RIYADH – Simon Collis, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, performed hajj this year, becoming the first sitting British convoy to perform the ritual.
The news was revealed in a tweet by @fawziah1 in Arabic saying, “First British ambassador to the kingdom performs hajj after reverting to Islam,” the CNN Arabic reported on Tuesday, September 13.
“Simon Collis with his wife Huda in Makkah, Alhamdulillah,” she wrote in a tweet on September 12.
The tweet was re-posted by the ambassador’s wife Huda Mujarkech.
Collis joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK in 1978. He studied Arabic and has served mainly in the Middle East and South Asia. His first posting was to Bahrain.
Subsequently, he served as British ambassador to Iraq, Syria and Qatar.
He was British consul-general in Dubai and Basra.
According to the British Embassy, he also served in Tunis, New Delhi and Amman.
He was appointed as the British ambassador to Riyadh in February, 2015.
Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Hajj consists of several ceremonies, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.