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NAHCON chair leads Nigerian delegation to Turkey for Hajj symposium

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Zikrullah


The Chairman/CEO, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan is currently flying the Nigerian flag at the 2021 International Hajj Symposium, taking place in Ankara, the capital of Turkey.

The three-day event, titled, ‘Hajj in the context of changing and developing conditions,’ is organised by the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), under the chairmanship of His Excellency, Prof. Ali Arbash, the Turkish Minister of Religious Affairs.

On the NAHCON chairman’s entourage were the Acting Secretary to the Commission, Alhaji Ahmad Maigari and Special Assistant, Technical, Dr. Danbaba Haruna.
Turkish scholars from Sudan, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Germany, Malaysia, Canada and Pakistan are also attending the symposium, where they will be discussing how the sacred pilgrimage held every year in Saudi Arabia has changed amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as other topics relating to the holy voyage, including women’s health and the economy.

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In his opening speech, Diyanet head, Ali Erbaş said they want to bring a “new perspective” to hajj and its organisation in light of the new age we are in.

“The symposium will discuss every aspect of hajj, from fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) dimension to its sociological impact, cultural reflections to health and education. It will shed light on development of hajj organizations since the early days of Islam. It will seek answers to contemporary challenges on organizing hajj. I hope it will also offer a comprehensive response to assessing the pilgrimage in times of pandemic,” he said.

Erbaş noted that it has been one year since the pandemic began and few were able to perform the pilgrimage last year, adding that since February 2020, people from a handful of countries were allowed to perform umrah, the lesser pilgrimage.

“We pray to Allah that this pandemic will be over. Hajj is a symbol of unity for the faithful. There is no other form of prayer that brings together such multitude of people from different races, languages, and countries. The pandemic deprived us of this,” he said.

Among the topics discussed at the event are the children’s pilgrimages, the time of stoning the devil (a ritual which is part of the pilgrimage), women’s hajj and umrah in the context of privacy, objectives of religious laws on hajj canceled during the epidemic, hajj organisation in free market conditions and the history of hajj practices.

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