Mumbai: Even as Haj 2015 ended on Sunday leaving behind the dark memories of two tragic incidents, videos and images of Haj Pilgrims reciting 'Shahadah' and dying happily with smiles on their faces are circulating on internet, with a huge number of netizens sharing them on their social media networks.
The “Shahadah” is the Islamic Creed, one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The word “Shahadah” means “he or she testifies” or “he or she bears witness.” In reciting the Shahadah, a Muslim bears witness that Allah is the only true god, and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is Allah's prophet.
In one of such videos, a Haj pilgrim in his 40s, is seen lying on the Mataaf (Courtyard) of the holy Kaaba with his head badly injured in the crane accident whick killed about 117 Hajis.
The injured Haj pilgrim, who was speaking Arabic, can be seen lying on his elbow with his eyes wide open and gazing heavenly, and a clear smile on his face. The video shows him reciting aloud "Ash hadu an la ilaha ill Allah ... Wa ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasoolullah.... (Allah is the only true god, and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is Allah's prophet).
He then seeks forgiveness of his sins from the Almighty Allah, says Allah-o-Akbar and dies soon after.
Another Haj tragedy viral on the social media is the photo of an Indonesian woman Haji. The image shows her two images - one with broad cheerful smile when she was alive, and the other with a soft smile on her face after death.
And, the caption reads: Indoesian Hajjin...Jannat Ki Khushbu paa kar maut ki aagosh mein bhi muskura rahi hai... [Right in front of the gates of paradise, the Indonesian woman haj pilgrim is smiling in the arms of death.]
Another image viral on twitter has a caption: "Ya Allah Reham, Grant all the Hajis Jannah and give Sabr to families. They died in a blessed place..."
More than 900 Haj pilgrims have died during this year's haj in two seperate incidents. While about 117 hajis died in an accident after a crane collapsed inside the Makkah Haram on September 11, more than 750 haj pilgrims are killed in a stampede in Mina on September 24 - the second day of haj.
As per the Islamic belief, a Muslim after he or she performs Haj is washed from his or her all sins and is like a newly born baby. Muslims also consider dying during Hajj as auspicious, and strongly believe that death during Haj or in holy cities would give them a place in the heaven.
And, hence a growing number of ailing and elderly pilgrims flock to Saudi Arabia for Haj with chronic or serious health problems wishing to die in the Holy Cities so as to secure a place in the heaven.
Islamic scholars say the secret behind the prevailing trend is hidden in the Islamic concept of life after death.
"Non-Muslims cannot understand why Muslims love death more than life unless they read about the concept of 'Life after death' in Islam", Tarique Iqbal, a Muslim preacher, said.
The trend should work as a surprise for the BJP leader who celebrated the deaths of Hajis in the Makkah crane accident. For, the most desired and celebrated death for any Muslim is during haj.