Three Ghanaian Muslim Hajj pilgrims performing the Islamic spiritual exercise have died in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Confirming the incident to Citi News, the Deputy Communications Director for the Hajj Board, Hajia Marian Cissey, noted that“so far we have lost three pilgrims; two being women and one is a male.”
The two women died in their sleep while the third person, a man suffered a medical condition and died at the hospital.
The male “was already suffering in a condition from back home,” Hajia Cissey said.
“The medical experts told us that the patient was already involved in an accident and the condition was being managed and he was on medication. It is when he got here that I think due to how stressful the whole spiritual exercise is, he suffered from internal bleeding in the brain.”
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the most holy city for Muslims, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey.
The pilgrimage has often recorded deaths sometimes due to stampede and other factors.
Mecca, particularly in the summer, has a brutal climate which strains the body due to high heat, possibility of dehydration, and the fact that the rites of the pilgrimage all require a great deal of movement with massive crowding, takes a toll on older people.
Also, the belief that if one dies while performing Haj means a straight shot to heaven encourages those in extremely poor health to play it safe (in the spiritual sense) by playing it unsafely (in the physical sense).