More than 1.7 million Muslims gather for start of hajj

Source: Associated Press

By OMAR AKOUR and AHMED HATEM

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — In Saudi Arabia, more than 1.7 million pilgrims are marking the start of the hajj pilgrimage on Wednesday by circling the cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca — Islam’s holiest site — and performing a series of rites that trace the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad.

Muslims believe the rites also trace the footsteps of the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail — Abraham and Ishmael in the Bible.

The Kaaba represents the metaphorical house of God and the oneness of God in Islam. Observant Muslims around the world face toward the Kaaba during the five daily prayers.

The hajj is required of all Muslims once in a lifetime. The physically demanding journey tests pilgrims’ patience as they withstand long waits and thick crowds on their path to achieving spiritual purification and repentance.

Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s