All Haj pilgrims now safely home
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
ALL of the Sultanate’s Haj pilgrims have now returned safely yesterday to their loved ones after completing their pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
There were 241 pilgrims; 181 flew under the Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd (DSHB), 50 under Straits Central Agencies along with six medical officers and four DSHB officers.
About 10.30am, Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) carrier safely touched down at the Brunei International Airport runway and manoeuvred towards an airport parking bay.
Clad in black white thoub (Arabic attire) and keffiyeh (headwear), the pilgrims both men and women, both young and old, were greeted by senior officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs led by the minister himself, Yang Berhormat Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pengiran Hj Abd Rahman.
Also present were Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pg Dato Paduka Hj Bahrom Pg Hj Bakar, Permanent Secretaries Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Aziz Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Hj Yussof and Hj Mohammad ‘Abdoh Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Salam, Permanent Secretary of Communications Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof, Deputy Permanent Secretary and senior officials.
The pilgrims recited a _Doa Selamat _prayer to mark their safe return and then shook hands, hugged the officials who conveyed their well-wishes.
Passports scanned, trolleys filled with luggage, dates and Air Zamzam (sacred water), the pilgrims strolled to the arrival hall filled with more than 300 people waiting for them.
When they came out, family members unleashed their cameras to capture the special moment, young ones tip-toed to see if their parents had arrived, some elders recited Alhamdulillah, thankful to God for their children’s return as they tightly hugged their now Haji and Hajah loved ones.
Yesterday’s tally of 241 pilgrims combined with the first batch meant there were at least 434 Bruneians who successfully completed the fifth pillar of Islam this year.
Unlike the other four pillars, the Haj pilgrimage remains the only pillar which was only compulsory upon being financially and physically capable of performing it as one must voyage across land and sea to spend a month in the holy lands of Medinah and Mecca.
The safe landing also confirmed Charge d’ Affaires of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Brunei Darussalam, Tariq Mohammed Ali Bahhah’s previous statement that the pilgrims enjoyed a safe pilgrimage and have returned to their home countries.
The Brunei Times