Prayers, tears mark Hajj-2014

Enemies out to weaken Muslims: Grand Mufti

Tears flowed and prayers filled the air as the annual Hajj by about 1.4 million believers from around the world reached its zenith on a vast plain in western Saudi Arabia Friday.
“I am now a newborn baby and I don’t have any sin,” Nigerian pilgrim TaofikOdunewu told AFP, standing at the foot of Mount Mercy on the Arafat plain, tears streaming down his face.
Odunewu raised his hands to the heavens in the seamless two-piece white “ihram” outfit that he wore.
All male pilgrims dress in ihram to symbolize a state of purity, which also emphasizes their unity regardless of social status or nationality.
“I pray for prosperity, long life and.. I pray for my country,” Odunewu said with a broad smile.
Saudi Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, Friday called upon the Muslim rulers to promote mutual cooperation and harmony to meet all the present day challenges.
Making the Hajj sermon at Arafat, he said enemies are hatching conspiracies against Islam and responsibility lies with the Muslim rulers to tread the righteous path to “foil the nefarious designs of anti-Islam forces.”
“The Muslim rulers should keep the interests of Ummah supreme and work towards their welfare and wellbeing.”
He urged the Muslims to remain faithful to their rulers and extend a helping hand to them in meeting the challenges and promoting the teachings of Islam. He said the enemies want to weaken Muslims and they are incessantly plotting against Muslims.
He said “polices should be framed to safe our future generations from bloodshed and any anarchy. Deviation from Islamic teachings is also one of the reasons for the problems faced by us.”
He said the media of Muslim countries should also play its role for raising the flag of Islam in the world.
The Grand Mufti said Islam is a complete code of life and its teachings are for the wellbeing of the whole humanity.  He said the holy book Quran has declared Muslims the best of all Ummahs because it
preaches nobility and stops from wrongdoings. He said Islam preaches mutual cooperation, love and affection with the entire humanity. It has declared the murder of any person as the biggest sin.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz appealed to the religious scholars to promote the true teachings of Islam and invite the people towards the path shown by Quran and Sunnat. He emphasized the need for bringing reforms in the education system.
Saudi authorities said there are 1.4 million international visitors for the hajj this year. Some 600,000 pilgrims from the kingdom itself are also expected to take part.

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