To Mecca: Millions of Hajj pilgrims make annual journey to the holy city [Photos]

It is believed that every able-bodied Muslim who has the means should perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime under a quota system

Reuters August 20, 2018 15:28:07 IST
Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque ahead of annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage follows the route that Prophet Mohammed is believed to have taken 14 centuries ago. Reuters/ Zohra Bensemra
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Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque ahead of annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage follows the route that Prophet Mohammed is believed to have taken 14 centuries ago. Reuters/ Zohra Bensemra
A Muslim pilgrim from Guwahati in India carries his belongings as he embarks on the Hajj pilgrimage. This year, the five or six day ritual began on 19 August and will conclude on 24 August. The pilgrim falls during the Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Reuters/Anuwar Hazarika
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A Muslim pilgrim from Guwahati in India carries his belongings as he embarks on the Hajj pilgrimage. This year, the five or six day ritual began on 19 August and will conclude on 24 August. The pilgrim falls during the Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Reuters/Anuwar Hazarika
Muslim pilgrims walk out after the Friday prayer on 17 August, 2018 at the Grand mosque in Mecca. Saudi Arabia has made use of technology to manage the flow of millions at the same place at the same time. Reuters/ Zohra Bensemra
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Muslim pilgrims walk out after the Friday prayer on 17 August, 2018 at the Grand mosque in Mecca. Saudi Arabia has made use of technology to manage the flow of millions at the same place at the same time. Reuters/ Zohra Bensemra
A Palestinian girl kisses the hand of her grandmother who leaves Gaza for the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mecca, in the southern Gaza Strip on 3 August, 2018. Nearly 2 million Muslims, including 1.68 million from abroad, flood Mecca's narrow streets for the annual rite which started on Sunday, 19 August, 2018. Reuters/ Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
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A Palestinian girl kisses the hand of her grandmother who leaves Gaza for the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mecca, in the southern Gaza Strip on 3 August, 2018. Nearly 2 million Muslims, including 1.68 million from abroad, flood Mecca's narrow streets for the annual rite which started on Sunday, 19 August, 2018. Reuters/ Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
A view of the Grand mosque as pilgrims flock the holy shrine after the prayer on Friday, 17 August, 2018. It is believed that every able-bodied Muslim who has the means should perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime under a quota system. Reuters/ Zohra Bensemra
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A view of the Grand mosque as pilgrims flock the holy shrine after the prayer on Friday, 17 August, 2018. It is believed that every able-bodied Muslim who has the means should perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime under a quota system. Reuters/ Zohra Bensemra
Muslim pilgrims gather before the Friday prayer at the Grand mosque ahead of annual Haj pilgrimage. Najwa, 59, a citizen of Tunisia and one of the pilgrims said, "I came for umrah (minor pilgrimage) in 2007 and today after 10 years of registering and waiting, I am here. I cannot describe the feeling. I cry every day." Reuters/ Zohra Bensemra
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Muslim pilgrims gather before the Friday prayer at the Grand mosque ahead of annual Haj pilgrimage. Najwa, 59, a citizen of Tunisia and one of the pilgrims said, "I came for umrah (minor pilgrimage) in 2007 and today after 10 years of registering and waiting, I am here. I cannot describe the feeling. I cry every day." Reuters/ Zohra Bensemra