Muslim’s annual hajj pilgrimages begins Sunday

Muslim pilgrims to pay N2.8m for 2023 Hajj - NACHON

Muslim’s annual hajj pilgrimage begins Sunday

By Christian George

The annual Hajj pilgrimage is slated to start on Sunday where Muslim faithful are expected to gather at Mecca to celebrate one of the five pillars of Islam.

This year will witness a high number of pilgrims after the Covid-19 pandemic as about 2.5 million are to gather compared to the 926,000 people in 2022.

By scrabbing COVID protocols and age limits by the Saudi authorities, all Muslims are expected to complete the hajj to Meca, at least once in their lifetime if they have the means to do so.

Here, the Muslim faithful retrace the Prophet Mohammed’s last pilgrimage.

Non-Muslims are strictly banned from this gathering.

At Mecca, pilgrims must first undergo purity, known as ihram which requires special dress and behaviour, according to Nation.

While men dress in a seamless-shroud white garment, women are cladded in their loose white garment to depict purity.

This dress pattern cuts across all despite social strata as it also depicts unity.

Pilgrims do not argue. Also, they are prohibited from wearing perfumes, cutting nails or trimming beards.

One of the rituals includes walking seven times around Kabba, a structure believed to have been first erected by Adam, and later rebuilt by Abraham about 4,000 years ago.

The climax of the hajj involves gathering around Mount Arafat from Mina where Prophet Mohammed delivered his final sermon.

The last major ritual is the throwing of seven stones at three of the huge concrete walls representing satan.