Sunday, 22 June 2008
Haj 2008: Qurra hits Hyderabadi Muslims hard
June 21, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, June 20: Hyderabadi Muslims will lose heavily this Haj season because of a new rule introduced by the Central Haj Committee on district-wise quota.
Though Muslims in Hyderabad make up nearly 30 per cent of the total Muslim population in the State, the Central Haj Committee sanctioned just 14 per cent of the total State's Haj quota to the city.
Andhra Pradesh has got permission for 6,413 pilgrims for Haj 2008 and Hyderabad will get just 904 berths. Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions got the lion's share. This in other words means all the Muslims who have applied for Haj 2008 from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra districts will successfully perform the pilgrimage to the Islamic holy lands in Saudi Arabia.
For Muslims in Hyderabad and other Telangana region the selection of prospective Haj pilgrims will be through a draw of lots. As against the sanctioned strength of 6,413 as many as 11245 people have applied to the State Haj Committee. A majority of them are from Hyderabad, but in view of the latest Haj panel's rule, less than 1000 Hyderabadi applicants will be able to perform the Haj through the committee.
"People generally prefer the Haj committee for security reasons. There are several instances of travel agents cheating Haj applicants. But the Haj Committee has not increased the quota. The selection will be through draw of lots. This means many will not succeed this year. The Central government should take up the issue with Saudi authorities and increase the country's quota," said senior Islamic
scholar Moulana Hafiz Shujath Hussain.
The Committee will soon conduct "Qurra" (draw of lots) and announce the names of successful pilgrims.
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