PIC: 760 Ugandan Muslims are traveling to Mecca this year. (Credit: Abbey Ramadhan)
KAMPALA - This year, there are more Ugandans doing the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, also known as Hajj.
It is understood that 760 faithful are travelling to Saudi Arabia, 10 more than those that did the religious trip last year.
The first batch flew out on Friday, before the second group followed suit on Sunday. The last batch leave Tuesday (today), destined for the holy city.
According to the Islamic calender, the approximate date for this year's Hajj pilgrimage is September 11.
At the end of last week, Ugandan Muslims gathered at Wandegeya mosque in Kampala to say prayers during a send-off ceremony.
Prince Kassim Nakibinge cautioned pilgrims to be vigilant and to cross-check whatever they will be carrying along.
He also told them to respect the laws of Saudi Arabia to avoid any embarrassment.
“Do not get involved in unlawful acts,” he told the large group.
“People should see you as foreign pilgrims from a country governed by strict sharia laws. Be respectful to your leader and be vigilant.”
Hajj is the fifth and last pillar of Islam, where Muslims all over the world make a visit to the holy city of Mecca.
On his part, the Supreme Mufti of Kibuli Sheikh Siliman Ndirangwa urged travelers to pray for peace in Uganda and neighboring countries.
“You are our ambassadors to Mecca, make sure you protect our image,” he said.
Matari Group entertaining faithful at the function
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago attended the prayer function. He is pictured here greeting Prince Nakibinge