Haj Pilgrimages 2016 Started
Haj pilgrimage 2016 has started from today in Mina. Pilgrims from both domestic and foreign have started assembling in the tent city of Mina . All the Haj pilgrims are concentrating on prayers . They can be clearly noticed with beads clutched in their fingers and water bottles in their hands. All have their e-bracelets on their wrists and bags on their backs. First leg of the five-day sacred journey known as Haj has begun.
All the pilgrims will stay in Mina on Saturday (Dul Hijjah 8) where they will spend the night in their air-conditioned, fire-resistant tents. From there, they will begin the trek to the plains of Arafat at the crack of dawn on Sunday (Dul Hijjah 9).
On Friday, Makkah was teeming with millions of the faithful preparing for the Haj rituals. Nearly 1.5 million pilgrims offered noon prayers in and around the Grand Mosque.
Daytime temperatures are between 40° and 45° Celsius.
The government, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, has made unprecedented arrangements for the smooth and safe flow of pilgrims from Makkah to Mina to Arafat and back.
This pious journey of pilgrims from Makkah to Mina is considered “the world’s largest mass movement of people.”
Before leaving for Mina, the pilgrims circumambulated the Holy Kaaba. Hundreds of buses and GMCs packed with pilgrims had come to Makkah from Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam. Some went straight to Mina.
The pilgrims are excited and enthusiastic about what is the opportunity of a lifetime; many have made long and arduous journeys in their quest to attain this pinnacle of spirituality.
At the Grand Mosque, officers in red berets and camouflage uniforms stood beside green plastic barricades in order to control the massive surge of pilgrims.
Each pilgrim wears a bracelet which carries a barcode readable by smartphone. It holds data which gives the pilgrim’s identity, nationality, and place of lodging in Makkah.