28.12.2007 General News

Three dead Ghanaian pilgrims identified

By Daily Graphic
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The three Ghanaian pilgrims who died during this year's Hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been identified.

A source close to the Interim Hajj Management Committee gave their names as Hajia Maryama Ishak, from Kumasi, Alhaji Adams Alhassan, from Tamale, and Alhaji Abdulai Alhassan, from Bawku.

According to the source, Hajia Maryama died on the flight from Accra to Dubai, and indicated that the pilgrims were not aware of her state till they made a transit at Dubai.

Alhaji Adams died in Jeddah, while Alhaji Abdulai died in Mecca. All of them were between the ages of 70 and 80.

The deceased, who died through natural causes, were part of the 2,700 Ghanaian pilgrims that performed this year's Hajj.

Muslims believe that whoever dies while performing Hajj dies as a martyr, and that God will grant him or her paradise.

The dead are buried with their white cloth used in the performance of the Hajj.

Therefore, some Muslims, especially the old, pray to God to take their souls while performing the Hajj.

Some three million Muslims from all over the world converge on Mecca to perform Hajj annually.

Indonesia leads the pack with more than 100,000 pilgrims, followed by India, Turkey and other Asian countries. In Africa, Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest number of pilgrims, sending more than 60,000 pilgrims every year.

Despite their huge numbers, those counries do not go through difficulties before, during and after the Hajj as they have the expertise in all the operational aspects, such as airline and transportation of the Hajj.

However, in Ghana, where only between 2,000 and 2,700 pilgrims perform Hajj, the pilgrims go through difficulties before, during and after the pilgrimage due to the lapses of those handling the Hajj operations.

This year was no exception as Ghanaian pilgrims arrived in Saudi Arabia after the closure of the Jeddah Airport following the delay in the arrival of their flights.

Information reaching the Daily Graphic indicates that the pilgrims are uncertain about their return jourey home.

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