - thus ending the proud lineage of the completely lost Children of Israel, by then.

    Easa (PBUH) was the last prophet of the Children of Israel, but his lineage was broken from that of the Children of Israel by a mircale of God. He was born without a Jewish or Israelite father! Why? Because God had promised that the last prophet would be from "among" the brethren of Moses. Not from Moosa's own family.

    So that family had to end and it ended when Jesus was sent to the Lost sheep of Israel, but they tried to kill him, bacause they were so LOST!

    Easa ended it, paving the way for a prophet from among Mosa's brethren - the decendants of Ismaeel - It's an undeniable fact that Muhammad and all Arabs are descendants of Ismaeel!

    Moosa was an Israelite. Jesus was also an Israelite, so Jesus was from Moosa's own family, not from among his brethren - Ismaeel. So, "from among his brethren" would only be true if the Prophet decended from Ismaeel only.

    That's how Muhamamd (SAW) was sent as a blessing to mankind. That's why the idols at Kaabaa were demolished - to return people to the true Faith and that was God's decree from the very beginning.

    Now do you see why people start worshiping idols and objects?

    Jesus (PBUH) was ONLY sent to the LOST sheep (Children) of Israel, whereas, Muhamamd was sent as a blessing to whole humanity!

    Quran 42:11 "There is nothing like Him"

    When God says there is "nothing like Him" that inlcuded Jesus also.

  10. @ Maldivian Adamantinoma
    'correction : the prophet barely had time for ‘more than one’ Hajj.'
    a man cannot perform Hajj many times. it is only for once in life.
    @ tt
    'Hajj – one of the biggest tourism events in the world.'
    it is not tourism. Aee alhukameh. rome ga christianun aharaku ehfaharu kuranee tourism.
    @ Fake
    bayeh meehun ekahala kameh kohafaane. gina meehun dhaanee alhukan kuran.

    eemaan vegen thibi muslimunnah noonee mikahala kanthakeh nuvaane .

  11. we are muslim, be proud of that. but today what we seen in our our community is not acceptable. my dears come out from the darkness and be aware of those things.

    Is we can say Maldives is 100% muslim? about haju what some are telling is very bad things. my dears why you dont afraid of allah. he is more merciful. we dont know what will happen tomorrow.

  12. @ibrahim

    "what a lovely story. where did you get it?"

    That's like asking me how you came to this world?

    Well! It's too late to construct your own family tree now. Just believe that you are your parents' product, and they were your grandparents' product!

    Now don't tell me that you are a story that is yet to be written or still being written!

    If you were a story that was written by a single author or pen, it won't be hard to trace your origins, especially if you know exactly whose words were being written, BUT, yes, if too many pens from here and there, came to toss their ink on your piece of paper, then, it would be impossible to trace your origins.

    Everyone would claim that you were his ink, while the paper would claim she got broke with too much poking and moisture, so she had to discard and change sheets!

    You might as well call it a distorted history book, with revised editions, standard and sub-standard versions that has the ink of every tom dick and harry, especially that of dick's, who takes the shape of a red head with two horns!

    Out of confusion, if they cant decide a name for you, your are simply "The Book"

    Lovely, isn't it?

  13. @heck
    you gave birth to a book? how did you do it? that's where that story came from? did it hurt?

  14. @heck
    Don't be silent. Please write more paragraphs from your book here. Love to read more stories from your book.

  15. @ibrahim
    I can understand.

    Don't worry I can wait - I love your strategy.

    But I hope you will be able to give me and 'intelligent answer' during your lifetime! Keke!

  16. @heck. This is what we call a troll. He is fishing for a reaction.. Do not give him the pleasure. If he wants the boiling water and fire, let him be.


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