Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Every year More than 1.5 Million Foreign Pilgrims Arrive at Makkah to Perform Hajj.

Muslim Pilgrims are gathering in Mecca in preparation for this week’s major Hajj. As of Tuesday, more than 1.5 million pilgrims from around the world mostly by air had arrived in Saudi Arabia. As millions of Saudis and locals start traveling on Friday, that number is expected to rise. The traditional, mass gathering for the annual Hajj is returning in a big way this year.

Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which obligates Muslims to complete the journey at least once in their lifetime if they are financially and physically able. Usually drawing millions of people to Mecca, the occasion is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world.

A return to full-scale Hajj this year is especially important in light of the restrictions and disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant drop in the number of pilgrims over the past two years in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus allowed only a few people, mostly from Saudi Arabia, to attend.

Hajj will officially begin on Friday. Over the next few days, the pilgrims will participate in a number of religious rituals, including Tawaf, which involves circumambulating the Kaaba, and Sa’i, which involves trekking between the hills of Safa and Marwah. The celebration of Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, which honors Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to offer his son to God, will mark the end of the Hajj.

This year’s Hajj is not only a return to tradition, but also a testament to the stability and enduring faith of the Muslim community worldwide.

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