Muslims Flock to Makkah for Hajj

MAKKAH- Millions of Muslims worldwide are heading to the Islamic holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.

According to Saudi General Directorate of Passports, 1,151,010 pilgrims have landed in Saudi Arabia since the start of Hajj season, indicating a 25 percent increase in the numner of arrivals compared to the same period last year, the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, reported.

The directorate explained that 1,084,859 pilgrims arrived by air, 60,204 by land, and 5,947 by sea.

Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Hajj consists of several rituals, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them.

Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.

Hajj is officially expected to fall this year between August 30 and September 4, with the climax falling on August 31 when the faithful descend the Mount `Arafat.