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Muslim hardliners condemn selfie fever during Hajj

Selfie fever is taking one of the most important events in the Islamic calendar by storm – much to the anger of hardline Muslims.
The annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca has seen a rise in the number of pictures being taken on camera phones during the rite of passage in Saudi Arabia as followers share their experiences with family and friends back home.
But some scholars have taken issue with the practice, which they see as a ‘touristy’ distraction from the prayers and rituals that form one of the five pillars of Islam.
It came as around two million Muslims from all corners of the globe arrived in Mecca today for the start of the pilgrimage at the city’s Grand Mosque.
Jeddah-based scholar Sheikh Assim Al-Hakeem told Arab News: ‘Photography without a legitimate reason is an issue of dispute among scholars.
‘However, despite this difference of opinion, there shouldn’t be any dispute when it comes to the real meaning of Haj and the essence behind it.
‘It is based on sincerity and following the sunnah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) when he went for Hajj, he said: “O Allah, I ask of you a pilgrimage that contains no boasting or showing of”. Taking such selfies and videos defy the wish of our Prophet.’
Meanwhile, fellow scholar Abdul Razzaq Al-Badr added: ‘It is as though the only purpose of this trip is to take pictures and not worship.’
Camera phones were, until a few years ago, banned from the holy mosques, but authorities appear to have relaxed the rules more recently.
It is now not uncommon to see pilgrims taking photos inside, although guards reportedly prevent people taking professional cameras with them, it was noted by International Business Times.
Every adult Muslim is required to complete the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime as long as they are physically and financially capable.
Each year, Muslim faithful from about 180 countries converge on the Islamic city of Mecca and other locations in western Saudi Arabia to complete the holy journey.
The week of Hajj occurs during the last month of the Islamic calendar and requires pilgrims to perform ten services or rituals before and during Hajj.
Hajj, the fifth of the pillars of Islam, coincides with the Eid al-Adha festival, known as the Feast of the Sacrifice and is meant to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Source: Mail Online

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