Hajj Pilgrimage Begins: Millions of Muslims Gather in Mecca
Hajj Pilgrimage Begins: Millions of Muslims Gather in Mecca
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Today marks the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, drawing millions of Muslim pilgrims to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This sacred journey retraces the steps of the Prophet Muhammad and is a profound experience of faith and spirituality for Muslims worldwide.

Massive Influx of Pilgrims
On Tuesday, nearly 1.5 million pilgrims arrived in Mecca to participate in the Hajj, according to Saudi authorities cited by AP. The number is expected to rise as hundreds of thousands more, including Saudis and residents of Saudi Arabia, join the pilgrimage after it officially begins today.

Unique Participants
Among the pilgrims are two blind individuals, who, with the help of their guide, are performing the Hajj outside the Grand Mosque. This pilgrimage is a significant religious duty required once in a lifetime for every Muslim who can afford it and is physically able. Some Muslims, driven by deep devotion, undertake this journey more than once.

Spiritual Practices
Pilgrims have already begun the tawaf, the ritual of walking seven times around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine. This massive black cube in the Grand Mosque is the focal point of daily prayers for Muslims around the world. The tawaf marks the beginning of their pilgrimage.

After completing the tawaf, pilgrims will move to Mina, a desert plain outside Mecca. They will then spend a day in prayer and reflection on the Mountain of Arafat before transitioning to Muzdalifah. Here, they will gather pebbles for the symbolic stoning of the pillars representing evil upon their return to Mina.

Significance of Hajj
Hajj is one of the largest religious gatherings globally and is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, alongside the profession of faith, prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. For those who participate, it is not just a religious obligation but a profound opportunity for spiritual renewal, the cleansing of past sins, and the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.

This pilgrimage involves a series of rituals that symbolize various aspects of faith, devotion, and unity. It is a time for Muslims to demonstrate their dedication to their faith and to connect with fellow believers from around the world.

Significance of Hajj in Muslims
Hajj is the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, required once in a lifetime for every Muslim who can afford it and is physically able to make the journey. As one of the Five Pillars of Islam, it is a deeply revered act of worship that embodies the core principles of the faith.

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