The annual event – Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca – is extremely important for any and every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. In 2017, the pilgrimage has begun, on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of believers wear traditional white garments.
The Muslims begin their Hadj, on Wednesday, they are heading to a tent camp outside the holy city of Mecca in an itinerary retracing the route Prophet Mohammad took 14 centuries ago.
This week, Saudi Arabia will welcome n million worshippers from nearly every country on the planet. The Muslims arrive for the five-day ritual, which is a once-in-a-lifetime religious duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.
Some prayed at the Grand Mosque before heading to the Mina area or towards Mount Arafat, east of Mecca, where the Prophet is believed to have delivered his final sermon to followers.
In 2017, as 1.7 million Muslims descend onto to Mecca for this year’s Hajj, for many Black Muslims, it is a reminder of the struggles that date back five decades still prove difficult to overcome today.
The worshippers walk or take buses, with traffic police using loudspeakers to try to direct crowds speaking dozens of languages. Muslims prefer to be dressed in simple white robes, marking a state of the ritual purity called ihram.