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Moslem Pilgrims Drilled On Hadj Rules 

By Chris Mbunwe & Neville Mbong Akanven*

Moslems in the Northwest Region have been sensitised ahead of their Hadj trip to Mecca, Saudi Arabia this year, dubbed 2010 edition of "HADJ".

Potential Muslim pilgrims listening to lectures

At a one-day seminar at MINEPA conference hall Bamenda, July 15, organised by the National Hadj Committee from Yaounde, various personalities from the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation told Imams, Ulemas and potential pilgrims, that their mission was to educate them on conditions  for participation  in  Hadj 2010. It was also to create a platform for discussion among stakeholders and reflect on recommendations and requirements of the different sessions of the National Hadj Commission in 2010. 

Participants were also drilled on new specifications and arrangements related to the organisation of the Hadj 2010, discipline, minimal hygiene and sanitation, role and obligations of the Guide vis-va-vie a pilgrim, role of Islamic associations for a pilgrim and the relationship between the Guide and the National Hadj Commission and other Saudi structures in areas of transportation, lodging, house keepers amongst others.

Northwest Governor, Abakar Ahamat, said the importance of such a sensitisation workshop ahead of the event is vital because, most people spend huge sums of money for this holy trip, in total ignorance of the procedures and rites. "It is timely also because it comes at a time when the trip fees are out of expectation and it will be, religiously speaking, unholy to keep or to abandon the pilgrims in ignorance of the rules." Abakar averred.

The governor cautioned that since pilgrimage is an act of devotion and of faith requiring huge fees and because it concerns a trip within a foreign country which has its own prescriptions and habits, above all an event that gathers more than 3 million people  on the same spot, pilgrimage should be accomplished according to some standards and rites.

Potential pilgrims were informed that, in accordance with the recommendations from the National Hadj Committee, the 2010 fare  stands at FCFA 1,974,500 covering flight, lodging at Mecca and Medina and other Saudi Arabian Services.

Every year, Cameroon pilgrims join pilgrims the world over to undertake the pilgrimage to the Holy Lands of Islam. The religious meeting, bringing together more than three million pilgrims, requires that both the government of Saudi Arabia and the governments of the countries of origin of the Muslim faithful take special measures on lodging, transportation and security.

*(Polytechnic Journalism Student on Internship)

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