Pilgrims undertaking Haj - UAE Pics

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pilgrims undertaking Haj

Thousands of Muslims perform tawaf, circling the Ka'aba seven times, which marks the start of the pilgrimage. The Haj begins on the eighth day of Dhu Al Hijja (month for Haj), the 12th month of the Islamic year, and lasts for as long as six days.
Pilgrims climb Mount Arafat, located a few miles outside of Makkah, site of the Prophet Mohammad's (PBUH) final sermon
This ritual is the most important during the Haj pilgrimage, where Muslims ask forgiveness from God. At sunset, they start their journey to Muzdalifah and on the following day return to Mina before sunrise
In Mina, pilgrims then perform ramy - the 'stoning of the devil' ritual - in the early morning. This involves throwing small stones at a rock structure, marking Abraham's temptation by Satan.
Pilgrims then shave their heads, and an animal is slaughtered, which is offered as food to the poor.
Pilgrims then perform two further 'stoning of the devil' rituals at Mina. The ritual is perhaps the most dangerous of all during the pilgramage. In recent years, many pilgrims have been trampled to death in the big crowds.
Pilgrims then return to Makkah and perform a final tawaf of the Ka'aba. This is the last duty of the Haj. Muslims around the world face the Ka'aba during prayer. It is a cube structure that predates Islam. According to Islamic tradition, the first building at the site was built by Abraham.

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