HPM Sheikh Hasina urges Hajj pilgrims to pray for continuation of nation’s progress


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the hajj pilgrims to seek mercy of Almighty Allah while offering their prayers in the holy mosques for allowing the Muslims as well as people of other faiths in the country to live peacefully to continue the nation's progress.

"You are going to the holy places. You will offer prayers so that the Muslims and people other faiths can live in this country peacefully and may Allah allow the wrong interpreters of Islam to come back to the right path," she said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said this while inaugurating this year's Hajj programme at Ashkona Hajj Camp here today.

Sheikh Hasina said we should be careful so that none can misuse Islam as the religion never supports killing of innocent people and indulges in militancy and terrorism.

Due to the activities of some misguided people, the whole Muslim Ummah is in danger, she said adding that the Muslims are being harassed around the world and even being killed.

"We will not allow their activities in our country, as Islam is a religion of peace and Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) also always preached for that. None has the right to kill innocent people. The last judgment will be done by the Almighty. Why they cannot keep faith in Him," the prime minister said.

Sheikh Hasina said the people misinterpreting Islam are creating confusion among members of the public that a person who commits suicide would go to haven. But Islam never says that, she said adding that "we don't want our country to ruin in this way."

Sheikh Hasina sought help of the pious people to reach the true message of the religion to the people saying, "You will pray to Allah so that his blessings fell on them and they change their minds."

Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Rashed Khan Menon, local parliament member Sahara Khatun, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Religious Affairs Bazlul Haque Harun, Deputy Councillor of the Saudi Embassy in Dhaka Saleh Al Mutairi were present as special guests while Minister for Religious Affairs Matiur Rahman was in the chair.

Secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs Abdul Jalil gave the welcome address while prayers were offered for safe journey of the pilgrims and acceptance of the holy Hajj to the Almighty.

Later, the prime minister exchanges pleasantries with the pilgrims. The first Hajj flight to Saudi Arabia, carrying 419 pilgrims, will begin from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on June 24 morning. This year, the Hajj flights will continue till August 26, 2017.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Airlines will carry some 127,198 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year to perform Hajj.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed profound satisfaction as highest 1,27,198 pilgrims are going to Saudi Arabia this year for performing the holy Hajj which was 47,983 in 2006.

She said the government has taken all-out arrangements for comfort of the pilgrims during Hajj. Standard accommodations were hired for all pilgrims, particularly for non-ballotee hajjis, who would remain under constant surveillance to check any maltreatment from private agencies, she said.

She urged the hajjis to pray to Allah seeking blessings for her government to materialize the dream of Bangabandhu to build Bangladesh as a hunger and poverty free country and stand amongst the world community as a proud and dignified nation.

Pointing out the sufferings of the flood victims, the prime minister urged the pilgrims to pray to the Almighty to mitigate their woes and give her government the ability to build houses for the affected people and provide all necessary support to them.

Sheikh Hasina said her government since taking office has been making constant strides to its level best to give the people of Bangladesh a decent life along with allowing every citizen up to the rural areas to have urban facilities, including access to electricity and education.

Quoting from a speech of Bangabandhu given on November 4, 1973 in the National Assembly, the prime minister said the Awami League never used religions in politics, rather always patronized promotion of Islam.

In this regard, the prime minister highlighted the steps taken by Bangabandhu for promotion of Islam during the short time of his three and a half years rule. Bangabandhu initiated many steps for improvement of the Hajj management and develop relations with the Muslim world.

"As a pious Muslim, she said, Bangabandhu had made immense contribution to welfare of Islam and side by side with establishing religious freedom for peoples of other faiths."

Sheikh Hasina said her government is following the ideology of Bangabandhu, and whenever her party came to power worked for the welfare and promotion of Islam.

She said her government modernized the Madrasa education, digitalized the copy of holy Quran in Arabic, Bangla and English and brought the Quami education to the mainstream.

She said the Awami League government resumed the mosque based children education after coming to power in 2009 which the BNP government suspended in 2001 as it was introduced by Awami League during its 1996-2001 tenure.

The education programme absorbed thousands of aleem and olama in job, she said.

Mentioning her government's plan to construct model mosques and Islamic cultural centres at the district and upazila levels, the prime minister said these centres would help giving right interpretation of Islam to the grassroots people.

The prime minister said the government has introduced pre-registration and online system for intending Hajj pilgrims in coordination with the Saudi Hajj system. The system has sealed off maneuvering in Hajj management making it fully transparent.

Criticizing BNP and Jamaat for their anti-Islamic activities, the prime minister said they used religions as a political toll to gain party interest after killing of Bangabandhu. They patronized the killers and carried out vandalism days after days in the name of protecting the war criminals ahead of 2014 election and thereafter.

In the similar style of militants, she said, BNP-Jamaat activists killed 165 innocent people, bunt down the copies of holy Quran and even set fire to the national mosque. Such mayhems should not be allowed to repeat, the prime minister said.

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