Muslim Pilgrims Are Taking "Hajj Selfies" And Clerics Are Not Happy

Clerics are reportedly condemning the latest "selfie fever" at Islam's holiest sites.

"Selfie fever" has taken over the hajj — the pilgrimage to Mecca made by millions of Muslims to fulfill one of the five pillars of faith.

According to Arab News, this trend of selfies at Islam's holiest sites is not going down well with Muslim clerics and scholars.

The hajj, one of the world's largest gatherings, is perceived as the "religious high point of a Muslim's life." This year's hajj is expected to fall between Oct. 2 and Oct. 7.

Saudi authorities forbid taking photographs at the Holy Mosque in Mecca and the courtyard around it, and could deny entry to those found with cameras or cameraphones.

However, people usually sneak their phones in, and in recent years officials have relaxed the rules on taking photos inside the premises.

In the wake of the global selfie trend, an increasing number of Muslims now document their pilgrimage on social media.

People are taking selfies at the Kaaba, considered the center of the Muslim world.

Some even had their own hajj version of the famous Oscar selfie.

Can #Hajjselfie beat the #OscarSelfie in Retweets ? Lets RT this To infinity #Muslim and say #mashAllah

A few brave pilgrims wielded the selfie stick.

But some clerics have condemned the selfie fever as "touristy behavior" that destroys the tranquility and humility required for acts of worship during the holy pilgrimage, Arab News reported.

Pilgrims posting their Kaaba selfies on Facebook and making it into a social media event ruins "their act of ibadah (worship) by humble-bragging," an Islamic studies teacher told Arab News.

"Taking such selfies and videos defy the wish of our prophet," a Jeddah-based scholar said. "When the prophet went for hajj he said, 'O Allah, I ask of you a pilgrimage that contains no boasting or showing off.'"

"It is as though the only purpose of this trip is take pictures and not worship," another Muslim scholar told Arab News.

Muslim Matters, a blog for Muslims in the West, threw the hajj selfie topic open for debate on Twitter.

What do you think of the #hajj selfie? Ruins tranquility or a sign of the times?

Some called the trend a "social menace."

@MuslimMatters wow I'm pleased that such a question is being put up,cleansing in the presnce of Allah is turned into a social menace.

@MuslimMatters Its a sad testament to the fact that our love of sharing over social media has crept into our Ibadah. #Riya vs #Sincerity

Many agreed it went against the purpose of doing the hajj.

@MuslimMatters Ruins tranquility and misleading the purpose of being there.

@MuslimMatters As much as I would like a selfie with the Kabba in the background, I think it would distract me from the purpose #hajjselfie

@MuslimMatters The hajj is all about overcoming your "self"! #hajjselfie wont bring anyone anyhere.

Others approved of it, but only in moderation.

@MuslimMatters Kaaba is not Eiffel Tower. Ok with selfie but Let's stay moderate.

@MuslimMatters its fine as long as you don't spend your entire trip taking selfies...i mean take a picture but not during the manasik

Some believed it was a good way to remember such a significant event.

@MuslimMatters what's wrong with it-- as long as it's not constant and is only for memorializing a memorable trip

@MuslimMatters so nice to keep for looking back on. I have a pic I snapped of the Kabah at Umrah, I love seeing it

But many demanded a ban on the hajj selfies.

RT #hajjselfie hitting the headlines pass a message to Hajis to stop taking selfles and stay in worship. #Hajj2014

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