MAKKAH Saudi Arabia
(CIC) -- Multitudes of Muslim
pilgrims, many clad in special white garments, started leaving
the holy city of Makkah since early Friday to the nearby holy
site of Mina, to spend the first day of Hajj 2019.
than two million pilgrims will perform Hajj this year, according
to statistics issued by Saudi authorities.
Chanting "Labbeika Allahumma Labbeik" ("Here I am, O
God, here I am"), the pilgrims began arriving on Friday morning
at the Mina site to spend Yawm Al Tarwiyah (Day of Quenching
Thirst), asking God for acceptance and forgiveness.
Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is the most important
spiritual journey in a Muslim’s life time.
All Muslims who are physically and financially able to make
the pilgrimage are required to do so at least once in their
Hajj, the major Islamic pilgrimage, starts with Yawm Al
Tarwiyah with the performance of the first rituals, with
pilgrims donning Ihram garments and heading to stay overnight in
Mina, located between Makkah and Muzdalifah holy site, seven
kilometers north-east of the Grand Mosque.
The pilgrims stand in Arafat on Saturday in what is seen as
the peak of the pilgrimage.
Prior to heading to Mina to embark on their Hajj journey,
pilgrims enter the state of Ihram, where they prepare themselves
spiritually and don special white garments.
Saudi authorities announced on Friday that the total number
of pilgrims performing Hajj this year has now surpassed two
million, the majority of them from outside the Kingdom, but said
the final numbers may increase with the arrival of more
Saudi Arabia has so far welcomed 1,849,817 pilgrims from
abroad for Hajj, according to the latest statistics issued on
Thursday by the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.
Meanwhile, the total number of domestic pilgrims coming to
Makkah until 9 a.m.
Friday reached 213,455 pilgrims, the General Authority for
Statistics said, but noted that these figures do not include
pilgrims inside of Makkah, whose number will be announced
Last year more than 2.37 million pilgrims performed Hajj,
about 1.75 million of whom came from outside of the Kingdom.
Hajj officially starts on the evening of the 8th of Dhul
Hijjah (Friday August 9th) and pilgrims can conclude the rituals
either on the 12th (Tuesday August 13th) or the 13th of the same
Islamic month of 1440 Hijri year (2019), corresponding to
Wednesday August 14th.
Major General Mansour Al-Turki, the official spokesman of the
Saudi Ministry of Interior, told a news conference in Makkah on
Friday afternoon that the first stage of the pilgrims’ arrival
to Mina has been successfully completed.
The majority of pilgrims are transferred from Makkah to the
holy sites by bus but some prefer to walk for part of the
distance. He said some pilgrims have started to head to Mount
The official transfer of pilgrims from Mina to Arafat begins
Saturday morning, he said.
In Mina and Arafat the pilgrims stay in what is the largest
tent city in the world, with more than 350,000 tents.
‘A feeling no words can describe’
Thousands are performing the major Islamic pilgrimage as
hosts of the Kingdom, under a unique program which was
established more than two decades ago.
Some 6,500 pilgrims from 79 countries travelled to Makkah as
guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program
for Hajj and Umrah, which is implemented by the Saudi Ministry
of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.
The guests include Islamic figures such as preachers,
scholars, muftis, and officials, as well as the families of
martyrs and the injured.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz
Al Saud is hosting pilgrim families
of the victims and injured in two New Zealand mosques attack
MAKKAH Saudi Arabia (CIC) --
This year, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has directed hosting under the
program 200 pilgrims of the families of the victims and injured
of the March 15 terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch,
New Zealand, which killed more than 50 people and wounded
Speaking near the Grand Mosque in Makkah, one of the New
Zealand pilgrims, university professor Mohammed Elayyan, who
identified himself as Abu Atta, spoke of his feelings during
this year’s Hajj, a few months after he lost his son Atta
Elayyan in the terrorist attack.