Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat – Beginning today, approximately 500 Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice [CPVPV] cadres are preparing to offer hajj pilgrims advice and guidance on performing all hajj rituals, in order to prevent any religious mistakes or illegitimate pilgrimage rites.
Sheikh Ali Bin Mohamed Al Hayan, Director of the Mecca branch of the CPVPV, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that he is overseeing the mission to offer religious advice and guidance to hajj pilgrims, providing information regarding the correct way to perform hajj rituals via “awareness offices” and the distribution of information leaflets. He said “this year, the CPVPV is working to prevent any ideological mistakes, which includes prayers being offered to anybody other than God Almighty, blessings being sought at holy sites, the collection of earth from Mount Arafat and the performance of illegitimate rites”
Sheikh Al Hayan stressed that “this will take place in a very merciful and compassionate manner” citing the presence of “more than 120 preachers who are fluent in numerous languages and who are also working as translators.”
He confirmed that some hajj pilgrims perform illegitimate religious rites, including seeking blessings from holy sites or artifacts. The CPVPV director also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that in some cases, pilgrims are committing illegitimate practices under Islam, such as gender-mixing, during the hajj. However Sheikh Al Hayan stressed “this is very rare, particularly as some hajj pilgrims illegitimately sit with female relatives, however this is due to ignorance on their part, and requires advice and guidance from us”. He confirmed that the CPVPV is not seeking to suspect anybody of illegitimate practices, but stressed that this is part of the natural role of the CPVPV.
Sheikh Al Hayan also asserted that the CPVPV role, during hajj, is not limited to Mecca and the holy sites, but also applies to Jeddah, where numerous hajj pilgrims visit holy sites, including the Tomb of Eve and Al Rahma Mosque. He confirmed that numerous hajj pilgrims have been seen carrying out illegitimate religious rites there, including collecting earth and rocks from holy sites, believing these contain some innate blessing.