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Hajj goes virtual! How tech has changed spiritual journey to Mecca

1,400 years ago when Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) performed a religious ritual nobody had idea that a time will come when people sitting far away in India could see their near and dear one performing Hajj in Mecca in real-time.
However, the development in technology has made it possible. With WhatsApp and smartphones available, photos of the spiritual journey, an annual Muslim journey to Mecca and Medina, yearned by each Muslims can be easily shared from the spot.

You agree it or not technology is now part of Hajj. The case in point is a photo shared on WhatsApp of Jamia Millia Islamia Vice Chancellor Professor Talat Ahmad by his well wishers in Mecca where he has gone to perform Hajj. The alumnus wrote: “The V-C is here and we are looking after him. He is guest of Saudi King.”

Something that could have never been thought years ago.

Moreover, such things have become easy after the Saudi Government even allowing cameras into the Grand Mosque that till now was not allowed.

Besides, all information is available on internet keeping devotees connected to their family members something that was not though years ago when people from across the world used to reach the Islam’s holiest site on camel and then later on ship in months.

To make life easier from Hajjis, they have the facility to download an official Saudi hajj application that will certainly guide them during time of distress.

To avoid stampede like situation that happened last year in which 769 pilgrims died in Mina, the Saudi Government from this year is planning to provide electronic bracelet to Hajjis so as to keep tab on their movement.

Mahfooz Ali, who had performed Haj, a few years ago, welcomed the move. “This will help Hajjis a lot. As sea of humanity turns up during Haj, chances of people getting lost in the crowd are high. The electronic bracelet will make things easy for the authorities and Hajjis also.”

The other attraction of the pilgrim this year has been solar umbrella developed by Badawi and Dandis to keep devotees cool in hot weather.

Homepage photo credit: Al Jazeera

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