Monday, April 5, 2021
Delivering a speech at the opening of the International Hajj Symposium, the President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş said, “We shall try to seek new approaches and solutions to the current problems related to the hajj organization in the light of our civilization legacy that has been created within this framework, especially Qur’an and sunnah al-saniyyah.”
The ‘International Hajj Symposium’ organized with the title ‘Hajj in the Context of Changing and Developing Conditions’ by the Presidency of Religious Affairs General Directorate of Hajj and Umrah Services started in Ankara with the opening session held with the attendance of the President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş.
Delivering a speech at the session held in the Turkiye Diyanet Foundation Conference Hall, the President of Religious Affairs Erbaş wished the symposium contribute to blessings and thanked those who made efforts on the organization of the symposium.
Mentioning that Qur’an invited people to tawhid, the President Erbaş said “One of the symbolic worships of the belief of tawhid is hajj. The worship of hajj which was announced to the humanity through Prophet Ibrahim is described in Qur’an as the right of the Almighty Allah (swt) on the people. And consequently, it was commanded to perform and complete the hajj and umrah only for the sake of the Almighty Allah (swt).”
Stating that Hajj was a worship that gathers within its body the fundamental principles of a Muslim life with the meaning constituted by each pillars of the hajj, the President Erbaş talked as “It is to live and keep alive the Islamic mindset and ethics at the levels of individual, social and universal. In this respect, hajj, which is the biggest longing and excitement for the believers whose hearts are fired with the love of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw), is a mubarak journey, blessed worship and a sweet happiness as well as a great climate of purification.”
Stating that the worship of hajj was a school that taught the most fundamental principles and values of Islam to the Muslims both theoretically and practically, the President Erbaş used expressions as “What the most important in the worship of hajj that is distinguished with several symbols such as Miqat, ihram, tawaf, safa, marwa, sa’y, shaving, performing waqfa, and Stoning of the Devil is to be aware of that great meaning constituted by each symbols. As a matter of fact that hajj teaches us the existence, the goal of creation, consciousness of servanthood, humanly values and the beautiful morals.”
Underlining that hajj was a worship where the values such as brotherhood, solidarity, sharing and the beautiful morals were strengthened, the President Erbaş evaluated as, “In the hajj journey and during the worship, the believers have to be side by side like teeth of a comb and shoulder by shoulder like bricks of a building.”
“Hajj is a universal congress where the feel of brotherhood climax”
Drawing the attention to the fact that Muslims had two great universal principles with respect to belief, morals and the future, the President Erbaş continued his words as follows:
“The first one is the belief of tawhid that brings our feels, opinions and actions together in the servanthood to the Almighty Allah (swt) who is one and only. The second one is the morals of unity that brings us together with a strong sense of brotherhood in the axis of the belief of tawhid. We are aware of the fact that the only way for us to be able to build a better life and a better future is to make these two principles dominate our lives in the correct way. In this respect, hajj is a universal congress where the Muslims come together every year in the axis of iman and tawhid, the feel of brotherhood climax and the consciousness of unity is lived fully. Therefore, it is understood more clearly that hajj is a worship that totals the good morals with principles that embrace every aspect of the life. Furthermore, this perspective clearly shows us the relation of worship and life. Worships guide us by keeping our relation with ourselves, environment, society and the nature in the axis of morals, mercy and responsibility. As a matter of fact that when we ignore the aspect of worships regarding the life, we become away from both wisdom and merit of the worship.”
“We shall give more importance to our visits to Jerusalem”
Stating that the services that had been executed for the performance of the worships of hajj and umrah were among the important services that had been presented by the Presidency of Religious Affairs, the President Erbaş talked as “With this consciousness and responsibility, organizations of hajj and umrah have been organized by our Presidency since 1979 and 1984 respectively with an experience that has been developing constantly. Since the year of 2015, we have been resuming an important tradition of our civilization by organizing tours of umrah that are connected to Jerusalem. A couple of months ago, we have changed the name of the Department of Umrah Services under the General Directorate of Hajj and Umrah Services as the Department of Umrah and Jerusalem Visits. Insha Allah, as of this day, we shall contribute at the point of visiting Masjid al-Aqsa and Jerusalem, establish an awareness and show this awareness to all of the World by giving more importance to our visits to Jerusalem.”
“Symposium is to establish a ground where hajj shall be negotiated comprehensively”
Stating that the Presidency of Religious Affairs leveled up more its service standards year by year in order for our citizens to perform their worships of hajj and umrah in health, peace and security, the President Erbaş continued his words as follows:
“This international symposium whose opening is being executed today under the title of “Hajj in the Context of Changing and Developing Conditions” is to establish a ground where both physical and moral aspects of hajj shall be negotiated comprehensively. We shall follows such a valuable papers and presentations that shall be presented at several aspects regarding the worship of hajj with respect to its legislative process, fikh aspect, sociologic effect, cultural reflections, issues on health and educational methods here. We shall witness closely the processes of improvement and development of hajj organizations since the asr al-saada (the Age of Bliss) to today. We shall try to seek new approaches and solutions to the current problems related to the hajj organization in the light of our civilization legacy that has been created within this framework, especially Qur’an and sunnah al-saniyyah.”
Recording that the most fundamental goal of the Symposium was to establish a new horizon in the frame of the conditions and facilities of the age regarding the worship of hajj and hajj organization, the President Erbaş talked as “For this, it is important to discuss again several headings regarding the fikh aspect of hajj firstly within the frame of developing facilities and changing conditions. To consider the hajj services and organizations with their every aspects over the aforementioned fikh ground and to discuss comprehensively the current issues especially the pandemic and other special situations shall establish a new perspective for the hajj organizations of the future.”
“A great longing for hajj and umrah has formed in the Islamic World”
Reminding that no pilgrims were accepted outside of Saudi Arabia in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic, the President Erbaş continued his words as follows:
“A great longing for hajj and umrah has formed in the Islamic World. Here I request our Lord to eliminate this disease and save the humanity from such an epidemic. Because hajj actually is the symbol of unity and tawhid for the believers. Is there another worship that is performed by various differences of different colors, languages and races around the Kaaba al-Muazzama with an image of a tawhid and a unity? Due to this epidemic, the Islamic World was devoid of this. May the Almighty Allah (swt) save all the humanity from this trouble as soon as possible. We always make duas and shall continue to make duas, Insha Allah. Precaution, trust and dua are the integrated parts of a Muslim and we shall take precaution. I do not know whether we can perform hajj in 2021 or not, or how this process of epidemic shall develop, whether the numbers shall increase or decrease, but I hope we shall in 2021, Insha Allah. Let us make duas that it shall be possible, the disease is eliminated or reduced, and at the very least, a small number of Muslims from all around the World can perform hajj. We should continue to make duas and take precautions for this.”
Delivering his thanks to all the attendees, Başkan Erbaş requested the Almighty Allah (swt) let this symposium contribute to the blessings.
The President Erbaş also performed the opening of the exhibition that was prepared in the scope of the symposium and where the documentation of Surra al-Humayun and pieces of clothing of the Kaaba al-Muazzama are displayed. The exhibition can be visited in TDV exhibition hall for three days.
Head of Syrian Hajj Delegation Muhammed Ebul Hayr Shukri, Supervisor of Jordan Ministry of Religious Affairs Hatem Cemil es-Suhaymat, Vice Minister of Afghanistan Religious Affairs Muhammed Osman Tariq, Nigeria President of Hajj Zikrullah Hassan Alakunle and Somalia Minister of Religion and Foundations Ömer Ali Roble who attended the opening session where a greeting speech was delivered by the General Director of Hajj and Umrah Services Remzi Bircan delivered speeches per each.
91 articles shall be presented in the symposium where attendees from our country and abroad attended.
The Symposium that shall be held in Turkiye Diyanet Foundation Conference Hall and Ankara Rıfat Börekçi Educational Center Conference Hall in 20 sessions can be followed via “hac.gov.tr/hacsempozyumu” and social media accounts of the General Directorate of Hajj and Umrah in Turkish, Arabian and English as live.