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Hajj 2018: Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca Begins amid Saudi Diplomatic Turmoil

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca known as the Hajj, which observant Muslims are supposed to make at least once during their lives, officially begins on August 19. Mecca is located in Saudi Arabia, which is currently embroiled in serious disputes with Muslim nations such as Qatar, Iran, and Yemen, as well as Western countries with Muslim citizens who wish to make the pilgrimage, most notably Canada.

Muslim pilgrims perform the final walk (Tawaf al-Wadaa) around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca on November 30, 2009. The annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage to Mecca wound up without the feared mass outbreak of swine flu, Saudi authorities said, reporting a total of …

Ayatollah Reignites Campaign to Seize Mecca Ahead of Hajj

Ahead of this year’s annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took the opportunity to once again blast Saudi Arabia over what is known as the “Mina Stampede,” which left nearly 800 Muslims dead in 2015.

Muslim pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the centre of the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca on August 27, 2017

Scenes From the 2017 Hajj Pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia is declaring this year’s Hajj pilgrimage a success, with some two million visitors expected in Mecca, Medina, and surrounding holy sites. Previous years have sometimes been marked by tragedy, and this year’s event came amid a series of political challenges for the Saudis, but so far there has been nothing like the deadly 2015 stampede that killed hundreds of people.

Muslim

The Muslim Hajj Pilgrimage in Numbers

The Islamic hajj pilgrimage draws people from around the world to Saudi Arabia each year. The crowds, squeezed shoulder to shoulder in prayer five times a day, fill the city of Mecca and surrounding areas to perform a number of physically demanding and intricate rites.

Kaaba

Saudis Fume Over Claim Qatar Wants to ‘Internationalize’ Muslim Holy Sites

TEL AVIV — The crisis between Qatar and Gulf nations led by Saudi Arabia deteriorated further in the last few days due to Saudi reports that Qatar is appealing to the international community for internationalized access to Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia for the season of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca and other holy places, considered a requirement in the lives of all Muslims.

MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA - SEPTEMBER 15: Prospective pilgrims make the farewell circumambulation of the Kaaba on the last day of Eid Al-Adha, after stoning of the devil ritual during Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on September 15, 2016. Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid Al-Adha, to commemorate the holy Prophet Ibrahim’'s (Prophet …

Israel Seeks Direct Tel Aviv-Mecca Flights for Pilgrims

TEL AVIV – Israel is working to persuade Saudi Arabia to allow direct flights from Tel Aviv to Mecca for Israeli Muslims making the Hajj pilgrimage, building on the same flight route taken by President Donald Trump on his trip to the region in May.

Eid at Angels Stadium 2013 (Hanadi Hamad / Twitter)

Muslims Hold Mass Eid al-Adha Prayer at Angels Stadium

Over 15,000 Muslims gathered in the parking lot of Angel Stadium on Monday morning to celebrate Eid al-Adha (the “Sacrifice Feast”), the second of two major Islamic holidays that occurs during the time of the annual hajj pilgrimage.

hajj

Saudi Arabia Reminds Nurses to Dress Modestly During Hajj

The annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca is underway and in preparation for the religiously sensitive time, Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry released a warning to nurses working in hospitals near holy sites, meant to protect the holiness of the ceremonies and of course, not to arouse the sexual urges of the pilgrims.

Saudi Arabia and Iran leaders

Saudis Respond to Ayatollah ‘Puny Satans’ Insult: Iranians Are ‘Not Muslims’

Islamic authorities in Saudi Arabia have responded to an extensive missive by Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling the Saudis “murderers” and “puny Satans” in response to a massacre that killed thousands at last year’s hajj. Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti dismissed Iran’s ire by arguing that Iranians are “not Muslims.”