All Muslims, despite of their worldly stature, colour or creed are equal when performing the Hajj, we all dress in a state of Ihram to signify our equality. However the reality is fast becoming that if you’re a ‘Paki’ chances are you’re not quite equal enough to stay in the 7 star raffles hotel.
I voiced my outrage to the Sauds commercialisation of the Haram Sharif in an earlier blog post. While many have starting to poke fun at our most holiest site (thanks again Sauds) by saying it’s ‘turning into Las Vegas’
Now I’m all for progress, but i’m not in favour of a crass, gaudy, bling approach when Mecca is concerned.
In terms of pure economics, the Sauds have a product (Mecca) that suffers from “demand elasticity”. Simply meaning at any time of they year other than Hajj & Eid, people make the Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage) which doesn’t attract the numbers that the Hajj does. When Hajj comes round there’s several million people in Mecca.
So how do we cater for the extra numbers?
Increase price during busy periods.
The Sauds will destroy the buildings of any heritage around the Haram Sharif (it’s a bid’ah old chap, you know how these paki’s will start praying towards buildings the Prophet or Sahaba’s stayed in) and replace it with, your favourite hotel of choice. Obviously the Sauds did their homework and realised that when Muslims were making Tawaf around the Ka’aba they’d like to look up and know the what time it is.
Before the Sauds struck Oil, the greatest income they had was from the trade that Muslims would bring doing the Hajj. Perhaps they know that Oil is a finite resource, so it’s time to exploit a new resource.
Dumb muslims…..the best & most plentiful resource on the planet.
Because while some are lording it up in luxury (see picture above) and are having lavish meals laid on for them by their tour operators whilst in the tented city of Mina, many muslims are scrambling through the bins to eat what you have just thrown away. This is not a singular episode, I have had it recanted to me by so many people.
The locals just shrug and say “Miskeen” like that draws a blanket over matters. Perhaps if we understood where all your Kabsa & Mandi was coming from we’d think again.
Is this crass commercialisation killing the true meaning of the Hajj? I honestly wonder what all the Prophets who have stood on that hallowed ground would make of it all.
I’ve always told the returning Hujjaj that when I go to Mecca, I’m going with a sleeping bag and a rucksack and I’ll sleep under the stars, because for me, all these frivolous extras seem to be taking away from what the real, true meaning of Hajj is.
My family are at the Hajj this year, and if yours are, then I pray that Allah accepts their Hajj and their Duah’s and returns them safely to us all.
I’ll also take this (early) opportunity to wish you all Eid Mubarak.
Taqabbal Allahu Minna Wa Minkum