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Crowd Control in Islam - Iqamah

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Seifeddine-M, abu mohammed
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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 18th November 2011 10:59

How difficult is it to get a crowd of 300 people to line up in seconds. Its difficult. Infact many would say its impossible.

Can you imagine getting over 2,000,000 people who are all walking around and scattered all over the place to be lined up in seconds, impossible is the wrong word, its very very possible.

Police can try all they want, but they can never get a peasceful crowd under control, nor can they make them line up.

However, just to start with beautiful words of the Iqamah of "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar," and millions stop what they are doing and line up ALL facing ONE direction. Isn't that a miracle in its self.

ALLAHU AKBAR

See the beauty of the Adhan & Iqamah.


Youtube Video

 

Youtube Video

 

Sheikh Bin Baz leads Eid Salah in 1938

Youtube Video

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 24th October 2013 23:00
Can technology help avoid stampedes?

By Jane Wakefield

Technology reporter

24 October 2013

The Hajj attracts millions of pilgrims each year, but they are very tightly packed together
It seems the cruellest and most unnecessary of deaths - to be crushed in the midst of a crowd.

But even in the 21st Century such deaths are still common, as a stampede at a recent Hindu festival in India, which killed about 115 people, proved all too sadly.

Horror quickly turned to anger as the Indian media reported that better crowd management could have prevented the tragedy.

But can technology also play a role in making sure that such disasters are not repeated?

At the Hajj pilgrimage, the world's largest Islamic gathering, which takes place in October, the authorities now use live crowd analytics software, which can not only spot problems in the crowd but also claims to be able to predict where overcrowding is likely to happen.

Live data feeds come into a large operations room where they are analysed by military personnel, the police and other crowd managers.

The software provides accurate and real-time data on crowd numbers, densities, distributions and flows.

"Crowds can be dangerous places. Whether triggered by factions within the crowd, by natural disasters or misguided crowd managers, there is a long history of crushes, stampedes and failed evacuations," said Fiona Strens who co-founded CrowdVision, the firm behind the software.

"It spots patterns of crowd behaviour that indicate potential danger such as high densities, pressure, turbulence, stop-and-go waves and other anomalies."

As large-scale events go the Hajj is one of the biggest and it has a pretty bad track record; over the years thousands of lives have been lost.

One of the worst incidents occurred in 2006 when a stampede on the last day of the pilgrimage killed at least 346 pilgrims and injured another 200.

Crowd behaviour

As part of his PhD research, CrowdVision co-founder Dr Anders Johansson analysed the CCTV images of the pilgrims before and during the crush in 2006, and realised that there were patterns of behaviours that, spotted early enough, could have prevented it.

In 2007, his system was installed in Mecca and it has been monitoring the pilgrimage every year since.


The Saudi authorities believe such technology helps save lives
While the company doesn't like to tempt fate, since its involvement, no fatalities have occurred.

That isn't entirely down to the technology though, admits Ms Strens.

"In recent years the Mecca authorities have invested in better infrastructure, planning and technology to assure pilgrim safety but we play a very important role providing the real-time data and insights needed to inform operational decision-making," she said.

For their part, the Saudi authorities are pleased to have such a technology partner.

"The live crowd analysis greatly improves safety of pilgrims," said Dr Salim al Bosta, crowd management expert, at the ministry of municipal and rural affairs.

But crowd scientist Keith Still, who was special adviser on the Hajj from 2001 and 2005, is more sceptical about how much technology can help in such places.

"Any technology has to be coupled with a crowd management plan," he told the BBC.

In fact he thinks that technology installed at the Hajj in 2006 - before CrowdVision's involvement - actually contributed to the tragedy that unfolded.

"Tech firms offered the Saudis new systems and there was an over-reliance on technology. There was lots of digital signage put up to direct the crowds but it was just a mess," he said.

He is also sceptical about whether the technology used by CrowdVision can work in a live situation.

"It spots shockwaves in the crowd but if these are happening then you are already at a point where people could be crushed or seriously injured. Whoever is in control has fundamentally lost control of the situation by then," he said.

"It could become an exercise in futility."

For him, the value of CrowdVision lies more in its ability to precisely count how many people are at an event.

"If you need to track capacity such tools are great but it is a long way away from being a risk management system," he said.

m.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24463736
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 24th October 2013 23:26
I just can't seem to figure out what it is about all this technology that bothers me so much, especially in Makkah. I'd really like to know more about how crowds in Makkah were controlled in the past, pre-technology (i.e. electronic devices, huge and complex buildings that rely on various technologies to built, airplanes that carry hundreds of people across space in relatively short periods of time, etc.).

Technology makes it easier for more people to be in Makkah at the same time so... I can't help but wonder if less technology and less comforts would translate to less people. But then...

...technology makes it easier for more people to be in Makkah at the same time so... even those who may never have been able to make the journey for whatever reason (e.g. physical, financial, family commitments, etc.) but for various technologies, actually can make the journey.

Is it helpful to know how many people make the pilgrimage every year? We may be monitoring numbers but so are others. If Makkah was stripped of all of this technology, it would make it so much more harder for people to know what's happening on the ground... every minute detail is scrutinized! Is that a good thing or not? I am not convinced that it is good but I still can't quite articulate why.

Gosh, its one of those things and I'm glad I'm not the one making decisions regarding it.

After reading this piece on BBC yesterday, I actually spent some time trying to look things up and there are some interesting articles out there though nothing really spells out how crowds were managed pre-tech.
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 24th October 2013 23:35
From the same article.

One of the worst incidents occurred in 2006 when a stampede on the last day of the pilgrimage killed at least 346 pilgrims and injured another 200.

As part of his PhD research, CrowdVision co-founder Dr Anders Johansson analysed the CCTV images of the pilgrims before and during the crush in 2006, and realised that there were patterns of behaviours that, spotted early enough, could have prevented it.

In 2007, his system was installed in Mecca and it has been monitoring the pilgrimage every year since.
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 24th October 2013 23:40
Yes, I read an article about this as well and noticed comments by the person in charge/contracted prior to the incident - he had warned about issues beforehand.

But don't you wonder how it was and would have been if the building wasn't there in the firstplace? If they didn't have issues with bottlenecks because so many people are being confined in a space, can come and go whichever way they wish. They've got some elaborate detailed work out there but is it all necessary? Whatever happened to simplicity?
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 24th October 2013 23:46
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 24th October 2013 23:47
Oh it is very necessary. You go in one way and come out another, everyone walking in one direction, safe and simple.

In the old days, the numbers were not as high as they are now. On top of that, there are talks of having a capacity of 7 MILLION pilgrims In Mina alone. And that's twice as much as what can be done in the current setup.

In the old days, there weren't so many people!
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 25th October 2013 00:07
Do you think the numbers are not related to technology at all, but solely to the increased number of Muslims worldwide?

I don't think there is any technology, no matter how much it is combined with human effort, that can quell the number of people who will do their hajj duty at any given time (year). That's what all this technology is trying to do: control and regulate how many people can actually perform Hajj, in what order they are to do it, and who can not do it.

How many of the pilgrims are repeating their Hajj? How many would actually repeat their Hajj if the conditions weren't so comfortable?

How many Muslims are not able to perform Hajj? How many die wishing they could have performed their Hajj duty but various obstacles prevented them from doing so.
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 25th October 2013 00:12
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 25th October 2013 00:24
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 25th October 2013 07:52
Salam

There will always be pros and cons to everything.

But lets put it this way the pros outweigh the cons, the technology is there primary for the reasons of surveillance and safety.

- First of all and primarily the Saudi's do not want another hostile group taking hostages and trying to take over the Haramain, like we saw many many years ago.

- Hajj is a duty of each and every Muslim that can afford it, technology has enabled travel to become shorter, my own maternal grandfather made the journey more than 30-40 years ago and they went by road and ship, the journey itself consisted of many months. The rush was less at that time, the old hills still stood of Safa Marwa, the well of ZamZam, now you'll see a wall to stone the devil before it was 3 small boulders etc etc. So technology has had it's uses even though many may argue that they have changed the lay out etc

- In this day and age you need technology, especially when lives are at stake, and their have been losses over the years. All big events that take place worldwide, football matches, world cups, concerts etc all use technology to their advantage. To those who have done Umrah will know how packed out it gets at times, I've personally seen people elbowed in the chest and them ending up fainting, met one brother when we were out there, instantly recognised he was from UK, short hair, Adidas track suit bottoms and a side small travel bag hanging around the shoulder, turned out he was from east London mosque, we all were trying to get to the black stone, it was like like waves as sometimes you get pushed in and sometimes pushed out, the brother got elbowed in the ribs and his legs went weak and he was about to faint, it was in front of me so I quickly grabbed him from behind before he went down and dragged him out, the guard at Baitullah didn't give a monkey and when there was a lot of pushing and shoving going on a mate shouted 'bidah bidah, this is haraam, the guard told him to shut up lol. On Hajj I've been told by brothers who have been with their wives that they have to put their mrs in front of them and arms out pointing frontwards as their is so much rush people usually come knocking into each other, especially when you go to stone iblees, an uncle of mine grabbed some guy who after stoning the devil turned around bumping into others running through, the uncle grabbed him and said to him in Arabic whats the matter akhii, you got iblees running after you or something ? Lol.

- From my experience Makkah is a heavy place, it's a place of adrenalin which will be pumping, people are so absorbed in their own selves usually that they forgot that their are others their too. The technology allows them to monitor and prevent any kind of colossal losses, well I guess that's the aim.

- Just imagine if it weren't for the technology it would be very very hard to monitor everything, even now they still struggle to get through the crowds as people are hard to move. If it weren't for technology we would have 10-20 guys standing every couple of yards with big massive sticks. I think the technology option sounds better :D

Just some of my thoughts, I could be wrong though. If so feel free to correct me.

-


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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 25th October 2013 08:28
I especially like the story of your grandfather and how the 'rush was less at that time.' I wonder if the fact that it took months to complete the journey had anything to do with there being less people performing hajj during that time?

JazakAllah khayran for the share.
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 8th September 2017 08:43
Saudi Haj managers impress global
crowd control experts



A view of the faithful performing their Haj rites in ease and comfort.

September 6, 2017 

MAKKAH — Crowd management is not an easy task. Governments and security forces across the world find it difficult to manage huge crowds of people at festivals and sports events. It has become a complete science that demands security and logistical support and provision of various services in addition to research and experience.

According to the United Nations, world population is expected to cross nine billion by 2025, making crowd management even more difficult and a big challenge in coming years, experts said.

The Kumbh Mela in India, which is held after every three years, draws millions of Hindu faithful from all over the country. It’s considered the largest religious event in the world with the participation of about 70 million people from India and abroad. It’s a kind of Hindu pilgrimage when the faithful intend to cleanse their sins by bathing in River Ganges.

The Haj pilgrimage in Makkah, when Saudi Arabia hosts about three million Muslim faithful from the Kingdom and around the globe, is the second largest human congregation after Kumbh Mela. Saudi Haj managers find it difficult to control this huge crowd as they assemble in a limited space in Makkah and other holy sites during the peak days of the annual pilgrimage.

More than seven million pilgrims come to the holy places in the Kingdom throughout the year to perform Umrah or the lesser pilgrimage. World Cup football extravaganzas draw hundreds of thousands of soccer fans from around the world. Last events in South Africa and Brazil, which were held in 2010 and 2014 respectively, attracted 3.5 million each.

International organizations have recognized Saudi Arabia’s ability to manage huge crowds of worshippers during mammoth Haj and Umrah seasons when millions of pilgrims stay within a limited space of 17 km.

“The most challenging thing is that these pilgrims speak more than 100 languages and they follow different cultures, customs and traditions and lifestyle and have different racial backgrounds,” said an expert.

“You cannot find three million people staying in a limited space for a week, performing various religious rituals. They live in a spiritual atmosphere enjoying full security, tranquility and comfort,” he said.

Saudi Arabia mobilizes all its human and material resources to ensure security, comfort and welfare of the Guests of God. It deploys more than 100,000 military and security forces in around Makkah and the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah giving pilgrims a feeling of safety, security and tranquility.

The Kingdom has been developing and upgrading its security machinery acquiring advanced equipment and providing training to its officers to ensure security of Hajis and help them perform their rituals with peace of mind.

The hi-tech Jamarat Bridge in Mina, where Hajis perform their stoning-the-Satan ritual, has won the Hanz Edelman Award for the best applied and operational research in 2015 among hundreds of projects nominated for the prestigious prize.

The bridge was instrumental in crowd management and reducing accidents at the Jamarat, which has witnessed several fatal accidents in the past.

“We cannot see such a high-level of crowd management anywhere in the world, except in Saudi Arabia during the Haj pilgrimage,” Al-Hayat Arabic daily reported quoting Dr. Sala Yanoya, a UN representative.

The UN official commended the accumulated experience gained by Saudi Arabia in crowd management over the past several years, adding that this has made the Kingdom No. 1 in the field.

Speaking at an international conference, Yanoya commended Saudi Arabia for its successful efforts in crowd management. She said South Africa benefited from Saudi crowd management experience while hosting World Cup.

“Saudi Arabia attained this exceptional achievement through its long experience in Haj management, enabling millions of pilgrims to perform Haj rituals every year,” she pointed out. Yanoya said the Kingdom has also learned from the experience of other countries in crowd management to deal with crowds during Haj and Umrah.

Crowd management is a science and countries and organizations around the world give utmost importance to this science and seek better solutions in advance of big festivals and gatherings. Many countries have learned a lot from the Kingdom’s experience in Haj management, how it readies security forces for the annual gathering and how it deals with people speaking different languages and having different cultural and racial backgrounds.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...UDI-ARABIA/Haj

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 18th May 2018 16:12
Drones to manage Ramadan
crowd in Makkah

 

May 16, 2018 

MAKKAH — Drones will be used for the first time in the Grand Mosque in Makkah to manage the crowd in Ramadan, local daily Al-Madina reported on Wednesday quoting deputy commander of the Umrah forces Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al-Ahmadi.

The Umrah crowd management plan involves security, organizational and humanitarian aspects, said Al-Ahmadi.

Pilgrims or visitors who show any sign of distress will not be allowed to enter the Grand Mosque for their own safety and that of others, he said.

Al-Ahmadi said visitors or pilgrims will not be allowed to enter the Haram plazas with their luggage.

In addition to drones and security aircraft, there will be about 2,500 cameras to monitor the crowd movement inside the Grand Mosque.

The security plan will be carried out by 2,400 policemen in addition to 1,300 security patrols which will be roaming the area around the Haram.

Director of Makkah Police Maj. Gen. Fahd Bin Mutlaq Al-Ossaimi said there will be six stations for shuttle trips to and from the Grand Mosque.

“The Makkah Police will group pilgrims and visitors at the Grand Mosque to facilitate their entry and exit,” he added.

Al-Ossaimi said the grouping operation will also include car parks near the central area and entry points to the Haram.

He said the six shuttle bus stations are Bab Ali, Ban Ajyad, Al-Ghaza, Shuab Amir, Jaroul and Reia Bakhsh.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5...rowd-in-Makkah

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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2020 09:23
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