MINA – Disabled pilgrims are finding it much easier to perform Haj because of the provision of new facilities that allows for easier movement at the holy sites.
In the past, the performance of the fifth pillar of Islam has been difficult for the disabled. Now the situation is completely different.
A disabled woman, who performed Haj last year said: “I had dreamt of performing Haj since I was a student at university. For more than five years after my graduation I had been thinking about performing Haj. I started inquiring at the domestic Tawafa establishments to see whether they provided services for the disabled. Also, I told my family about my desire to perform Haj. Some of them accepted the idea and others just kept silent.”
She said she felt something inside motivating her to perform Haj especially when she watched a live transmission of pilgrims moving around at the holy sites, particularly the thousands of old people walking among the crowds.
“Watching these scenes I said to myself I am stronger than many of them and I told my father about my determination to perform Haj. He made the necessary arrangements and assigned one of my brothers to accompany me.”
She said she went to Makkah with one of the domestic Tawafa establishments whose camp was near the Jamarat Bridge. She said that the multistory bridge built by the government made it easier for able pilgrims and particularly for the disabled.
She said the greatest obstacle she faced during Haj was boarding and disembarking from busses. “But Allah bestowed a great power in me so I did it myself. I even did the stoning ritual without seeking anyone’s help.”
Another disabled woman, Mona Bint Ahmad from Riyadh agreed that the Haj is more wheelchair friendly.
“I will never ever forget my experience of performing Tawaf in a wheelchair. My husband supported and encouraged me and boosted my morale. In fact, the phenomenal expansion and gigantic projects carried out by the government have made it much easier for the disabled.”
She also expressed her happiness at future new developments like the trains which will link all the holy sites. This would make Haj even easier for the disabled, she said. – SPA