Post misleadingly uses training video as evidence of the Hajj ritual in Nigeria


<span>Screenshot of the misleading X-message taken on June 4, 2024</span>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTEyMzA-/ b53fc8cec38db9aacb3″/><span></div>
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Screenshot of the misleading X-post, taken on June 4, 2024

In the video, people wearing white clothing walk counterclockwise around a structure that resembles the Kaaba, a large black cube-shaped structure that Muslims around the world pray to. Their movement resembles the Tawaf ritual (circulation) during Hajj.

The claim suggests that the West African country built an alternative Kaaba for its Muslim pilgrims, contrary to Islamic custom.

The comments under the post are mixed: while some seemed to believe that the video showed actual Tawaf, others criticized the activity and called it Bidia’ (spelled ‘Biddah’ in the post), which refers to the introduction of new things in Islam – something that is seriously frowned upon.

The post has been shared more than 450 times and was published by a Saudi account called “Life in Saudi Arabia” with 47,000 followers.

Hajj 2024

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, which is obligatory on every Muslim, at least once in his life, if he is physically and financially able to do so.

This year is expected to start on June 14 and end on June 18. This data is based on the Islamic lunar calendar and may vary slightly depending on the moon sighting (archived here).

The Hajj and its rituals are exclusive religious activities that must be performed at designated Saudi Arabian holy sites.

Central to the Hajj is the Kaaba, a large cube-shaped building made of granite stones, located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram Mosque in Mecca. It is the most sacred place in Islam and the place of prayer for Muslims worldwide.

<span>Muslim worshipers pray around the Kaaba.  PHOTO: ABDEL GHANI BASHIR / AFP</span></p>
<div><span>ABDEL GHANI BASHIR</span><span>AFP</span></div>
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Muslim worshipers pray around the Kaaba. PHOTO: ABDEL GHANI BASHIR / AFP


However, the claim that pilgrims performed Hajj in Nigeria is misleading.

Demonstration before departure

The habits InVID-WeVerify tool we extracted keyframes from the video and executed them reverse image search.

This led to the original clip on the Facebook page of the Pilgrim Welfare Board of Nigeria’s northwestern Kano State (archived here).

The clip, labeled “Hajj Demonstration 2024,” shows state government officials and crowds watching potential pilgrims being guided through their preparations in an open field.

It was streamed live on May 20, 2024.

In the foreground of the video is a replica of the Kaaba structure.

<span>Screenshot of the people wearing white clothes walking counterclockwise around a Kaaba-like structure taken on June 5, 2024</span>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTUzNw–/ 229d5e7be114d1bc886d85c305f29823″/><span><button class=

Screenshot of the people wearing white clothes walking counterclockwise around a Kaaba-like structure taken on June 5, 2024

The replica of the Kaaba has been part of pre-departure orientation and training exercises in Nigeria’s northern states for decades – a practice known as Hajj Manasik in Indonesia (archived here).

A 2017 tweet from the Kano Hajj Committee also shows the same caption structure.

AFP Fact Check has contacted Lamin Rabi’u, director of the Kano Hajj Committee, for comment and will update this story accordingly.

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