PILGRIMAGE COMPARISON --- SAUDI ARABIA AND IRAQ
Saudi Arabia: If at any given year, the number of hajj pilgrims exceeds 2.5 million; then the Saudi feel uncomfortable about it.
Iraq: If at any given year, (after 2003), the number of pilgrims is less than 2.5 million; the Iraqi feel ashamed of themselves thinking that possibly last year we did not honour the pilgrims appropriately.
Saudi Arabia: A separate ministry constituted to look into the affairs of the hajj pilgrims.
Iraq: The 'mowkebs' for the pilgrims on the way and in the different cities, villages; is a small 'mowkeb' of Abu Ali Manzoor; (between Najaf and Karbala), who serves tea and he serves at the least number being 8 million. It should be noted that all the 'mowkebs' are privately owned; not government. The government is responsible for immigration, security (road etc.) safety of pilgrims. Iraq does not have a separate ministry constituted for pilgrims.
Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Arabia regime demands and collects US Dollars (in advance) from the hajj pilgrims for the services provided.
Iraq: The Iraqi regime does not collect from pilgrims (Only visa fees -- which is free for certain days) for services (security etc) provided. The Iraqi people are only and only anticipating dua's (not demanding dua's) and feel ashamed, insulted, if asked : "how much ?" for the service provided.
Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Arabia people (and regime) see the hajj pilgrimage as a commercial 'booty' season and not otherwise.
Iraq: The Iraqi people see the pilgrim season as an opportunity for sacrifice and service.
Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Arabia people see the 2.5 hajj pilgrims as a disturbance to 'our daily routine and disruption of traffic network".
Iraq: On any street of Karbala; one will find 2.5 million (or more) pilgrims during the Arbaeen.
Saudi Arabia: Members of the Royal Saudi family come driving in their limousines (along with the escort cars) for tawaaf, jameraat etc
Iraq: The wealthy and the poor, people of Iraq; be it ministers, military chief etc all walk; and mostly without shoes etc towards the shrines of the holy Imam Hussain a.s and hadhrat Abbas a.s.
Saudi Arabia: Despite demanding and collecting money for hajj pilgrim’s services; the regime keeps 'boasting' about the facilities of hajj pilgrimage.
Iraq: Despite washing, massaging the feet of the pilgrim; if the Iraqi feels that: "maybe didn't do it as per the expectations of the pilgrim"; the Iraqi is found to be asking to be forgiven.
Saudi Arabia: If on any highway or road; the number of pilgrims exceeds tens of thousands; "crush" and "stampede" takes place and hundreds and hundreds are killed.
Iraq: If on any highway or road; the number of pilgrims is 3.0 million or more; the owner of the "mowkebs" feel honoured and see it as a blessing of the holy Imam Hussain a.s; at the same time wishing more pilgrims would have come.
"Misconceptions of Shi'a" - Ammar Nakhshwani Lecture at MIT
Sahih Muslim and Verse 33:33: Who are the Ahlul Bayt?