Third Haj flight returns to Brunei with 248 pilgrims

|     Abdul Hakiim Yakof     |

THE third batch of Haj pilgrims arrived home yesterday on board Flight BI4218, to a warm welcome at the Brunei International Airport.

Family members and friends waited outside the arrival hall, and received the returning pilgrims with tears of joy.

Among those present to welcome the pilgrims were Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, the Minister of Religious Affairs; and Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs.

Also present were Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Aziz bin Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Haji Mohd Yusof, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs; Haji Khairuddin bin Haji Abdul Hamid, the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Investment) at the Ministry of Finance; Roslan bin Haji Taja’ah, the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Administrative and Financial Affairs) at the Ministry of Religious Affairs; and Meshal Abdullah A Habshan, a representative of the Ambassador of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to Brunei Darussalam.

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, the Minister of Religious Affairs, welcoming the pilgrims
Pilgrims and their family members at Brunei International Airport

A Doa Selamat was recited at the arrival hall, by Mudim Haji Amran bin Haji Mohd Salleh, a Mosque Affairs Officer at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

One of the returning pilgrims, Haji Abdul Rahim, told the Bulletin, “Seeing the Kaabah before me was a very intense and eye-opening experience. Performing the five daily prayers at the Grand Mosque of Makkah and taking part in the Wuquf at ‘Arafah are moments that I will never forget.”

One of the returning pilgrims, Haji Abdul Rahim, during an interview. – PHOTOS: ABDUL HAKIIM YAKOF

He also spoke about how they coped with the unfamiliar environment and climate. “Most of us would try our best to stay hydrated and perform the Haj rituals in the shade, such as the Tawaf (ritual circumambulation) around the Kaabah.”

A total of 248 pilgrims were on board this year’s third flight, with 254 under Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd, along with several officers from the Haj Medical Affairs Office.