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Selfie craze is affecting Holy Kaaba
Friday March 18, 2016 11:09 PM, Nisma Rafiq, Saudi Gazette

Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance. It welcomes everyone, without discrimination on color, caste or creed. It accept its followers the way they are, and asks them to worship no other than Allah (SWT) and accept the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as His last messenger.

It’s been more than 1400 years since Islam has spread across the globe, and it is not only Arabs who are Muslims, but people from every country on every plant. With the development of science and technology, things are becoming easier compared to in the past for those travelling and visiting the Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

Yet, pilgrimages are performed just as when they started. Technology and smart phones have helped a lot, offering several advantages to pilgrims, but the new fashion of taking selfies while on pilgrimage has become the norm and has spread like an epidemic.

A selfie has become a way to show that a person was actually here. It began on Hajj, but now has now grown dramatically. A growing number of pilgrims stop and take selfies while circumambulating the Ka’ba. Several people have been seen making videos or taking a video call while circling the Ka’ba. We will not debate whether it’s right or wrong to use phones in this way on Hajj, but it certainly does affect others.

“I miss the old days when capturing pictures wasn’t allowed inside the Haram. At least, we didn’t used to end up bumping into each other” Rahat Saleem said after a recent visit to Makkah.

“Selfie craze is disturbing the normal flow of Tawaf and it causes problems not only to elderly, but to every worshipper.” Fatima Sharif, who is in the Kingdom on a visit from Pakistan, said.

“Personally I think it takes the pleasure and serenity away from the worship and from the task you are here perform in Makkah.” another pilgrim, who is saddened by selfie mania, said.

It is a person’s choice whether to take a picture or not, either for their memory or to show others, but one has to respect other people as well. Holy sites are always crowded with people coming from near and far to worship and perform pilgrimage. When a person stops at Mataf or Sa’ee just to have their picture taken, it hinders the flow, causing people to bump into each other.

At other times, your picture can include several strangers in the background male and female who should not be in your selfie. Always take a note of whether it is the right time or place, thinking about others first is also a good deed and will be rewarded.

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