hajj

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.

Indian Muslim students practice yoga ahead of International Yoga Day celebrations, at a school in Ahmadabad, India, Saturday, June 17, 2017. International Yoga Day will be celebrated on June 21. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Saudi Arabia to Open Justice Ministry Jobs to Women, Legalizes Yoga

Less than two months after Saudi Arabia announced it would lift a decades-old ban on female drivers, the kingdom has legalized yoga, held its first women’s basketball tournament, and announced that it will allow Saudi women to work for the Ministry of Justice.

AP Photo

5 Unresolved Political Disputes Saudi Arabia Must Face at the Hajj

The Hajj is a pilgrimage to the cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia which all Muslims are encouraged to undertake at least once in their lifetimes. This year’s Hajj season comes amid several major domestic and international challenges for the Saudis.

Royal Jordanian

Report: Israelis, Saudis in Talks for Palestinian Visitors to Fly to Riyadh

The United States, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel have recently been conducting secret negotiations to coordinate the first flight of Palestinian pilgrims from Ben Gurion airport to Saudi Arabia, with a short layover on the way, probably in Jordan.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 20, 2016: Iran's Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan (C) during a meeting with Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defence Ministry Press Office/TASS (Photo by Vadim Savitsky\TASS via Getty Images)

Iran Threatens Saudi Arabia: ‘We Will Leave No Area Untouched’

Iran will hit back at most of Saudi Arabia with the exception of Islam’s holiest places if the kingdom does anything “ignorant”, Tehran’s defense minister was quoted as saying on Sunday after a Saudi prince threatened to move the “battle” to Iran.

Muslim pilgrims pray near the Islam's holiest shrine, the Kaaba, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy Muslim city of Mecca late on September 26, 2015.

Iran and Saudi Arabia at Odds Over Mecca Pilgrimage

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei renewed criticism of Saudi Arabia over how it runs the haj after a crush last year killed hundreds of pilgrims, and suggested Muslim countries think about ending Riyadh’s control of the annual pilgrimage.

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Saudi Arabia Cancels Air Travel with Iran

The conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran escalated another notch on Monday morning, as the Saudis announced the suspension of air travel to and from Iran.