A Muslim couple from Maharashtra, India, have decided to donate their hajj money to help the poor affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the first wave of the coronavirus we utilized our hajj fund to buy ration and food for the needy. In the second wave we directed the money to pay hospital bills, buy medicine, oxygen cylinders for the poor,” Shaikh Anjum Pervez told India Times.
From 2008 and till last year, Shaikh Pervez and his wife Samina used to perform the annual journey of hajj. It was the COVID-19 restrictions which made hajj 2020 and 2021 out of reach for the couple.
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Eversince the outbreak of the pandemic, many Muslims have used their savings to help less fortunate people, buying rations, paying school fees or hospital bills, and even buying oxygen concentrators or the remdesivir injections.
Mumbai-based Iqbal Memon Officer and his wife also used to perform umrah annually in Ramadan till Covid-19 in 2020 forced them to cancel it.
“Even if the situation had improved and the Saudis had allowed foreigners to perform Umrah in Ramzan, we would not have gone there,” said Officer, businessman and President of All India Memon Jamaat Federation.
“We had decided to spend the money (around Rs five lakh) in bringing relief to people near home and gather blessings rather than seek blessings by visiting the holy sites.”
Last year, Shirin Nazirmadova, a doctor from southern Tajikistan, also decided to donate hajj savings to her local Farkhor district hospital to buy much-needed supplies to battle the coronavirus.
Hajj ceremonies symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith. It commemorates 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.