Millions of Muslims begin annual Hajj pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia has made extensive preparations to welcome Hajj pilgrims, according to local media

Ikrame Imane Kouachi  | 14.06.2024 - Update : 15.06.2024
Millions of Muslims begin annual Hajj pilgrimage Muslims coming from all over the world to the holy land continue their prayers to fulfill the Hajj pilgrimage at the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on June 13, 2024.


Over 2 million Muslims from all around the world began the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Friday. 

As the pilgrims make their way towards the Grand Mosque on Friday, they are expected to reach Mina, marking the beginning of the Hajj rituals and following the footsteps of the Prophet Mohammed.

Located 7 kilometers (4.35 miles) northeast of the Grand Mosque, Mina holds a crucial position between Mecca and Muzdalifah. This valley, flanked by mountains to the north and south, is populated only during the Hajj period and lies within the boundaries of the Haram or Great Mosque.

Saudi Arabia has made extensive preparations to welcome Hajj pilgrims at the initial stages of the rituals, including setting up four hospitals ready to deal with any contingencies and departments for combating heat stress and sunstroke, the Saudi News Agency said on Thursday.

Additionally, multi-story residential towers have been built in Mina to house over 30,000 pilgrims, featuring modern designs inspired by the urban identity of the holy sites.

Saudi Arabia announced plans to host another 1,000 family members of Palestinians killed or wounded in Gaza for the Hajj pilgrimage, local media reported Sunday.

The initiative is organized by the Saudi Islamic Affairs Ministry under a directive of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program, according to SPA.

The king’s directive follows a similar one issued in May, bringing the total number hosted from Palestine for this year's Hajj to 2,000, Arab News reported.

The Hajj pilgrimage is the fifth pillar of the Islamic faith – a ritual that must be performed by all Muslims, if financially viable, at least once in their lives.

The ritual includes several rituals meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith and to commemorate the trials of the Prophet Abraham and his family.   

*Writing by Ikram Kouachi

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