Stoning the Devil-Posts at Jamarat (Rami Jamar)
with pebbles is an obligatory requisite for the completion of
rituals of the Pilgrimage (Hajj). Rami Jamar,
being one of the Pillars of Hajj, can not be avoided or
postponed. During the last Hajj season a
deadly episode had occurred at the
site of Jamarat which has drawn the attention of many
sincere Muslims to review the root-causes and find out some
solution to avoid reoccurrence of such a mishap.
In this paper various causes of the
above fatal episode have been critically reviewed and numerous
remedial actions have been suggested that might be taken to
avoid such scenario in future. The main points discussed in this
paper are: the operational plans and efficient management of
controlling accidents, chaos and crisis; application of
Information Technology in monitoring and mobilizing huge crowds;
providing proper guidance and instant information/instructions
to the Pilgrims (Hujjaj); highlighting the need of
promoting awareness and proper guidance, its important and
effective role in the disciplined movement of mob in a confined
area in a limited time. The social and psychological behavior of
human beings trapped amidst heavy crowds, and the
engineering-designs of Jamarat site have also been
reviewed and discussed briefly in this paper.
In the perspective of Hajj and
Umrah, few additional things concerning the usually seen
dashing crowd at the site of Black-Stone (Hajr Aswad) in
the Sacred Mosque (Haram) for kissing it have also been
It is absolutely not claimed that the
observations/suggestions made in this paper with regards to the
happenings at Jamarat site would make any significant and
immediate difference until the entire set-up is overhauled. But
this humble effort, made in good faith, can most probably assist
the concerned Saudi authorities in saving the precious lives of
many innocent people coming to the Holy land for performing
Hajj; and likewise minimize and/or control overcrowding
while kissing Hajr Aswad.
“Jamarat” is the plural of “Jamarah” which
literally means a small piece of stone or the pebble. There are
three Jamarat which are related to Hajj rituals.
These three Jamarat situated in Mina valley are
known as: Al-Jamarat-us-Sughra (the small stoning post),
Al-Jamarat-ul-Wusta (the middle stoning post) and the
(the last stoning post). These Jamarat are
represented by three stone pillars that are erected in the
middle of three respective circular peripheries (Haudh)
The distance between
Al-Jamarat-ul-Wusta on ground level is about 247
meters and the distance between Al-Jamarat-ul-Wusta and
Al-Jamarat-us-Sughra is about 200 meters .
These Jamarat actually symbolize the three places where
the Prophet, Ibrahim, may Allah’s peace be upon him, had
precisely stoned the Devil (Satan) when he had tried to
persuade him. The peripheries around the pillars were introduced
after the year 1292 Hijrah in order to reduce
overcrowding on site and collecting the pebbles in a confined
area. It is worth noting that the periphery of
Al-Jamarat-ul-Uqba was initially constructed only from one
side in the shape of a semi circle because its other side was
adhered to a small hill. When this hill was dynamited in order
to widen the road, the semi- circular periphery remained as it
was constructed initially .
About fifty years back from now the Jamarat site was
nothing but a small stone pillar of about 5 meters height and a
periphery of about 5.5-6 meters in diameter around the pillar.
Figure 1 shows the real picture of Jamarat site before
the existing structure and a group of Pilgrims stoning the
When the number of Pilgrims increased many folds and the then
Jamarat site became insufficient to accommodate them, an
upper story was constructed after the year 1383 Hijrah,
which also underwent expansions a number of times in the
following years .
The “Arab News”, a leading English daily newspaper published in
Saudi Arabia, reports that the first major expansion of the
Jamarat site was carried out in 1975 when the existing
structure of the bridge was constructed . Then nearly every
year some renovation and minor developmental works were carried
out in order to facilitate accommodating more and more Pilgrims
and use the premises with comfort and tranquility.
The existing Jamarat Bridge is 600 meters long and 40
meters wide from each direction. It is a two storied structure,
one basin or ground or basement level and the other over a
bridge. The Entry to the bridge is from eastern side of the area
reserved for the tents of Pilgrims. There are three circular
peripheries ranging from approximately 12 and 15 meters in
diameter in the basement as well as on the bridge of the
structure. Two adjacent roads run parallel to this Jamarat
site, which always remain overcrowded by the movements of heavy
and light passenger vehicles, ambulances, fire brigades,
patrolling police cars, food and water supplying trucks and the
According to the information available in the Custodian of Two
Holy Mosques’s Faculty for Hajj Researches (CTHMFHR), the
minimum lawful time for performing stoning ritual is five and
half hours. As per latest statistics the capacity of Jamarat
Bridge with average density of Pilgrims is 114,000 stoning per
hour, which in case of high density of the Pilgrims reaches to
627,000 stoning per hour. Thus, the number of Pilgrims passing
over Jamarat Bridge to perform stoning ritual reaches to
a million and 100, 000 Pilgrims per day. The percentage of
Pilgrims stoning on the bridge is 52% to that of the total
Pilgrims performing this ritual. Hence, the net mass which
passes through Jamarat region (i.e., the ground level and
over the bridge) for stoning reaches to 1,205,692 Pilgrims.
As per the statistics of the CTHMFHR, if the total number of
Pilgrims exceeds 2 million individuals and 20% of them are
appointing others as proxy to stone on their behalves, we find
that the number of Pilgrims who are capable of stoning in person
exceeds the total capacity of Jamarat region to
accommodate Pilgrims by more than 20% approximately.
A report published by Saudi Arabian Airlines in the year 2003
Gregorian indicates an expected overall increase of about 26% in
the movement of Pilgrims from various national and international
airports in the year 1423 Hijrah as compared to the year
1422 Hijrah. Figure 2 graphically represents this
expected overall increase.
This statistical analysis of CTHMFHR and the above report of
Saudi Arabian Airlines indicate the magnitude of increase in the
crowd level in recent years, and
hence confirm an immediate necessity of solving the problem of
At present some project is under way to renovate the existing
Jamarat Bridge at a cost of SR100 million. This renovation
project also includes changing the shape of the basin used to
throw pebbles by the Pilgrims from round to oval so that it may
accommodate more Pilgrims, addition of new entrances and exits
and installation of boards for the guidance of Pilgrims .
The details released by official sources about the civil
proposals approved for the development of the site in future
looks very lucid and attractive and will be discussed and
analyzed in detail under subsection 3.2 below.
Main Causes of Stamped
After scrutinizing and perusing
minutely the sequence of accidents observed on Jamarat
site in previous years one may deduce that the root
causes of stampede may be categorized into six main categories,
which may further be classified into a number of sub-groups. The
main categories and their sub-groups are discussed here as
3.1.1 Lack of Awareness in Pilgrims & Irresponsible
Behavior of Mutawwafeen
information/guidance/training is usually not furnished to the
Pilgrims either by their respective Hajj Committees or
the authorized Mutawwafeen (Saudi Sponsors or Hajj
Guides). The Pilgrims go out of their camps on their own for
stoning without any pre-planning or proper guidance or organized
training; hence create nuisance in situ.
3.1.2 Irresponsible Behavior of Pilgrims
18.104.22.168 Accumulation of
Unauthorized Pilgrims Near Jamarat Site:
Presence of a sizeable number
of Hajj aspirants, apparently arriving from nearby cities
or countries without adopting authorized means to perform
Hajj, unnecessarily creates overcrowding on the site.
Since such Pilgrims are not attached with Mutawwafeen,
they generally try to camp with their all baggage and belongings
at the places of their convenience, such as basement of
Bridge or surrounding open areas or under the shade of nearby
bridges or beside the roads near the site. Thus, on one hand
they put a lot of pressure on law enforcing staff, and on the
other hand create havoc for other law abiding Hajj
aspirants by blocking roads, jamming
traffic mobility, creating improper house keeping, lawlessness,
unhygienic and unsafe environment, etc.
Mob of Unauthorized/Authorized
Pilgrims Rushing for Stoning Just After Zawal:
Since a great mass of
unauthorized Pilgrims takes shelter near the site of Jamarat,
as mentioned above, and tries to perform stoning of Jamarat
in the very early hours of noon (i.e., just after Zawal);
hence enhances the chances of accidents to a great extent.
Some authorized Pilgrims also
imitate this unsafe practice thereby going to the Jamarat
site early in the morning and keep themselves waiting there
until noon time. As soon as Zawal time is over they
hurriedly rush into the premises for stoning the Devil-Posts in
the very first move of the mob. This situation further
aggravates the risk of accidents.
22.214.171.124 Pilgrims Carrying
Baggage While Going for Stoning:
Some Pilgrims exhibit another
very irresponsible behavior by performing the stoning of
Jamarat while carrying their luggage. It is observed that a
good number of Pilgrims come to the site of Jamarat with
their bag and baggage in a bid to go to Makkah Al-Mukarramah
directly from Jamarat to perform Tawaf (the
Circumambulation) of Al-Ifadhah (Visit) or Al-Wida
(Dearture). Such Pilgrims want to perform stoning in the early
hours after Zawal.
Some Pilgrims in quite
sizeable numbers directly come from Muzdalifah also with
their baggage to Jamarat and perform the rituals.
Many unauthorized Pilgrims who
do not have any proper or safe place to keep their luggage have
also been seen to carry it with them while going for stoning.
All these circumstances create
a lot of problems and hindrances for other Pilgrims, and
sometime also result in tragedies.
126.96.36.199 Pilgrims Entering
or Leaving Jamarat Bridge in Reverse Directions:
Due to a heavy crowd of
Pilgrims at Zawal time near the Entry Point of Jamarat
Bridge, some Pilgrims have been seen entering from the Exit
Point so that they may reach easily and quickly to the
Devil-Posts without experiencing any struggle.
Similarly, some Pilgrims who
have their camps nearer or towards the Entry Point of Jamarat
Bridge return in reverse direction, i.e., towards the Entry
Point, after stoning just to save them from walking a long way
around the structure.
But such movement of Pilgrims
in opposite direction obstructs and hampers the smooth flow of
3.1.3 Irresponsible Behavior of Some Staff on Duty
Behavior of Some Mutawwafeen:
In addition to what has been
mentioned above under section 3.1.1, most of the Mutawwfeen
and their subordinates don’t pay much attention towards the
safety and security of their Pilgrims. They just leave the
Pilgrims stray to do anything, any time, anywhere. They should
realize their responsibility to plan, organize and manage the
timings and activities related to certain rituals for their
Pilgrims. On the contrary their treatment with the Pilgrims
usually remains very harsh, insulting and ridiculous, and even
some times they do not listen to the genuine grievances of the
Behavior of Some Staff on duty:
It has also been observed that
some times the staff on duty, no matter to which cadre they
belong, take the things very casually. Let it be a police
officer or a doctor or a nurse or a fire fighter or a traffic
controller; to some of them even the fatal accidents don’t melt
their hearts and their attitude towards the victim Pilgrims
remains completely unchanged, absolutely non-cooperative and
3.1.4 Psychological & Social Impacts
It is well known
that the psyche of human beings is very much influenced by the
tragic memories attached to any sad event and this psychological
impact is exclusively exhibited in their behavior. Pilgrims are
no exception to this type of behavior. The tragedies that have
occurred in recent past at Jamarat site, almost at
regular intervals, have undoubtedly created a sense of fear and
apprehension in the minds of common Pilgrims.
Moreover when a
tragedy of any magnitude occurs at any stage during the course
of Hajj and the crystal clear situation is not brought to
limelight, a sense of panic is naturally created amongst the
majority of Pilgrims and many baseless rumors start circulating
among them. Overwhelmed by this psyche, the Pilgrims indulge
themselves in unnecessary and avoidable haste and disorder to
perform the rituals of stoning, thus resulting in many
millions of Muslims from every corner of the world assemble in
the Holy land to perform Hajj. Since the Pilgrims in this
big conglomeration have different social backgrounds, they do
differ in their customs, civilized traits, levels of tolerance,
cultural heritage, team spirit, educational acquaintance, sense
of brotherhood, moral values, fraternity, etiquettes, etc.
educated, intolerant, immoral, etiquette-less and uncivilized
Pilgrims are mostly found self-centered and involved in some
sort of criminal or immoral activities. Very often it has been
observed that many Niger with sound physic and muscular
personality run in groups pushing others Pilgrims on either side
with their elbows. They don’t even care stepping over any
elderly Pilgrim or female knocked down due to their strong push.
Once few persons are knocked down in huge congregations, like on
Jamarat site, and other Pilgrims unknowingly step over
them due to irresistible push from the back, a scenario of
pushing, crushing, dashing and chaos is initiated which
gradually propagates in its magnitude and the ultimate aftermath
that of is nothing but a great devastation and loss of precious
problems are sometimes initiated by unsocial elements, like the
pick-pockets. If they are caught red-handed by their victims,
they try to escape unidentified and mingle in the flowing stream
of millions of Pilgrims. In order to disappear quickly from the
sights of people around them, they sometimes try to push others
and run finding their way.
practices may also result in initiating chaos, mishaps, nuisance
and stampede on Jamarat site.
3.1.5 Design flaws
188.8.131.52 Faulty Entry Point
of Jamarat Bridge:
The Entry point(s) to the
places of huge gatherings, such as Stadiums, Auditoriums,
Theatres, etc., are generally kept much smaller in size and area
than the actual place where big events are practically
held/performed, whereas in case of Jamarat, the situation
is just the reverse.
The existing Entry point on
Bridge is unrestricted and far
far wider than the actual arena for the activity. This allows a
large mob to move in at a time, but the stoning rituals can be
performed by only a limited number of Pilgrims assembled around
Jamarat (say few hundreds) at a given point of time
because of following reasons:
prescribed/preferred size of the pebbles is such that it can not
hit the target or reach into the periphery surrounding the
Devil-Posts from a larger distance.
generally observed style of holding the pebbles in hands or
pockets or polythene bags is such that a Pilgrim can not achieve
the aim of hitting the target beyond a limited distance.
above two points are ignored and stoning ritual is performed
beyond the limit of operational distance, the pebbles are likely
to hit the Pilgrims instead of the Devil-Post(s) or falling into
This design flaw makes
unnecessary gathering on
Bridge. In the basement this overcrowding sometimes causes
Similarly, the Entry and Exit
points to the Jamarat are not clearly earmarked and
Tiered/Storied Jamarat Bridge:
The existing Jamarat
site is comprised of a single tiered/storied bridge and a
basement which has become totally insufficient to accommodate
every year increasing number of Pilgrims as has been described
under section 2. But, the Saudi Government in principle has
already taken the decision to convert it to multi-tiered/storied
structure which will be discussed in detail under section 3.2.2.
3.1.6 Miscellaneous Factors
Chaos Created Due to VVIP
Whenever some VIPs, diplomats
and dignitaries visit Jamarat site to perform the ritual,
the whole system becomes semi-paralyzed. For security reasons
certain enclosures are closed for ordinary Pilgrims. It exerts
extra pressure on other un-isolated enclosures, and consequently
increases the chances of mishaps.
3.2 Approved Developmental Plans & Gestation Period of
The approved developmental plan of Jamarat site consists
of a four storied bridge in addition to the ground or the
basement level, thus making it a five storied structure. The
option of further increasing the number of levels of Jamarat
Bridge has been kept open. This structure will be equipped with
a number of wide passages, tunnels, stairs, and elevators for
the handicapped and wheel chair users, etc.
This plan is fully compatible to the international standards of
latest architectural designing. Saudi authorities have decided
to complete this project in a number of phases. In its first
phase two levels of the bridge will be constructed and the
consecutive levels will be added later in subsequent phases of
the project. After the completion of the first phase three
million Pilgrims will be able to perform stoning ritual per day.
The capacity of Pilgrims stoning Jamarat will further
increase to five millions per day after the completion of
project’s final phase.
As per available information, the construction of new bridge
will be completed approximately in two years. In the first year
of its construction the ground floor, under ground tunnels and
roads on the upper levels will be constructed. These roads are
designed to receive the Pilgrims from different directions for
stoning ritual and will lead thereafter to specific destinations
H.E. Dr. Habib Mustafa Zainul Abideen, the Deputy
Minister of Municipal & Rural Affairs,
has revealed that the ministry has completed studies on the
project’s architectural designs and it will be implemented in
four phases within five years .
Crown Prince H.M. Abdullah Bin
Abdul Aziz while reviewing the plan on 10 November, 2004 has
wisely directed the concerned authorities to implement the
project soon after the forthcoming Hajj season.
Four Saudi construction companies are now vying to win the
contract of the approved Jamarat project .
As per official sources, “The
Pilgrims will be able to use the facility after the completion
of the project’s first phase.” .
Some glimpses of the approved project
can be seen in Figure 3, and few of its salient features are
described briefly as below:
3.2.1 Changing the Shape of
Minister, H.E. Iyad Madani, has said that the new
Jamarat design where the shape of the basement has been
changed from round to oval would increase its capacity .
The Proposed Expansion of the Jamarat Bridge in Mina
The new bridge will have four levels and the pillars holding the
bridge will be built along its edge to allow the uninterrupted
movement of Pilgrims. Access to the new bridge will be through
two entrances from Makkah Al-Mukarramah side. Approaching
from Aziziyah, Pilgrims will go straight to the second
floor of the Jamarat overpass. From north Mina,
Pilgrims will be routed to the third floor and those from south
Mina will be directed to the fourth floor .
3.2.3 Proposed Construction of Underground Tunnels
According to H.E. Dr. Zainul Abideen, three underground
tunnels will be built to accommodate traffic and separate
pedestrian Pilgrims from vehicles as part of the project
designed to serve four million Pilgrims annually .
The new tunnels to be constructed under Jamarat area are
King Faisal Tunnel, Sooq Al-Arab Tunnel and
Street Tunnel and will be used exclusively by vehicles. The
ambitious project, which took three years to plan and is
designed to raise the throughput from 100,000 to 500,000
Pilgrims an hour, incorporates safety features and
state-of-the-art crowd control measures to reduce the
possibility of repeats of the stampedes and resultant deaths
that have marked some Hajj seasons in recent years .
3.2.4 Proposed Usage of Electronic Devices
Electronic gates with direction signs will be installed to
control the crowds. The ground floor will be an
open area with no gates .
The statistical analysis of
CTHMFHR and the report of Saudi Arabian Airlines indicate that
the magnitude of overall increase in the crowd level of Pilgrims
in last few years approximates to many folds;
hence confirms an immediate necessity of solving the problem of
overcrowding in the holy land.
of sad happenings in past years should be critically studied and
scrutinized for the sake of learning lessons and substantiating
the main causes that were responsible for those occurrences.
A number of
factors which have been discussed under section 3.1 need special
attention; and hence should be properly addresses, further
investigated and controlled.
arrangements and security measures to be taken in future should
be thoroughly and again and again reviewed, ascertained and
analyzed thereby exploring all possibilities of eliminating the
chances of accidents, sorrowful happenings and misfortunes.
developments witnessed during the reign of the Kingdom’s caring
leadership are extra ordinarily commendable, worth appreciating,
internationally recognized and unprecedented.
The wise and
careful leadership of the “Custodian of Two Holy Mosques”, H.M.
King Fahed Bin Abdul Aziz Aal-e-Saud, may Allāh be
pleased with him and bless him with the Best Reward, is
undoubtedly very much concerned about the development of the Two
Holy Shrines and well being, safety and comfort of the Pilgrims.
the recent decision for restructuring Jamarat site is
substantial evidence that exhibits the core of concern of the
Kingdom’s leadership, it is a joint responsibility of everyone,
the entire Government machinery and the supporting staff deputed
or assigned in the area, the Mutawwafeen, and the
and precautionary measures which must be taken by Saudi
authorities are recommended hereunder in good faith with a
number of options:
5.1 Awareness of Pilgrims
Imparting Hajj Training Programs:
familiarization of Pilgrims all Hajj Committees through
out the universe must be compelled
to impart adequate training forehand to their respective Hajj
aspirants. This Training Program should also include important
safety rules, reflux action in case of emergency, first-aid and
hygienic practices, etc. Audio visual aids may be utilized for
the demonstration purpose. An advance certificate to this effect
should be issued after completion of this Training Program to
all Hajj aspirants from these Committees. Punitive action
should be taken in case of any violation detected in this regard
at any stage.
5.1.2 Restricted Hajj
The Royal Saudi Consulates
must be directed to endorse Hajj visas for only those
Hajj aspirants who may produce the training certificate
mentioned above in section 5.1.1.
5.1.3 Organization of
Ritual & Safety Workshops:
It should be made obligatory
upon all Mutawwafeen also to conduct educational
workshops for the awareness of Pilgrims with the right and safe
procedures of various rituals, such as Tawaf, stoning,
etc. The preachers (Da’eyah) in different languages, who
are currently employed Kingdom wide in various Dawah
Centers, may be utilized on voluntary basis or deputation or
may also arrange for Close
Circuit TV Cables (CCTVC) for educating their Pilgrims and
demonstrating them the right procedure of performing any ritual,
safety, health care and first aid rules, etc.
Distribution of Reading
Saudi Government itself should
distribute reading material/literature about Hajj
rituals, safety, first aid and general health care, etc., in all
major languages to all Hajj aspirants at each entry
point, viz., at Jeddah seaport/airport or from whichever other
points the aspirants enter into the kingdom.
Demonstration of Rituals &
Safety Rules at Public Places on CCTVC & Electronic Display
It would also be advantageous
to acquaint the Pilgrims in their own languages by demonstrating
the right procedures of performing rituals and the rules
pertaining to safety and health care. Some prominent public
places may be utilized for this purpose. This job can easily be
arranged with the coordination of various Mutawwafeen.
Ritual Planning & Organization
should pre-plan the time-table and organize the groups of their
Pilgrims to perform any ritual. The timings of performing any
particular ritual may be decided by mutual consent amongst other
Mutawwafeen in coordination with the Security staff
posted on site. It will potentially induce good management, thus
leading all Hajj activities in a well organized and the
Modification in Jamarat Entry
Since at present, the Entry
point to the Jamarat site is very wide and unrestricted
which allows thousands of Pilgrims to enter whereas only a few
hundred Pilgrims can perform stoning at a time, as discussed
above under section 184.108.40.206. This causes undue nucleation of
crowd in the vicinity of Jamarat. In this regard
following measures may be taken from the safety point of view:
Barricading with only few entry
doors should be made at the very beginning of Jamarat
Bridge so that only a limited/fixed number of Pilgrims may enter
the site at a time. Thus, the concentration of crowd may be
diluted to easily controllable extent.
As per official sources,
Electronic Gates will be provided in the new Structure of
Jamarat site, as discussed above under section 3.2.4. But
until the proposed Electronic Gates are functional, limiting the
entry of Pilgrims can be ensured by well trained, very
efficient, duty conscious, vigilant and smart police personnel.
5.2.2 Modification Around the Peripheries of the
An adequate number of circular
lanes should be constructed around the peripheries of all the
three Jamarat. Pilgrims will be allowed to move through
these lanes and perform stoning ritual while moving.
The exit of each such lane should
lead to the main exit of Jamarat so as to avoid returning
of some Pilgrims in the reverse direction.
The size of the proposed lanes
should be such that a permitted number of Pilgrims may move
forward safely at a given point of time, preferably in a single
row/queue, and no backward movement is possible. To accomplish
this delicate handling and maintaining law and order in the
premises, the security staff on duty should again be very
efficient, smart, well trained, courteous, polite, firm,
tolerant and proficient in speaking and understanding a couple
of main languages. Otherwise, this arrangement can boomerang and
mishaps of greater magnitude may occur.
5.2.3 Modification in the Shape of Devil-Post Peripheries:
As described above under section 3.2.1, Saudi authorities have
decided to change the shape of the existing peripheries around
Devil-Posts from round to oval. Though the details of new
architectural designs are not known to the authors, but it is
felt that the proposed change in shape is a wise decision and
will certainly increase the accommodating capacity of the area,
provided that the oval design is kept longitudinal to the main
structure. If, on the contrary, the shape is designed
latitudinal to the main structure, it may hinder the smooth flow
Other Regulatory Measures
Entry of Pilgrims carrying their
baggage with them should be checked at the main Entry Point of
Jamarat Bridge and performing stoning rituals with
baggage must be strictly banned.
Pilgrims camping in the basement
of Jamarat site or under nearby bridges or beside the
roads should be strictly prohibited.
Pilgrims entering from Exit Point
of Jamarat Bridge should be totally checked, and the
Pilgrims returning in the reverse direction, i.e., towards Entry
Point, must also be abandoned.
Chaos created due to the movement
of VIPs, diplomats and dignitaries can be avoided by fixing a
time for them instead of closing some enclosures on the site
until multi tiered/storied Jamarat is ready for use.
Once multi tiered/storied
Jamarat is constructed a particular story that of can be
reserved for their movement only.
It is further recommended that the
roof of the new multistoried structure of Jamarat must be
converted to a helipad which may be used for the transportation
and movement of VIPs, diplomats and dignitaries if and when
needed. Unnecessary road congestions and closure of some
enclosure for the security of VIPs can be avoided by using
For monitoring, directing and
controlling the situation on site and ensuring the smooth flow
of Pilgrims performing the ritual, sufficient elevated Police
Posts or Control Towers are required to be constructed in the
midst of lanes, proposed above under section 5.2.2, in such a
manner that the security personnel manning these posts can
oversee, control and guide the Pilgrims without hampering the
smooth flow of the Pilgrims.
There should be a foolproof
communication system and permanent contact between the security
personnel posted at the Entry Point of Jamarat Bridge and
those posted at the site where the Pilgrims actually perform the
Through the arrangement of above
stated communication system, the inflow of Pilgrims from the
main Entry Point can be controlled, and only that number of
entrants may be permitted to enter the lanes which can perform
stoning ritual smoothly, safely and peacefully.
Note: There should not be any doubt or
misconception that if these regulatory measures are adopted all
Pilgrims may not be able to perform stoning in the stipulated
period. As a matter of fact, the above proposed measures will
facilitate the proceedings in a big and well organized way.
Since only few seconds are required for a Pilgrim to perform the
stoning ritual, it is strongly believed that all Pilgrims may do
this exercise smoothly well within the permitted time.
CCTVC and EDB fixed on all
prominent public places would help in demonstrating the health
care, Safety, Fire Fighting and First Aid Rules to many ignorant
Pilgrims and also acquainting them with the safe and correct
procedure of performing any ritual or behaving in case of
emergencies. These CCTVC and EDB devices may also be used to
pass necessary instructions/ directions/guidance to the Pilgrims
in case of any accident or tragedy.
There should be proper arrangement
of announcements in all languages near all camps in Mina,
Arafah, Muzdalifah, Jamarat and other important
public places to pass important
messages/instructions/directions/guidance to the Pilgrims in
case of any accident or tragedy. It will patch up the
communication gap and depolarization between Administrative
Forces and the Pilgrims.
To counter the panic and rumors
from spreading amongst the mass of Pilgrims about any accident
or tragedy or unforeseen circumstances, the CCTVC, EDB and
announcement facilities may be utilized thereby broadcasting the
facts for keeping them informed and updated with the current
status of the happenings.
The sense of mistrust built
amongst the Pilgrims in such situations can be well eradicated
by confidence building and providing them reliable and rational
information about every state of affair.
Sealed Complaint, Questionnaires
and Suggestion Boxes should be provided by Hajj Ministry
to all Mutawwafeen wherein the Pilgrims may express their
grievances and sincerely suggest for the betterment of the
services provided by Mutawwafeen in particular, and Saudi
Government in general.
Recommendations Regarding Kissing
& Touching Hajr Aswad
Although kissing/touching/seeing Hajr Aswad is not an
integral part of the Hajj or Umrah, but all
Pilgrims visiting the Holy land, particularly Ka’abah, on
the occasion of Hajj or Umrah naturally have the
desire to touch and kiss the Black-Stone at least once in their
lives, as a Precept (Sunnah) of the Prophet,
mpbuh. But many Pilgrims, especially the ladies, just watch
the scene of strong, young, enthusiastic and daring Pilgrims
dashing, pushing and climbing over each other to reach nearer to
the Stone. These Pilgrims get the opportunity of kissing the
Stone not only once but several times after risking their lives.
Whereas, the majority of weak, old aged, ladies and civilized
Pilgrims don’t get the opportunity to touch the Stone even once.
Hence they return having their utmost desire in their chests
Following suggestions are hereby presented in this regard too:
Every Pilgrim should be issued a
Token/Card for the purpose of kissing Hajr Aswad along
with other essential documents/tokens issued by the
Mutawwafeen to the Pilgrims. This token should bear the name
and number of every Pilgrim and should be absolutely
At present only one-queue moves
for kissing the Black-Stone. There should be a barricaded lane
for this single queue. Each aspirant should produce his/her
token to the security staff posted at the entry of the lane for
kissing the Stone.
At the exit of the lane, the
people coming out after kissing the Black-Stone should not be
allowed to merge into the main crowd performing Tawaf.
Instead they should emerge out
from one or more main gates of the Haram. For this
purpose, an underground subway can be constructed.
If possible, separate timings
should be fixed exclusively for ladies to avoid intermingling
with males which seems unethical and, in most of the cases,
causes disrespect for them who dare to kiss the Stone along with
their male counterparts. At present, this segregation of timings
for different sexes is practiced in Haram Al-Nabawi Al-Sharif
for visiting the pious grave of the Prophet, mpbuh.
In this way each Pilgrim will get a chance to kiss the
 A number of websites, such as:
 A number of Arabic and English Daily Newspapers, such
as: “Arab News”, Jeddah, dated 15 November 2004.
 A number of Arabic and English Journals, such as: “Ahlan
Wasahlan”, Vol.27, Issue: 2, February 2003, Page: 116 (17),
Saudi Arabian Airlines, Jeddah