A journey through Hajj, Islam’s special pilgrimage

Source: CNN
By Tamara Qiblawi and Kara Fox, CNN
Graphics by Henrik Petterson, CNN

(CNN)For the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, the Hajj is a spiritual pinnacle. Each year, up to three million pilgrims descend on the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca — the epicenter of the Muslim world — to seek redemption, to forgive and to be forgiven.

Wrapped in white cloth, worshippers embark on the five-day pilgrimage, considered one of the five pillars of Islam. All Muslims who are physically and financially able are required to make the journey to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.

Entering Mecca

Many Muslim pilgrims, known as hajjis, converge on the city weeks before the start of the Hajj rituals.
Worshippers wear special white garments — men wrap themselves in seamless, stitchless cloth, while women wear a simple white dress and headscarf. The clothing is said to symbolize human equality and unity before God.

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