Guidance at every step of the way
MECCA: Tabung Haji (TH) will provide religious guidance to Malaysian pilgrims here throughout the haj season to ensure that they perform the fifth pillar of Islam successfully.
“Completion of the pilgrims’ worship will be led by religious guidance, and it is important. If they come without sufficient knowledge about haj, even if they stay in a luxurious hotel, they would fail in terms of worship,” TH Operations director (Guidance) Tengku Aziz Raja Abdullah said.
He said pilgrims would be exposed to 12 religious sermons during their stay, eight here and four in Medina. These sessions will review what they were taught in courses conducted in Malaysia, and will cover the rules, rituals and necessary preparations.
“For first timers to the Holy Land, there will be an important session on their umrah. We will clarify any doubt they may have. If they are not confident of their first umrah after this session, there is still time to redo it before proceeding with haj rituals.”
He said each maktab had two religious guides, an ustaz for men and ustazah for women, to resolve any query about the pilgrims’ worship. Another avenue is TH’s worship hotline (Talian Ibadat, or Taib), available from 7am to 12pm, 4.30pm to 6.30pm, and 8pm to 10pm.
“Two weeks before wukuf until one week after wukuf, Taib will operate 24 hours so that pilgrims can clarify issues or doubts about their worship,” Tengku Aziz said.
He said there would be 49 haj facilitators on duty this year, including three experts for more complicated cases, namely former director-general of Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz, former Fiqh lecturer in Universiti Malaya Dr Anisah Abdul Ghani and Majlis Agama Islam Johor adviser Datuk Noh Gadut.