Attacks on the Hajj

Here are some notable man-made attacks on the Hajj pilgrims. History bears testimony that whoever attacks the Hajj is an enemy of the highest degree:

The 1757 Hajj caravan raid was the plunder and massacre of the Hajj caravan on its return to Damascus from Makkah Mukarramah by Bedouin of the Bani Saqr tribe. An estimated 20,000 pilgrims were either killed or died of hunger or thirst as a result of the raid.

In 1917 Fawaz el Fayez, one of the leaders of Bani Saqr, had a secret meeting with T.E. Lawrence to conspire in bringing down the Muslim Khilafah.

In 1933 Sheikh Mithqal Pasha al-Fayez, Chief of the Fayez clan of Beni Saqr, was a member of a delegation which met the President of the Zionist Organisation in Palestine.

On reaching India in October 1502, Gama’s fleet set about capturing any Arab vessel he came across in Indian waters, most notoriously the Miri, a pilgrim ship from Makkah, whose passengers he had massacred in open water. During his second voyage to Calicut, da Gama intercepted a ship of Muslim pilgrims at Madayi travelling from Calicut to Makkah.

Da Gama looted the ship with over 400 pilgrims on board including 50 women and kids, locked in the passengers and an ambassador from Egypt and burnt them to death.

In 906 the Shia Qarmatians ambushed a caravan of pilgrims heading for Makkah Mukarramah and killed 20,000 people. In 930, they sacked Makkah, massacred its population, and stole the Black Stone (it was returned 22 years later after a ransom was paid).

Abu Tahir Sulayman al-Jannabi led the Qarmatians’ most notorious attack in 930 when he pillaged Makkah Mukarramah. The Qarmatian army set about massacring the pilgrims, taunting them with verses of the Quran as they did so. The bodies of the pilgrims were left to rot in the streets or thrown down the Well of Zamzam.

On the first day of the Hajj they led a charge on pilgrims, riding their horses into Masjid al-Haram and killing pilgrims praying around the Ka’bah. They killed some thirty thousand.

Raynald of Châtillon was a French noble who joined the Crusades. He built a fleet of five ships which plundered the coast of the Red Sea, threatening the route of the Muslim pilgrims towards Makkah Mukarramah in 1183.

Part of his fleet made a plundering raid along the coasts, threatening the security of Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwarah.

In 1186 Raynald attacked a Hajj caravan travelling between Cairo and Damascus. He took all the merchants and their families prisoner as well as a large amount of booty and refused to receive envoys from Salahuddeen.

This led directly to the end of the truce. Salahuddeen sent troops to protect a later pilgrim caravan in 1187.

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