Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday inaugurated the Hajj Programme of 2018 (1439 Hijri) urging everybody to remain careful of stopping spreading confusion about Islam.
“We must keep religion above all in every sphere of our life and we have to uphold the main teachings of Islam before the people,” she said, reports BSS.
The premier said Islam is the only religion which preaches mostly for peace and welfare of the people. But some people are out to interpret the teachings of the religion in a different way, causing problem to whole Muslim community across the world, she said.
Religious affairs minister Matiur Rahman presided over the inauguration of the Hajj Programme of 2018 (1439 Hijri) at Ashkona Hajj Camp in the capital.
Sheikh Hasina said since her return to home in 1981 from exile she has been making constant efforts for welfare of the people and materialise the dream of Bangabandhu to build a poverty and hunger free country.
Civil aviation and tourism minister AKM Shajahan Kamal, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on religious affairs ministry Bazlul Haque Harun, Sahara Khatun, MP, Charge-d’ Affaires of Saudi embassy in Bangladesh Amir Omar Salem were present as special guests.
Religious affairs ministry secretary Anisur Rahman gave welcome address and senior Pesh Imam of Baitul Mokarram Mosque Maulana Mizanur Rahman conducted the prayers.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina exchanged pleasantries with the pilgrims and wished their safe return after performing all the Hajj rituals.
She requested the pilgrims to offer prayers for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his family members and others who were brutally killed on the fateful night of 15 August 1975.
Hasina recalled that after independence Bangabandhu had taken a unique arrangement for sending the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj on sea route by Hijbul Bahar as well as on air route.
Though, Saudi Arabia did not give recognition to Bangladesh at that time, but they liked Bangabandhu and Bangladesh’s first Hajj mission began at his request.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is trying its best to resolve the problems relating to Hajj management system saying the situation was better in the last few years.
“I myself wrote to Saudi King many a time requesting him to look into those difficulties,” she said adding that the Saudi government took many measures in response to those requests to facilitate the pilgrims.
Pointing out the relations between Bangladesh and other Muslim countries, the prime minister said Bangladesh became a member of the OIC during the tenure of Bangabandhu.
Bangabandhu established the Madrasa Education Board and prohibited wine, gambling and horse racing and introduced the provision of Azan in the state media.
The incumbent government is following the footstep of Bangabandhu, she said adding that the government has shifted the hajj office to Mecca from Jeddah and hired a plaza in the terminal for convenience of the pilgrims.
Six aircraft for the national flag carrier were procured for transportation of the pilgrims while two more will join the fleet very soon, she said.
Hasina urged the pilgrims to follow the instructions mentioned in the booklet during their stay in Saudi Arabia for their safety and convenience.
A total of 126,798 Muslims from Bangladesh would perform Hajj this year including 6,798 under government management.
The first flight of pilgrims is scheduled to leave Dhaka on Saturday.