Technology and Changing world : Hajj of Past and Present
Hajj is a 1400 year Old tradition and and holds special value for we Muslims.Statistics say that about 23.4% of World Population is Muslim which accounts to over more than 1.6 billion people.Today Islam has become the fastest growing religion of the world and over 2 million People Perform Hajj every year.Mecca has experienced a lots of changes.The current structure covers an area of 356,800 square metres (88.2 acres) including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces.
Sometimes,when we sit with an album and look at the Old pictures,we get a smile in our face and feel refreshed.While I was sitting with my friend yesterday,She showed me some Old Pics of hajj and We were amazed at how fast the World has changed.How fast are the People coming to Islam and how fast has the Saudi government improved the facilities for the Pilgrims.I have compiled few Pictures of “Hajj of Past and Present”. Some images are collected from National Geographic magazine (Hajj 1953)and some of them are from flicker and google images.Hope you enjoy watching it.
Hajj Then and Now
This is the image of Hajj 62 years back.
And This is the image of Hajj a year back.Just see the change.It is Overwhelming.
Hajj has Become Easier
Today the journey of Hajj is not so tough as it was few years back.Thanks to Allah that modern technology are being used these days to provide every facility to the Pilgrims.The journey has shortened.The Pilgrims are Provided with food and they are not away from their family members in the sense that they can call them up at any time of the day.Let us see some pictures from past and appreciate the enormous blessing Allah has bestowed us with.Alhumdulillah.Pilgrims Faced Hardship in their journey:
The Journey of Hajj was filled with hardship.The Pilgrims used to cover long distances in buses,Ships,on camels and they used to travel long distance on foot too.They didn’t had Air conditioners and neither did they had goggles.All they used was an umbrella.Some times they used to manage with little food and water and many would die on the journey due to shortage of food and medical facilities.
The Scenario is Different Today
In this Picture we can see an Old styled Aeroplane.This was 63 years back and not many People had this privilage to travel in an aeroplane.They came by Bus,On ships and some on camels too.Now the scenario is different.Today almost everybody come via aeroplanes,and some via ships too.The affairs are well controlled and lots more easy.
This is the recent image of pilgrims .Masha Allah life has become more comfortable.There are Maps, guides and scouts to guide the pilgrims today.
Lots of Constructions…
Now let us see how has the Haram Sharif changed:-
Haram Sharif is experiencing a lots of construction to accomodate the growing number of Pilgrims.This is the picture of gate of haram sharif of Past.
And There is the Gates of Haram Sharif Today.Furthermore many essential changes have come into our life.There has been improvement in water supply,Power supply and waste Management.There are emergency services and scouts and volunteers to help the pilgrims at every step.
The Mataf area have been expanded to accomodate about 75000 people.
Changing of Kiswa
During Hajj,The kiswa which is the black velvet covering of the Kaaba, is folded up by about three meters to protect it from possible damage during the peak days of Haj when pilgrims cram into the holy precincts to perform tawaf (circumambulation ritual).This is
Even today,this practice is maintained to prevent the cover of ka’aba from abuse.
Look at the tents of Mina.The Arabs have retained this culture and although today,the tents of Mina looks the same,We have more facilities Now.Today the tents are larger in number.There are about 1 lakhs air conditioned tents in Mina to provide temporary accomodation to the pilgrims during Hajj.
Here you can see the difference in number of People standing on Arafat during Hajj.Today about 2-3 million people present themself before Allah on second day of Hajj.Do you know why the second day of Hajj is also called Day of arafat ?You can read it here
In those days,People came with their livestock.They prayed on Open field in Mujdalifa.Even today People do not hesitate to pray on the street.The Means of Transport have changed but the love of Salah and Punctuality has still survived.
Here is an interesting info.The Jamarat as seen in the picture was a pillar in those days.
The Jamarat became so crowded and with the growing pilgrims that it had to be replaced by walls in 2004.
CUTTING OF HAIRS:
This comparison shows the real improvement in Technology.The style of Shaving of hairs have changed.Today no One sit with their head bowed in front of a Barber.Do you Agree ? 🙂
We are so lucky that we don’t have to bear the hardship like the People of Past but it is so Sad that We still have not made a resolution to do Hajj as soon as Possible.
May Allah make things easy for us.