Osun Sets Record As First Nigerian Pilgrims To Arrive Makkah For Year 2013 HAJJ
The 505 Muslim pilgrims from the state of Osun; Sunday made the first Nigerian pilgrims to arrive the holy city of Mekka, Saudi Arabia for the 2013 hajj exercise.
The pilgrims who left the city of Madeenah last Saturday concluded the first major rite-Umrah at midnight. They were
later checked into their hotels after the Umrah rites.
Speaking on the feat the Ameerul Hajj, Alhaj Dhikrullah Hassan said the unprecedented development is borne out of strict compliance of the Government of Osun to stipulated rules of the Saudi authority on Hajj operations. Ustadh Dhijrullah explained that “two states Borno and the state of Osun were the first states that took the first flights for the 2013 operations. They took off from the north and we moved from Lagos. However, our success started coming at the point of our arrival in Madeenah straight from Ikeja. Last two years we arrived in Jeddah. Alhamdulillah that we saved our pilgrims from the rigours of the long trip from Jeddah to Madeenah by road.
“However, the Saudi Arabia government believes that we have precedence; because you would recall that we even got formal commendation from them since 2011. That is one of the reasons why we got the opportunity to move to Makka before any Nigerian contingent”, explained the Ameer.
According to him, the pilgrims enjoyed a more conducive atmosphere carrying out the circumbulations of Tawaf and Sa’yi- which are compulsory aspects of the Umrah. The Umrah is the first major act of the rites to be done in Makkah before the major hajj rites observed within five days.
“To many of them, they would think that the atmosphere of tawaf and Sa’yi is usually that free as they had it. But they have only enjoyed the fact Allah has continued to inspire the Government of Osun under Aregbesola, that he did the right things regarding the hajj operations.
“Another advantage here is that our pilgrims will for the first time, be the first to Nigeria by the 18th of October. And that is saying our hajj experience will be done within a record period of one month; just one month.
By the official Saudi calendar for the 2013 hajj exercise, all rites of the pilgrimage would be concluded by the 14th of October. The first batch of the Osun pilgrims is scheduled to return to Nigeria four days later; while their second batch counterparts- 354 pilgrims are scheduled to return to Nigeria on the 20th October, 2013.
Meanwhile, the second batch; who are still in Madeenah will leave Madeenah for Mekkah on Wednesday.