Makkah, Nov 24: Nearly 2.5 million Muslim pilgrims began their journey to the city of Mina to prepare for their Haj pilgrimage which begins Wednesday. About 1.6 million pilgrims from abroad have joined more than half a million pilgrims from within the Kingdom to participate in the largest annual religious gathering in the world.
The pilgrims dressed mostly in white, boarded buses or marched on foot, to begin the first-leg of their journey.
Wednesday, which is Dhul Hijjah 8 on the Islamic calendar, marks the first day of the six-day pilgrimage. The pilgrims will spend the whole day, known as the day of Tarwiyah, in Mina, busying themselves with prayers. Pilgrims are urged to ask Allah for forgiveness and solace in preparation for their journey.
Haj is the fifth pillar of Islam and it is the religious obligation of every capable Muslim to perform the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime.