Feb 24, 2011, 10:37 AM
Anytime from now, pilgrims from all over the Islamic world will be converging on the Holy City of Mecca for the obligatory annual Hajj pilgrimage.
The Hajj, considered to be the largest single gathering of people in the world, is famous among other things for its spiritual edification,also 5th pillar of Islam.
Throughout the Hajj, pilgrims are expected to purify themselves of the dross and filth of this world and attuned to the Almighty Allah, the Master Creator.
Those who have undergone Hajj speak glowingly of its spiritual fulfilment. That is why we are pleased that an increasing number of Gambian Muslims are taking part in this spiritual journey.
The resultant spiritual awakening will presumably promote good neighbourliness in every aspect of our daily life.
Previously, it was quite difficult for Gambian pilgrims to make it to
We hope that with Ethiopian Airlines hired by the GIA to airlift the 1161 pilgrims for this year's Hajj, things will this time turn around for the better.
It is good for a prospective pilgrims to be able to meet all the travelling costs, but what they do throughout the pilgrimage will impact positively or negatively on the image of The Gambia.
It will be essential for them to study the Guide to Performing the Hajj published in the papers, courtesy of the Gambia International Airlines.
It will be also great if this guide can be translated into some local languages and broadcast on radio and television, since most of the pilgrims cannot read or write English.
It is an obligation for every able bodied muslim who has the wealth to visit the holy land at least once life time.
Therefore, they should comport themselves in such a manner that the image of The Gambia will be heightened in the sight of whoever they may come in contact with in the Holy City of Mecca.
They must show love and kindness to all. And, most importantly, they should be prepared to share these virtues with Muslims and non-Muslims alike when they return home from the Hajj.
If we learn to be fair to one another in our thoughts, words and deeds, then we are well on the way to making this world a better place for everyone.
We wish the pilgrims a happy and fruitful Hajj.
"Sit with a Hajj group from another country and ask about Islam in their village"