Hajj pilgrims –both young and old – have sought to challenge the ban on taking pictures in Mecca during the pilgrimage. As the 'selfie bug' bites one and all, there seems to be nothing the authorities can do about it.
Hajj is one of the world's largest congregations of people from all around the world who embark on the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. However, people's urge to document each and every moment of the Hajj experience – which, many would say is normal – has actually irked some scholars and fellow pilgrims, who have deemed the behaviour as "touristy," Arab News reports.
The Saudi authorities have prohibited pilgrims from clicking photographs at the Holy Mosque but there seems to be no way to keep them from violating the rules especially when they have to watch over thousands of people at once. People have been sharing their selfies on Twitter at #Hajj2014.
Selfie game too strong at hajj this year pic.twitter.com/eCxECPO5g8
— Asmaa (@aDawodd) October 3, 2014
— Emilie Gascon-Léger (@EmilieArchives) October 2, 2014
But there are others who have lambasted people for clicking pictures:
"In Medina, I noticed a family facing the Sun, raising their hands as it in dua (wish). I couldn't figure out what exactly they were doing. But then I noticed a person in front of them taking their picture," Arab News quoted Zahra Mohammad, 27, an Islamic Studies teacher in Riyad.
"I have seen pilgrims in Masjid al-Haram taking selfies with the Kaaba in the background and this selfie is then posted on Facebook making it a social media event and ruining their act of ibadah (devotion) by 'humble bragging'," She said.
However, it has been claimed that the urge to document and share their activities at the holy mosques of Mecca and Medina have given rise to more pilgrims using their phones in the holy mosques.
Many scholars and Muslims believe that such behaviour can be deterrent to achieving humility and tranquillity while worshipping God.
"When He went for Haj, the Prophet, had said: 'O Allah, I ask of you a pilgrimage that contains no boasting or showing of'. Taking such selfies and videos defy the wish of our Prophet," Jeddah-based scholar Sheikh Assim Al-Hakeem told the newspaper.