Haj pilgrims return home after ‘unforgettable journey’

|     Rokiah Mahmud     |

AFTER months of separation from their families and loved ones, the second flight carrying Haj pilgrims landed safely yesterday at the Brunei International Airport.

The pilgrims that participated in Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd package landed at 3.30pm yesterday.

Even though the flight was delayed for nearly half an hour, family members gathered at the Arrival Hall as early as 2.30pm.

Upon arrival, the pilgrims were welcomed by the Minister of Health, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi and the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud.

Also welcoming the pilgrims were Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Aziz bin Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Haji Yusof; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Haji Zakaria bin Haji Serudin; Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MoRA, Roslan bin Haji Taja’ah; Deputy Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Health, Dr Hazri bin Haji Kifle and Datin Paduka Dr Hajah Maslina binti Haji Mohsin, as well as senior officers from the ministry and a representative from the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Brunei Darussalam, Ali Abdullah.

Soon after arrival, Doa Selamat was read by Ahmad Syafiq bin Haji Osman, a Mosque Affairs Officer.

There were 248 Haj pilgrims along with the Haj Medical Team and officers from Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd on board.

The second batch of Bruneian Haj pilgrims arrived safely yesterday
ABOVE & BELOW: Family and friends welcoming the Haj pilgrims

Haj pilgrims with their family members. – PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Haji Muhammad Akhimullah bin Haji Abu Bakar of Kampong Mulaut said he was thankful for the assistance and facilities provided by Darussalam Holdings during the almost one month journey.

“Alhamdulillah, my parents and I are very thankful as despite difference in the weather, we were able to fulfil all obligations of Haj.

“It is my first time performing Haj. We faced challenges during our journey, but with determination and will, Alhamdulillah our journey was smooth,” he added.

Hajah Nuramalina Syairah from Kampong Parit who performed Haj with her parents said the ambience and surroundings at both holy cities of Madinah and Makkah are unforgettable.

“When I was in front of the Ka’abah I was so amazed that Baitullah was right in front of me. I even made an attempt to touch Hajr Al-Aswad.

“Just imagine there were millions of people at that time, I found it very challenging yet satisfying,” she added.

Haji Salleh bin Haji Mahmud and his wife, Hajah Safiah binti Abdullah, from RPN Kampong Rimba said this was their first time performing Haj.

“During our time in both holy cities of Madinah and Makkah, we did our revision on what we learnt during our course in the Sultanate.

“It eased our journey in doing ‘ibadah’ especially the dos and don’ts during Ihram, Tawaf, Saie and so on,” he said.

“It was a great experience for us,” he added.