…Saudi releases statistics of pilgrims
By Ishola Balogun, Saudi Arabia
The new hujjaj and entire Muslims have been enjoined never to grandstand but to always fear Allah and be steadfast in obedience to His commandments.
Shaykh Dr. Saleh bn Abdullah bn Humay, one of the Imams of the Grand Mosque, Kaaba, who led the Jumat prayer yesterday gave the charge during his Jumat sermon yesterday.
About 2.3million gathered at the Kaaba, Makkah, for the first Jumat prayer after the completion of hajj rites.
The Imam said success lies in repentance and avoidance of all that Allah forbids in total submission to His Will.
Dr. Saleh bn Humayd advised Muslims not to forget that sooner than later, what has been destined for them(death) would come to them and they would account for all their deeds in this world, and they would be rewarded accordingly.
He congratulated the pilgrims for a successful pilgrimage, praying Allah to accept all their Hajj rites and sacrifices. “Allah is not concerned with and or about any outward show or physical appearance of any of His servants, but the All Knowing is after his intentions.
Only good intentions earned Allah’s rewards for and acceptance of good deeds. Remember the story of a woman of free virtue who gave water to a thirsty dying dog, or the man who cut off a tree branch to ease passage and or the three persons blocked in cave were forgiven and provided an exit, because of their sincere intentions, but not just because of the acts of kindness themselves, as not all good acts of kindness are rewarded by Allah, if their intentions were laced with grandstanding and intent to curry some worldly favours from mortals,´´ adding that the foundation of religion and the teachings of all Prophets of Allah are premised on good intentions.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Authorities have said a total of 2,371,675 pilgrims performed the just concluded 2018 hajj. Out of the figure, male pilgrims stood at 1,327,127 while female pilgrims were 1,044,548
The statistics also show that Asia non-Arabs top the list with highest number of pilgrims numbering 1,049,496.
The number of Africa non-Arabs was put at 166,083.
It was also gathered that out of the total number of pilgrims 1,656,936 came by air, 16,163 came by sea while 85,623 came by road.
As hajj exercise winds down, arrangements for airlifts of pilgrims back to thier various countries are ongoing. The Nigerian contigent are already eager return home. The National Hajj Commission, NAHCON however said it would soon commence airlifting of pilgims back to Nigeria.