British Muslims celebrate a successful Haj

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MAKKAH — Over 25,000 British Muslims performed Haj this year an increase to last year’s numbers after Haj quotas were lifted.

The Council of British Hajjis (CBHUK) a national charity deployed a team to extend ground support to British pilgrims working with its partners at this year's Haj.

Chief Executive Officer of CBHUK Rashid Mogradia said: "On behalf of the British Muslim community I extend my thanks and appreciation to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman for services offered to pilgrims. I wish all pilgrims Haj Mabroor — an accepted Haj.”

“This Haj season was a rather challenging year as we saw temperatures rise to well over 45 degrees, which affected many pilgrims including seasoned Hajis during the days of Haj. We dealt with locating lost pilgrims and signposting those who needed medical assistance to the Saudi clinics and our partners. In other cases our volunteers assisted the elderly to perform the Haj rites.

“Our Haj health and safety awareness and education in the British camps offered solace to pilgrims with a Hajj information leaflet being distributed for the first time,” he added.

i-Pilgrim one of the sponsors of the leaflets said: "It is assuring to know that pilgrims appreciated the efforts of CBHUK. We will be working with them to develop a unique Haj App which should be ready for the upcoming Haj & Umrah Season."

The British Consul General Barrie Peach deployed a consular team from Jeddah who visited the British camps offering consular support to those who needed as needed.

Kabir Rahman, deputy british consul, and his team spoke to British pilgrims and Haj organizers to gain valuable feedback from Haj. Both CBHUK and the consular team took a walk around the Mina camps to assess needs of British pilgrims with a view to developing services offered to British nationals performing Haj in the future.

Official British government medical support to British Hajis ended in 2010 and focuses now on consular support with a "preventative rather than cure" approach. Welfare and Medical support is provided by the UK voluntary sector.

Asad Aamir Ansari, 26 a first time British Haji from Birmingham performed Haj with his mother. "This trip has been life changing, helping me learn more about other people and most importantly myself. I was really impressed by the services on offer by the Saudi government and would encourage others to perform Haj too."

Earlier, CBHUK members had met with the British Consul General in Jeddah ahead of Haj with Peach welcoming a group from the CBHUK to the British Consulate General in Jeddah. They discussed preparation and planning for this year’s Haj and the Consul General outlined the Consulate’s service for British pilgrims. The Consul General wished all the British Haji’s performing Haj a Haj Mabroor. — SG


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