More than two million Muslims are in Mecca for the six-day ritual starting on Sunday. "It is the best feeling of my life to be able to perform the haj", said Mostafa, 50, as he looked at the cube-shaped structure towards which Muslims turn in prayer five times a day.
Every Muslim is required to complete the hajj at least once in their lifetime if they have the means to do so.
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The climax of the Hajj includes the Eid al-Adha festival, which is one of Islam's two major festivals and involves the sacrifice of an animal, usually a sheep, goat, or cow.
If a Muslim can't physically perform Hajj, they can ask someone to do it on their behalf as long as that person has done their own Hajj already.
Nayef Ahmed, 37, told Reuters that in order to afford the haj he had to sell a plot of land in Yemen, which is embroiled in a three-year proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Pilgrims then move to Muzdalifa to spend the night and then return to Minna on Tuesday before going to Makkah for other rites and returning to Mina on same day.
Hajj retraces the last steps of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and also honours the prophets, Abraham (AS) and Ishmael (AS).
A Saudi official denied the allegation and put the blame on Qatar, saying they were the ones who had blocked access to the registration links. Its ruling Al Saud family stakes its legitimacy in part on its management of the holiest sites in Islam.
When is Hajj 2018 This holy journey to Mecca takes place only once in a year, which happens to be on the 12 month, which is also the last month of the Islamic calender.
The official Saudi toll of 769 people killed and 934 injured has not changed since only two days afterward. The kingdom has never addressed the discrepancy in the casualty toll, nor has it released any results of an investigation that authorities had promised to conduct over the disaster. "These things do not happen with the security forces in the present world". The rebels have fired over 150 ballistic missiles on the kingdom during a conflict that has seen Saudi airstrikes hit markets and hospitals, killing civilians.
That was a feeling shared by Jordanian pilgrim Jehad Hussein. "Allah willing", she said.