In remembrance of the Mena tragedy
It is now three years since the tragedy that struck pilgrims in Mena on the 10th of Zi’l-Hijjah because of the criminal mismanagement of Hajj affairs by Saudi Arabia that led to the death of thousands of Guests of God, including over 500 Iranian men and women, but the memories of the wounds inflicted on the Ummah by the Wahhabi regime, remain fresh.
It is an irony that an event meant to foster a spirit of unity and brotherhood among Muslims has descended into an embarrassing spectacle of death and disunity.
“Is nothing sacred anymore?” This is the question being asked by conscientious Muslims all over the world. The Islamic world has a lot of questions. The death of several thousand people is not a small issue. Muslim countries should focus on efforts to coordinate measures for proper and orderly management of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, whose spirit has been destroyed by the Saudi clan, which has not yet apologized for its crimes.
In the words of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in his statement three years ago in the aftermath of the Mena tragedy: “Instead of blaming this and that, the Saudis should accept the responsibility and apologise to the Muslims and the victims’ families.”
The Saudi regime, which is completely under the control of the US and Israel, is in no mood to care for the unity of the Muslims, as is clear by its funding and arming of Takfiri terrorists to destabilize Muslims countries from Afghanistan to Nigeria, with Syria and Iraq being the two prime victims of the devilish policies of the Riyadh regime.
The Hajj pilgrimage is the most glorious of all acts of worship in Islam. There are many narrations in this regard from Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). The Prophet’s Immaculate Ahl al-Bayt have also emphasized the importance of the Hajj. For instance, the Prophet’s First Infallible Heir, Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (AS) has said: Do not neglect the pilgrimage to the House of your Lord; otherwise you will perish. The Prophet’s Noble Daughter Hazrat Fatema Zahra (peace upon her) has termed Hajj as a source of honour and strength of religion.
In view of these realities, the enemies of Islam and humanity are frightened as the prospects of Islamic solidarity which is on grand display during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. And this is the reason Global Arrogance and its client regimes are trying to destroy the sanctity of these rituals, but by the Will of God, they will not succeed.
It is an undeniable fact that the Aal-e Saud has no religious or historical right to be in control of Hijaz, the Land of Divine Revelation, where the holy cities of Mecca and Medina are situated. The Saudi clan from the Najd, which were desert brigands who occupied the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in 1925 by massacring pilgrims to the holy Ka’ba and the shrine of the Prophet of Islam, and then went on to desecrate and destroy the sacred sites, including the mausoleum of four of the 12 Infallible Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt, continue to create hurdles in the path of Hajj pilgrims. For instance, at the sacred cemetery of Jannat al-Baqie, which the heretical Wahhabi cult desecrated and destroyed, the devotees are prevented from properly performing the pilgrimage rites. The regime prevents Muslims from reciting supplications and surahs of the holy Qur’an at the Baqie Cemetery, especially at the dilapidated tombs of Imam Hasan Mojtaba, Imam Zain al-Abedin, Imam Mohammad Baqer, and Imam Ja’far Sadeq (peace upon them).
In view of these facts, world Muslims have been increasingly demanding the end of Saudi monopolization of the Hajj which they believe should be managed by an international body of Islamic scholars under supervision of the OIC. In the words of a Sunni Muslim scholar of Pakistan “There is a strong case for a more representative mechanism to manage the Hajj to give a sense of participation to Muslims around the world.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran is actively campaigning for an international Islamic body to oversee the management of the holy sites in Mecca and Medina during the Hajj. It has said it would pursue the issue in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Thus, worldwide, there is a strong case for a more representative mechanism to give a sense of participation to Muslims from around the world, irrespective of the sect to which they belong. Islam takes pride in being just more than a religion; but a global brotherhood bound by a unique sense of belonging to a common faith.
What can then be more appropriate than making sure that the management of Islam’s most important event is not monopolised by any regime, country or sect. Ask anyone who has been on a Hajj — whether Sunni or Shia — and they will have stories about poor crowd management, inadequate facilities, and police “high-handedness”.
All this is proof of the fact that Saudi Arabia is incapable of management of the Hajj pilgrimage. It is time for the Muslim World to wake up and press for setting of an International Islamic Body, for management of the Hajj.