SHOULD MUSLIMS BE RESTRICTED TO ONCE ONLY FOR HAJJ?

The debate over whether or not Muslims should be allowed do Haj more than once in their life is a hot topic. The Hajj Pilgrimage is a matter of religious obligation on behalf of all Muslims provided they are physically and financially capable. Indeed, going for Hajj offers that once in a lifetime unforgettable experience to every Muslim, which is why Muslim pilgrims should not be denied their chance to reach their spiritual destiny..
According to data, there are an estimated 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide and yet facts suggest that no more than three million pilgrims are permitted to do the Hajj pilgrimage in any one year by the Saudi Government in whose country the Islamic Holy Land is located. Despite considerable expenditure on an infrastructure with air-conditioned tunnels, expansive bridges and super highways by one of the richest nations on earth, there remains insufficient capacity to enable a greater number of Muslims to do Haj without increasing the risk for death or injury from events such as a stampede.
Modern technology, rising standards of living and the existence of organized commercial guiding means it is no longer too far, too risky or too expensive for Muslims of whatever nationality to reach the Muslim Holy Land. Naturally, there are many who believe that Mecca belongs to all Muslims and not to one country. Furthermore, it is not unreasonable to think that the host nation for the most holy of Islamic shrines could and should not do more to accommodate the needs of its Muslim visitors.
Put in perspective, a Hajj Pilgrimage is not a holiday and there are no achievement awards, Certificates or ‘I’ve done it’ t-shirts handed out to those who have made it. It is a severe physical, mental, intelectual and emotional challenge of a human being to fulfil his religious commitment to God over several days. That undertaking is a right of privilege and not a right to be purchased by a Muslim who has been on Hajj more than once to the disappointment of one who has yet to do it and may have to wait many years before being able to do so.
In conclusion, it is clear that more needs to be done to accommodate an increased number of pilgrims to Mecca.. Either the current holy sites need to be rebuilt on an alternative site for reasons of public safety and accessibility or the vitality of having the pilgrimage limited to only a certain number of days each year according to the Islamic calendar needs to be addressed. Both options seem unlikely to happen. The dilemma remains for the Saudi government deciding how many pilgrims may come for Hajj in any one given year and whether those on a first visit should be prioritized over those making a second and subsequent one. While a case can be made to restrict or even prohibit pilgrimage to Mecca, the advantages to give more Muslims the opportunity to experience Hajj clearly outweigh the disadvantages

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