GALLERY: Over 2 million Muslims gather for Hajj pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia barring Hajj pilgrims, Qatar says

2018 Hajj rites begin Sunday in Saudi Arabia | NTA.ng - Breaking News, Nigeria, Africa, Worldwide

"Registration of pilgrims from the State of Qatar remains closed and residents of Qatar can not be granted visas as there are no diplomatic missions", added the official.

The shrine is the point towards which Muslims around the world pray. Many walk, while others use buses. People who are older or have mobility issues may find it hard, so wheelchairs and motorized carts are now on-hand.

More than 2 million Muslims began the annual hajj pilgrimage Sunday in Saudi Arabia, circling the cube-shaped Kaaba from first light in Mecca that Islam's faithful face five times each day during their prayers.

'I knew it would be a little hard to climb Mount Arafat, ' said Nigerian pilgrim Saidou Boureima.

Arms raised, pilgrims repeated "There is no God but Allah" and "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest). Around sunset, they will leave for Muzdalifa, nine kilometers west of Arafat. The wuquf is the most important part of Hajj.

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Officials aim to increase the number of umrah and hajj pilgrims to 15 million and 5 million respectively by 2020, and hope to double the umrah number again to 30 million by 2030.

Muslim pilgrams cast stones at the three pillars in the city of Mina as one of the duties to fulfill Hajj.

At dawn Muslim pilgrims will make their way from Mina to a plain called Mount Arafah and the Plain of Arafah.

According to the hadiths, traditional collections of the prophet's sayings and anecdotes about his life, Muhammad also reminded his followers of women's rights and that every Muslim life and property is sacred.

What else should I know about Hajj?

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Muslim pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque, ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on August 18, 2018.

Pilgrims must dress very simply.

Men attending the hajj dress in only terrycloth, seamless white garments meant to represent unity among Muslims and equality before God.

If a Muslim can't physically perform Hajj, they can ask someone to do it on their behalf as long as that person has done their own Hajj already.

Muslims gather on Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahma (Mount of Mercy), southeast of the Saudi holy city of Makkah, on Arafat Day, August 20, 2018. This is where the Prophet Muhammad is buried, in a big attractive mosque.

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He added that the employees are to begin investigating in the holy places the cases referred to them by the concerned authorities, bring cases before the competent courts, manage detention units in the holy places, and oversee the implementation of court orders there.

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