Saturday, November 26, 2005

Someone Explain This To Me?

From the Kuwait Times:

KUWAIT: The Saudi counsellor in Kuwait met a number of Haj campaigns administrators on Tuesday. The director of Haj Affairs office in Awqaf, Khalid Bugaith, announced the start of receiving residents' passports for Haj. Bugaith indicated that campaign administrators asked the Saudi counsellor to increase the allowed number from 3,750 to 5,000 for Haj, and women who are less than 40 years old will not get Haj visa, reported Al-Qabas.

Am I misunderstanding this? Can they actually refuse Hajj visas to people? Isn't it 7aram to refuse any Muslim the right to go on a Hajj pilgrimage?

(PS. Sorry I've been gone so long folks, schoolwork has been pretty demanding).

57 Comments:

Blogger shosho said...

Hmmmm, maybe because women under 40 are too hot and sexy that they will distract their fellow muslim brothers from performing the religious rituals????

4:05 AM  
Blogger moe said...

i haven't read that article to interpret, but i think it's like in egypt.. under 40, u have to b w/ a "me7rem" (husband, brother, father,... etc) to get the visa.

wallaho a3lam :P

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

u've said it clearly, u dont believe n Mohammed as a true massanger who carried the words of allah with no change. so why do u care abt his followers wela ma3endk salfa or idea 4 new post?

6:10 AM  
Blogger McArabian said...

shosho For real? I don't remember anything about an age limit to go to Hajj.

moe Hmm..that's interesting, I've never heard of that.

anon Hmm, ok, lets clear things up. I believe in God and I use the Koran as a guideline - but I'm painfully aware that, while Mohammed is a prophet, he's also a man, and no man/woman is perfect (including the prophets). So if something in the Koran doesn't make sense to me, I don't follow it blindly.
Also, I have boycotted Saudi Arabia as a nation - I'll never go to Mecca as long as Saudi women don't have rights and/or a voice.
That being said, I have friends and family members who are more devout/orthodox than I am, and I will support them if they feel the need to go to Hajj. So yeah, of course I'm interested in this.
Besides, I'm not asking a question about Islam, I'm asking a question about bureaucracy in relation to women and Islam.

Another example: I'm not gay, but I will support gay rights. Shocking, isn't it?

6:30 AM  
Blogger William said...

So they are basically preventing someone from making the pilgrimage depending on their age? Isn't that one of the cornerstones of the Muslim religion though?

6:46 AM  
Blogger Temetwir said...

- why do ppl think "saudi = islam", it doesnt work that way.. theyre a country.. which is named after a man btw so that should tell u something.. they just happen to have el shahadatain on their flag,, i mean if thats all it takes for u to judge some1 eligible then u have a lot of stuff to work out w/ urself

- with planes (duh) travel is much more convenient (duh) and given the number of muslims in the world, they have got to do something .. ie limit it, do i agree? no.. but do i have a say in this? no.. do u? no.. why? becoz now ur talking abt a country and its borders .. and yes i know its a "season" .. but u wouldnt see a -enter "christian" country"-* opening its doors for every christian just becoz its christmas in a month (this somehow reminds me of Bush's calling to China past few days)

- why they say under 40 yrs of age women wont be granted is beyond me, i have no idea.. and im not surprised.. becoz as i say saudi isnt another word for 'islam'.. so i dont care becoz i know it doesnt address me nor my faith ..

- yes they can refuse it becoz its their country, which AGAIN goes to say what ive been saying for the last half an hr: theyre a country, and they have borders, and within these borders is Makah and the prophet's (s) mosque in Madina

- mcarabian u have the right to 'boycott' a country or do whatever u want to do .. but then again u have to read my points above if u dont know where im going with this already

- william, yeah its one of the cornerstones as u describe them, which again just goes to prove the point that theyre dealing with this as a country and not in the name of islam .. so ya shame on them if u ask me

- mcarabian again:
u cant, wont "understand" (extremely relative in this case) the quran by casually reading it becoz its not ur ordinary book off a shelf from a library
theres a whole science called tafseer, which u know am sure, but then again there's the Ta'weel .. which is a whole diff story and a whole other science.

now if ur reading a physics book and dont understand something, u go to ur professor and ask..
notice YOUR .. someone you KNOW will tell u the right answer becoz you KNOW s/he is capable
u dont just follow anyone blindly .. now multiply that by a number u cant imagine and we still wouldnt touch the quran

the prophet is a man, yes.. he is perfect, yes .. u take the quran as a guideline? fine, here goes:
"enaka la 3ala kholegen 3atheem"

i dont think u need more proof since u do acknowledge it as a guide, and im assuming u have the intelligence to actually know something abt arabic linguistics, notice the prefix and the adjective .. i dont think u need anyone to tell u what that meant

prophets are normal men, thats true and no one denies that (those who do are a whole diff story - which again they cant be referred to as muslims), anyway here goes again from the quran (ur guideline) something which u can definitely understand and says that yes they r men:
"wa ma mo7amadon ela rasool gad khalat mn gablehe el rosol"

and then:
"a faa en maata aw gotel, engalabtom 3ala a3gaabekom...."

so its not like saying "theyre mortal men" defies the fact that they were "perfect" .. and what is perfect but to be righteous and well-mannered and subtle and have a levelled head etc etc.. its those traits that makes one great and perfect

and btw, this isnt just abt our prophet (s) .. he is 'perfect', true.. and so were the many other prophets before him.. OUR "jesus" as one very renowned example

7:20 AM  
Blogger Closet Diva said...

McArabian,

Hey girl, its been a while! Walahnaa 3alaich.

Anyway, you didnt have to explain yourself to that anonymous person up there.

Regarding the post, maybe there are SO MANY people going that they have to impose this limit. But I think its ridiculous.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if u believe n Quran u must then believe that Mohammed, the great sinless prophet, says nothing but true, that what Quran says. otherwise, say i selectively believe n parts of it.

7:43 AM  
Blogger nibaq said...

Saudi does have a quota system on how many people can attend Haj and sometimes even Gomra. It usually only active on countries that are not part of the GCC since we dont need visa to enter Saudi.

So I think this is for other nationalities that happen to live in Kuwait and will be getting a visa through the Saudi embassy here.

Last year during Haj this Iranian guy we knew wanted to go and applied for a visa. He was denied. He also had friends in Iranian embassy and other wasta. He got a letter from the Saudi ambassador in Kuwait stating that they should give him a Haj visa.

He took it to the religious visa office in the Saudi embassy ad they rejected it. The guy behind the counter said "I get my orders from Saudi, not Kuwait".

As a Haji I can safely say they should put even more restrictions on who can go to Haj. That place is a mad house. Just imagine over 2 million people entering this small city and visiting all those religious areas. You will see stuff there that will make you question humanity. Mina alone is a trip. It is like you entered a World War 3 refugee camp. People wearing just the sheets, havent washed, showered in days, garbage everywhere. You can walk around this place and really visit every country in the world.

Ah, Good times, good times.

8:32 AM  
Blogger nibaq said...

Oh why didn't you write about this:

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Defence recently discharged a cadet studying in Ali Al-Sabah Military Academy for wearing lingerie, which was considered humiliating to the military in general, said informed sources.  Meanwhile, the sources also stressed that an army officer was also discharged for showing disrespect to the military oath and his job commitments.

Thats just so much cooler.

Dont we have a dont ask dont tell policy in the Kuwait military?

8:35 AM  
Blogger Jazz Central said...

Thats absurd!!! Leave it to Kuwait to come up with such rules...typical!

8:55 AM  
Blogger George Bell said...

woman, I am continually impressed with this blog if for no other reason than the topics you cover leave you bare to random critiques of your personal beliefs... like I've said before, you rock.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Ms.Baker said...

MacArabian,

It makes me wonder if there is also a limit placed on men under 40 as well. The Kuwait Times snippet didn't mention it, which I find interesting...I am not a fan of the Kuwaiti English papers anyway. Pure recycled drivel in my opinion. Pointless. But they make a buck.

I have been to 3umrah a couple of times and I can say it is indeed a madhouse, so nibaq has a point. It is exactly the way he described it. In fact, one of the times I went was right after Ramadan, which I am told was akin to Hajj in terms of crowds. It was pandemonium. Many of the scenes were straight out of Najib Mahfouz's Harafish, or Oliver Twist in terms of the beggars of assorted nationalities. A prostitute was also pointed out to me, when I inquired as to why she was wearing makeup at the 7aram, during 6awaaf at the Ka3bah. Another thing that troubled me deeply was how I was treated because I was a woman it seems, by the wait staff, even at the Sheraton Mecca Hotel.

Like you, MacArabian, I have a strong aversion to Saudi Arabia and the place gives me the creeps for many reasons. My personal policy regarding Saudi is that I will never set foot in it for any reason other than another 3umra or a Hajj. And then, I will keep my big mouth shut ( and I often have a big, fat mouth) for the sake of my family. I will zip in, do what I need to, and zip out. It is not God or Islam's fault that this holy place lies in such a frightening, inhumane, unkind, and unjust country. I will not let this insanity interfere with my personal relationship with God.

(With all due respect to any Saudi readers, this is my personal opinion)

Anonymous: I find you quite amusing...

MsB

12:33 PM  
Blogger Qatar Cat said...

Dear Nibaq,

I am not a Muslim and therefore I don't have to perform Hajj. But your comment about restricting access to Hajj sounds strange at the least. Do you know how many muslims there are in the world? And the number is growing steadily. All these people MUST perform Hajj at least once in their life. Now how could they possibly do that? It doesn't say anywhere in Quran that you are excused from Hajj if you can't get a Saudi Hajj visa!
Maybe it's time to rethink the whole concept? Either provide facilities that would allow many more people to perform Hajj at the same time, or just agree with the fact that only the chosen few can do it. Now I can imagine the beating I am about to get for my comment, especially as a non-muslim girl, but I would like to know what you guys all think!

=^..^=

1:52 PM  
Blogger Spontaneousnessity said...

ana bat chabdy hal anonymous! instead of going back and forth with outter issues would you Mr. I-happen-to-know-Islam-better-than-anyone-else explain why wouldn't women over 40 go to Haj!??! it's unfair! it's like saying women over 40 should't pray! there's noway God would approuve of that!

2:29 PM  
Blogger Desert Girl said...

As long as that government is "guarding" the holiest Moslem sites, there will be problems.

Niqab: "He took it to the religious visa office in the Saudi embassy ad they rejected it. The guy behind the counter said "I get my orders from Saudi, not Kuwait".
. . . Wouldn't it be nice if Kuwait didn't get their orders from Saudi Arabia????

2:46 PM  
Blogger Temetwir said...

spontan
why would he or she have to explain why women over 40 arent allowed to go to Haj, when its the saudi government and not some islamic scripture that says that? what has islam got to do with that?
seriously y3ni u gotta know what ur talking about

amerab said: "As long as that government is "guarding" the holiest Moslem sites, there will be problems." <-- now THIS is someone who actually KNOWS what s/he is talking abt.. u probably should learn something here. THANK U amerab

qatar cat
hello,
thats the point: it isnt in ISLAM that it is said "no woman over 40 shall perform Haj" .. and im glad u do mention that its abt a S A U D I visa
u actually know whats up, you just have to KNOW whats up!
but anyway in all fairness, saudi has done SO MUCH in expansion, but they can only do SO MUCH
and i dont see u getting 'a beating' for ur comment, since it actually suggests that u know more abt this than many :)

just try to imagine getting all the roman catholics into the vatican on christmas or something (has TOTALLY nothing to do with the matter at hand EXCEPT for the physical-reality of the matter)

4:04 PM  
Blogger Qatar Cat said...

Temetwir,
thanks for your answer! I do know that Saudi has been doing a lot to expand and improve, but I don't think that expansion and improvement alone are going to solve the problem.. and that's exactly what I'm aiming at.
Don't you think that it is already impossibe for ALL able bodied muslim people with no debt to perform Hajj once in their lifetime? It is inevitable that quotas will be applied, and I can even envisage muslim world a hundred years from now (all being well) performing "virtual Hajj"!
What makes me sad, however, and that is exactly the point of McA's post, is that such quotas are already in place, and they target WOMEN! It's as if the muslim clergy themselves want to prove to the world that muslim women are less devout than men, and therefore do not need to go on Hajj. So lets stop them from doing it while they are young and able and willing, and hopefully after they are 40 they will be too old or sick to go anyways (no I don't think women are old or sick after 40, I am just trying to figure out what is going on in the minds of those who imposed this ridiculous quota).
Thoughts?

5:23 PM  
Blogger nooras thoughts said...

if they have no mahram then they would be allowed to go otherwise if they are over forty then they would be allowed to go. That is the usual reasoning .

6:17 PM  
Blogger Temetwir said...

qatar cat
there has always been 'barriers' from performing Haj, and that is why it is made explicit that "those who really wish to have gone, with all their heart, will be 'granted' the 'reward of their deeds' just as those who were able to go there"

im referring to things like distance as an example in "earlier" times, or physical limitations, even sickness

that is to say: Haj isnt just about 'wandering' around the Ka'ba and doing all the other things, it's all about the soul and ridding it from all that is superficial ..

now that we've established THAT, u say "the muslim clergy themselves want to prove..."
when u should really say "the saudi officials" :)

as to what was going thru their minds when they imposed this, id say ur being ambitious!! im not saying its random, but i will say that there wont be a reason that will convince the MUSLIM view

besides, im trying as hard as i can to act as if im not seeing the hints that "this is sexist, HELP US" .. but u guys just make it TOO obvious

for the xTH time, saudi arabia is NOT a 'base' for islam or whatever u want to look at it

im trying to find a VERRRRRY SIMPLE way to get the msg across, and i cant help but say:

SAUDI ARABIA IS NOT "THE VATICAN" FOR MUSLIMS AS IS "THE VATICAN" FOR ROMAN CATHOLICSM

qatar cat plz spread ur wisdom and ur objective view on the matter to everybody here who should know better. I SALUTE U

6:18 PM  
Blogger Ms.Baker said...

Temetwir -

I think everyone who comments here is entitled to say what they want with regards to the post, and about whatever aspect of it they want- even if they do not focus on the same points and arguments that you do. This is with regards to your comment addressed to spontaneousnessity, etc.

I, for one, understood immediately that the article Macarabian referred to was vague, and actually possibly misleading. I even understood that MacArabian wasn't sure what the deal was. So, I overlooked it's significance after reading it and gave my take on the issue in my own way. I also understood that there are reasons Saudi Arabia implements a quota policy for Hajj, such as crowd control. Perhaps I didn't make it clear in my comment that in my experience there was an excess of people who have no business being in Mecca during Hajj, and it likely is necessary to limit them for safety reasons... What being under 40 has to do with it might actually point to the likely fact that the Saudi Govt amusingly thinks that a woman older than 40 is probably closer to her grave than someone younger, and deserves to go ASAP (which made me wonder if they applied this rule to men as well - and therein lies the possible discrimination).

I think MacArabian doesn't mind people speaking their minds on her posts - heck, she handled Mr/Ms. Anonymous pretty calmly... So, with much respect to you ( and your own comments have been quite knowledgable and interesting) I think other commentators do "know what they are talking about" :)

It's good to discuss and explore all facets of different issues in an open forum. All those who have something to say respectfully and politely should feel free to do so without fearing looking stupid. We teach each other.

Yours,
MsB

7:01 PM  
Blogger Swair. said...

wtf?! min 9ijhum?!
that's soo unfair and stupid!!

8:03 PM  
Blogger Qatar Cat said...

Temetwir,

I agree, Vatican and KSA are very very different. First of all, Christians the world over are NOT required to visit Vatican at least once. Second, ANYONE can visit Vatican (provided he or she can get Italian visa, which has nothing to do with religion whatsoever), unlike Makkah where ONLY muslims are welcome. Thirdly, Christians do not bow to Vatican five times a day. And still Vatican is, well, "VATICAN" for Christians.
If KSA is not "Vatican" for muslims, I don't know what is.

On another note, since we are going on about sexism and such, I think Roman Catholic religion is up there with Islam in this regard.

11:00 PM  
Blogger I the Beholder said...

Welcome back McArabian.. missed your posts :)

Nibaq is right; this probably applies to non-GCC nationals living in Kuwait. The Saudis already have quota system implemented years ago for Hajj; it applies on all non-GCC countries. I think that for every million Muslims – within any country – a thousand pilgrims will be allocated a visa to perform Hajj. Just by watching TV during Hajj you’ll notice that the majority are over 50 or 60, so I guess some sort of minimum age is required.

Mecca is very crowded and the resources are stretched to the limits.
I agree that there should be some sort of restrictions placed, but on all nationalities without exception. At the moment there are no quotas allocated for Saudi or Gulf nationals as far as I know.

I think the reason women under 40 are banned is due to religious and social attitude prevailing in KSA. They are the easiest group to exclude. They are banned from a lot of things. Maybe they thought one more thing wouldn’t make a difference.

12:11 AM  
Blogger moe said...

maybe a single news snippet w/o details is not "that" trustworthy as msbaker said.. errmm, why don't u q8y ppl living in q8 confirm or explain further on this issue?

McAye:
hmm, i think yer painful awareness of the human imperfection should also b accompanied by the other painful awareness that our human logic is part of the very same game, and it's also imperfect..

some long time ago, i was talking a friend of mine and she was telling me about a story their priest mentioned in the context of "trying to understand god/trinity".. he said "u cannot transfer the water of the sea in a small bucket. the sea is god and the bucket is your mind".. for quite some years i used to take this story as a starting point to "attack" as it greatly devalues the human mind.. now, somehow this story seems to make sense to me

and again, i'm not talking just about beliefs here.. i'd also refer to my beloved quantum mechanics.. an experimental way of interpreting reality that really defies the human logic, but it has a solid and coherent mathematical basis anyway.. in other words, u can think of mathematics as some sort of a god (off point)

of course u can interpret your religion the way u want.. cut-and-paste wutever u like, i just wouldn't recommend making a god of yer human logic..

msbaker, qatar cat and others:
call me a sexist, i dun mind (oh, and i'm judgemental, too - i dun think it's wrong), but women and men r 2 different creatures.. physiologically, mentally and emotionally.. i ain't saying that men r better, but they're dominant.. it's been like this and it will continue like that.. of course one can b upset/angry/.. etc about it, but this won't change much.. it's just one thing that one has to live w/, genes, u know!

msbaker:
although i dislike ma7foo(th)'s writings and i ain't a fan of twain, but i'd like to hear more of your experience there.. can i?

12:54 AM  
Blogger McArabian said...

I love it when my comments section explodes :)

william Well, if it was all muslims based on their age, I can understand. But targeting young women has been a habit of the KSA govt. i put it succintly.

temetwir People think saudi=islam because KSA holds itself up as the foremost authority in Islamic knowledge for Sunni Muslims. I'm not saying that their right, I'm just saying that that is their PR campaign, and it's working.

I understand that the Hajj season is probably extremely taxing for Mecca in terms of population control, bas why not put a cap on the incoming crowd that's a bit less arbitrary and more intelligent. For instance, if you've already been to Hajj, you're not allowed to go back for 5 years. The same with Omra. That'll probably thin out the herd quite a bit. Age caps are good too, bas maybe for both sexes? Also, 40 is a bit too much. Why not do it so that anyone under 18 should not do Hajj - that way, Hajj would be considered a privilige (as it should be) for a Muslim who is a thinking adult? This 'women under 40' cap just doesn't sit right with me. And it doesn't make sense in the me7ram bent either - wouldn't a 40 yr old virgin woman need a me7ram as well? So I don't think it's a me7ram issue.

As for my personal views on religion. I realized I opened a can of worms here that I'm not prepared to deal with right now. This 'understanding islam' thing is a lifelong project for me and the deadline isn't until my 45th birthday. All I know right now, is that there are things in the Koran that go against normal common sense to me. And no, I don't wish to discuss it in the comment section of a blog. When I'm done, I'll probably write a paper about it and anyone can attack it to their hearts content.

CD Ahlain :) Sorry 7abibti, things have been hectic.

Fair enough, I'm not going to explain myself to mr.anon :)

Yeah, it's the bureaucracy of KSA's govt that I'm asking about.

anon Seriously, lets not even go there. No one is going to turn me into a 'good' Muslim by posting a comment on my blog. And no one has the right to attack the process of my own personal take on Islam when they hardly know me or where I'm coming from. My own struggles with my beliefs are my own, not yours to worry about. You're annoyed at the post though, fair enough, attack that. Bas keep in mind the post is about KSA's beraucractic practices, not Islam or how Islam relates to me.

nibaq Ok, that's what I suspected. Doesn't make it fair though.

And yeah, I saw that article :) I didn't post it because I'm still not sure how I feel about it. In this case I mostly agree with the army for discharging him on the basis of trying to keep a good public image, bes, to be fair, ilrayaal masawa shay '3ala6. It's not like he was doing drugs or he murdered someone, and it's not like he was sexually harassing women or beating his kids so no need to uftha7a izyada :)

JC I thought it was the KSA govt that came up with the rule?

George Hey! Always good to see a familiar face :) Welcome to the blogsphere, you'll never get any schoolwork done now :P Meet George bell, folks, someone who I've had the pleasure to take class with in my graduate school and a very good friend of mine. Not to mention a brilliant writer as well.
Interesting name btw ;)

Dear msbacker,

Unfortunately, Kuwait English papers are my only good source of information since it's difficult for my to read the Arabic script on the Arabic Kuwait papers webpages. Sometimes when I try to load up the pages, the crash my browser, so I don't bother going there anymore.

I had to think long and hard about boycotting Saudi Arabia. My family has already been to Omra a few times and I had to explain myself to them each time. I will never set foot in a place that treats women the way the KSA govt does - they will not get a fils of my money. This is a rich country full of poor people. A friend once told me that Mecca was supposed to be a place to go to learn more about Islam, not be herded around the 'Hajj' tour like sheep, and I agree with her. I feel that going to Hajj right now is not going to teach me anything about Islam and being in a place like Mecca under the current KSA govt is not going to strengthen my beliefs, it'll probably do the opposite. But I'm not going to get into it - like I said, the comment section of my blog is not the right place to discuss how I deal with Islam in detail.

QC No beating necessary - your comments make perfect sense, and they're exactly what I'm trying to ask. Thanks :)

sponty LOL! Ma3laich minna - he/she was trying to prove a point about me personally. Also, I think it's women under 40, not over 40, who can't get visas, but I like your enthusiasim ;)

amerab I second that.

noora So the usual rule is that a woman is allowed to go no matter what age she is without a me7ram?

Temetwiragain: Fair enough, bas keep in mind that KSA prides itself on building a country/govt based on Islamic law - it's good to differentiate the two, but you can't argue that they're not connected. There's no reason for you to get frustrated when people don't differentiate, it's how the KSA govt wants it.

msbaker eloquent as always, thank you :)

swair LOL! That's what I'm trying to find out - msbaker was right, the article was hardly informative bs it did drop a small bomb and I'm still trying to figure it out. Unfortunately, I'm not in Kuwait, that's why I'm asking the Kuwaiti blogging community about it.

i That makes sense. I don't agree with it, but in lieu of what I know about KSA, that makes perfect sense. Thanks :)

moe Yeah, that was my original question :)

Fair enough, our logic is imperfect, but it's what God gave me to work with - and I'm working with it. George bell of all people knows how much I work on my 'religion' stuff. It almost drove me nuts so it's on semi-hiatus until I get my PhD degree. Also, I don't believe in allegories and metaphors to explain religion - they just muddle the issue instead of clarifying it.

Also, I disagree with your line of reasoning about men inheritly being the 'dominant' sex. Again, that is something I would rather not get into in a comment section of a blog, so I'm going to stop here.

2:01 AM  
Blogger nibaq said...

I've said it before and I will say it again, they should license the Mecca rights to Disney World or at least get some consulation. Look how many visitor they get in a day from all over the world, different nationalities, languages etc and some how they all make it work.

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care because I'm an atheist. Yes, I know that contributes nothing to the discussion. No, I don't care. I'm just mentioning it because I'm probably one of twenty atheist Kuwaitis living in Kuwait.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Amunki said...

Wow... We have "Hajj Nazis" now?

The world is coming to an end folks...

10:22 AM  
Blogger Jazz Central said...

Ooops...my bad. I guess I didn't read the post clearly. I dunno how they can decide to do such a thing? On what basis? Whats wrong with a woman who is under 40 and wants to go to Haj? So she has to wait till her 40th birthday for her to get the chance to go? Unbelievable!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Spontaneousnessity said...

Tem, he madri she is expressing discontented regarding the topic and started attacking on personal levels which is childish I say, instead "it" should have an idea what we're talking about, man I hate it when people get off the subject.

McArabian, there's more where that came from my dear =P

11:39 AM  
Blogger Judy Abbott said...

they do refuse lots of visas my dear... thank god we are in GCC countrys we dont get that much... but what is that no less than40!!!! stupid/

4:10 PM  
Blogger Temetwir said...

mcarabian all ur telling me is that what im saying is fair enough, but immediately u go back into discussing the same things which i have responded to AND on which u have said are fair

*ok, becoz of that crappy sentence ill hand in my degree on the way out heh

anonymous, so how does that work into ANYTHING, let alone 'the discussion'? u being an athiest, saying twice that u dont care, and that ur probably 1 of the 20 living in q8 ..
do u feel special or something? sup?

spontan, i know, and just for the record "it" shouldve kept "its" mouth shut becoz this isnt an issue of who-believes-in-what
chairz

i just hope that after all this we can all agree that islam 'has nothing to do with this' and infact its all on KSA
and no mcarabian, KSA isnt "marje3eya" and in all fairness i dont expect u to know that :)

5:31 PM  
Blogger funny said...

Refusing to give a visa for pilgrimage because of the age is innovating then it's 7aram.

6:15 PM  
Blogger funny said...

And welcome back after this long break (i'm losing my good manners lol)

6:23 PM  
Blogger Hanan said...

yay she's back. you were missed.

i guess you get more than your share of explaining. aside from the sexist nature of the decision (which might have been mis-quoted since the article isn't very detailed), I think it makes sense to limit the numbers of hujjaj (though again it seems to be a call to increase the number but limit the female part of it)

madry; but anyway, welcome back girl

1:04 AM  
Blogger MSB said...

ok there r so many comments, i lost track. here's my two cents:

GCC citizens don't need a visa to go to Hajj, thus, there's no quota set on GCC citizens. However, I did hear that they were going to impose the 'if you've gone to Hajj, you need to wait X number of yrs before u can go again' to give others the chance to perform their duty towards Islam. (whether this has been implemented or not, I don't know!)

Whether I agree with the quota issue or not, I'm not sure. Yes, from experience, the number of people there is insane & the chances of getting killed due to the mere volumes of people there are high.. however, you're in God's hands during Hajj more than any other time. So, wouldn't it be safe to say that He protects us and only those who are 'meant' to be harmed, will?

Personally, there's no better place to die/get injured than during Hajj. God punishes those He loves in this lifetime to save them from worse punishment in the Akhera. I'll take my punishment now, thanks! And if it happens during Hajj while I'm repenting and washing away my Earthly sins, EVEN BETTER! But, that's just my own personal opinion!

Don't know about this age of 40 thing. However, I disagree that the limit should be based on age. Once you meet the criteria for Hajj, it's an obligation; it's not set by the age of 40!

1:04 AM  
Blogger LaiaLy_q8 said...

that's scary :/

5:17 AM  
Blogger mishari26 said...

whoa.. guys guys... :)

From what I know, according to Islam, you are obliged to perform Hajj once in your life IF you can. only IF you can. :) "man ista6a3a ilaihi sabeela"

When the Saudi govt rejects someone's visa, then he "can't". so no harm done . He's not obliged anymore.

As to why Saudi rejects visas? well:

- In general its a necessity. The place has limitations to how many it can accomodate with relative safety. The Saudi preparations for the Hajj season are significant to be sure but that doesn't mean they can't be better. Saudi govt. facilities are inefficient by nature. I've been to Hajj twice and I think they're doing a fair job.. but could do better.

- They assign quotas to different countries of how many people are allowed to come to Hajj each year. and it becomes the responsibility of each Saudi embassy in that country to decide who goes and who doesn't. Now this part can be criticised to no end, like who are they to decide and on and on.. you think it should be a raffle? I don't want to get into that. But imagine the system required to facilitate a worldwide raffle for muslims who wana go to Hajj each year :) interesting project really..... hmmmmmm

I do think that GCC countries had an unfair advantage before. We weren't subjected to any quotas before. Its being applied to Saudis too. It was observed that in the old days WAY more saudis and GCC residents were going to Hajj than any other regions of the world. It was unfair to countries with high muslim populations. like Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, India and Iran. Those were the worst affected.

So its really a good thing that there are limits. And whoever gets rejected, you're not gonna be punished by God for not going! your part ends when you go submit your application and receive the rejection. You don't have to go ninja uniform and sneak in across the borders lol.

As for the 40yrs for women.. hmmm.. beats me.. and yes I do think its unfair. Maybe there's some weird statistic at play there. who knows.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Mini Я. said...

This is quite strange...

1- As soon as I logged on to this blog, it was the start of prayers.

2- I was JUST working on my own blog about the Islamic world..u all might want to take a look at the statistics I posted there.

3- Hajj may not be refused to anyone, but Saudi as a sovereign nation reserves the right to do that.

4- I boycotted Saudi too for several reasons, despite the fact I have Saudi family there.

5- ANY woman can go as long as she has a 'me7rem'...that's a common fact.

6- and yes it IS a madhouse..in case you're wondering..once again check out my statistics.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Itachi said...

yeah even saudies must have visa for Hajj.. coz Makkakh can only handle 2 million ppl...

about 40 years thing... yes last year we couldnt get visa for my MOM...coz they assume that anyone over 40 already perform Hajj and why its women coz they are more weak than men so they must have assistant...

I dont know if clear anything for you??!

4:14 PM  
Blogger Itachi said...

OHHH.. 8S

I want throu the comment to see if anyone said what I post..

why all this negative things about SA..I think ppl should think why before they start cursing...

ALLAH YAHDIKOOOOOOM 8)

4:25 PM  
Blogger A3sab said...

A lot has been said here so my only comment is i dont trust Kuwait Times it aint that credible

8:50 PM  
Blogger McArabian said...

nibaq Disney Mecca - and the parking lots should be named after Mohammed's wives. I'll meet you at Khadeeja lot A on the first day of Hajj :)

anon I have a close Kuwaiti relative who's an athiest, but like me, she believes in fighting for simple rights whether she agrees with the concept of religion or not. To arbitrarily decide that women under 40 are not allowed into Mecca during Hajj season feels a little ridiculous to me.

amunki I wouldn't go far as calling them Hajj Nazis, but it's a weird policy - and it's equally weird that none of the newspapers I read online felt the need to clarify/investigate the policy.

JC No idea, man. I'm still trying to figure it out. I've been trying to contact the parental unit to ask about it, but they've been kind of busy :)

sponty I think Temetwir was feeling frustrated that people wouldn't differentiate between a govt and a religion. Go easy on him :)

judy I agree. I wish there was more of a first-come-first-served type of policy rather than just an arbitrary gender/age cap.

Temetwir Yeah, what you just said makes no sense; please leave your diploma on the desk on your way out :P
Also, I'm not attacking you, I'm curious about what you mean when you say KSA is not marje3ya (I'm guessing here you mean 'backwards'?). So yeah, clarify please :)

funny LOL - thanks and yeah, I agree with you. Not sure if it's 7aram or not, that's one of the things I'm asking. It just feels arbitrary and unfair.

Hanan Thanks 7abibti, I missed you too :) And yeah, I agree with you.

msb See, THAT would be a good policy (the one about waiting an X number of years before going again). I'm not sure about dying while performing Haj- I'd rather die protecting someone I love :)

laialy Not scary, just stupid :/

mishari26 Wow - that makes a lot of sense. Thanks :) One question though: How many times do you need to reapply for a visa in order to feel like you've met your obligation? There has to be more literature on this subject - must call the parental unit tonight.

MiniR I'll take a look at your blog next - look for my comment :P
I'm curious to know why you boycotted Saudi as well, if you don't mind telling us that is :)

itachi Not really :( The policy was for women UNDER 40, so unless your mom was under 40yrs old, I don't know why they denied her a visa.
Don't get me wrong - I've known quite a few Saudis in my time and like other nationalities; some of them were brilliant and some were just deplorable. I also understand that there are parts of Saudia Arabia that are more relaxed with their policies towards women.
Yet, I am aware that in this day and age, something as simple as getting in a car and driving to the supermarket to do your grocery shopping is a simple right that shouldn't be taken away from anyone, especially women. Also, NO ADULT should be dominated by another - that just sickens me. The fact that the KSA govt allows/encourages men to have absolute rule over their women is ludicrous.

a3sab That's also an issue that's been brought to my attention - and I'm starting to doubt the validity of the article now. Once again, I need to call the parental unit to verify :)

2:16 AM  
Blogger Temetwir said...

mcarabian
no, what i meant by marje3eya is.. a marje3
a source.. methel "massdar"
the saudi government is not "THE voice of the Sinni sect of islam"

and btw its a BA not a Dip. ;]

5:27 AM  
Blogger Mini Я. said...

McArabian: I boycotted them because of their stupid practices when it comes to prayer times. The start yelling n screaming at us guys to go the mosque & THEY dont go themselves. Once I decided to tell the guy, "Come along with me to the mosque & pray with me then." he cracked his "khazrana" over my ass & yelled all kinds of crap in my face. he never made it to the mosque tho
that made me call it quits with them. *rubs his ass*

3:24 PM  
Blogger mishari26 said...

MC: hmm.. how many times? well if it was me being rejected each year, I'd reserve a spot for 2 years ahead and be done with it. o Alla ye7yena. As for your question, I'd guess try each year that I am able to?

9:50 PM  
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