The ‘Greatest Hajj Pilgrimage in History’ begins in Saudi Arabia | Religion news

INTERACTIVE WHEN IS EID ALAZHA AND HAJJ 2023 7 thejourney step by step 1687150947

It is expected that this year the number of pilgrims will break records with more than 2.5 million.

The Hajj pilgrimage has begun as throngs of white-robed Muslims surround the Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure at the epicenter of Islam’s holiest site, their prayers ringing through the air.

The annual pilgrimage began Sunday in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, with the tawaf, the circumambulation of the Kaaba, in an event expected to break attendance records.

“This year we will witness the largest Hajj pilgrimage in history,” said an official at the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

More than 2.5 million Muslims are expected to take part, as coronavirus pandemic restrictions in place since 2020 have been fully relaxed.

That year, only 10,000 people could participate; 59,000 in 2021; and last year there was a limit of one million people.

“I’m living the most beautiful days of my life,” Abdelazim, a 65-year-old Egyptian who saved for 20 years to pay the $6,000 he needed to attend, told AFP news agency.

On Sunday evening, pilgrims will begin heading towards Mina, about 8 km (5 miles) from Mecca’s al-Masjid al-Haram, or the Great Mosque, before gathering at Mount Arafat, where the Prophet Muhammad is believed to have delivered his final sermon.

Mina is ready for the pilgrims, with food supplies and security forces deployed.INTERACTIVE_WHEN_IS_EID_ALAZHA_AND_HAJJ_2023_7_map-1687150924

This year’s Hajj is a challenge, taking place in the heat of nearly 45 degrees Celsius, the date of the pilgrimage depending on the lunar calendar.

Saudi authorities said more than 32,000 health workers and thousands of ambulances are on standby to treat cases of heatstroke, dehydration and exhaustion.

The Islamic ritual is obligatory for all unproblematic Muslim adults who have the financial means to participate, forming one of the five pillars of the religion.

The physically and emotionally challenging experience is meant to cleanse followers of sin and bring them closer to God.

This year, the Hajj is celebrated between June 26 and July 1, with Eid al-Adha celebrated on June 28.

Although an expensive ritual, the Hajj journey often inspires hope for many, even if they come from parts of the world beset by war, poverty or occupation. Many save the little money they have for years, so they can pay it off.

Four groups of pilgrims left Gaza last week. Meanwhile, pilgrims from northwestern Syria were passing through border crossings with Turkey. And Yemenis boarded the first direct flight to Saudi Arabia since 2016 for the pilgrimage.

Source link

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *