The Lagos State pilgrims currently performing the 2023 holy pilgrimage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have left the City of Makkah for Muna to begin the major Hajj rites which falls between the eight and twelfth of Dhul-Hijjah, the twelfth in the lunar months.
According to the Amir-ul-Hajj, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, the pilgrims began their movement to Muna between midnight and the early hours of Monday which is the eight day of Dhul-Hijjah from where they would proceed to the plain of Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal Rahma on the ninth day (Tuesday).
He stressed further that in the evening of the ninth day, the pilgrims are to depart from the plain of Arafat and proceed to Musdalifah where they would observe both Solatul Magrib and Ishai, pick their pebbles, relax briefly overnight after which they would move to the Jamarat on the tenth day (Wednesday) to throw pebbles at the Shaetan (Satan).
On the tenth day (Wednesday) Muslims all over the world are expected to slaughter sacrificial rams in celebration of the Eid-ul-Kabir.
The Amir-ul-Hajj explained that the throwing of pebbles exercise shall be performed for three days consecutively, beginning from the tenth of the Dhul-Hijja to the twelfth day of the month. He added that the pilgrims would leave Muna in the evening for the City of Makkah where they would stay till they are airlifted back to Nigeria.
Also speaking, the former Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic matters, Alh. Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe praised the State pilgrims for their patience, perseverance and understanding, saying that their conduct is very impressive and satisfactory.
He prayed to Allah to accept all their supplications as an act of Ibaadah.
On his part, the Board Chairman, Imam (Engr.) Shakiru Ayinde Gafar said that the main lessons Allah intended to teach Muslims across the world is equality and endurance. He stated that every pilgrim no matter his/her status must put on the Ihram (two pairs of white clothes by males and long gown by women) while in Muna, Arafat and Musdalifah. This, he said, signifies equality and that no human being is superior to another before Allah.
He encouraged them to be mindful of the lessons of the Muna event and see others as equal in every environment they may find themselves.
Speaking on the successes recorded by the State Government over the 2023 operations, the Secretary of the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. Saheed Onipede expressed his appreciation to Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat for their support.
He also appreciated the Amir-ul-Hajj, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi; former Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic matters, Alh. Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe; Board Chairman, Imam (Engr.) Shakiru Ayinde Gafar; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Lolade Aina and members of staff for their selfless service.
He urged the pilgrims to pray for peace and tranquility in Nigeria, especially the success of the new administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as well as the administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat in Lagos State.