Anger and controversy surrounded last year's Hajj when a stampede ended the lives of thousands of Muslim pilgrims. To make matters worse, the classless imbeciles in the Saudi government refused to apologize to the victims' families. Instead of owing up to their error, they blamed the victims, saying that they didn't follow the proper procedures that were in place.
This year's Hajj is also not going well, and it hasn't even started. Saudi Arabia's top cleric said Iranians and Shiites are not Muslims but their "main enemies." The comment came after Iran's leader said that Muslim nations should reconsider the management of the Hajj and take it out of the hands of the Saudis.
Due to last year's stampede that killed hundreds of Iranians and the war of words between the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Iran that resulted from it Iranians have been restricted from attending this year's Hajj by their government for safety and political reasons.
Maybe this is a one-off, and next year things will go back to normal, or maybe this is the beginning of a larger trend that will see the significance of the Hajj be reduced in the minds and hearts of Muslims.
The commercialization of the Hajj under the ownership of the Saudis has taken away any spiritual value it might have had in the past for pilgrims.
It is outrageous that Muslims think one trip to a black cube in the middle of a desert can wipe out a lifetime of sin, but that seems to be the gist of the Hajj. Attending this annual pilgrimage is somehow supposed to sanctify a person. It's a very stupid belief.
In fact, in these historical circumstances, attending the Hajj might actually have the opposite effect. The current profiteers of the Hajj share responsibility for the creation of ISIS and the murder of tens of thousands of innocent Muslims. Only a fool would give them more money.
An excerpt from, "The Reason Why I Will Never Go For Hajj" By Akif Kichloo, The Wire, September 12, 2015:
"Yes, I am a devout Muslim, but I will never go for Hajj. I think there are a thousand more causes in the world for which that money and time can be used, and I, being a man of the 21st century, would not be able to justify giving my hard-earned money to a country which did nothing for the Syrian refugees in dire need."Video Title: Islam and Pagan Rituals: The Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). Source: Acts17Apologetics. Date Published: March 26, 2014. Description:
What is the Hajj? Prior to Islam, the Hajj was a pagan ritual, in which the pagans of Arabia would take a pilgrimage to Mecca in order to worship at the Kaaba. While there, they would walk around the Kaaba seven times (to show respect for their seven planetary deities). Now the Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Video Title: As Hajj pilgrims flock to Mecca, Saudi Arabia and Iran trade jibes. Source: euronews. Date Published: September 6, 2016.