Adham Al-Hawwash, a Saudi in his middle age, had circumambulated the Kaaba about 700 times during this year’s Haj season but did not do the Haj. “I rent my wheelchair to the pilgrims and push them seven times around the Kaaba. This is how I make a living,” he said. He said he was obliged to circumambulate the Kaaba to enable the old or disabled pilgrims do their tawaf so he had no time to think of doing the Haj himself. Al-Hawwash said he was not in a good financial position that would have enabled him to do the fifth pillar of Islam and had to continue working hard to provide for his family.
He said he started this job some years back on the advice of his mother, whose head he kisses every time he leaves his house. “I tie my waist with a piece of cloth to reduce my back pain. I also wear heavy stocking to avoid foot ache,” he said on how he prepares for work. Hawwash said he has pushed more than 100 pilgrims around the House of God at SR350-SR500 per head. “This is a tiring job but it earns me good money to spend on my family and save for the future,” he said.
Hawwash said his job is seasonal climaxing during Ramadan and the Haj when pilgrims come in large numbers to the Grand Mosque. He also said he guides his customers to the best dua (supplication) according to the Prophet’s Sunnah. “The pushing of wheelchairs needs tactics, fair knowledge of the peak hours and a balanced distribution of strength to avoid exhaustion,” he said. Al-Hawwash said he eats dates and bananas to provide him energy, which he needs in his job.
Source: Saudi Gazette