His Eminence Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje, the Mufti of Uganda, has flagged off the first batch of pilgrims to the Holy City of Mecca in the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Mecca, also known as Makkah or Makkah al-Mukarramah, is the holiest city in Islam because it is where the Prophet Muhammad was born and where the religion itself originated. Mecca is located in a desert valley in western Saudi Arabia.
Mubajje congratulated the pilgrims on reaching their life moment to travel for the Hajj (pilgrimage) rituals for the year 2022 while speaking at the send-off ceremony conducted at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council offices.
“You have reason to be grateful to Allah, the Almighty, for bestowing his glorious benefits upon you. In the wake of two years when Muslims all over the world were unable to perform Hajj due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many were unable to go due to a number of factors, including the above required age of 65 as set by the Saudi government, Mufti Mubajje remarked, you are among the chosen few in the nation.
Admonishing pilgrims on this life’s trip to exercise entire devotion, humility, and carry physical sustenance in the form of appropriate funds but, above all, to practice piety and purify their spirits through the use of various verses from the Glorious Quran, Mufti Mubajje used illustrations.
“This demonstrates that performing Hajj rituals leads someone to a high level of spiritual enrichment and growth in presence of the Lord and in the hereafter they will be rewarded with the highest level of paradise,” he said.
He advised the pilgrims never to waste their precious time and carry on with their lifestyle like they were before traveling for Hajj but rather intensify their devotion by showing inner gratitude to God for his guidance, life, protection, bounties and praise him as they circumambulate the Holy Kaabah and tour various holy stations.
He urged them to pray for their own well-being, their families, colleagues, and leaders both political and religious, and the country to beseech the Almighty Allah to restore peace and sanity in the entire world.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Ali Juma Shiwuyo, the UMSC Secretary for Hajj, informed the Mufti that a similar function had been organized in Iganga and Mbale for pilgrims from Eastern Uganda.
He disclosed that they had concluded the final arrangements including vaccination against yellow fever and conducted COVID-19 testing 72 hours prior to departure on June 30, 2022.
Sheikh Erias Kigozi, the Kadhi of Wakiso Muslim District and Sheikh Muhammad Yunus Kamoga, the Amiir Ummah and head of the Nakaseero Mosque-based Jamiat Al Dawa Al Salafiya, also advised the pilgrims to utilize the rare opportunity to seek for pardon and prepare to physically see what they have learned for many years.
In attendance were; Haj Muhamood Kateregga Namuguzi the UMSC Executive Committee Member, Members of the Management including Haj Wahab Rugasa, the Administration Secretary, Sheikh Muhammad Murshid Luwemba, the Secretary for Religious Affairs, Sheikh Munir Ssebintu, the in-charge of Halal, Sheikh Juma Cucu Bakhit, the Secretary for Education, Sheikh Imran Abdnoor Ssali, the Secretary for Dawah, Sheikhat Raadhiyya Namakula Secretary for Women and Youths Affairs, Mr. Muhammad Ali Aluma, the Secretary for Social Services and Mr. Musa Lukwiya Secretary for Awqaf, among others.