13 January, 2006

345 Die at Haj

7 Days Reporting

Let me start out by saying I want to be sensitive, first of all, to believers in the faith and, secondly, to those who suffer personal loss from this tragedy. But doesn't this sort of accident point to the hypocracy in religion? People go to perform a very significant act of faith and devotion yet they are not protected by the very God they were in the process of honoring, from what is obviously the kind of tragedy whose liklihood can be attributed to the science of odds and probablility. I'm struck by the same thought when I hear of a bus load of Hindu pilgrims, for example, plunging into a mountain ravine as they make their way up some narrow, winding mountain pass to a great temple fest. Isn't there a great amount of hypocrocy in this?


Tim Newman said...

Sorry to be a pedant, but the word hypocrisy gets misused all over the place these days, and it bugs me. What you are describing is not hypocrisy in religion, it is something else which I can't define in a single word right now. Irony perhaps?

BaptizedLucifer said...

BD - if its hypocrisy, its definitely of people. the hotel (i think) which broke... that was a human mishap. I blame the government for it too, because, its job to make sure such rickety buildings a)broken down b) strangthened up. Maintenance records anyone?

At Hajj a lotta people go WILD, thats THEIR fault. Instead of being their humblest they are their most animal. Pushing, pulling, walking over people... it can get really disgusting. That is not what is required of them by God. It's what they opt to do.

Free will?

God's given people a brain, it's hi time they started using it. And some ethics too.

Hmm ur "argument" more or less is going towards: there is no God. Isn't it?

Tim Newman said...

Hmm ur "argument" more or less is going towards: there is no God.

I read it more as:

"If there is a God, travelling in order to throw rocks at a pillar in Saudi Arabia seems at best to be taken with indifference by God, and may possibly serve only to anger him."

It's certainly an argument that a lot of people could subscribe to.

secretdubai said...

It's a tragic human accident.

But these accidents are too frequent at the Hajj, and the Saudi authorities need to resolve the issue. I know they set a limit on numbers, but it's clearly not enough.

In Mohammed's day, the number of Muslims would have been a lot less (world population was tiny by comparison to today). He probably never conceived of so many people existing, let alone trying to descend on Mecca at the same time each year.

If he had, perhaps the significance of Umrah would have been upgraded to the significance of Hajj, so that it wouldn't matter when a Muslim made the pilgrimage, spreading out the visitors over the whole year.

Anonymous said...

Hundreds died due to Soccer hooliganism, search for Disco Fire death on google and we see umpteen cases and numbers, over 120,000 beach side residents vanished during tsunami.

But we still love Soccer, going to Discotheque, and would love to have Marina/beach house. Is there any hypocrisy/irony in this???

We won't call for ban on these things. Its more control & measures that should be put in place. Same thing goes for Haj.

To some it may sound foolish why people go to Haj to perform mere rituals and throwing stones, but then to many others jumping up and down and moving bellies in Pubs is similarly vain things to do in life.

The World is not the pond that we live in. Its full of different people with different taste and choices. Many may not have seen any Sport match or Pubs. Or fancy having fast cars and high residence.

For them taking a journey to God's House is much more pleasurable than all the above.

The Prophet has forseen the hardship of this journey and has thus put a merit on the loss in this way. My Family is currently doing Haj, and the news did troubled, but I console myself with this merit.

Death is certain, its the "For What" that we can choose most of the time.

flamin said...

BD, you're destined to die. God isn't a monster because he gives u Death. whether it happened in a bus or while in the act of prayer...doesn't really matter. it does not mean you should stop worshipping or praying because God won't protect u. it only goes out to show u how unpredictable life is.

flamin said...


umrah is different from Hajj. umrah is the short visit you can make anytime of the year...it can last for a few hours to a few days or whatever u choose but there is a specific time for Hajj (the last month of islamic calendar) and it has nothing to do with Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) being able to 'foresee' the growth of islam. we are talking about two different concepts. Hajj is one of the pillars of islam and happens once a year. also, the rituals of Hajj are not the same as Umrah.

Anonymous said...


From your post it appears that you believe that the rules of the Hajj are the invention of Mohammed. Of course, Moslems believe that Mohammed was merely the vessel of Allah's words, and that as a man he had no power to alter Allah's words, only to transcribe them.

Maybe it could be said that Allah failed to foresee either (a) the drastic growth in the world's population of Moslems in the last 100 years or (b) the increased ease with which people can travel to Makkah to make the Hajj in modern times. But those thoughts would cast doubt on His Omnipotence.

secretdubai said...

I do understand they are different. I just think it is unfortunate, given today's vast population of muslims, that the Hajj can only be performed at one time of year. I realise why it is held there, because of the calendar, it's just awkward given the current problems faced by Hajj pilgrims. There is obviously nothing that can be done about it, but pointing that out doesn't alleviate the situation.

I once read that part of the crowding problem is caused by local Saudis turning up, who of course aren't pre-accounted for like foreigners (to whom a limited number of visas are given). If this is so, then regrettably, maybe Saudis should also have to apply for Hajj visas. They may dislike this, but anything that saves lives is surely the appropriate way.

BuJ said...

Sad that people who post this forget perhaps that 345 people die on the UAE roads each week or so. Where as the Hajj is an annual event.

This doesn't mean that people will stop coming to the UAE, or stop driving.

Tim Newman said...

Sad that people who post this forget perhaps that 345 people die on the UAE roads each week or so.

18,000 people a year? Erm, are you sure about this?

Jassim said...

2 die while on Haj is not a trajedy but is one of the greatest deaths a muslim can have. A non muslim couldnt even begin to understand this.

But that doesnt let the Saudies of the hook for poor management and organisation.

Anonymous said...

Honestly what we lack in the ARAB world is ORDER!!! It is as simple as that... GOD taught us order and his religion is nothing BUT ORDER!!!

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