Over two million Muslims begin Hajj on Monday
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Mecca, Saudi Arabia – Over two million Muslims from around the globe will start performing their hajj rituals on Monday, June 26, 2023, in fulfilment of the fifth and last pillar of Islam.

The date coincides with the eighth day of Dhul-Hijja of the Islamic lunar calendar, which is the official start date for hajj every year.

On the first day, pilgrims, men in seamless white cloth and women in dresses of different colours, will be converging in the tents of Mina before Zuhr (Noon) prayers.

They are expected to spend the rest of the day there in supplication as they observe obligatory prayers in Qasar (shortened).

On the second day of Hajj, pilgrims will move to the famous Mount Arafat from Mina while seeking forgiveness and making supplications.

On arrival, they would pray Zuhr and Asr combined and shortened near the Jabal al-Rahmah, spending the remaining time from noon to sunset in supplication. This act is known as Waquf (standing before Allah).

When the sun sets, pilgrims will then head to Muzadalifah, a town located between Mina and Mt. Arafat, to observe the evening prayers and rest for the night until Fajr (dawn) prayers in preparation for the next day’s ritual of stoning the devil (Rami).

On the third day, which is the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, pilgrims would go to Mecca before sunset to do Tawaf al-Ifadah (circumambulate the Kaaba) and the Sa’iy ritual of walking or running seven times between the two hills of Safa and Marwa.

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On the 11th and 12th days of Dhu al-Hijjah, respectively the fourth and fifth days, pilgrims must complete the stoning of the Devil or Rami.

Before Sunrise, pilgrims head back to Mina and participate in a ritual known as ‘Stoning the Devil.” Seven pebbles (of similar sizes) are thrown at a stone structure known as Jamrat al-Aqabah, an act carried out at noon each day.

All pilgrims are required to leave for Mecca before sunset on the 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.

After the stoning ritual, an animal is sacrificed, and shaving only for men or clipping for both men and women takes place.

On the final day, Pilgrims then proceed to perform the farewell Tawaf, circumambulating the Kaaba in an anti-clockwise manner seven times and touching or kissing the Kaaba if possible.

Pilgrims are to reflect on their experience and thank Allah for everything while circumambulating the Kaaba.

After the ritual, they leave the Kaaba by setting their left foot out first, making supplications while doing so, and marking the end of the Hajj rituals.

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