When Muslims venture out on their pilgrimage to holy sites, what can they do to protect themselves from the vast crowds and make the trip easier?When Muslims venture out on their pilgrimage to...
When Muslims venture out on their pilgrimage to holy sites, what can they do to protect themselves from the vast crowds and make the trip easier?
Much of what can be done has been appropriated by the religious authorities to provide a much safer experience to the Hajj. Some of this includes modifying practices when at the Hajj, such as not being required to go and kiss the black stone or to avoid throwing rocks and pebbles at it, placing them instead in provided collection areas. However, the reality is that large numbers are intrinsic in this pilgrimage:
As of 2010, about three million pilgrims participate in this annual pilgrimage. Crowd-control techniques have become critical, and because of the large numbers of people, many of the rituals have become more stylized.
The large issue here would be one that applies to all formal religions that require a deliberate undertaking or pilgrimage to a central place of worship. Large numbers are going to be a reality that is unavoidable. I think that someone who believes in the power of these quests will suggest that "vast crowds" and "difficulties" are part of the voyage. That is to say that if one's religious faith is extremely strong, then one will be able to focus out the distractions of many people and other challenges and focus on their zeal for their chosen path of spirituality, as it is this force that compelled them to arrive at the destination. It seems to me that the devout worshipper will argue that the need for demonstration and submission to one's religious faith is what will allow individuals to fight through such challenges and such hurdles.