January 20, 2005
Time off for the haj
From Mr Inayat Bunglawala
Sir, The haj � the great pilgrimage to Mecca � does not �last up to five weeks� (report, January 15). The central haj rituals take only four days to complete.
Every year, around 40,000 British Muslims undertake the haj. However, many pilgrims from around the world, including the UK, do remain in Saudi Arabia, usually for between one and two weeks so that they also have the opportunity for visiting the city of the Prophet, Medina, and doing some sightseeing.
Even so, the haj pilgrimage is, in the overwhelming majority of cases, easily accommodated within the typical annual leave granted to employees.
The Muslim Council of Britain
London E15 1NT