Safely Accommodating More Pilgrims at the Hajj
Hajj stampede: At least 717 killed in Saudi Arabia,
BBC Sept 24, 2015
Two million is about the maximum number of pilgrims that can be accommodated for the Hajj; that is 140 million worshippers over a seventy years lifespan.
Even if the Muslim population remained at its current level, more than 80 percent of believers will not be able to fulfill a central requirement of their faith because of the limitations of accommodating a greater number in the finite space that is the Ka'ba and its surrounding and the mandatory rituals of having two million people throw stones at pillars representing the devil and two million people running back and forth between two hills in a recreation of Hagar's frantic search for water, the two rituals most responsible for deaths at the Hajj.
You would think that God would have anticipated these problems when He made the Hajj mandatory lest a believer spend an eternity in Hell for missing it; unless it was a clever scheme to get more firewood for His Hell. But, I don't think so.
Except for an entrance and an exit door, Bait-ul-Ma'mur is almost an exact replica of the Ka’ba in Mecca and is situated directly above it, somewhere above the clouds.
Like Muslims on earth, angels are required to make a pilgrimage to this Ka’ba in the sky at least once in their lifetime as immortals, and seventy thousand angels do so every day according to the Prophet who was informed of this by Gabriel himself during his one-night visit with Allah in Paradise.
Anas b. Malik reported on the authority of Malik b. Sa sa', perhaps a person of his tribe, that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him) said ...
Then the bait-ul-Ma'mur was raised up to me. I said: O Gabriel! what is this? He replied: It is the bait-ul-Ma'mur. Seventy thousand angels enter into it daily and, after they come out, they never return again …
Sahih Muslim 1.0314
Unlike earth-bound pilgrims, angels do not circle the Ka'ba but enter by one door and exit by another. Much more efficient, which may explain why God's Messenger considered remodelling the earth Ka'ba on the Ka'ba in the sky.
Ibn Az-Zubair said to me, "Aisha used to tell you secretly a number of things. What did she tell you about the Ka'ba?"
I replied, "She told me that once the Prophet said, 'O Aisha! Had not your people been still close to the pre-Islamic period of ignorance! I would have dismantled the Ka'ba and would have made two doors in it; one for entrance and the other for exit."
A modified Ka'ba along the lines of the one the Prophet was shown in Paradise and a ritual mimicking that of the angels would allow for a least a doubling of the Hajj capacity.
Of course, this could only be accomplished, if, in concert with a remodelled Ka'ba and a modified ritual, the organizers did away or re-scheduled the add-ons: the Hagar search for water re-enactment and the stoning of the devil ritual so as to not coincide with the Koran mandated Ka'ba rituals.
Today, with the number of pilgrims and oil revenue, economics are no longer an issue, and these banal rituals could be reschedule so as not to coincide with Koran mandated rituals of the Hajj, which could be completed in a day or less.
The modifications suggested here will become even more pressing should intelligent life out there come to the same conclusion as intelligent life here, that there is only one god, and He is Allah, and that you must honour Him by making a pilgrimage to the place He designated as the center of His universe from wherever you are, at least once in your lifetime, whatever that lifetime is.
Dry, sun-baked Mecca's main claim to fame, before the Prophet did away with them, were the idols which brought pilgrims from all over the Middle East to Mecca and were central to the city's economic well-being.
Narrated Abdullah bin Masud:
The Prophet entered Mecca and (at that time) there were three hundred-and-sixty idols around the Ka'ba. He started stabbing the idols with a stick he had in his hand and reciting: "Truth (Islam) has come and Falsehood (disbelief) has vanished."
The merchant in the Messenger may have been concerned that without a multi-day pilgrimage to rival the old pagan multi-faith festival his hometown Mecca might suffer economically, the reason perhaps for the add-ons.