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Hajj: Scholar hails NAHCON, counsels pilgrims on spendings

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An Islamic scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Nuru Khalid, has commended the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON over improved welfare of Nigerian pilgrims to this year’s Hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, KSA.

This is even as he advised the pilgrims to be prudent in spending their Basic Travel Allowance, BTA throughout their stay in the holy land.

Sheikh Khalid, popularly called Digital Imam, while speaking with some journalists covering this year’s holy pilgrimage in Madinah, said there was much positive difference in the welfare of the Nigerian pilgrims compared to the previous years.

Specifically, he said NAHCON did well in securing hotel accommodation for the pilgrims at a walkable distance to Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in the holy city, adding that the reception accorded the them on arrival at the Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah was well organised.

“There is difference and Alhamdulillah the difference is mostly positive because the organisation is improving.

“Accommodation is one of the basis things you need to improve if you want welfare of the pilgrims to be improving. As you can see in this hotel, it is a very good hotel, walkable distance to the Haram (the Prophet’s mosque), especially from the outside you can see the minarets of the Haram. That means we are close to the Haram.

“On our arrival, officials of the Hajj commission received us in a very organised manner, gave us transportation in a very organised manner and they received us here,” the one-time Chief Imam of the Apo Legislative Quarters in Abuja said.

He, however, pointed out that despite the well organised manner, there was still room for improvement, saying that, “whatever man does, there must be some shortcomings and it could be improved.”

Sheikh Khalid, therefore, suggested that NAHCON officials should plan on allocating rooms at the various hotels housing Nigerian pilgrims well ahead of their arrival, advising that the pilgrims’ flight manifest should be used to make such arrangement.

“The allocation of the rooms, the pilgrims supposed not to wait for more than 10 minutes to know their rooms. I think this thing can be done before the arrival of the pilgrims since there is a manifest of the flight.

“I think more work should be done to improve on this,” he advised.

Meanwhile, the scholar enjoined the pilgrims to be careful in the way they spend money in the holy land in view of the little amount allotted to them as BTA, reminding them that the main Hajj activity is in Makkah, especially at the Masha’ir (holy sites).

According to him, it was going to be a hell if the pilgrims did not have money while in Makkah.

“The main activity is in Makkah and the Masha’ir. Let them conduct themselves not to spend much (in Madinah), because in Makkah if you don’t have money, it is going to be hell,” Sheikh Khalid warned.

He, however, urged the Federal Government to look into the issue of pilgrims’ BTA before the next year’s Hajj in view of the economic situation.

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