At least 65 Rwandan Muslims are set to fly out of the country today for the annual Hajj (Holy pilgrimage) in Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Jamiru Murangwa, the head of the Muslim commission in charge of the Hajj urged the group to be mindful of the security advisory they received when they reach Saudi Arabia to avoid accidents.
Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is a holy journey to Mecca performed by all capable Muslims. The female pilgrims make up the majority of the Rwandan delegation, Sheikh Murangwa said.
He warned the pilgrims against getting involved in any unlawful acts while in Mecca, saying Rwandans are known for dignity and good values which should be upheld by all.
He lauded the government for promoting freedom of worship, noting that before the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, only about 5-15 Muslims preformed the Hajj.
“The pilgrims have paid $2900 (about Rwf2.3 million) to facilitate their pilgrimage while in some other countries it is considered as a business and a pilgrim pays $4300,” he said.
Sheikh Murangwa advised the pilgrams to maximise the Hajj for their benefit.
‘‘Muslims who are going should manifest behavioural change, honesty, good conduct, and fear of Allah’’, he said.
“Prophet Muhammad said that whoever upholds Islamic pillars, including pilgrimage, they will rise as a new creature after death,” Sheikh Murangwa said.
He implored Rwandan Muslims to live up to the Islamic virtues, but also play a significant role in further building the religion and country.
He added that over the recent past no Rwandan Muslim had encountered any problem while on the annual pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.