Middle East

Two million Muslims begin hajj pilgrimage

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The Hajj has begun in Mecca with more than two million pilgrims following a sequence of fixed rituals, in accordance with tradition until Friday.

More than two million Muslims have begun the annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

From first light on Sunday, throngs of the faithful have circled the cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca, one of the holiest sites in Islam.

The Kaaba represents the metaphorical house of God and the oneness of God. Observant Muslims around the world face toward the Kaaba during their five daily prayers.

The five-day pilgrimage represents one of the five pillars of Islam and is required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their life.

The hajj offers pilgrims an opportunity to feel closer to God amid the Muslim world's many challenges, including the threat of extremists in the Mideast after the Islamic State group was beaten back in Iraq and Syria and the plight of Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority.

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Two million Muslims begin hajj pilgrimagePrimary tabs
Two million Muslims begin hajj pilgrimagePrimary tabs

The Hajj continues until Friday and follows a sequence of fixed rituals, in accordance with tradition and commemorating important milestones in the dawn of Islam, as well as the life of the prophet Abraham

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