Four Filipino pilgrims died during Hajj, buried in Meccah

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ILIGAN CITY (July 29) —– The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has recorded four Filipino pilgrim who passed away while attending this year’s Hajj in Meccah, Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Dimapuno Alonto Datu-Ramos, Jr., public relations and information head of the NCMF, identified the fourth pilgrim who passed away while performing Hajj as Abdulnasser Hosain Banto, 62, who hails from Taraka town in Lanao del Sur. An Imam of Masjid Abubakar in Barnagay Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City.

Banto was praying inside the hotel, where he stayed when he complained of chest pain and shortness of breath. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but physicians tried to revive him but failed.

Mortality

In July 19, NCMF announced the death of a 57-year old female, Sarapia Abalimbona Taha from Lumbayanague, also in Lanao del Sur, due to myocardial infarction or heart attack, followed by the death of a 66-year old Enting Tungao Kamensa from Datu Piang, Maguindanao a day after (July 20), also of the same reason.

Taha collapsed while entering a Masjid in Haraam while Kamensa lost his consciousness that led to his death inside the same Masjid.

The third pilgrim, Bailani Sakandal Dalandas, 70, died due to suspected cardiac arrest while inside the bus going to the Masjidil in Haraam with her daughter.

“The pilgrim (Dalandas) has no known prior medical condition,” Datu-Ramos said.

Want to die during Hajj

Many Filipino pilgrims want to die in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj because they believe they will go to heaven if they die according to Datu-Ramos.

In fact, last year, some eight pilgrims, mostly in their senior years, died while performing Hajj.

The NCMF, through its assigned supervisory team will take care of the deceased pilgrims in Meccah until they will be buried according to the Muslim culture, within 24 hours.

“There is a cemetery in Meccah prepared for the pilgrims who would die during Hajj,” Datu-Ramos cited.

This year, some 7,325 Filipino pilgrims are participating in the Hajj, an obligation that every Muslim must do at least once in their lifetime and around 90% of the pilgrims are first timers yearly.

“It is one of the five pillars of Islam and is a once-in-a-lifetime event for most,” Datu-Ramos said.

The Wikipedia explains, “The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to MeccaSaudi Arabia, It is considered the holiest city for Muslims, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.”

The literal meaning of the word Hajj is heading to a place for the sake of visiting. In Islamic terminology, Hajj is a pilgrimage made to Kaaba, the “House of God”, in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

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