Mecca: In the hundreds of thousands of Muslims from around the world, including over 1.5 lakh Indian, will join to the valley of Mina to mark the beginning of Hajj which begins tomorrow and will culminate with the symbolic stoning of Satan on Friday.
When the Islamic calender turns ‘Dhul Hijjah 8’ which will be soon after sunset today, believers will start their journey towards Mina nearly five kilometres from here – for the world’s largest annual gathering. Many of the pilgrims will start the journey to Mina late tonight itself to avoid the heavy rush of pilgrims after the ‘Fajr’ or pre-dawn prayers.
The five-day long pilgrimage will culminate with the symbolic stoning of Satan on Saturday. Saudi authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the pilgrims in Mina, where thousands of tents have been set up to host the ‘guests of Allah’.
The pilgrims, in the first phase, will spend the night in the tent-city of Mina reciting the Holy Quran or praying. King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is also Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has directed agencies concerned to provide all services and facilities so that pilgrims perform their rituals with ease and comfort.
According to reports, nearly 1.5 million pilgrims had arrived from various countries till Sunday and many more are expected to join them from neighbouring countries today and later, they will be joined by the Saudi nationals also in the day. Among the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, there are about 1.5 lakh Indians, who have converged in the Kingdom for the five-day Hajj.