CAIRO - Losing their dear ones at the hands of security forces and militias loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad, Syrian refugees hopes to perform the life-time journey to the holy city of Makkah renewed after the Saudi authorities announced its plans to allow them to come to hajj.
My three sons, who died as martyrs, used to promise me that they would take me to Makkah so that I could perform Hajj, Alya, one of the Syrian refugees, told Saudi Gazette on Saturday, October 20.
Alya's sons were among more than 30,000 of Syrian people who have been killed in Syria's 19-month-old uprising against Assad's 11-year rule.
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The revolt against Assad began as peaceful protests calling for democracy and greater rights, but gradually turned to an armed struggle, pitting the Sunni majority against the president and his minority Alawite sect.
Running for her life, Alya, as well as hundreds of thousands of Syrians, took refuge in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.
Losing her three sons in the Syrian revolution, Alya's dream to perform the life-time journey to the holy city of Makkah renewed after the Saudi King promise to allow Syrian refugees to come to hajj this year.
I'm happy their wish is coming true, she added.
Pilgrims have already begun to arrive in Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage, the world's largest annual gathering.
Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Hajj consists of several rituals, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.
Hajj starts on the eighth day of the lunar month of Dhul Hijjah, which falls this year on October 24.
Most pilgrims come earlier to visit the holy mosques in Makkah and nearby Madinah, where Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) was buried over 1,400 years ago.
Syrian refugees were grateful to the Saudi authorities for fulfilling their life dream.
King Abdullah has always supported and stood by the Syrian people, Samer J. said.
Samer said Syrian refugees have become tired and exhausted by what has been going on in their country.
He added that all Syrian refugees were extremely glad over the news of that Haj visas would be made available to them.
May Allah reward him for this, Samer added.
Other refugees awaited the life-time journey to pray to Allah to save the Syrian people from the aggression of Assad's forces.
Muhammad J., from the Syrian town of Dara, thanked King Abdullah for his gesture, which he said has made Syrian refugees very happy.
Muhammad lost four of his family members in the violence in Syria and fled with three others to Lebanon.
They have been living in a small room for over a year.
His only wish was to perform hajj and pray to Allah in front of the Ka'aba that the oppression in Syria stops.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net