Nigeria’s Amirul Hajj and Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, has said Nigerians will no longer participate in the stoning of the devil ritual except they get accommodation close to Jamrat.
Jamrat is the place where the Hajj ritual is performed.
The Emir, who stated this on Friday night when he visited Sokoto State pilgrims at their Makka residence, when he went to commiserate with them over the death of their pilgrims during the last stampede, supported his position with Qur’anic verses.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Head of the Kaduna State Media Team of the 2015 Hajj, Ibraheem Musa from Makka and copied our correspondent in Kaduna.
According to the statement, Emir Sanusi quoted several verses of the Qur’an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). He also said refusal to even perform the stoning of devil ritual does not in any way invalidate one’s Hajj.
“Besides, that if one deliberately refuses to even perform the stoning of the devil rituals, all he needs to do is just to slaughter a ram in order to make up for the loss. So, if this is the situation, why do we go and suffer and die instead of sacrificing a ram?’’
Sanusi revealed that during the era of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), he permitted pilgrims who came on camels to stay in Makkah in order for their animals to get some rest after Arafat, instead of staying in Mina and sleeping at Muzdalifa.
“So, if the Prophet can give such grace to some people just to protect their animals, why didn’t our scholars educate our people properly to avoid this avoidable hardship and death?
“Therefore, it will be part of my recommendation to the Federal government that, if we cannot get accommodation close to Jamarat where the Arabs reside in Mina, then this year may be the last time we will sleep in Mina and Muzdalifa because we want to stone the devil.
“As it is presently, sleeping in Mina and Muzdalifa is not backed by any Hadith (sayings/deeds of Prophet Muhammad) or verse of the Qur’an. So, why do we continue to do it?” he said.
The Emir however challenged Islamic scholars to educate Muslims on how to perform hitch-free hajj, without unnecessary bloodshed or he himself will start a campaign in this regard.
The Amirul Hajj also reiterated his earlier position that blacks, particularly Nigerians, were not responsible for the Mina stampede which claimed about 1000 lives.
According to him, Nigeria has no fundamental disagreement with the Saudi authorities, but they must understand that no human being is superior to another in the sight of Allah, except he who fears Allah most.
In a related development, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has given the latest death figure of Nigerians in last week’s Hajj stampede as 75.
The chairman of the commission, Abdullahi Mohammed, disclosed this in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service on Friday.
He said 54 out of 75 pilgrims who died in the stampede were from states’ delegation, while 20 were international pilgrims who used private tour operators.
“We can confirm that 75 persons is the latest figure, while 243 pilgrims are [still] missing,” he said.
Mohammed said Sokoto State had the highest number of casualties.
The NAHCON chairman also noted that those missing could not be declared dead or injured yet, until confirmation comes from the committee set up to determine the status of all victims of the stampede.
The commission said the dead pilgrims were from Bauchi, Borno, Cross Rivers, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Nasarawa states, while others are from Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara states.