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South East Asian pilgrims start planning for Hajj, 2014

Dec 10, 2013:

Indonesian muslims making their Umrah arrive at a transit dormitory

It may seem a long time until the next Hajj season in early October 2014 but environmentally aware moslems in Malaysia are already planning their strategy for greening the annual pilgrimage starting with a special Greening Hajj Conference to be held in February.

Dr Fachruddin and team meet Sri Ilham Lubis, Director General of Hajj and Umrah Services.
This follows a meeting in November, 2013, between Dr Fachruddin Mangunjaya of the Center for Islamic Studies and the technical team at the Directorate of Hajj and Umrah Service. During the meeting Dr Fachruddin had the chance to meet the organisation's Director, Sri Ilham Lubis, who responded very positively with proposals for actions including the planting of trees by pilgrims at Hajj dormitories along the way.

There is a significant Islamic population in that region, with Indonesia receiving the largest quota of pilgrimage places of any Muslim country outside Saudi Arabia (168,800 in 2013). This was recognised in 2012 with the publication of the Haji Ramah Lingkungan version of the Green Guide to Hajj translated into Bahasa Indonesian. The book now even has its own Facebook site from which you can download copies.

The Mayor of Binjai presents the Bahasa Indonesian version of the Green Guide to Hajj to pilgrims setting off for Makkah in September 2013
The first edition of 1000 copies was distributed through a specially designed travelling exhibition display which was launched in Binjai, North Sumatra in September 2012 just as a large group was about to begin their Umrah. Each of the 263 pilgrims was presented with a copy of Haji Ramah Lingkungan by the Mayor of Binjai and many completed questionnaires designed to raise awareness of key areas of environmental harm such as using (and discarding) plastic bottles and bags as they pass along..

The exhibition was later displayed at the mosque of Majelis Zikr Azzikra, in Bogor, West Java where an estimated 10,000 people were thought to have attended in 24 hours.

Pilgrims use the helpful questionnaire to remind themselves of the green issues around pilgrimage.
An exciting further development is the building of a green website aimed at linking Indonesia's many Islamic boarding schools - known as pesantrens - to promote environmentally-friendly action within the Islamic tradition. This site, expected on-line before the end of 2013, will contain permanent information about the Green Hajj initiative.

Useful links

Green Hajj Indonesia Facebook page

Ekopesantren Website

ARC Green Guide to Hajj page

Green Guide to Hajj (English version)

Haji Ramah Lingkungan (Bahasa Indonesian version of Green Guide to Hajj

Green Guide to Hajj (Arabic version)

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