The biggest conglomeration of people on Earth, about 2 million people from various parts of the globe, are expected to converge at the holy city of Makkah for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Saudi Arabian government has made comprehensive arrangements for the pilgrimage.
Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam and every Muslim is required to complete it atleast once in a lifetime if he or she has the means to do so.
Abdelmajeed Mohammad Al-Afghani, director of Haj and Umra (lesser pilgrimage) affairs of Saudi Arabia, said, “This year we expect around two million pilgrims.”
People have come from Asian countries of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Middle East nations, Africa and even from Europe, North America and South America.
Excitement coupled with faith is writ large on the faces of people who have come from far-off places to the holy city of Makkah.
Eni, 47-year-old from Indonesia, told an international news agency, “I'm so excited because many people dream of coming to this place.”
Naushin Haider, an Indian attending the Haj pilgrimage for the first time, said, “It was my husband’s dream to perform Haj but he was unable to do it as he died of kidney failure. I have come with high hopes at this religious place and may Allah accept our Haj.”
Meanwhile, Mina - the city of five-day stay has geared up to welcome two million pilgrims coming from different parts of the world.
The Haj pilgrims will proceed to Mina, which is about five km east of Makkah tomorrow, in what is called Youm Al Tarwiya (Day of Watering).
Everything has been put in place by the government and private institutions concerned with the Haj services. All arrangements have been made to receive the pilgrims and provide them with best services to facilitate them in performing their Haj rites.
About 95 per cent of the pilgrims who were in Madinah to pay homage to Prophet Muhammad and pray at his mosque left the Prophet's City amid tears to assemble in Makkah.