Home J&K Over 2 million Muslims begin annual hajj pilgrimage

Over 2 million Muslims begin annual hajj pilgrimage

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TOPSHOTS Muslim pilgrims perform the final walk (Tawaf al-Wadaa) around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca on November 30, 2009. The annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage to Mecca wound up without the feared mass outbreak of swine flu, Saudi authorities said, reporting a total of five deaths and 73 proven cases. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

Mecca, Aug 19 2018:More than 2 million Muslims have begun the annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

From first light today, throngs of the faithful have circled the cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca, one of the holiest sites in Islam.

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

The five-day pilgrimage represents one of the five pillars of Islam and is required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their life.

The hajj offers pilgrims an opportunity to feel closer to God amid the Muslim world’s many challenges, including the threat of extremists in the Mideast after the Islamic State group was beaten back in Iraq and Syria and the plight of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority.(APF)