Muslims begin annual pilgrimage as hajj 2013 officially starts

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Muslim pilgrims began this year’s hajj journey on Sunday, dressed in their white Ihram and leaving for Mina.

Soon after the dawn Fajr prayers, which are performed in Makkah, some 2 million pilgrims drawn from all over the world began travelling to Mina, which is roughly eight kilometers away.

At Mina, air-conditioned tents provide temporary accommodation to the visiting pilgrims. Pilgrims spend the day and night in Mina praying and reciting praise of their Lord.

Infographic: The hajj guide

Infographic: The hajj guide (Design by Farwa Rizwan)
Infographic: The hajj guide (Design by Farwa Rizwan)

For Muslims, hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam. It takes place in the month of Dhul Hijjah which is the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

The pilgrimage journey lasts for five days.

On Monday, the dawn prayer is performed in Mina. After this, pilgrims make their way to Arafat, which is roughly 14 kilometers away.

The sectors involved in the organization of this year’s hajj are working round-the-clock to ensure the completion of all the preparations in the holy sites, and provide the best conditions for pilgrims to devote themselves to the performance of hajj.

The security authorities, including civil defense, are inspecting the tents set up in Mina to ensure their suitability and safety.

All security forces are also all prepared to ensure the security and safety of the pilgrims. The main and provisional hospitals are also well equipped and ready to receive pilgrims who fall ill.

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