Hundreds of thousands of Muslim pilgrims are flocking to Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to witness the culmination of the Hajj (pilgrimage).

The Muslim faithful flock to Mount Arafat – where the Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Mohamad (peace be upon him), delivered his final sermon. This is the most important ritual of the Hajj, one of the pillars of Islam, which every Muslim, health and means permitting, must perform at least once in their lifetime.

Pilgrims climb the hill early in the morning and stay until nightfall, praying and reciting the Qur’an to atone for their sins.

Nearly two million Muslim worshippers from around the world began the rituals of the Hajj on Friday. On this day, all dressed in ‘ihram’ – two pieces of seamless white cloth for men and a long robe for women – performed the first ritual of the pilgrimage, called ‘Al-Tarwiya’ (the revelation).

Millions of Muslims start the biggest annual pilgrimage in Mecca

After their stay in Arafat, the pilgrims will head to the town of Muzdalifa, where they will spend the night and collect pebbles to be thrown in the ritual of the symbolic ‘Stoning of Satan’, which marks the beginning of the festival of Eid al-Adha, or the great Muslim festival of sacrifice.

Pilgrims then return to Mecca to perform the farewell ‘Tawaf’, the seven laps around the sacred Kaaba (House of God), Islam’s holiest site.

The Kaaba is a cubic stone building located in the Al-Haram Mosque (the Great Mosque) in Mecca, and Muslims pray five times a day in the direction of this point, known as the Qibla, no matter where they are in the world.

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