Leader of Islamic Revolution in meeting with Hajj officials:

Security and honor of Hajj pilgrims must be safeguarded

In a meeting this morning (Sunday) with those in charge of and involved in this year’s Hajj rituals, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei described Hajj as a unique spiritual and social potential and the best opportunity for the expression of the beliefs and the statement of the stance of the Muslim Ummah and stressed that we would never forget the 2015 Hajj tragic incidents, saying, “The serious and perennial demand of the Islamic Republic is the safeguarding of the security, dignity, comfort and well being of all the pilgrims, particularly the Iranians and [ensuring] the security of Hajj is the responsibility of the country, which has control over the two Holy Mosques (in Mecca and Medina).”    
Ayatollah Khamenei described Hajj as an important religious duty and pointing to its spiritual capacities, said, “In all the components of this religious duty, whether in prayers, Tawaf (circumambulating the Ka’aba), Sa’y (walking the path between the two mountains of al-Safa and al-Marwa), Waqoof (staying at Arafat), Ihram (initiation into the sacred state of pilgrimage), there are curious capacities for spiritual connection with God Almighty and this opportunity must be appreciated.”   
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution enumerated “the unique social potential” of Hajj as another outstanding characteristic of the ritual and stressed, “Hajj is the manifestation of ‘the greatness, unity, integrity and might of the Muslim Ummah’ that is performed ceaselessly every year with specific rites and conditions at a particular point.”
He described the acquaintance of pilgrims from various nationalities with each other and the growing closer of the hearts and the extension of helping and assisting hands as among the internal and social aspects of Hajj and reiterated, “With all of these exclusive spiritual and social characteristics, Hajj is the best place and time for the declaration of the stances of the Muslim Ummah on the important issues of the Muslim world.” 
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution described the issue of the “Disavowal of Infidels,” which had always been highlighted by the founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini, as an opportunity for the declaration of the stances in the issues approved by the Muslim Ummah and added, “One of these topics is the issue of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of al-Quds that is discussed and focused on these days more than before due to the insolence, brazenness and maliciousness of the bogus and usurping Zionist regime and the hearts of the Muslim Ummah is beating for the al-Aqsa Mosque.”   
Stressing that the issue of Palestine should not be neglected at all, Ayatollah Khamenei described it as the pivot of the majority of the issues of the Muslim world and said, “What place is better than Baitulllah Al Haram, Mecca, Medina, Arafat, Mash’ar al-Haram and Mina to express the beliefs and declare the stances of the Muslim nations regarding Palestine and al-Aqsa Mosque?”
The Leader described US’s malicious interventions and presence in Muslim states and the creation of Takfiri terrorist groups as another important issue on which Muslim nations must declare their stance during Hajj. 
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution added, “The US regime itself is more evil and malicious than all of the terrorist movements.”
Continuing, Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the decision of the officials to dispatch pilgrims to Hajj this year, reiterating, “There were some concerns in this regard, but officials from respected [government] branches in the Supreme National Security Council assessed all the aspects of the issue and concluded that the Hajj be held.”
He added, “The pain that struck the hearts of Iranians due to the bitter incidents of the 2015 Hajj is unforgettable, therefore, the security and safety of the pilgrims is very important and must be safeguarded.”
Pointing to the importance of the comfort and peace of the Hajj pilgrims, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution reiterated, “Of course, safety and security does not mean the creation of a police environment.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also described as very important and imperative attention by Muslim nations to the issue of unity and reiterated, “While billions of dollars is being spent on creating discord, division and hostility among Muslims, they should beware not to help this disuniting efforts, because any member of the Muslim Ummah who contributes to this conspiracy will share in the consequences of this great sin.” 
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also urged the Iranian Hajj pilgrims to endeavor toward “on-time prayers and congregational prayers in Masjid al-Haram and Masjid an-Nabawi,” “the recitation of Quran in the Holy Mosques,” “paying special attention to the rituals of the Day of Arafat,” and “refraining from wandering in the shops” and added, “The respected Hajj pilgrims must think about purifying their hearts and spirits and benefiting from the great virtues of the Hajj rituals more than anything else, because the attainment of the spiritual benefits of Hajj is the prelude to the achievement of its social results.”    
In conclusion, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed, “Everyone must beware and carefully discharge their responsibilities so that a great and dignified Hajj is performed.”
Prior to the remarks of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ali Qazi-Askar, the representative of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution for Hajj and pilgrimage affairs and the head of Iranian pilgrimage mission, pointed to the bitter incident of the martyrdom of a number of Iranian Hajj pilgrims in 2015 and said, “Although the final report on those incidents has not been released yet and blood money and compensation has not been paid to the relatives of the martyrs, we will follow up on the issue until reaching the final result.”  
Saying that the Islamic Republic has never sought to abort Hajj, Qazi-Askar added, “After several rounds of negotiations this year and the acceptance of the conditions of the Islamic Republic [by Saudi Arabia], the ground was paved for the performance of a dignified Hajj and had they accepted our terms, Hajj would have been held last year, too.” 
The head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, Hamid Mohammadi, also offered a report on the activities of the organization, saying, “Following the invitation letter of the Saudi Hajj Ministry and the decision by the Iranian Supreme National Security Council and the insistence of the grand sources [of emulation], Hajj negotiations were held with emphasis upon the rightful demands regarding the security, honor and dignity of Hajj pilgrims and the rights of the Mina martyrs and after making sure of the fulfillment of the desired demands and expectations, the Supreme National Security Council agreed to the holding of Hajj.”   
Mohammadi added, “Through examination of the flaws of the previous Hajj, all efforts were made to bring about the necessary requirements for a proper Hajj and in this regard the level of services and provisions enjoy higher standards compared to the previous years and those of other countries.” 

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