Haj pilgrimage begins
Mecca – Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from around the world began moving on Tuesday from the holy city of Mecca to nearby Mina for the start of the Haj.
“It is a gift from God that He has chosen us to come here,” said Walaa Ali, a 35-year-old Egyptian pilgrim with tears in her eyes. “I am so happy to be here.”
Nearby, both men and women sat side by side listening to preachers explain the history and rituals of the hajj, one of the world’s largest annual gatherings.
first day of the hajj is known as Tarwiah Day, when pilgrims traditionally watered their animals and stocked water for their trip to Mount Arafat, about 10 kilometres southeast of Mina.
Nowadays pilgrims spend their time there in prayer and reciting the Quran. The climax of the Haj season is on Arafat Day, which falls on Wednesday.
The hajj is among the five pillars of Islam and every capable Muslim must perform the pilgrimage at least once in their life. AFP