Sheikh Kassim Gabriels, South African Consul General to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, says the embassy is extremely grateful for the return of South African pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
Gabriels spoke to The Citizen after the successful 2020/1443 Hajj.
LISTEN: Saudi Arabia Welcomes South Africans
On Monday, the pilgrims will beat all three pillars, throwing seven pebbles at each; in Al-Jamara Al-Sughra, Al-Jamara Al-Wusta and the largest column – Jamara Al-Kubra. This symbolizes the stoning of the devil by the prophet Ibrahim.
They will then proceed to the Haram in Mecca for tawaf-e-vida’a, a farewell circumambulation of the sacred Kaaba, and also to say goodbye before leaving the kingdom and heading back to their home countries.
Gabriels and First Political Secretary Imran Simmins performed their Hajj with South African pilgrims in non-specialized services.
Gabriels said Saudi Arabia warmly welcomed South Africans during the 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 to the South African pilgrims for visiting the holy places of Araf, Muzdalifa and Mina during the days of the Hajj. . ”
We are proud to be represented by South African pilgrims after a two year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We humbly ask Allah Almighty to grant all Hajjaj (pilgrims), Hajj Makbool and Hajj Mabrour (Hajj performer),” said Gabriel.
Gabriels said that the pilgrims will be rewarded by Allah for their perseverance, patience and hardship during the Hajj.
“July 18 is Nelson Mandela Day, a day that offers slavery and the sacrifice that Madiba made for our freedom, and as we have all witnessed this experience, the Hajj is perhaps one of the greatest sacrifices a Muslim can make.”
Gabriels wishes all pilgrims, including South Africans, a safe return home and to their families.
Some 850,000 people from abroad, including 1,132 South Africans, have made the Hajj this year.
Meanwhile, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman, praised the smooth and easy return of the pilgrimage after exceptional health conditions due to Covid-19.