Hajj begins today

Fri 14 Jun 2024, 10:13:59
Makkah: A sea of pilgrims performed major pre-Hajj ritual of Tawwaf of the holy Kaaba, as they prepared to move to Mina on Friday (today), marking the beginning of the Hajj, following in the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The tranquil valley of Mina braced itself for an influx of 2.5 million devout pilgrims, converging from all corners of the globe to embark on a spiritual journey that culminated in the sacred celebration of Eidul Azha.

For nearly a month, faithful pilgrims have gathered in Makkah. According to official reports, over 1.5 million pilgrims had already arrived in Saudi Arabia in anticipation of the Hajj, with more expected to join the hundreds of thousands of local Saudis.

The Hajj pilgrimage officially commences on Friday (today) with the solemn act of wearing Ihram—a white robe—upon crossing the outer boundaries of Makkah known as Miqat. On the eve of the 7th and 8th of Zilhaj, pilgrims embark on their pilgrimage to Mina, spanning a distance of 8.1 kilometres.

The 8th of Zilhaj, known as Tarwiyyah Day, finds pilgrims immersed in prayer and reflection in the tranquil precincts of Mina. At dawn on the 9th of Zilhaj, the pilgrims, will

embark on the pivotal leg of their journey – the Hajj sermon to be delivered from Masjid al-Nimra on the plains of Arafat.

As sunset, the pilgrims would depart Arafat for Muzdalifah, where to engage in Maghrib and Isha prayers, before collecting pebbles for the ritual of Rami over the ensuing days. The 10th of Zilhaj, the Day of Sacrifice, witnesses pilgrims offering sacrifices.

Over the next three days, pilgrims would continue the Rami ritual, casting seven pebbles on the first day and 21 on each subsequent day, alongside trimming or shaving their hair, symbolising spiritual renewal and rebirth.

On the 12th of Zilhaj, the climax of the Hajj journey unfolds as pilgrims embark on a sacred pilgrimage to Makkah to fulfil the rites of Tawaf al-Ifadah and Sa’ai of Safa and Marwah. These rituals, integral to the Hajj, follow the completion of key acts.

This year’s Hajj coincides with the hot Saudi summer, with officials predicting average highs of 44 degrees Celsius. Saudi officials are trying to aid the pilgrims in coping with heat, with misting systems and heat-reflective road coverings, but scientists caution that climate change may outpace these efforts. 

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