From Thursday, June 7, around a million Muslims will begin the pilgrimage of Hajj. For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, people from around the world will be performing the pilgrimage. In 2020 and 2021, only people working and living in Saudi Arabia were allowed to perform the Hajj. Here’s a look at how the Hajj takes place in pictures.
On the first day of the pilgrimage, the pilgrims make their intention to perform the Hajj. They have to wear special clothes called the ihram. There are special rules for the pilgrims during the five days and putting on the ihram means they need to start observing those rules.
On day one, the pilgrims perform circumambulation of the Kaaba. This is known as tawaf. They then perform saee, which is running seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa. This is to commemorate the actions of Hajar, the wife of prophet Abraham.
The tented city of Mina on the outskirts of Makkah waits for the pilgrims. They stay here on the first day of the pilgrimage. The pilgrims are meant to spend the night in prayer.
On the second day, the pilgrims go towards Mount Arafat. This is considered the most important day of the entire pilgrimage. They will spend the entire day at the plains of Mount Arafat – praying and doing rituals of observance. At night, they will go to Muzdalifah where they will spend the night under the stars.
The third of the pilgrimage is spent at Mina once more. Here the pilgrims take part in the ritual stoning of the Jamarat. These are three strone structures which are meant to represent the devil. For Muslims around the world, this day is known as the first day of Eid-Ul-Adha. Muslims around the world as well as those on Hajj must sacrifice an animal. After sacrificing the animal, the male pilgrims must shave their hair and the female pilgrims must trim their hair.
For the remaining two days, the pilgrims perform tawaf and saee again in Makkah. They also go to Mina to stone the three Jamarats again.
To end their pilgrimage, the pilgrims have one final tawaf. This marks the completion of their Hajj.