More than two million Muslims from around completed their Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Recount their experiences with fellow Hajji Naser Al Wasmi below:. After the circumambulation, pilgrims head towards an expanse in the northern part of the mosque facing the Station of Ibrahim, where the imprint of the Prophet Abraham is set in a rock. They say a prayer, then head on to the last step before the pilgrims become they become Hajjis, shaving their heads. Sameer, a barber working in a shop within 5 minutes from the Kaaba, takes a break and drinks tea. His technique is spotless, as someone who has done this, according to him, thousands of times just during Eid. Shaving the head, a sign of transformation, is capped off with finally abandoning the white garments, signifying their journey of Hajj is coming to an end.
The hajj is the fifth of the fundamental Muslim practices and institutions known as the Five Pillars of Islam. The hajj is incumbent on all Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the pilgrimage, but only if their absence will not place hardships on their family. The pattern of pilgrimage rites was established by the Prophet Muhammad , but variations have arisen in it, and the stringent formal itinerary is not strictly adhered to by the mass of pilgrims, who frequently visit the various Meccan sites out of their proper order. When the pilgrim is about 6 miles 10 km from Mecca, he or she enters the state of holiness and purity known as ihram and dons the ihram garments; for men they consist of two white seamless sheets that are wrapped around the body, while women may wear sewn clothes. The pilgrims cut neither their hair nor their nails until the pilgrimage rite is over. About two million persons perform the hajj each year , and the rite serves as a unifying force in Islam by bringing followers of diverse background together in religious celebration. The pilgrimage, if performed properly, is believed to wipe out previous sins for the sincere believer. Hajj Article Media Additional Info. Print Cite verified Cite.
The pilgrims are between the ages of 20 and 50 and have been tested for COVID before traveling to Mecca, where they were required to quarantine in their hotel rooms before the start of the Hajj. They will also be required to enter quarantine for a week after the end of their five-day pilgrimage. Australia imposes travel ban In Australia, authorities in the northeastern state of Queensland have announced that it will ban residents from Greater Sydney effective Saturday to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Melbourne, the state capital of the southern state of Victoria, is at the halfway mark of a six-week lockdown due to a dramatic spike in new COVID cases, including another new cases reported Wednesday. Victoria state has also reported coronavirus cases connected to elderly citizens homes. Sydney, the capital of neighboring New South Wales, posted 19 new COVID cases Wednesday, most of them related to several clusters that have emerged at restaurants, funeral homes and parks.
Hajj is an annual, six-day Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca Makkah in Saudi Arabia, made by over two million pilgrims every year. Islam requires every financially and physically able Muslim to make the journey once in their lifetime. The purpose of Hajj for Muslims is to unify their beliefs and submit to Allah. The date differs each year according to the lunar calendar, but Hajj is always held approximately two months and 10 days after Ramadan, in the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Dhul-Hijjah. Around 2, BC, following the orders of Allah, prophet Ibrahim Abraham is said to have originally built the grounds and site known as the Kaaba where the sacred mosque stands today. Men are required to dress in ihraam — two white sheets wrapped around the body and women wear the hijab. The first day of Hajj begins at Mina; a vast city of tents where worshippers spend the day in prayer. The next day is dedicated to prayer at Mount Mercy at Arafat, 14km from Mina; the scene of Prophet Muhammad's final sermon. The night is spent at Muzdalifah, between Mina and Arafat, where pebbles are collected for the upcoming Jamarat ritual. Before sunrise, pilgrims make the journey back to Mina where pebbles are thrown at the three pillars, symbolising the stoning of the devil.