Hajjis in white robes reach Mina

Hajjis in white robes reach Mina
Pilgrims began moving to Mina from Makkah on Wednesday. (AN photo by Mohammed Al-Mana)
Updated 31 August 2017

Hajjis in white robes reach Mina

Hajjis in white robes reach Mina

MAKKAH: Hundreds of thousands of Muslims began the annual Hajj pilgrimage on Wednesday, donning traditional white garments and heading to the tent city of Mina outside Makkah in an itinerary retracing the route Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) took 14 centuries ago.
Over 2 million worshippers, from nearly every country, have arrived in the Kingdom for the five-day ritual, which is a once-in-a-lifetime religious duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.
Some prayed at the Grand Mosque before heading to the Mina area or toward Mount Arafat, east of Makkah, where Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had delivered his final sermon to followers.
They walked or took buses, with traffic police using loudspeakers to try to direct crowds speaking a medley of languages. They were dressed in simple white robes, marking a state of ihram, or ritual purity.
Moroccan pilgrim Rida Al-Belaqili, waiting to board a bus to Arafat, struggled to find words to describe his feelings, Reuters reported.
“We are meeting people from every country and every nationality. There is a sort of unity,” he said. “I hope this will recharge Muslims’ faith and spirituality. I ask God to grant me and all Muslims forgiveness.”
Eid Al-Adha, or feast of sacrifice, begins on Friday, when pilgrims begin three days of casting stones at walls in a symbolic renunciation of the devil.