By SAUDHA NAKANDHA AND SHAMIM SAAD
Muslim pilgrims are set to travel to Mecca and Medina on the 29th of this month, Al-Haji Juma Shiwuyo, the secretary for Haji (pilgrimage) at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, has said.
He said on Tuesday that 1,200 Muslims are expected to go for the pilgrimage that will last for about one
Shiwuyo advised all those who intend to travel to attend Hajj lessons if they are to have a fruitful journey.
“Learning about what takes place on Hajj is a way to get on board with what you are to do,” he advised.
Shiwuyo said each pilgrim pays about sh10m to cater for travel, accommodation and other expenses.
Performing the Hajj is a fulfilment of the fifth pillar of Islam. It occurs during the Dhul-Hajj, which is the 12th month on the Islamic calendar. All financially able Muslims are required to perform it during their lifetime.
Muslims also perform Umrah.
The head of the Tablique sect in Uganda, Sheikh Suleiman Kakeeto, explained that it is not compulsory as
opposed to Hajj.
He said Umrah can be done at any time of the year unlike Hajj, which takes place at a particular time. Kaketo said Umrah is performed out of one’s personal will, while Hajj must be fulfilled by every Muslim.
He, however, said it is advisable for Muslims to perform Umrah during Ramadhan because it is believed to
carry more blessings during that time.
During Hajj and Umrah, rituals such as moving around the Kaaba seven times, drinking water from th Zamzam well, running between the hills of Marwa and Al-shafa, throwing stones and slaughtering animals, among others are performed.