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Haj pilgrims in Uttar Pradesh to be chosen by computerised lots

     Lucknow: The Haj Committee for Uttar Pradesh has come up with a novel mode of computerised system through which the aspiring devout Muslims will be chosen by lots for the pilgrimage to Mecca and Madina, known as the Haj. The first list of pilgrims chosen through such lots was released in Lucknow on Tuesday. Thousands of aspiring pilgrims waited anxiously to hear their names confirmed from the data that was compiled by the Haj Committee and uploaded on its website, prior to the draw of lots. Sheikh Mohammad Khan, an applicant contended that it is the Lord Almighty's call when one's name gets selected through the online system of lots. "What a better moment of happiness can we get? This is such an opportunity, which only a fortunate person can get. A lot of this fortune depends on the blessings of Lord Allah. A person experiences a divine feeling when he gets selected through the computerised system of lots," he said. According to official figures of Central Haj Committee, the total number of Haj seats allotted to India during 2009 is 1,60,000 of which 45,000 will be earmarked for Haj trips organised by private operators. Out of the 160 thousand, 27,378 Haj pilgrims are from the state of Uttar Pradesh itself. Another applicant Haleem Farooqi mentioned that his family and friends have been praying for him so that he gets an opportunity to undertake this holy pilgrimage. The escalated number of applicants in India had created a problem for the respective Haj Committees in various states in finalising the list of pilgrims. To overcome this bottleneck and crisis, the choosing of names through computerised lots was introduced in 2007. Saudi Arabia grants Haj visas to countries based on certain strict ratio of quotas but has increased the numbers over the past couple of years. Haj, one of the largest manifestations of religious devotion in the world, retraces the path of Prophet Mohammad 14 centuries ago after he defeated pagan forces in Mecca.
-May 6, 2009


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