A Somali man is reported to have regained his hearing and speech after 20 years while on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Witnesses said Hajji Ali Abdullahi Sharif, 42, began to hear and speak at a mosque at Islam's holiest city where he was performing a hajj, or pilgrimage. Witnesses reported Sharif had drunk water from the Well of Zamzam, which is traditionally believed to have miraculous powers, and walked around the Ka’bah Al Musharrafah.
Sharif told the Al Watan newspaper in Saudi Arabia that he lost his senses of hearing and speech about 20 years ago in Somalia after a mortar shell hit near him.
Because of the long internecine war that Somalia has seen, Sharif and his family went to Britain where they got asylum from the British government.
In the UK, he underwent several examinations by specialists who were unable to restore his speech and hearing. Sign language and gestures became his only way to communicate with others.
With the deteriorating situation in Somalia, Sharif and his wife decided to live in Britain where they have now four children.
“When I concluded turning around the Ka’bah, I went to the bathrooms leaving my comrades after hearing them. And when I returned to them I could speak to them and that made them looked surprised and happy,” he was quoted as saying.
The director of the Hajji Mission, Abdul Samad Mohamed, confirmed the miraculous event, saying Sharif’s health is very good and also he can speak and hear properly after doctors examined him.
Sharif's recovery occurred as 2.5 million Muslims congregated in Mecca to perform the Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam.