Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The average age of Hajis have come down

The average age of pilgrims has come down since the last decade. “Before, people would come at the end of their lives... Haj was seen as the last act of faith for those aged pilgrims. That is no longer the dominant case. Young people from all over the world, and especially Turkey, are undertaking the pilgrimage. They come here and go back with great impressions about the Muslim world. They narrate their experiences to their friends and relatives, creating a sense of exhilaration among the new generation. This is a major change,” said Dr. Yasin Aktay, a fine academic and columnist from Turkey. He seems to be a very popular Tweeter and Facebooker. He was busy replying to the hundreds of comments that came from his 5,000 Facebook friends.

The other major change that Aktay noticed since his last visit to Makkah in 1997 was the complete transformation of Makkah's landscape. “These new buildings and the massive expansion around the Holy Mosque led to the disappearance of the old city,” he said. But is that good or bad? “In one sense it is bad, since the historical aspect of Makkah as a city is no longer available. The only historical sign remaining in Makkah is the Kaaba itself. And in another aspect, just because of this, I think we are inclined to think that even history is performing a circumambulation. As a result, history is disappearing, so that there remains nothing but the oneness of Allah, which is manifested by the Holy Kaaba.”
 Siraj Wahab in Arab News. Here

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