ts 2nd of Dhu al-Hijjah and millions of Muslims have already gathered in Saudi Arabia and started preparing for the Hajj, a major pilgrimage that is performed once a year. According to the latest report of Mail Online, thousands of pilgrims converge in the Grand Mosque after sunset every day in anticipation of this holy journey that is the fifth pillar of Islam. Therefore, every Muslim, who can afford the expenses of this journey and does not have any serious health issues, is required to perform Hajj at least once in his/her life.
The pilgrims wear a plain white unstitched cloth, as they walk into the Grand Mosque (Khana Kaaba) of Makkah. These pilgrims converge on the city of Makkah and other parts of Saudi Arabia from about 160 countries and each year a significant rise in their number is witnessed. This year it is again expected that more pilgrims than before will visit the country to perform Hajj from 8th to 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah, according to the Islamic calendar.
Pilgrims are required to perform a number rituals and services even before they arrive in Makkah such as entering in the state of ihram. Once they reach the Grand Mosque, they start arrival tawaf by walking around Khana Kaaba in counter-clockwise direction seven times. This year Hajj will be performed on Friday, October 3 after which pilgrims will do the sacrifice as Eid al-Adha festival coincides with this holy ritual.
Pilgrims sacrifice sheep, goats, camels and other animals on Eid Ul Adha to honour the great sacrifice of Allah’s Prophet Abraham and his beloved. After the sacrifice they share meat with other Muslim brothers and sisters in order to show their devotion to Allah and gain his blessings.
With this the holy journey comes to an end and pilgrims started returning to home countries. Saudi authorities make proper arrangements every year so pilgrims could perform Hajj without any problem. This year they are more alert as Ebola virus disease has outburst in some parts of West Africa. Thus, Saudi authorities are taking more precautions than before and they are advising the same to visitors.