Saudi Arabia: IFF's Mangalorean Volunteers Serve Guests of God
News & Pics by: P A Hameed Padubidri
Daijiworld Media Network - Riyadh (SP)
Riyadh, Dec 25: The Hajj pilgrimage this year saw a happy culmination without any serious unfortunate incidents. Some deaths occured though, which were either due to natural causes or illnesses. The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took unprecedented measures this time to ensure safety and security of the Hajj pilgrims. Reportedly, the government spent a whopping amount in excess of a billion dollars for improving communication and other facilities, pitching of fire-resistant tents for the Hajj pilgrims, expansion of the Jamrat Bridge in Mina, laying of roads etc. Around 2.5 million Hajjis had congregated at Mecca for performing the Hajj rites. Visiting this holy city and performing the rites happens to be the dream of every Muslim.
"The Guests of Allah" were in one place all together without missing the "Arafah", where the coming together is obligatory for each and every pilgrim including the old aged people and the sick ones. This starts on the 9th Dulhajj from morning till sunset. From there, they flock in Muzdalifah, which is around three kms away from Arafah. They stay there till the next morning and go to Mina, where they gather for throwing pebbles at the Jamrath. This is the crucial point, where stampede, tragedies etc., are likely to happen. Since this area was expanded to avoid recurrence of such past tragedies, no untoward incidents were reported.
Indian Fraternity Forum (IFF), with which hundreds of Mangalorean youngsters in the Kingdom are involved, took this opportunity to volunteer to serve the Hajjis coming from all around the world, treating them as the 'guests of God'. About 900 volunteers were involved with serving the Hajjis especially the weak and the disabled, by directly leading and guiding them to their places and tents, especially in Mina. As most of them, particularly the Mangaloreans, were able to speak different languages including Arabic, they were found to be of great help by the Hajjis. With the support of the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and the Indian Consulate, they assisted the aged and weak Hajjis by providing them guidance, wheel chairs and other services. Clad with saffron-coloured vests and red caps, they were easily identifiable by the needy. Further, each IFF volunteer was equipped with mobile phones to cater to the needs of the pilgrims. Most of the volunteers spent their own money to serve the Hajjis, which they treat as a divine opportunity to serve Allah. IFF Jeddah Unit initiated and organized this noble service in a laudable manner. Hajjis from around the world, who got their services, were highly appreciative of the services provided by the IFF.
Abdul Hameed Ullal, Abdul Lathief, Anwar Sadath, Khalid Ullal, Abdul Razak, Sharief Jokatte, Iqbal Idya, Ashraf Puttur, Hakeem Surathkal, Mubashir Udupi, Imthiyaz Uchila, Abdul Samad Pandeshwar, Asif Saukar, Haris Surathkal, Abdul Rahim Surathkal, Adil Bajpe,Rafik Jeppu, Sadik Kapu,Ubaidulla,Jafar Faizi,Majeed Jokatte, Suhail Attavar, Jabir Goodinabali, Harris Goodinabali, Ismail Innoli Thumbe, Ashraf Idya, Rafik Thaif and many more Mangaloreans took lead in this noble cause.