Annisa Essack | firstname.lastname@example.org
June 24, 2023 | 09:00 CAT
2 min read
An 85-year-old Indonesian volunteer traffic warden has finally realized his lifelong dream of going Hajj to Makkah and Madinah.
For over 30 years, Husin bin Nisan had been putting aside coins for his dream journey to Hajj.
Finally, he is now one of many elderly pilgrims in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, embarking on the long-awaited sacred journey, USA Today reported.
Husin tearfully recounted the prayer he had often chanted: “I beg you, God … open the way for me to go to Mecca and Medina. Please give your blessing,” Wisconsin Muslim Journal reported.
Husin’s long wait wasn’t only related to Indonesia’s hajj policy which has long waiting periods that could last for decades. The COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021 and age restrictions in 2022 meant further delays.
“The waiting period for the pilgrims was doubled,” said Arsyad Hidayat, director of hajj development at the Religious Affairs Ministry.
“And when it returns to normal to 100% of our quota, the impact of not having the pilgrimage for two years is still there.”
Hajj is an important event in the Islamic calendar as millions of Muslims gather yearly in Saudi Arabia’s city of Makkah to perform the lifetime journey.
The rituals of Hajj will occur this year between Monday, June 26 and Saturday, July 1. Furthermore, `Eid al-Adha will start on June 28.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime.
SOURCE: About Islam