MECCA: Concealing the social status and level of knowledge education of others is one of the best ways to create a strong bond and harmony among hajj pilgrims.
This is the approach taken by two Malaysian pilgrims, a medical specialist and a lecturer, who share a room with four other women from diverse backgrounds.
Dr Siti Norhafiza Mohamad Azmi, 35, a pathologist at Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital, Kuantan, said the ‘secret’ only came out a few weeks after they lived together and they had all already become sisters.
“I did not bring my post to the Holy Land. Here we are all the same and that is the goal of our pilgrimage. In this room, there is a teacher, a kindergarten teacher, a clerk and a tailor… but everyone is the same.
“We will help each other if there are things we don’t know. For me, feeling humble and not being arrogant will bring us closer together. It is a humbling experience,” she told reporters at the pilgrim dormitory of the Abraj Al Janadriyah building here.
She added that apart from taking care of each other, they would perform congregational prayers in the hall if they could not go to the mosque and participate in various programs organized by Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH).
When asked if she was willing to work if needed by TH, Dr Siti Norhafiza, who was described as a generous person by her roommate, said: “I have informed the TH officers that I am ready to serve, especially in cases involving COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, Assoc Prof Dr Noriah Ismail, 50, an English professor at Universiti Teknologi MARA Segamat, Johor, said when their ‘secrets’ were finally revealed, everyone just laughed and carried on. his life as usual.
“Like my other roommates, I don’t think about our differences at all. This is an opportunity for us to play ibadah and being here for more than 40 days is quite a long time. For me, it is crucial to have mutual feelings and a harmonious relationship,” she said.
Nora Jusin, 54, said she was comfortable with all of her roommates and most of the time they ate together.
Interestingly, the husbands of the six women also live together in an adjoining room and have already formed their own bond.
It was reported that among the complaints received by the counseling unit during the hajj season included emotional distress, communication problems between husband and wife and incompatibility between roommates.
As such, TH provides counseling services in each accommodation building to enable pilgrims to lodge complaints and seek advice so that they can perform their ibadah comfortably. – Bernama