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Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History

Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Fatima Sajid

The start of the hajj pilgrimage in Makkah’s Grand Mosque witnessed hundreds of thousands of Muslims from around the world gathering to perform the sacred rituals.

Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History. This year’s hajj is expected to be the largest in history, with over two million worshippers from 160 countries anticipated to participate, potentially breaking attendance records. According to an official from the Saudi ministry of hajj and umrah, the number of pilgrims is projected to exceed 2.5 million.

The hajj began with the circumambulation of the Kaaba, a significant structure in Islam, followed by a series of rites spread over four days. As pilgrims move to Mina and prepare for the climax at Mount Arafat, security measures have been implemented, and the world’s largest tent city in Mina has made necessary arrangements. Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History  Despite the scorching summer temperatures, the atmosphere is filled with gratitude and blessings for the pilgrims.

Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History

Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History

The hajj carries immense economic significance for Saudi Arabia, contributing billions of dollars annually. This year’s pilgrimage showcases social reforms as women are no longer required to be accompanied by a male relative. Despite the challenges posed by the weather, the hajj continues to be a spiritually significant journey for Muslims worldwide.

An anonymous official from the Saudi ministry of hajj and umrah expressed confidence that the number of pilgrims would exceed 2.5 million, making it the largest hajj pilgrimage in history. The journey commenced with the “tawaf,” the reverential circumambulation of the Kaaba, Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History  the revered cubic structure adorned in black cloth with gold accents, towards which Muslims worldwide pray.

The emotional significance of the pilgrimage was palpable among the pilgrims. Saeed Abdel Azim, a 65-year-old Egyptian participant, described it as the most beautiful days of his life, a dream come true after saving for two decades to cover the expenses.

“This year, we will witness the largest hajj pilgrimage in history,” says official.

 1.6 million foreigners have already arrived in the kingdom by late Friday.

“This year there is not a single vacant bed in our group of 67 hotels,” says a businessman.

The hajj pilgrimage is an integral pillar of Islam and is obligatory for all Muslims who have the means to undertake it. Over the course of four days, a series of sacred rituals are performed in Makkah and its surroundings in western Saudi Arabia.

Pilgrims have now moved to Mina, a bustling tent city located about five kilometers (three miles) from the Grand Mosque. The pinnacle of the hajj will take place at Mount Arafat, where the Prophet Mohammed is believed to have delivered his final sermon. Mina has made extensive preparations to accommodate the influx of worshippers, ensuring the availability of food supplies and the deployment of security forces.

Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History

As the pilgrimage progresses, more pilgrims are anticipated to arrive in Mina, contributing to a vibrant atmosphere in the tented city. Foot pilgrims and those arriving by air-conditioned buses will converge, creating an atmosphere of unity and devotion.

Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History  Outside the Grand Mosque, amidst a vibrant display of colorful prayer carpets, thousands of worshippers offered prayers. Male pilgrims dressed in simple white robes, while ambulances, mobile clinics, and fire trucks were strategically positioned throughout the area to address any emergencies.

The hajj poses significant security challenges, and past years have witnessed tragic incidents, including a stampede in 2015 that claimed the lives of thousands. However, this year, the focus remains on the spiritual journey rather than potential disasters.

Yusuf Burhan, a 25-year-old Indonesian student, expressed his indescribable feelings of gratitude, considering the pilgrimage a tremendous blessing that he never imagined he would undertake this year.

The timing of this year’s hajj, falling in the summer according to the lunar calendar, presents additional endurance challenges for the pilgrims who participate in predominantly outdoor rituals. Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History  To combat the scorching heat, policemen in the mountainous city carried white umbrellas to provide shade, while foot patrols and checkpoints were established to ensure the pilgrims’ safety.

Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History

Inside the Grand Mosque, a team of over 32,000 health workers stood ready to address cases of heatstroke, dehydration, and exhaustion. Their presence underscores the Saudi authorities’ commitment to safeguarding the well-being of the pilgrims.

The hajj pilgrimage, costing at least $5,000 per person, contributes significantly to Saudi Arabia’s economy, diversifying its revenue sources beyond fossil fuels. Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History  This year’s hajj is poised to be the largest since 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an estimated 2.5 million participants. The restrictions of the previous year limited the number of pilgrims to 10,000, but this year, the cap has been removed.

Saudi businessman Samir al-Zafni attested to the overwhelming demand for accommodations, with his hotels in Makkah and Madinah fully booked until the first week of July. This surge in pilgrim numbers demonstrates the kingdom’s commitment to hosting and facilitating the hajj experience.

Moreover, the hajj pilgrimage serves as a testament to the social reforms unfolding in the traditionally conservative kingdom. In 2021, Saudi Arabia abolished the rule that prohibited unaccompanied women from participating in the hajj, symbolizing a progressive step forward.

Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History

As the Largest Hajj Pilgrimage In History participants make their way through the rituals, seeking spiritual fulfillment and connection, the journey remains a profound and transformative experience for Muslims across the globe.

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