Hajj 2019: the Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah explained

The National

Elements of the pilgrimage date back to the time of prophet Ibrahim but what does Hajj entail now?

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is prescribed to all able Muslims to make pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. It is one of the basic tenets of Islam that, combined with the four other pillars, form a foundation of life for Muslims.

Hajj is an annual pilgrimage to the holiest city for Muslims, Makkah in Saudi Arabia, during Dhul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.

The ritual literally translates as “to attend a journey” and denotes both the outward act of physically traveling and the inward act of an individual’s contemplation of their faith.

Each year, millions of Muslims travel to Makkah to perform Hajj, with many also travelling on north to the city of Madinah.

In 2018, nearly two million people made the journey, with the Saudi government allocating a set number of pilgrims from each country to avoid overcrowding.

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