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Saudi Arab

Muslims begin Hajj rituals in Mecca

hajj1Millions of Muslims from across the globe who have converged on the Saudi holy city of Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage have started the five-day rituals.

Most of the pilgrims have spent a day in Mena and will now be heading to Mount Arafat where they will spend the day in prayers and reflection.

Their stay in Arafat will begin at noon and will end with the setting of the sun.

They will then spend the night in Muzdalifah which is halfway between Mount Arafat and Mena.

On Tuesday, the pilgrims and millions of Muslims around the world will take part in Eid al-Adha celebrations.

The worshippers will then perform the last stages of their pilgrimage which includes the “stoning of the devil” ritual

Once a year, Muslims of every ethnic group, color, social status and culture, gather together in Mecca for the rituals.

The Hajj is designed to promote the bonds of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood by showing that everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah.

The Hajj, moreover, helps Muslims realize the true importance of life — both here on Earth, and in the hereafter, by stripping away all markers of social status, wealth, and pride. In the Hajj, all are truly equal.

The pilgrims wear a simple white garment called the ‘Ihram’. During the Hajj, the pilgrims perform acts of worship and renew their sense of purpose in the world.

The largest religious gathering in the world, the Hajj is a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.

The pilgrimage takes place from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the lunar calendar.

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