Only a handful of South African hujjaj have been invited to perform this year’s historic hajj – out of a possible 1000 pilgrims.
VOC News has learnt that five South African ex-pats who are working in the Saudi Kingdom, have been accredited for the pilgrimage, amongst them two teachers from Cape Town and Kimberly. Nazeema Williams from Grassy Park and Yusuf Kleinsmith from Kimberley have arrived in Makkah for their four-day quarantine.
They have been working as teachers in Riyadh for the past two years. Saudi Arabia announced that 70 percent of ex-pats and 30 percent of Saudi citizens could apply for hajj this year. Numbers were drastically cut due to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking to VOC from the kingdom, Williams said she was humbled by the invitation to perform her fardh hajj.
“When I received my acceptance from the Ministry of Hajj, I was overwhelmed with excitement. I didn’t expect to be accepted. Shukr to Allah that I am amongst the chosen ones.”
Kleinsmith said the greatness of this opportunity is only now starting to be felt.
“The odds are one in a million that I would be selected, as only 1000 people can go for hajj. It’s truly an overwhelming and humbling experience,” he said.
“I am so touched by all the well-wishes and requests for duas by family and friends. I am honoured and grateful to Allah SWT for giving me the opportunity to take forward all their duas on the day of Wuqoof.”