Mecca

Qatar Dismisses Mecca Summits’ Anti-Iran Remarks

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain over the weekend chastised their fellow Sunni Arab Gulf country Qatar for dismissing two summits in the holy city of Mecca focused on admonishing Iran over its alleged aggressions and criminal acts in the Middle East and beyond.

DOHA, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: Qatar Air Forces unfurl the flag of Qatar during the 137th anniversary celebrations of the Qatar's National Day in Doha, Qatar on December 18, 2015. Thousands of people have gathered along Doha's waterfront to celebrate Qatar's National Day. The annual holiday marks the date in …

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.

hajj

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 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

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.

Muslim

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.

Kaaba

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.

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 …