MAKKAH: The wife of Zulkifly Samad, the Malaysian pilgrim killed in the Mina stampede, accepted her husband’s death as God’s will in his desire to follow the “sunnah” (acts of Prophet Muhammad) by walking from Muzdalifah to Mina and to perform the stone-throwing ritual during the ‘duha” period (7 am to 11 am).
Suriahanim Abd Hamid, 40, said she had initially objected to her husband’s intention to walk as Tabung Haji had advised Malaysian pilgrims to perform the stone-throwing ritual after 5.30 pm.
She said it had been her husband’s wish to walk from Muzdalifah to Mina to follow Prophet Muhammad’s example.
“After the ‘wukuf’ (grand assembly) in Arafah on Sept 23, we boarded the bus to Muzdalifah (for the ‘mabit’ ritual where pilgrims are required to stay for a while) and he told me his intention to walk to Mina from Muzdalifah (a distance of about 3km)
“At 7.30 am (Sept 24), I called him on his handphone and he said he had arrived in Mina,” she added.
Suriahanim said she had asked her husband to return to camp to take a short rest, but he was adamant to perform the stone-throwing ritual at Jamrah Kubra during the duha period.
“I was informed about the stampede about 1.30 pm (incident occurred at 11.30 am) and then started to call him, but the calls went unanswered,” she added.
She said she lodged a report with Tabung Haji at 11 pm on the day of the incident after her husband failed to return to camp.
Following which, a search was mounted by Tabung Haji at the Jamrah Complex and in Mina, and then went to the Muassiem mortuary, after they failed to locate him.
Suriahanim said Tabung Haji contacted her at about 1.30 pm on Sept 27 to identify her husband’s body. The couple has a son, aged two years and six months.
Zulkifly’s body was buried at the syara’ik cemetery here at 2.50 am today (7.50 am Malaysian time).
Suriahanim had earlier identified her husband’s body at the Muassiem mortuary in Mina.
More that 700 pilgrims were killed in the stampede which happened in an area where pilgrims from Middle Eastern countries were encamped, about four kilometres from where the Malaysian pilgrims encamped.-BERNAMA