Hajj deaths: Emir Sanusi wants Nigerian pilgrims to end “stoning the devil”

The Emir of Kano and head of Nigeria’s 2015 Hajj delegation, Muhammad Sanusi II, has said that he would recommend that Nigerians stop participating in the Jamarat (symbolic stoning of the devil) rite of Hajj in Mina, except they are given accommodation close to the site. 

He stated this Friday in Makkah when he led a delegation to visit to Sokoto pilgrims at their residence.

His comments followed the death of 769 pilgrims, in September, as over 2 million people made an attempt to “stone the devil”.

Emir Sanusi reiterated that blacks, particularly Nigerians, were not responsible for the Mina stampede that also left over 900 people injured.

Mr. Sanusi said Nigeria does not have any issue with the Saudi Arabian authorities, but that they must understand that no human being is superior to another in the sight of God, except those who fear God most.

He said the stoning of the devil was not worth the blood of any Muslim.

Emir Sanusi, who quoted several verses from the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, said refusal to even perform the stoning of devil rituals does not in any way invalidate one’s Hajj.

“During the era of Prophet Muhammad, he permitted pilgrims who came on camels to stay in Makkah after Arafat, instead of staying in Mina and sleeping at Muzdalifa. So, if the Prophet can give such grace to some people, just to protect their animals, why didn’t our scholars educate our people properly to avoid this untoward hardship and death,” he said.

“Therefore, it will be part of my recommendation to the Federal government that, if we cannot get accommodation close to Jamarat where the Arabs reside in Mina, then this year may be the last time we will sleep in Mina and Muzdalifa because we want to stone the devil.

“Besides that, if one deliberately refuses to even perform the stoning of the devil rituals, all he needs to do is just to slaughter a ram. So, if this is the situation, why do we go and suffer and die instead of sacrificing a ram.

“As it is presently, sleeping in Mina and Muzdalifa is not backed by any Hadith (sayings/deeds of Prophet Muhammad) or verse of the Qur’an. So, why do we continue to do it?” he said.


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