Davao City sends 18 pilgrims to Mecca

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/30 Aug) – Eighteen Muslims here have been chosen by the City Government of Davao to be sent to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for a month-long pilgrimage starting September 5.

Randy Usman, deputy mayor for the Maranao tribe, said the city allocated P230,000 for each pilgrim to complete the pilgrimage and become a hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam.

The other four pillars are declaration of faith, obligatory faith, compulsory giving, fasting in the month of Ramadan.

The pilgrims will leave the city for Mecca on September 4.

“Ang pinipili ay yung talagang walang pera tapos devoted sa Islam (Those who were chosen were the ones who cannot afford to do the pilgrimage and are devoted Muslims),” he said.

Last year, the city also sponsored the same number of pilgrims.

SPO4 Muthawaslih Nani, 46, of the Talomo Police Station, said he is thankful that he was among those chosen by the City Government to go to Mecca.

He said he had submitted his application to the Office of the Muslim Affairs with the recommendations of the Imam from his community.

“Doing is the pilgrimage is one of our obligations as Muslim. We have to go to Mecca and become a Hajj,” he said in Cebuano.

He added they will practice what prophet Muhammad did in Mecca like asking for forgiveness and blessings. “While you are there, you are closest to God (Allah) and he will hear your wishes,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)