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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Holy Pigeons

"Kabooter chowk(Pigeon roundabout) "  as my aunt from Pakistan would describe it was a small road junction with approximately 100 to 200 pigeons enjoying free food and water from Pilgrims(considering feeding pigeons a way to earn blessings or sawab) on her way to  Masjid-Haram. Pilgrims mostly from asia would buy pigeon feed which is mainly raw wheat from african ladies at the spot. I guess the food on the ground was enough for thousands of pigeons. Any way i dont have any trouble with Innocent hardly literate Pilgrims from remote villages of third world countries feeding pigeons, infact i am happy atleast some animal is getting humane treatment.

Before Hajj i visited my aunt in Makkah and on my way to Masjid-Haram from her hotel, I noticed a young woman may be in her late twenties at the same spot looking for something in the wheat grains(pigeon feed) on the ground. Soon i heard an irritated and a bit angry voice of a man,"hey everyones watching, what are you doing? lets go"  . I assumed him to be his husband who was more worried about everyones watching rather than what she was doing.

After Hajj I visited my aunt again in Makkah but this time on my way to Masjid Haram i noticed more than 15 people looking for some thing in wheat grains on ground. The quantity of food(grains) on the ground was also increased.It looked really strange that instead of pigeons there were humans doing the pigeons job. It made me anxious enough to go and ask one of the lady who appeared to be collecting some specific type of grains from the ground. she was an elderly woman from India . I asked her in Urdu about what she is doing and why is she doing this? she replied that , "Its said that, if a woman is having trouble bearing a child, she should eat 7 or 11 grains that are still in chaff from the ground where pigeons feed in Makkah." Guessing from her age she must be collecting it for her Daughter in Law may be.As only few grain were in the chaff the rest were refined, separated ones, so thats why it seemed like they were collecting something beside the grains, only may be 1 percent grains were with chaff or husk.  I was surprised there were so many men also collecting it so i asked a man nearby the same question. He was also an old man with a beard and i think he was from the north western Pakistan, he replied, "Its said that, if one has a wish that is not coming true, he/she should collect 7 or 11 grains that are still in chaff from the ground where pigeons feed in Makkah, and make a pact that if my wish comes true i will feed the collected grains back to Pigeon. " I asked him who told him this, "a guy collecting grains here earlier" he replied quickly and then again started looking for the required grain.

While i was standing there a woman i think from India came and sat down beside one lady who was tieing the collected grains into a knot in her scarf , both above 60 years of age.She asked the one sitting there earlier about what was she doing, she explained her the story which the old man told me, than the lady who asked earlier took a hand full of grains from the ground and put them in a bag, she then told the first woman that she will take these home and will mix with the grains she had in home and will give this to her children with every meal. The first lady said in disapproval that this is of no use, the one with husk/chaff are to be eaten only and thus are benficial. But the other lady insisted that as she got these grains from meccan ground so these grains are blessed and also she has plenty of grains at home but these are the special blessed ones.

In the mean while another lady inquired the same and after hearing the story started collecting the grains, she was not having any luck finding the one with husk/chaff so she asked the first lady in above conversation what to do. The reply was to buy some new packs throw them on the ground and collect from those.

I noticed that 99 percent of people collecting Pigeon grains heard it on the spot and sat down to collect for theirselves, no boby even tried to validate or even question this claim that these grains are blessed and help in the fulfilment of ones wishes. All of them were pilgrims either from Africa, or South Asia and especially ones from Pakistan and India were illiterate and from remote villages or towns. I realized that these Muslims who represent the majority of Muslim nation are so vulnerable when it comes to the belief system of Islam.  My problem with this whole pratice and situation was not what these people were doing, but why they were doing this. I mean thinking grains are blessed and feeding pigeons is holy is one problem, but the main problem is 90 percent of them believed what a complete stranger told them and even they spread the word. It took a month for this practice to reach from one woman to some dozen people from different countries, Imagine how fast it will spread if people continue this practise of blind trust. We need to educate our people to question the source and to make sure if the source is credible or not ,when they are told something new about islam and then to question the material whether it contradicts with the core teachings of islam or not. I know i am equally guilty of not educating and stopping those people from doing and believing such a thing, but i am trying to create an awareness through my blog. We need to have an organization at a government level to educate our people for such matters.Most people see it as harmless and states that there is no loss in this scenario but i would like them to know that god is the one who grants wishes and if the wish is to be granted, it will be granted no matter what. But to think that collecting and eating these grains will do them any good or help fulfil their desires, is a form of Shirk which destroys any good deeds a person may have done, no matter how great or numerous. I was saddened to see that these people who have the chance to be at the most blessed place on earth with perfect timings for acceptance(Arafat ground during Hajj) and all they had to do was to raise their hands and beg to god for whatever they desire, yet they still rely on some pigeon feed.
This is another factor which is holding Muslim nation back, rest of the world is relying on the power of science and technology to conquer Space, Sun, Moon and Earth , whereas Muslims are still waiting for pigeon feed to change their lives.

All above mentioned is my personal observation and If you know more about this practise just letme know, or if you think i am wrong somewhere just enlighten me with your comments.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Enjoy below some pictures i took from my cell phone during Hajj.
Mina the tent city

Inside our tent in Mina . The tent was fire proof with desert cooler and power supply

My Id for Hajj

Our tent in Arafat

Our tent in Arafat

staying under open sky in Muzdalifah

The Jamarat Complex, In Picture is the Big Jamarat

Railway Station Mina 1

There are total nine station throughout Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina

Railway stations are built on a height, view from the railway station

Inside the Metro

Hajj 2010

I am back from Hajj, Alhamdulillah every thing went fine and thanx to the new Hajj Metro service the effort is decreased by 50%. I have so much to discuss and share that i dont know from where to begin. Inshallah in a day or two i will start compiling . So keep visiting