Saudi Arabia Warns Possible Floods In Mecca

Pauline Gross
August 20, 2018

Stunning images show Saudi Arabia preparing for the arrival of more than 2,500,000 Muslim worshippers for the five-day annual Hajj pilgrimage. "This year, I am doing it for my grandmother". Keep reading to find out more about this special tradition.

The climax of the Hajj includes the Eid al-Adha festival, which is one of Islam's two major festivals and involves the sacrifice of an animal, usually a sheep, goat, or cow.

Every Muslim is required to complete the hajj journey to Islam's holiest sites at least once in their lifetime if they are healthy enough and have the means to do so. One train arrived on Sunday, said P.H. Kurian, a top disaster management official in Kerala.

"They say charity begins at home", he said.

Iranians were allowed back the following year.

This year, Hajj will begin on Sunday 19 August and end on Friday 24 August.

Pilgrims visit important religious places and perform special rites. Amer estimates 60 people used each pod every day during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

The Kaaba is a large square building in the middle of the Great Mosque of Mecca.

Islamic tradition holds that the Kaaba was built by Ibrahim and Ismail as a house of monotheistic worship thousands of years ago.

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Pilgrims perform Sa'i which is to run between two hills - Al-Safa and Al-Marwa - seven times. People who are older or have mobility issues may find it hard, so wheelchairs and motorized carts are now on-hand. This is where pilgrims ask Allah (God) for forgiveness for any past sins. Prayers and chants went on for the good part of the night and, after brief nap, they were all up for morning prayers.

Despite the physical challenges of the hajj, many people rely on canes or crutches and insist on walking the routes.

Skyrocketing prices of fuel and electricity have hit Egyptians hard, forcing many to indefinitely delay travel plans to the annual hajj.

In the city of Mina, pilgrims throw pebbles at three pillars called Jamarat.

Hajj retraces the last steps of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and also honours the prophets, Abraham (AS) and Ishmael (AS).

What else should I know about Hajj?

The pilgrims will spend the time in Arafat with prayers for acceptance of their pilgrimage and recitation of Qur'anic verses until sunset.

Pilgrims must dress very simply. Women wear loose clothing, cover their hair and forgo makeup and nail polish to achieve a state of humility and spiritual purity.

Men attending the hajj dress in only terrycloth, seamless white garments meant to represent unity among Muslims and equality before God.

Other reports by GizPress

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