Friday 20 September 2019 \

 

More than two million faithful begin Haj pilgrimage

Makkah, August 9, 2019

More than two million Muslims begin the annual Haj on Friday.

In total some 2.5 million faithful, the majority from abroad, will undertake the pilgrimage this year, according to local media.

"More than 1.8 million visas were delivered online without the need for middlemen. It's a success," said Haj ministry official Hatim bin Hassan Qadi.

During the pilgrimage separate streams of men and women, grouped by nationality, will travel to the holy city of Mina on foot or in buses provided by the authorities.

A district of the holy city Makkah, Mina sits in a narrow valley surrounded by rocky mountains and is transformed each year into a vast encampment for pilgrims.

A total of "350,000 air-conditioned tents have been pitched," said a Saudi official.

Worshippers will climb Mount Arafat, also known as the "Mount of Mercy", for hours of prayers and the Holy Quran recitals.

After descending, they will gather pebbles and perform the symbolic "stoning of the devil".

That marks the beginning of Eid Al Adha, the festival of sacrifice, marked on Sunday.

Pilgrims then return to the Grand Mosque to perform a final "tawaf" or walk around the Holy Kaaba.

Source: Agencies

 

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