More than two million Muslim pilgrims from across the world have gathered at the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia to perform hajj.
On the first official day of the hajj on Thursday, pilgrims converged in Mina, where they offered Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha’ prayers, shortening the four-unit prayers so as to make them two units each.
Later they spent the night praying and seeking divine blessings in the sprawling tents of Mina.
The pilgrims will set out for Arafat right after sunrise chanting talbiyyah and takbir on Friday.
After arriving at Arafat, the devotees will offer Zuhr and Asr prayers combined.
Pilgrims will stand in contemplative vigil offering supplications, repenting for their past sins, and seeking mercy of the Almighty.
‘Wuquf’ (standing before Allah) is considered one of the main aspect of hajj.
Pilgrims will leave for Muzdalifah after sunset and offer Maghrig and Isha’ jointly upon reaching Muzdalifah.
Here they will spend the night under open sky and gather pebbles for the next day’s ritual of the stoning of the Satan.
The Directorate General of Passports of Saudi Arabia reported that as of mid-day of Thursday, 1,388,404 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom for performing the hajj.
The agency reported that 1,315,276 pilgrims arrived by air, 59,133 by land and 13,995 by sea.MYNEWSHUB