Millions of Muslims from around the world have gathered to perform this year’s Hajj ritual in Saudi Arabia.
Less than two weeks ahead of the Hajj ritual in Mecca, many Muslims have already arrived in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca to take part in the world Muslims’ largest annual gathering.
Before arriving in Mecca, the pilgrims perform certain rituals in order to enter the state of Ihram, a precondition for beginning the holy pilgrimage.
Pilgrims in the state of Ihram are prohibited from doing certain things such as hunting, cutting hair and nails, or fighting.
They are also required to wear white unstitched clothing.
“This dress reminds me of the Day of Judgment. All people here have put on clothes with the same color and all have one voice. It seems all have become the same,” a pilgrim told Press TV.
The Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is performed from the 8th through the 12th of the lunar month of Dhul-Hijjah, starting on October 2 or 3 this year.
Hajj activities include turning around the Ka’aba, the most sacred Islamic site, seven times counterclockwise to show unity among believers worshipping Allah, the Arabic word for God.
The pilgrims also walk seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa.
All able-bodied Muslims are religiously obliged to perform the Hajj pilgrimage once in their lifetime.
The teachings of Hajj aim to remind Muslims that they are not joined together on the basis of color or race, but on the basis of belief in God and His Messenger, the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).