Mar 23, 2017, 11:32 AM
In The Gambia, over the years, we have realized that most people are in the habit of lavishly 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 kinds 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 they should not spend wastefully.
Since the arrival of pilgrims began up to today, families are busy with welcoming ceremonies.
The huge sums of monies spent on welcoming pilgrims could be used on other things, such as giving charity to the poor and needy.
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.
As far as we are concerned, this is unacceptable, and receiving gifts 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.
That alone is enough!
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 gifts to all those coming to greet them.
While we shall continue to pray for them to now live more purified lives, 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.
Now that Gambian pilgrims who took part in this year’s Hajj have finally returned home, we hope and pray that all our pilgrims return home purified.
When money is once parted with, it can never return.