Hajj 2024 to Begin on June 14: Saudi Arabia Confirms Start of Dhu al-Hijjah
Hajj 2024 to Begin on June 14: Saudi Arabia Confirms Start of Dhu al-Hijjah
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The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia has announced that the crescent moon of Dhu al-Hijjah was sighted on the evening of June 6. This means that the final month of the Islamic calendar will commence on Friday, June 7. With this confirmation, the Hajj pilgrimage is set to begin on June 14.

Details of the Announcement
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), astronomical observatories confirmed the sighting of the crescent moon. The Supreme Court declared that Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar, would start on Friday, June 7. Following this announcement, officials confirmed that the Hajj pilgrimage will commence on June 14.

Understanding Hajj
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a mandatory religious duty for Muslims who are physically and financially capable. The pilgrimage involves a series of rituals over at least four days in Mecca and its surrounding areas in western Saudi Arabia. The highlight of Hajj is the gathering for prayers on Mount Arafat, where Prophet Mohammed delivered his final sermon. This year, this significant day will fall on June 15.

Pilgrim Arrivals and Economic Impact
During a press conference on June 6, Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah announced that approximately 1.2 million pilgrims from around the world had already arrived in Saudi Arabia for this year's Hajj. In 2023, over 1.8 million Muslims participated in the pilgrimage. The annual Hajj and the Umrah pilgrimage, performed at other times of the year, generate billions of dollars for Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina.

Eid al-Adha Dates
The SPA also reported that Eid al-Adha will be observed on June 16 this year. The Saudi Supreme Court stated that Arafat Day will be on June 15, with Eid al-Adha starting the following day, June 16. While most Gulf countries align their Eid al-Adha celebrations with Saudi Arabia's announcement, Oman did not sight the crescent moon on June 6 and will therefore celebrate Eid al-Adha on June 17.

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