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Sheikh Sidia Ceesay On Hajj

Nov 3, 2009, 1:34 PM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

As First Batch of Would-be Pilgrims Set to Leave Today

If every thing goes well as planned intending pilgrims from The Gambia will today begin the world's most important journey to Mecca, where they will perform the fifth fundamental pillar of Islam, the Hajj.

Cognisant of this important religious injunction, this reporter yesterday spoke to Sheikh Sidia Ceesay, the Deputy Director of Gambia Islamic Union and a renowned Islamic scholar at his office in Tallinding.

According to Sheikh Sidia, Hajj is an obligation upon every Muslim who has the resources to do so.

He quoted the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) of saying that "who so ever performed the Hajj as prescribed he or she will be washed of all his sins as if newly born."

The scholar further added that the Holy Prophet also said that whoever performed the Hajj would be accordingly rewarded.

He said whoever has the ability to do so but deliberately failed to perform the Hajj, his action is akin to be a non-Muslim, quoting Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) as saying.

He further revealed that there are three types of Hajj, namely Al Afrad, Tamatu and Al Kiranu and pilgrims are free to choose anyone.

He appealed to intending pilgrims to pray for themselves, their sponsors and the country while in Mecca, noting that the place is very holy.

He also advised people to avoid overspending in the name of welcoming their pilgrims.

Oustass Ceesay argued that "only clean money is required for Hajj and that monies acquired from lotteries are not recommended for Hajj."

He also advised would-be pilgrims that on the day of Al Ehram (that is the very day they declared their intention of performing the Hajj) and when they put on the white clothes they should also cut their hairs. He said they should also not sleep with a woman (if they choose Al IFRAD type of Hajj).

He encouraged them to always keep their body clean and recite Labaika words while in the Holy Land.

Ceesay finally advised the well off to help sponsor others to visit the Holy Land.