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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Extraordinary photos show millions of joyful Muslims descending on Mecca's Grand Mosque for start of Islam's annual haj pilgrimage

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Big event: Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba as they pray inside and outside the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The annual pilgrimage draws three million visitors each year

These breathtaking pictures show how millions of pilgrims are arriving in Mecca for Islam's annual haj pilgrimage which starts tomorrow, as Saudi authorities warned they will stop any disruptive protests over the conflict in Syria.
The Grand Mosque, the focal point of the Islamic faith, was already teeming with joyful pilgrims at dawn yesterday, wearing the simple white folds of cloth prescribed for haj, many of them having slept on the white marble paving outside.

Huge gathering: Muslim pilgrims perform their evening prayers in the Grand Mosque on Monday. The annual haj pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam

‘I feel proud to be here because it's a visual message that Muslims are united. People speaking in all kind of languages pray to the one God,’ said Fahmi Mohammed al-Nemr, 52, from Egypt.
Haj must be performed at least once in their lifetime by all Muslims capable of making the expensive, difficult journey, a duty that applies equally to Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims at a time of tension between Islam's main sects.
Saudi leaders have emphasised it is a strictly religious occasion and they are prepared to deal with any troublemaking.

Policing: Saudi authorities warned they will stop any disruptive protests over the conflict in Syria

Pigrimage: The Grand Mosque, the focal point of the Islamic faith, was already teeming with joyful pilgrims at dawn on Monday, wearing the simple white folds of cloth prescribed for haj

All together: Haj must be performed at least once in their lifetime by all Muslims capable of making the expensive, difficult journey

Maintaining safety: Saudi leaders have emphasised it is a strictly religious occasion and they are prepared to deal with any troublemaking

Beginning: Wednesday is the first official day of the pilgrimage, with Muslims following a set form of rites laid out by the Prophet, and it culminates on Friday

Amazing numbers: The Saudi authorities said there have so far been 1.7 million arrivals from abroad and about 200,000 from inside Saudi Arabia



source: dailymail



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