Large Crowds Encircle Kaaba As Haj Begins In Saudi Heat
Large crowds encircle Kaaba as Haj begins in Saudi heat. On Sunday, the beginning of the largest Haj pilgrimage in many years and the hottest Saudi summer in previous years, vast groups of robed Muslim pilgrims went in solemn loops around the Kaaba, the black cube in Makkah's Grand Mosque.
During the yearly festivities that might smash attendance records, the holiest place in Islam is anticipated to attract more than two million worshipers from 160 different nations. As of late Friday, there were already 1.6 million foreigners present at the shrine.
This year, we will witness the largest Haj pilgrimage in history,- An official with the Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah
if things go according to plan, predicted an official with the Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah.
The numbers will exceed 2.5 million pilgrims, added the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak with the press.
COPYRIGHT_JANE: Published on https://www.janeresture.com/large-crowds-encircle-kaaba-as-haj-begins-in-saudi-heat/ by Jane Resture on 2023-06-27T13:56:58.965Z
Huge crowds circle Kaaba as hajj begins in Saudi | Latest News | WION
The Haj began early on Sunday morning with the "tawaf," which is the circumambulation of the Kaaba. The Kaaba is a massive cubic edifice that is shrouded in black linen and decorated with gold decorations.
I am living the most beautiful days of my life,- Abdel-Azim
said Abdel-Azim, a 65-year-old Egyptian, as he performed the ritual.
The dream has come true,- Abdel-Azim
added the retiree, who had saved up for 20 years to pay the $6,000 fee to take part.
The Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all Muslims who are able to do so are required to do it at least once in their lifetime. In the western region of oil-rich Saudi Arabia, the city of Makkah and its surrounding area are the sites of a series of rituals that take place over the course of four days.
Pilgrims will begin making their way to Mina on Sunday night, which is located around five kilometers (three miles) from the Grand Mosque. This is in preparation for the culmination of the Haj, which will take place at Mount Arafat, where it is claimed that the Prophet Mohammed delivered his last speech.
On Sunday, preparations were made for the arrival of a huge number of pilgrims to Mina, the biggest tent city in the world. Food supplies were brought in, and security officers were posted all around the region.
In front of the Grand Mosque, thousands of worshipers could be seen kneeling in prayer on the vibrant carpets that decorated the ground. The male pilgrims wore plain white robes. The neighborhood was filled with emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, ambulances, and mobile clinics.
The Haj poses a significant threat to public safety and has been beset by a number of mishaps over the years, including a stampede in 2015 that may have resulted in the deaths of as many as 2,300 people.
Since then, there have been no serious occurrences, and the possibility of a tragedy was the very last thing on the minds of the pilgrims.
I cannot describe my feelings. This is a great blessing. I never imagined that I would perform the Haj this year,- Yusuf Burhan
said 25-year-old Indonesian student Yusuf Burhan.
The summer scheduling of the Haj this year, which follows the lunar calendar, will put worshipers to the test throughout the primarily outdoor ceremony.
Police officers in the hilly city have performed foot patrols and set up checkpoints to examine Haj permits while carrying white umbrellas to shelter themselves from the hot heat.
As temperatures approached 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit), others sprayed water on pilgrims.
Inside the Grand Mosque, thousands of paramedics were on standby. More than 32,000 health staff will be on site, according to Saudi authorities, to address cases of heatstroke, dehydration, and weariness.
The Haj generates billions of dollars in revenue for Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, which is attempting to diversify its economy beyond fossil fuels.
This year's will be the largest since 2019, prior to the Covid epidemic, when over 2.5 million individuals participated. At the height of the global pandemic, just 10,000 were permitted in 2020, increasing to roughly 59,000 in 2021. The previous year's limit of one million has been eliminated.