Thursday, January 12, 2006

This never seems to happen at St. Peter's

I'm not making any value judgements here. I'm just pointing it out.

Update: Check out the comments for some interesting perspective on the Hajj from Muslihoon, whose parents made the pilgrimage this year.


Muslihoon said...
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Muslihoon said...

You want to know what makes this worse? Most of the world's Muslims follow the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. Saudi Arabia follows the Hanbali school of jurisprudence. Whereas Hanafi jurisprudents have ruled that pilgrims are allowed to stone the pillars the day before (in order to avoid such disasters), Hanbali jurisprudents have ruled that, no, pilgrims must stone the pillars at the usual time. Hence, the crowd. Every. Single. Freaking. Year.

My parents went for Hajj this year. (They're still in Saudi Arabia.) They stoned the pillars yesterday, rather than today, so they were safely in Mecca when the disaster in Mina occured. The entire time, we (their kids) have been following the news and worrying about them. I can think of three times I've called just to make sure they were okay.

Hanbalis are known for being more strict and rigid, but this is ridiculous. The Hanbalis would say that it doesn't matter if pilgrims die during Hajj. They're martyrs and go straight to Heaven. Fine, but I want my parents alive at home, not as angels in Heaven. These Saudis - they are insane. And you know what - despite two fatal disasters that the Saudis could have prevented, no one's going to call them out on it.

One day, just one day, I'd like to see someone sue the King of Saudi Arabia. As the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (khaaddim al-haramayn ash-sharafayn, literally "Custodian of the Two Noble Restricted Areas"), he is responsible for the pilgrims' safety.

Sean M. said...

I hope your parents make it home safe and sound, Muslihoon.

And thanks for the information. I know a (very) little bit about the Hajj, but I'd never heard about the distinction between the two schools of Muslim jurisprudence and how it relates to that particular ritual.

Muslihoon said...

Parents arrived safe and sound. From what little they have said, sounds like it was quite the adventure.