It was during the Umrah pilgrimage in early February 2018, when I encountered an incident whereby the Officer-in-charge of the Umrah Travel Agency has issues of finding one missing Pilgrim. All of us are already on the bus preparing for one of our tours waiting for the rest of the pilgrims (we called Jemaah) to board the bus that morning.
The missing person is an old lady that travels with his son. They were separated when returning from the Masjidilharam Mosque after the Suboh prayers. The son thought her mother has already returned to the hotel but she was not there and she doesn’t carry any phone to make contact.
We told the son to stay put at the hotel and wait for her but he was so worried and would like to try to find her at the Mosque. That’s the dilemma whenever we faced such a situation of missing pilgrims because the Mosque is such a huge place with many floors and doors. We cautioned the son because she might return to the hotel room and see nobody’s there and will go out again to find her son. Chances of both of them to meet will be very slim.
However, to cut the story short, his mother returned to the hotel while the son is still in the room and all of us have the tour that morning despite waiting for about an hour for the case to settle.
Another incident occurred, when we stopped at Hudaibiyah for another tour. One of the tour members was left behind and nobody realized him until both buses were already 5 km away from the place we stopped. Thus, one of the buses has to make another trip to pick him up.
Solving the Problem
These are examples of missing pilgrims during a single trip and frequently happen to any Umrah trips. It’s a difficult task for the Mutawwifs of the Travel Agencies to continuously monitor their pilgrims. Umrah period is about 9 months in a year as compared to Hajj period of 2-3 months. Both have different sets of missing pilgrims problems. However, until today there’s no solution that is able to manage the pilgrims and monitoring their whereabouts.
After my return from Umrah, we have the mission to solve this missing pilgrim issues and help the Travel Agencies to manage their pilgrims in a systematic manner. Thus, we designed and develop Raqib solutions for Hajj and Umrah. In August 2018, we have Raqib users performed their Hajj and the family members have peace of mind when they can remotely monitor from the Raqib mobile app.