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Last Updated: Monday, 9 February 2004, 11:11 GMT
Mecca pilgrimage: Can it be made safe?

Pilgrims
At least 244 people have been trampled to death at the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The disaster happened as pilgrims flocked to the Jamarat Bridge in Mina, near Mecca, to hurl stones at a pillar representing the devil.

Millions of people make the annual trip to the Hajj - defying the risk of major disasters that occur despite increased security measures taken by the Saudi authorities.

Can the Hajj be made safer? Were you or people you know there? Have you been affected? Send us your views.


This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Ask the Saudi authorities to visit Tirupati in India and oversee how the crowds are managed and implement the same thing in Hajj. The system in Tirupati is remarkable in the whole world and allows all devotees who come in millions to have a safe Darshan everyday.
Naveen, India

Hundreds of thousands of Hajjis are going to the Mecca every year and the high-ranking authorities of Saudi Arabia know. Why not decrease the number of Hajjis every year to decrease the risk?
Tahir Qadiry, Afghan in Caversham, UK

It should be left to the Saudi authorities to decide how to deal with the numbers of people who want to attend. I am sure that every Muslim who wants to attend is well aware of the risks associated with large gatherings, but some things in life are worth the risk, like your own faith and religious beliefs. Who am I to pass judgement on something I am neither involved in or understand.
Tracey, Bristol, UK

Having attended Hajj I don't think the Saudi authorities are doing a badly at all
Mubeen-Ul-Haq Patel, London
Having attended Hajj I don't think the Saudi authorities are doing a badly at all, however there are certain aspects of accommodating and co-ordinating Hajj's can be improved. In addition I think the only way to reduce casualties in the future is to create an educational framework for people attending prior to attending the ritual. The framework should be the responsibility of the country the Hajj's come from due to the breakdown in communication the Saudi's are experiencing. On the other hand the whole programme should be funded by all Muslims worldwide.
Mubeen-Ul-Haq Patel, London

Hajj is a very important event in the life of every Muslim. To make the Hajj safer, I think there should not be a particular day/time when it is to be undertaken. It should be possible to be undertaken at any time during the year.
Farrakhan Asante-Yeboah, Takoradi, Ghana

The solution to this problem is that the people who have already done the pilgrimage should make way for the new comers
Abdullah Badat, Batley

Considering the fact that 244 deaths makes up less than 1% of the total number of pilgrims attending Hajj this year I don't really think it is as bad as the media is making it out to be. 50 years ago, the entire city of Mecca could not sustain the arrival of more than a few thousand Hajj pilgrims, now after the billions of dollars the Saudi authorities have spent on improvements it can accommodate in excess of 2 million. I really can't see how this matter involves westerners and their usual uninformed and unwanted criticism.
Omar, London, UK

My older brother, Farid Khaliq, went to Hajj from Jubail Industrail city in Saudi Arabia. So far we have not heard from him
Ameer Hassan, WA, USA
My older brother, Farid Khaliq, went to Hajj from Jubail Industrial city in Saudi Arabia. So far we have not heard from him. Unfortunately there is no way to reach the concerned authorities. Calls to Pakistani Hajj official in SA did not provide any information as they are aware about people who came on Hajj visa. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Ameer Hassan, Richland, WA, USA

Everyone dies eventually. To be taken when ones faith is strong is an honour.
Sobac Retok, Newark, USA

Lots of people are saying "It's the will of Allah". Of course no one can escape death, but we have to take measure so that this kind of accident doesn't happen again in the future. Allah gave us brain to use it so that we can have better life. People go to hajj to perform it properly and finish it on time, they don't go there to die.
Asif, Boston, USA

If the Saudi authorities insist that pilgrims killed during Hajj met their predestined fate, why is any crowd control necessary? Surely if the time and place of a person's death is decided when that person is born, as the Saudi Interior Minister has stated, is it in fact possible to make the pilgrimage any more safe? However, if accidents can indeed be avoided, then the authorities should not blame Allah, but should promise to organize better in the future.
Chris, US

As long as Saudi officials make statements that the pilgrims' deaths were fate, I really can't see how the Hajj can be made safer. If the host nation won't take the logistical responsibility for millions of pilgrims, who will?
Grant, New York City, USA

This is for the people who believe this was the making of Allah. Wake up! Take the blame for once. This happened because of the irresponsibility of the people who think throwing stones at the devil is worth 244 lives. The lack of security and control of the crowd by the Saudis is also to blame. I'm not surprised this happened almost every years and it will continues unless these people realize that not everything is the will of Allah. This is reality, not fantasy.
John, USA

Muslim communities worldwide should contribute funds for crowd control
Paul, Melbourne, Australia
Given that most pilgrims are from outside Saudi Arabia, it should not be purely a Saudi burden to ensure security and safety for pilgrims. Muslim communities worldwide should contribute funds for crowd control. Education that patience is a virtue is also important.
Paul, Melbourne, Australia

Last year there was a rumour that the Saudi Government were going to appose a new law, which meant that if a person went for hajj he could not go again for a further five years. However this law was not apposed, i think it should be.
Bilal Mayat, Batley / England

Jarieu will call your husband please just to hear your voice that you are okay.
Jonathan Bona, New Jersey, USA

Of course the Hajj can be made safe. There are other places on earth that regularly host immense crowds of people without incidents. Think of Disneyland, the Eiffel tower, the Soccer world cup, and others. It's a matter of discipline, of investment, of applying known techniques of crowd control and management. The government of Saudi Arabia has a responsibility for investing the money and effort necessary to make sure that the pilgrims to Mecca can ensure the same high level of safety that vacationers routinely do in any much less holy recreational park in the states, Europe or Japan.
Simon, Amsterdam, Netherlands

I think that most Muslims on this page are forgetting the point. You cannot blame anyone for the deaths, but look at it as the will of Allah. Muslim belief is that you cannot escape death when it comes to you. My sincere condolences and prayers to the families who have lost loved ones, but also look at it this way, Allah has taken your brethren at the most majestic moments in life, almost a blessing.
Mohammed Malik, Germany

There should be an educative process in place outlining the dangers that one may be faced with while on hajj. Hajj goers each year should at the least go through a crash course outlining the realities that are present at Hajj - things like heat exhaustion, trampling, lack of room and space and so on. Hajj goers should be told to look out for one another - and various worse case scenarios should be in constant practice by the Saudi authorities.
Sitki Esenyel, Melbourne, Australia

I think Hajj is a very big event and it should be organised by all Muslim countries
Muhammad Yahya, Jeddah

I completed Hajj this year. The incident happened just one hour before my arrival for rammy. I think this happened due to lack of security forces on first day. The other three days were managed quite well by the Saudi government. I think Hajj is a very big event and it should be organised by all Muslim countries. Hajj should be open to all Muslims. It is possible if all Muslim countries fulfil their responsibility.
Muhammad Yahya, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Hajj is a once in a life time experience. It can only be performed once a year. I have been to Hajj two years ago with my Mum, Dad and brother and used commonsense by preparing ourselves to take such task. Like our beloved Prophet (pbuh), you have to take hardship but then the Saudi Govt should take part responsibility.
Yunus Hussein, Leicester, England

In the name of Allah the Beneficent and the Merciful. The Hajj is an event Muslims deem important and whatever the tragedies they will never pull back as they look forward to a forgiveness for their sins and also think of a no return. The Saudis have done their part to conduct this event but most of us try the short cuts and thus let these unfortunate events befall us.
Ismail Mahroof, Sri Lankan in Jeddah

I can't believe that after so many people have commented upon the impossibility of performing the Hajj more than once a year, there are still people insisting on this idea! Why don't we, the Christians, celebrate Christmas or Easter more than once a year? People should know more about Islam before making these suggestions. There are other ways of improving such as limiting the number of performers.
Gabi, Constanta, Romania

Yes the Saudi authorities can make the hajj safer by framing new rules like pre-hajj orientation, reducing the number of pilgrims according to the capacity, and by increasing the time limit and widening the place for the Hajj.
Dr. M. Ashaq Raza, Asmara, Eritrea

I think there is no reason to suggest restricting the number of yearly pilgrims. I am still as excited as ever about performing the Hajj and am not fearful at all of dying at the door of Allah's house.
Sohail Raza, Spain

It is high time that steps were taken to avoid this kind of accident every year
Adil Rehman, Srinagar, Kashmir
I think that the Saudi Government should call a meeting of top level experts from all over the world and discuss with them the possibilities of providing safety for the pilgrims. It is high time that steps were taken to avoid this kind of accident every year.
Adil Rehman, Srinagar, Kashmir

I was performing Hajj in 2001 and was pushed to the ground but managed to get up (thanks to God) but others were not so lucky. I think there should be some form of queue/line so that everyone can perform Hajj safely. The Saudi authorities should also seek advice from experts in logistics, crowd management etc in order to devise a safe system. Also the number of people going to Hajj should be limited (e.g. 1 Hajj every 5 years), because the actual number of people performing Hajj at present is unsustainable for safety reasons alone.
M. Chowdhury, Birmingham, UK

There have been a number of improvements over the years and the Hajj is much safer. Two problems that persist and are out of the control of the authorities is the disregard of Islamic behaviour and knowledge during Hajj, (people get so hyped up and try to do more than is necessary) and many people delaying the Hajj until their twilight years increasing the risk of death in all situations. If they could have an age limit they should but this would be against Islamic law.
Khalil, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

In all probability, the reason for the tragedy is human error on the part of the pilgrims
Bhanu Gilla, India/US
I think the Saudis are already doing a good job. Yes, there is certainly scope for improvement, but their track record of accommodating 2 million pilgrims is unsurpassed. In all probability, the reason for the tragedy is human error on the part of the pilgrims. It could because of eagerness, fear or any other human emotions. Regarding the "queuing circle/spiral" recommended by someone, I believe the Saudis already have a pretty good routing procedure in practice. They might work a little with movement around the well (devils pillar) though.
Bhanu Gilla, India/US

I have been for Hajj and can honestly say the Saudi Authorities are extremely incompetent in handling the pilgrimage including the lesser pilgrimage (Umrah).
Summayya Al-Daud, Manchester, UK

I believe people should be considerate and choose to perform Hajj once in a lifetime - that is all that is required in Islam. With the growing population, it is a tremendous burden for the Saudi government. They work hard to provide great accommodation for the pilgrims each year.
Khadija Qadri, Denver, Colorado, USA

Hajj, the holy pilgrimage, happens once a year. The Saudi authority has 11 months to take into consideration, the logistics involved in this yearly pilgrimage. Though they cannot deny anybody the right to come more than once, the authorities could encourage pilgrims to reconsider their decision.
Raseel Mohamed, Binghamton, USA

I've lived in Saudi Arabia for 19 years and I have done Hajj four times. There's been a great improvement from the first time I did Hajj to the last one I did 2 years ago. The Saudi government does NOT make any money off the pilgrims. On the contrary a lot of the facilities for pilgrims are paid for by the government.
Yasir Hamed, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Muslim scholars should discourage believers who opt for second Hajj
PK Niaz, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Reports say that there were thousands of pilgrims coming to the tent city of Mina without the permission of Saudi authorities. It is evident that most of these people are here to perform Hajj for the second or third time. This is a clear violation of religious duty and a nuisance to fellow pilgrims who make their Hajj for the first time. Muslim scholars should discourage believers who opt for second Haj.
P.K. Niaz, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

It has been shown over the past years that people going for Hajj cannot rely on the Saudi authorities for safety. The overall number of people going for Hajj should be reduced until such time as safety has improved.
Augustine, UK

My family is in Saudi Arabia now, performing the Hajj. Even though safety issues remain a concern for many pilgrims and their relatives, Allah will inshallah take care of everyone.
Chowdhury, USA

My parents are on Hajj this year. When they left for Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, I don't believe that they were of the impression that they may not return back home. That there is a remote chance that they may not return because of an annual lapse in Saudi responsibilities in ensuring that all pilgrims that have come to perform Hajj, do so in a safe and hazard-free manner, to ensure that they are then able to return home in good health.
Urfan, London

Many are too quick to blame the Saudis but can you even begin to imagine the logistics behind an event with over two million attendees in such a small geographic area? Nothing here in the West compares, we have no frame of reference.
Eric, Canada

It can be made safer if Saudi Arabia would invest and build i.e. a queuing circle/spiral so that the people can go through one after one from one side in and from other side out.
Lutfi Isik, London

It is high time the Saudi authorities are held accountable for the lack of safety and subsequent deaths during every Hajj season over the last decade. Watching the Hajj Minister speak cold bloodedly and without remorse about the recent deaths on television recently is frankly disgusting.
Ashraf Helmi, London, UK

All pilgrims coming to perform the Hajj should go through some sort of orientation on safety before they leave for the Jamrat
Brad, USA

All pilgrims coming to perform the Hajj should go through some sort of orientation on safety before they leave for the Jamrat. This should be made part of the first day at Mina. Then on the way to the Jamrat, lanes should be created for people walking at different speeds or lanes should be made to separate people by age, sex, family group. Strong healthy people could move faster. There would be less pushing and jostling and hence reduced chances of trampling and tragedy.
Brad, USA

Non Muslims should read about the Hajj before posting any remarks. Hajj must be performed only once a year and can be performed ONLY in Mecca.
Basit Khan, Detroit, USA

My mother and father are performing Hajj. I was wondering if there was a number available where I could find out about any British citizens who may be involved. I already have received some bad news from a friend of the family about their terrible loss.
Asif Razzaq, Birmingham, UK

My Mom and Dad are there for Hajj. A few minutes ago I found out that they are safe. Thanks Allah.
Sumon, Lincoln, UK

My Dad works in Saudi Arabia (Alhasa Hufuf). He went for Hajj this year taking permission card from Saudi government. My mom, sisters and I are very worried about him. Please Dad reply to us if you can. Allah Hifazt karega dad ki ammeen.
Hanif Z Farooqui, Palghar, India

Having several Hajj pilgrimage a year is as absurd as having several Christmases and Diwali a year
Amina, Jeddah

Having several Hajj pilgrimage a year is as absurd as having several Christmases and Diwali a year. It comes only once in a year in the Arabic calendar. I suggest people have a bit more knowledge about Islam before giving their suggestions!
Amina, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

I know Ahmad Aliakbari and Narges Mobarra. It's ok, I will tell them to let you know that they are safe. Don't worry ok :)
Amina Begum, UK

If anyone knows Ahmad Aliakbari and Narges Mobarra please tell them to let me know that they're safe.
Zahra, Tehran, Iran

Names of the victims should be published immediately to avoid confusion and worry by the millions of relatives waiting throughout the world.
Iftekhar Ahmed, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

My brother and brother-in-law are performing Hajj. I'm really worried about them. Bhaiya, contact me asap please.
Shuman, Northampton, UK

My grandfather is in Hajj and I am extremely worried.
Hassan, Leicester, UK

My parents are performing Hajj this year. Inshallah they are safe. I pray for all who have perished on this day. By God's grace they will rest in heaven.
Nauman Hafiz, Ohio, USA

My sister and her husband are performing Hajj this year. I was so worried about them until I received a call from them.
Sayed, Virginia, USA

My Mom and Dad are on Hajj pilgrimage. Inshallah Allah will protect them.
Ibrahim, Sydney, Australia

Aabba, I miss you so much and hope to hear from you soon. I love you.
Tanu, Dhaka, Bangladesh

My Mom is in Hajj and I'm very worried about her.
Jackie Elmosa, Orland Park, USA

Please can anyone tell me if anyone from Fiji is among the dead?
Fazil Ali, Fiji

My father, sister and brother-in-law are performing Hajj. I am worried about them.
Mahmudul Alam, Okinawa, Japan

My Dad and my Grandmother went to Hajj this year. My mom, my sister and I are very worried.
Saima Mili, Queens, New York, USA

My parents are performing Hajj this year. I'm currently in Japan and my little sisters are in Pakistan. I am extremely worried.
Hamza bin Tariq, Lahore, Pakistan

My aunt just missed the procession affected by the stampede by an hour. We are relieved, but we always knew there was this risk.
Marwan, Berkeley, USA

The authorities should ban such large groups because of how they cause such disasters to occur
Ali Siddiqui, Windsor

My cousin and wife are performing the Hajj this year so I'm very worried that the two of them may have been injured or worse. I've also been in a stampede like situation and it was only by luck that my father and I were able to squeeze out of the crush and nowhere did I see any of the police intervening or controlling the crowd. I noticed that many people became wild and disorganized and fearful as large groups collided into one another. The authorities should ban such large groups because of how they cause such disasters to occur. I just hope and pray that my cousin and his wife are alright.
Ali Siddiqui, Windsor, Canada

I'm worried about friends who have gone for Hajj. I hope they are fine. The Saudi authorities should do more to ensure that the stampede does not take place. The pilgrims should be taught in their native languages on how to throw stones without pushing and killing people. May the Hajj of the pilgrims be accepted by the Almighty.
Afreen, Pakistan

It is always sad to hear of such incidents happening in the world. Yes, I have relatives performing the Hajj this year, so far no news on them. No matter how organised and prepared we are in any situation, life and death is in the hands of God. He has the final say.
Nor Asma, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

My mother, uncle, grandmother, grandfather and a host of relatives performed Hajj this year. When the report of deaths came in we were very worried. After 12 hours we found out that they were all okay by the grace of Allah.
Jaber Masud, Dhaka, Bangladesh

My dad is there for the first time. I am worried about him and praying that he and his friends are all okay. I am also angry at the Saudi's government who fail to protect these people who works all their life to take part. Where is all the money going? Every year this happens and every year the Saudis makes empty promises to ratify this problem. So far nothing.
Bibi Ali, New York, USA

Setting a limit of one Hajj per lifetime may help
Roger Harrison, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Radical re-design of the classic choke point of the Jamrat Bridge, restrictions on the number of times and frequency one is allowed to perform Hajj, tighter controls on the pilgrim passes at the entry points to the holy sites and certificated pre-pilgrimage training may help. Setting a limit of one Hajj per lifetime (all that is required by Islam) may be another way to help. If a pilgrim wants to come again, then Umra in Ramadan - which counts as Hajj and would extend the time available for the pilgrimage - might reduce pressure.
Roger Harrison, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Many reformers in Saudi Arabia have repeatedly called on the government to improve its handling of Hajj. As expected, the government gave empty promises as usual.
Ahmed, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Having Hajj several times a year is like saying let's have Christmas several times a year. There is only one certain time the pilgrimage may be performed. What's needed is greater organisational analysis, civil awareness and mitigation strategies in place by the Saudi government.
Muhammad, Perth, Australia

Far less accidents would happen if there was a possibility for Muslims to arrange several pilgrimages a year.
Stanley, Norwich, UK

The only way the Hajj can be made safer is that people realize they are fulfilling a huge tradition of the holy Prophet (PBUH). While doing this they must strictly follow the way of the prophet and realize that neglect for others is against his principles and that such a holy event should not be overshadowed by the fear of death.
Saroosh Ahmed, Rockford, IL

Yes because they really need to create more order in how things are done there and they also need to expand the holy site to accommodate the great number of worshipers.
Amy, United States

The only way the Hajj can be made safer is that people realize they are fulfilling a huge tradition of the holy Prophet (PBUH). While doing this they must strictly follow the way of the prophet and realize that neglect for others is against his principles and that such a holy event should not be overshadowed by the fear of death.
Saroosh Ahmed, Rockford, IL

The pilgrims need to have sound knowledge and interpretation of all rituals to avoid such accidents
Sabrina Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

My mom, brother, and brother-in-law are performing Hajj this year. I am extremely worried
Arif Chowdhury, College Station, Texas, USA

When a disaster abroad occurs - in Europe, the US or Australia - the British government immediately publishes a help line for relatives afraid that their loved ones were involved. With many thousands of Britons on the Hajj this year, why has a help line not been set up for this disaster?
Mark Sugrue, London

One thing people forget is the principle of performing the Hajj is to cleanse one's soul, thus aiding entry into heaven. If you die while performing the Hajj you automatically gain entry thus fulfilling your overall goal in life.
Amar Bashir, Stoke-on-Trent, England

My mother is performing this year... May Allah protect her.
Nabihah Ali, Trinidad & Tobago

I can't believe how many people think this should be banned. As a Christian I don't agree with the rituals but I still recognise that this is part of someone's religion. It is a way of life, not a day out. If someone wants to do this, they should accept the possible consequences and be allowed to proceed.
Matt, Bristol, UK

My mom, brother, and brother-in-law are performing Hajj this year. Until now, I don't know anything whether they were affected. I am extremely worried. Insha Allah they will be fine.
Arif Chowdhury, College Station, Texas, USA

The Saudi Government cannot escape blame for this human tragedy. No country should be allowed to send more than a reasonable number of pilgrims during hajj. Imagine any one country alone sending more than 100,000 pilgrims on Hajj?
Ejaz Ahmed, Dubai UAE

The Saudi's population cap is way too high. Most Muslims go into the hajj thinking that it is going to be completely safe and they will be able to complete their religious ritual. The Saudi government is responsible for this event and allowing over 2 million people in for the event is just careless.
Kevin Morris, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

It has already been made much safer than before with fireproof tents
Arshad, Sharjah, UAE

Yes it has already been made much safer than before with fireproof tents and compulsory vaccination for the prospective Hajjis (pilgrims); but Hajj can be made even safer especially at the place of stoning. The Saudi authorities should call for an international conference of experts and seek their advice on how to avoid such avoidable incidents.
Arshad, Sharjah UAE

My sincere condolences to families of those who passed away and I pray that those who are injured make a speedy recovery. Having 2 million plus people descend in such a small area under time constraints means problems are inevitable. Such a big number with such few casualties is a credit to the authorities, there is only so much they can do.
Faz, Oxford

Its time religious beliefs gave way for common sense
Vishen, Malaysia

Its time religious beliefs gave way for common sense. The hajj should be held several times a year to minimize the overcrowding.
Vishen, Malaysia

Surely the repeated disasters at this so-called pilgrimage are reason enough for discontinuing it. Safety is paramount. The organisers must be held responsible. If it was an outdoor music event in the west it would be banned.
Dave, Cornwall, UK

Yes, I have been too, and we should not be complacent about safety. I think it is quite a feat to be herding 2 million men, women (take note Robert Boyd of the US), and children from one place to the other. There is always room for improvement and I think the organisers know this.
Sohaib Sandhu, London

I can't believe this!
Syed, Birmingham, England

I can't believe this! What the hell are the lazy organisers doing?! My brother and mother went there this year and it angers me that they "blame" it all upon the "will of Allah"!
Syed, Birmingham, England

Given that anyone who is performing the Hajj with a sincere heart and who dies during it goes to heaven automatically, a lot of Muslims are not really worried about safety.
Bilal, London

Preventive measures can be taken, casualties figure can be checked, but I think no human can guarantee 100% safety. After all its one of the world's biggest crowd in a limited area for a limited time period. Everyone has to perform his/her rituals completely in that time. It can't be made completely secured ever.
Sadiq Ali Bohra, Hyderabad, Pakistan

It is high time the Saudi authorities put a realistic ceiling on the number of pilgrims allowed per season. Those who have made the pilgrimage in the past 10 years or so should not be issued visas. The capacity of the holy places is limited. The Saudi Government issues no figures on how much it earns from the two million plus pilgrims annually. While repeat pilgrims may equate repeat customers, in some minds it is important to remember that a Muslim is only required to make one pilgrimage in her/his lifetime.
Samir, Doha, Qatar

I performed the rites of Hajj last year and it was amazing. Yes, the Hajj pilgrimage can definitely be made safer. I think Hajj is very poorly-organised by the Saudi Government. However, the pilgrims have a responsibility of treating each other with respect and the sacred/holy land they are visiting. At times, it seemed as if there was no crowd control at all.
Najamuddin Mohammed, Canada

I think if they made the Hajj a family affair and allowed wives and children, women, it would become a more civilised gathering. Right now it is purely a male-dominated gathering without the sanity a family-orientated gathering would bring.
Robert Boyd, Dayton, Ohio, US

By staying away it would be safer. Is any religion that puts an emphasis on ritualistic behaviour credible.
Robert, Reading, GB

Why does everybody have to do it at once? Can't there be several pilgrimages a year to avoid these deaths due to crowding?
John, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Yes the Hajj can be made safe. I know for a fact that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of Saudi residents who perform it year in and year out. I actually met someone who was proud to boast that he had done the Hajj 15 times. Now if these people just stopped for a minute and were kind enough to give other people a chance to perform the ritual for a first time in peace, then we wouldn't see these stampedes and needless deaths. After all, the Quran only dictates that the Hajj be done only once. There is no need to compete for the title of "most Hajjs in a lifetime".
Ali Tariq, London, U.K.

I am disturbed by the ongoing deaths and injuries at Hajj year after year. I believe if the appropriate security and governing bodies for the were able to communicate to pilgrims advice on safe procedures during the Hajj, this will be avoided. It is high time for such measures to be brought in before next year.
Saveed Saeed, Harrow, UK

I have been to this place three-four times and I know once you get stuck, there is no way in and out. The responsibility lies with the people themselves more than with the authorities!
Aamir, Manchester, UK




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