HajjSaudi Arabia

(Photos) Hajj 2013: World Muslims Prepare For Pilgrimage To Mecca

MUSLIM PILGRIMS IN MECCAMillions of Muslims are arriving in Holy lands to take part in 2013’s Hajj pilgrimage.

The five-day pilgrimage is one of the pillars of Islam and is expected of able-bodied Muslims – of both Sunni and Shi’ite sects – at least one in their lifetime.

The event combines piety and passion and sees pilgrims walk from Mecca to Mina to the Plain of Arafat to stand near the Mount of Mercy and ask Allah for forgiveness.

Pilgrims then walk back to Mina to throw pebbles at pillars that represent the temptations of Satan.

The ritual re-enacts the prophet Abraham’s experience when the devil confronted him in the desert, tempting him not to sacrifice his son as Allah had instructed.

The symbolic animal slaughter of Eid al-Adha comes next, followed by a trip back to Mecca to perform tawaf, which is walking around the Kaaba, the most sacred site in Islam.
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