Statement by the Secretariat of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy regarding the decision to reduce the number of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims when constructing and expanding new facilities in the Masjid al-Haram to accommodate a larger number

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and praise and peace be upon the Master of Messengers, our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions, and those who followed him with goodness until the Day of Judgment.

The government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud -may Allah be pleased with him- in an effort to do its utmost to serve Hajj pilgrims, Umrah pilgrims, those who walk around, stand in it, and those who bow and prostrate, is currently reconstructing the buildings of Masjid al-Haram, enlarging it and developing it by adding facilities and installations with the aim of facilitating the pilgrimage of Hajjis to Masjid al-Haram to perform their rituals with ease and convenience. Due to the ongoing construction and building works, the area of the circuit and the capacity of the courtyard could no longer accommodate the usual number of worships, and out of concern for the interest of Hajj pilgrims and Umrah pilgrims, and to protect them from any danger they may face, the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques issued the decision to reduce the number of pilgrims coming from outside and inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In order to develop these facilities in the Grand Mosque of Makkah to enable it to accommodate double the number of people in the future, in addition to facilitating for the weak, infirm, elderly and other people with special needs, by allocating facilities that will be suitable for them and removing the obstacles that hindered their performance of circumambulation, kneeling, prostration, and entering and exiting the Grand Mosque of Makkah

The Secretariat of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, which supports this decision and wishes it success, justifies its concern for the safety of Hajj pilgrims and Umrah pilgrims, calls upon Muslims worldwide to adhere to and support it this decision. In particular, he calls upon the authorities concerned with the affairs of pilgrims, the media, mosque preachers and preachers of Almighty Allah throughout the world to work to enlighten Muslims and remind them of the importance of this decision for the safety of the guests of the Merciful, their own physical safety and the preservation of their souls.

Allah Almighty has praised in His Noble Book those who go without in favor of others, even if they are in need themselves. So those Muslims who are able to go without – a year or two – in order to allow for the arrival of double the number of pilgrims in the coming decades, which will continue for the next decades, and prepare for this Islamic brotherly duty is a responsibility shared by all Muslims. This is what is required of those who come to Hajj every year, or who have already performed Hajj several times, to make way for others who have not been able to perform their obligatory duty until now. Such altruism and what it generates in terms of the organisation and arrangement of Hajj institutions and campaigns will not, by the will of Allah Almighty, affect those who come to perform their obligation, which is required only once in a lifetime.

The fact is that the Ummah is looking forward to the giant development projects that are being implemented in the facilities of the Grand Mosque of Makkah -in the courtyard, the circuit and the rest of the halls- which will eliminate, with Allah’s will, the dangers that many specialists in the science of crowd and human flow management fear, After things become simple and easy in the Holy Places during Hajj, a large number is pushed to the Great Mosque of Makkah, which may not be able to gather to perform circumambulation and prayers, and there is a danger for them.

These development facilities will serve the interests of the guests of the House of Allah, which the Ummah has entrusted to the Saudi government before and now. Our Almighty Lord said: « The mosques of Allah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and establish prayer and give zakah and do not fear except Allah, for it is expected that those will be of the [rightly] guided.» At-Tawba -18

Prof. Ahmed Khaled Babeker

Secretary of IIFA

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