Sheikh Qassim Gabriels, Consul General of the Republic of South Africa in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, says the embassy is extremely grateful to have South African pilgrims back in Saudi Arabia.
Gabriels was speaking to The Citizen following a successful Hajj 2022/1443.
LISTEN: South Africans welcomed by Saudi Arabia
Pilgrims will on Monday pelt all three pillars, throwing seven pebbles each; at Al-Jamarah Al-Sughra, Al-Jamarah Al-Wusta and the biggest pillar – Jamarah Al-Kubra. This symbolizes the devil’s stoning by the Prophet Ibrahim.
They will then move to the Haram in Makkah for Tawaaf-E-Wida’a, farewell circumambulation of the holy Ka’ba and also to say goodbye before leaving the kingdom and heading back to their home countries.
Gabriels and First Secretary Political, Imran Simmins, performed their Hajj with South African pilgrims in non-special services.
Gabriels said South Africans were warmly welcomed by Saudi Arabia for Hajj.
“On behalf of the South African embassy in Saudi Arabia and the Consulate General in Jeddah, Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), we are extremely grateful for having South African pilgrims on the holy sites of Arafah, Muzdalifah and Mina throughout the days of Hajj.”
“We are proud to be represented by the South African pilgrims after an absence of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We humbly beseech the Almighty Allah to grant all Hujjaj (pilgrims), a Hajj Maqbool and Hajj Mabroor (accepted Hajj),” said Gabriel’s.
Gabriels said pilgrims will be rewarded by Allah for their perseverance, patience and challenges during Hajj.
“The 18th of July is Nelson Mandela Day, a day that offers the servitude and sacrifice that Madiba made for our freedom, and as we all witnessed that experience, the Hajj is perhaps one of the greatest sacrifices that a Muslim can make.”
Gabriels wishes all pilgrims, including South Africans, a safe journey back to their homes and families.
About 850 000 from abroad, including 1 132 South Africans, performed Hajj this year.
Meanwhile, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman lauded the smooth and easy return of pilgrimage following exceptional health conditions due to Covid-19.