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Hajj 2024 begins

Over 1.5 million pilgrims descend on Mina
12:57 AM Jun 15, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
hajj 2024 begins

Mina, June 14:  Chanting ‘Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik’ (Here I am, O God, here I am answering your call), over 1.5 million pilgrims descended on the tent city of Mina on Friday, marking the Day of Tarwiyah and the commencement of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.


Pilgrims from across the world began arriving in Mina early on Dhul-Hijjah 8, spending the Day of Tarwiyah immersed in prayers for forgiveness and salvation.


As Thursday night progressed, roads and highways leading to the vast plains of Mina, situated 7 km northeast of the Grand Masjid in Makkah, teemed with pilgrims arriving by vehicle or on foot to the tent city, one of the largest in the world.


The valley of Mina resonated with the Talbiyah as pilgrims streamed in, praising and glorifying Allah in an atmosphere of spirituality and faith.


The 5-6 day Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is among the largest religious gatherings globally.


This year, more than 1.5 million pilgrims from approximately 180 countries have converged to perform Hajj, alongside hundreds of thousands of domestic pilgrims.


Those who arrived in Makkah on Thursday performed Tawaf Al-Qudum (Tawaf of Arrival), an obligatory Hajj ritual, before proceeding to the expansive tent city of Mina.


Following the revered tradition of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), pilgrims spend Tarwiyah Day in Mina, engaging in supplications and making final preparations for the Standing (Wuqoof) at Arafat, the Hajj’s most significant ritual, on Saturday.

In Friday sermons at the Two Holy Masjids, Imams urged pilgrims to seek Allah’s forgiveness and perform Hajj rituals with piety and obedience.

Sheikh Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Imam and preacher of the Grand Masjid in Makkah, and Abdul Bari Al-Thubaiti, imam and preacher of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s Masjid in Madinah, emphasised the importance of fearing Allah in all aspects of life.

Sheikh Bandar said, “Whoever fears Allah, He will protect him, relieve his worries, ease his affairs, and avert evil from him. Hajj is a great ritual, dissolving disputes and differences, uniting souls in devotion to Allah, and eliminating distinctions of colour and race, where piety is the greatest virtue.”

Among the pilgrims were 3322 guests of Custodian of the Two Holy Masjids, King Salman, including 2000 Palestinians from the families of martyrs, prisoners, and wounded in the Gaza Strip and other occupied territories, 1300 guests from over 88 countries, and 22 from the families of conjoined twins separated surgically in the Kingdom.

Palestinian authorities reported that 4200 pilgrims from the occupied West Bank had arrived in Makkah.

This year also saw Syrian pilgrims performing Hajj for the first time in 12 years, traveling on the first direct flights from Damascus to Jeddah.

Around 2000 media representatives from 150 countries are covering the annual pilgrimage.

Saudi authorities and Hajj missions from various countries have made elaborate and foolproof arrangements to ensure smooth pilgrim movement to Mina.

The extensive preparations and mobilisation of resources by Saudi authorities have facilitated a hassle-free pilgrimage.

This year’s Hajj occurs under sweltering temperatures, testing the endurance of worshippers during the predominantly outdoor rituals.

Many pilgrims are seen carrying white umbrellas to shield themselves from the scorching sun.

The Ministry of Health has issued a heat advisory, warning pilgrims of the significant health risks posed by the intense heat in Makkah.

The ministry advises pilgrims to carry umbrellas, seek shade, stay hydrated by drinking ample water, and follow health advisories.

Pilgrims are also urged to avoid direct sunlight during peak heat hours, from 11 am to 3 pm, and to refrain from walking on or touching hot surfaces during these times.