What a horrible tragedy. May God, through his son, Jesus the Messiah, provide comfort to the families and friends of those who have been killed.
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence. The gathering during Hajj is considered the largest annual gathering of people in the world. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to Allah (the Muslim God). The word Hajj means “to intend a journey”, which connotes both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intentions.
“More than 700 Muslims worshipers were killed in a stampede near Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca on Thursday, a disaster that raises questions about the country’s ability to manage the safety of the millions of pilgrims who travel to its holy sites each year.
“The death toll of 717 — which Saudi officials said still could rise — marked the deadliest incident during the annual hajj pilgrimage in a quarter of a century. One survivor said people toppled “like dominoes” before being trampled or suffocated.”