Over 2 million Muslim pilgrims throng Mount Aaraft for Hajj climax

MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA (dpa)– More than 2 million Muslims from around the world were packing Mount Arafat near the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, marking the climax of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Saudi authorities have deployed thousands of security personnel along the routes to the holy site, which is located around 20 kilometres east of Mecca.

The male pilgrims are clad in seamless pieces of white cloth, while women wear loose garments without make-up or jewellery.
Their attires symbolize abandoning worldly wealth and acknowledging equality.
The faithful spend the day at Arafat, praying for God's forgiveness and for contentment.
The granite hill is the place where the Prophet Mohammed is believed to have delivered his last sermon around 14 centuries ago.
The pilgrims ritually chant there for God to forgive their sins.
"Here I am at your service, O God. Here I am, at your service. You have no partner," thousands of pilgrims chant in unison.
The Hajj, one of Islam's five pillars, is a mandatory duty for all Muslims once in a lifetime if they possess enough financial resources and are physically capable of undertaking the journey.
This year’s Hajj, which ends on Tuesday, is being held amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, a regional rival of Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, a devastating war in neighbouring Yemen is dragging on for the fourth year.
Over the past few days, Saudi officials have repeatedly warned pilgrims not to engage in politics and called on them to focus on worshipping.

Saturday, August 10th 2019

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