March 21 2018

MJ Akbar meets Indian Haj pilgrims in Mina

March 21 2018, 12:32 | Van Peters

MJ Akbar meets Indian Haj pilgrims in Mina

MJ Akbar meets Indian Haj pilgrims in Mina

He urged pilgrims to set aside politics during the haj and come together with fellow Muslims.

- Saudi Arabia hopes to welcome 30 million pilgrims annually in the kingdom by 2030, the Saudi Gazette said, up from the current 8 million.

Performing the Hajj is one of the "Five Pillars", or key practices, of Islam.

To date, almost 1,5-million pilgrims have already descended on the Holy City of Mecca in anticipation of the Hajj which takes place between August 30 to September 4.

The rites of the hajj, however, begin in Mecca, the site of Islam's holiest place of worship.

After finishing the stone-throwing ritual on the first day of Eid al-Adha, male pilgrims traditionally shave or cut their hair and change out of their seamless robes. It marks the end of Hajj.

Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hakeem Abdul Lateef yesterday during a sensitisation lecture on expectations while in Mina, said: "Mina is one of the four sacred places the pilgrims will visit and reside there for the next five days". Some countries will celebrate it on September 2 depending upon the moon sightings. Hamoud Al-Faraj, told NAN "we are ready to deal with any emergency situation during the Hajj in Makkah, Madina and other holy sites".

Watch more in the video below. Below, we have listed some of the Hajj facts which you need to know.

The hajj is required of all Muslims once in a lifetime. Those who can't physically endure it or who are financially capable are exempted from the journey.

They must also walk, or run, back and forth seven times between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah.

Little before sunset they will head for Muzdalifa, stay there overnight before going to Mina Friday morning to stone the devil and later sacrifice animals.

For the first time in almost three decades, Iranian pilgrims were barred from the Haj a year ago, after several rounds of negotiations between the two Gulf heavyweights failed to overcome political and procedural differences.

Saudi Arabia reported no major health or safety upsets at the Jamarat Bridge, as the Muslim faithful made their way through the last leg of the five-day pilgrimage.

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