Spike in SARS Deaths in Saudi Arabia May be Behind the Reduction in Pilgrims Going to Hajj this Year

The government of Saudi Arabia has announced that they will reduce the amount of hajj pilgrims coming to Mecca and Medina by 1/5th.  They will reduce the number in Saudi Arabia by 1/2.  They claim that this is being done so more pilgrims can travel in the future while they continue the expansion on the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

But many feel the reduction is due to the rise in SARS death in the kingdom.  There have been 64 confirmed cases of SARS and 34 deaths.  The SARS epidemic has spread to many other countries to include my homeland of Jordan.

News reports have shown that SARS is to be a worldwide epidemic in the near future as many countries have had outbreaks including the UK.

While we cannot know for sure what is behind the reduction of people allowed to go to Saudi Arabia for hajj season which this year will be in October, we can tell you that true Muslims would not let fear stop them from making the pilgrimage.

Muslims go to Mecca based on faith, religious obligations and love of their lord.  But the hadith states plainly that it is disliked to leave a place where there is a plaque and it is disliked to go to a place where there is a plaque. While SARS is not actually a plaque, it is possible to consider it an epidemic.  Based on this authentic hadith, I caution Muslims from going on hajj unless necessary.

In statements carried by the official Saudi Press Agency on Wednesday, the supreme judicial council said the reduction in pilgrim numbers was legitimate to ensure safety while work was carried out to allow more pilgrims to come in future.

Prevention of SARS

If you plan to visit Saudi Arabia whether for Ramadan rituals or Hajj prepare ahead of time by using black cumin oil daily.  Black cumin (Nigella sativa) is one of the best oils to put in your system to improve your immune system.  It is an anti-viral and can combat disease as stated by our prophet to use this seed often.

Read:  Black Cumin is the Best Oil to Put in Your System