More than two million pilgrims to perform Hajj

Asma'u Halilu, Makkah

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More than two million pilgrims have begun the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam along with Taqwa which is the belief in the oneness of Allah, Salat, charity and fasting.

The annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah is expected to be undergone by Muslims who are physically and financially capable to perform the worship at least once in their life time.

With Monday being the Arafat day, which is the main hajj ritual, all pilgrims have converged on the plains of mount Arafat for worship between 1-7pm local time.

Speaking with Rahama Musa Sani, a member of the Ulama committee with NAHCON, she said, any pilgrim who arrives at Arafat after 7pm, is considered not to have performed hajj at all.

“On this special day, all pilgrims are considered special guest of Allah as God himself comes closer to pilgrims to grant their request. It is also special because Islam was perfected on this day and people are freed from hell on Arafat day,” Rahama stressed.

She explained that, because of the significance of Arafat, Muslims who are not on hajj are advised to fast to cleans away their sins of the previous year.

“By tomorrow, which is the second day of hajj, the festival of Eid-al- Adhal will be celebrated around the World and sacrifices of lamb and sheep will be made, adding that, part of the meat should be distributed among the poor.”

The scholar further stated that, at the end of the day, pilgrims will be moved to Muzdalifa to spend the night and also pick stones/pebbles to use tomorrow for the stoning of the devil at Jamrat.

“Pilgrims who have the strength will return to Makkah tomorrow after stoning of the devil for walking round the Ka’aba as well as the Safa and Marwa and immediately return to Muna camp to complete the remaining two days of their hajj rites. But we advise those who lack the strength to walk long distances to remain at Muna and complete their Dawaf after they return to Makkah,” she said.