#Article (Archive)

Avoid lavish spending in welcoming pilgrims

Nov 10, 2011, 2:22 PM

Now that pilgrims in the holy city of Mecca who took part in this year’s Hajj are planning to return home, we hope and pray that all our pilgrims return home safely and purified.

Hajj is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam, and should be performed by all Muslims in one’s life time provided they have the means and health to do so.

We appeal to families back home to avoid lavish spending during their welcoming ceremonies for the pilgrims, especially at a time when the world is in the midst of a very serious financial crisis, and The Gambia is no exception.

Yes, it is worth noting that there is no better investment than spending in the cause of Allah, but the way and manner some people organise these kind of ceremonies is extravagant; and, therefore, not what Islam prescribed.

We are not saying people should not receive their loved ones with joy and happiness for accomplishing the spiritual journey, but there should do not spend wastefully.

Apart from big parties to welcome the pilgrims, another problem we have noticed is that some people do anticipate receiving gifts from them, thus making it a challenge for some pilgrims.

This is unacceptable, and should not be taken for granted.

We assumed that while in the holy land they must have prayed for themselves, their families, sponsors and their country as a whole.

This, therefore, is more important and rewarding than the gift that one may anticipate from them.

If they give you a gift, fine!

But it should not be an obligation on pilgrims to give out gifts to all those coming to greet them.

While we shall continue to pray for their safe return, we should not give them a tough time over gifts.

The Hajj being a tough journey, where one is bound to expect some challenges, we need to give them more time to rest when they arrive home.